Divorce can be costly financially and emotionally. Speaking with some of colleagues who shared some interesting stories, I decided to share.
Here is the situation:
Couple were married 10 years ago. About 3 years into their marriage, they purchased their first home. In January 2018, they divorced. The husband remained living in the house, they were both on title to the house, and both remained on the mortgage. The property deed states the property is owned by “right of survivorship,” and the divorce decree did not have any specific terms regarding the house other than title vesting remains in place until further agreement. (Meaning it was up to the couple to decide what to do with the house)
The husband remarried the following year, in 2019. The husband still lived in the house so he moved his new wife in. They started a family and began to build their new life together.
Sadly the husband passed in a car accident, without a will. The deed to the house was never changed. The couple divorced without lawyers.
Wife#1 moved on with her life new husband and new location. Wife#2 could not afford to refinance the home or buy out wife#1 so the house has to be sold.
As sad as it is for Wife #2, I totally understand how Wife #1 would not want to own a house with her ex’s widow let alone be responsible for the mortgage.
It is so important to get all the information you can when making long term decisions. An amicable divorce does not mean you don’t ask questions or seek advise from the right professionals. For many divorcing couples the marital home is their biggest financial investment. knowing what is involved in keeping or selling the home is a major step in breaking free financially and emotionally.