Even after the big items are resolved, there are always many other miscellaneous tasks involved in a breakup. As a coParent, if your ex is determined not to help you with those, life can become very difficult.

The issue may be as mundane as refusing to return the extra set of car keys — or something more serious and far-reaching. And sometimes the problems arise without warning just when you thought everything was sorted out.

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Just think about the documentation that’s required when you apply for a new loan, especially when there may be undetermined obligations such as child support or mortgage payments. At these times, you’ll probably need to ask your ex for 12 months of bank statements to document your financial relationship. And that can pose a problem.

Loan officer Denise Fontyn describes a typical scenario. Let’s say you divorce and you do not get removed off the mortgage, and your ex-husband keeps making the payments; you go your way and he goes his way. And you go to buy again. The problem is, when your lender goes to pull your credit, that mortgage is going to be there.

When you have a divorce decree stating that it was awarded to your ex-spouse, we still are going to want to show proof that that person, your ex-spouse, has been making the mortgage payments on his own; [that] you haven’t been needed to assist with that. So, why is that a problem? Well, by that time, you hate each other. He’s going to tell you, “No, I’m not giving you anything. Too bad! I’m not going to give you my bank account information, or printouts showing that I’m making the payments.” What can you do then? Until he decides to sell or refinance on his own accord, you’re stuck.

Very few people can foresee problems like this while they’re in the middle of a tumultuous breakup. But working with competent professionals who’ve been there before can help you avoid such problems by taking the right steps beforehand.

Again, if your ex-partner won’t help, attach yourself to the people who will. The issues you’ll be facing are complex and hazardous. Don’t try to tackle them alone.


About Laurel Starks

Laurel Starks is a divorce real estate specialist. Trained in both mediation and collaborative divorce methods, she speaks frequently on real estate and divorce issues to legal and alternative disputes resolution groups.

A former host of the talk radio program Real Estate Matters, Starks also serves as an expert witness in real estate matters related to divorce cases, including the mishandling of procedural aspects therein. She handles the sale of real property in family law cases, and is one of the top producing realtors in the nation. She was nominated in 2016 for the coveted Innovator of the Year by Inman News, the real estate industry’s leading news source. Laurel lives with her husband and two sons in Southern California.

Starks is the author of The House Matters in Divorce: Untangling the Legal, Financial and Emotional Ties Before You Sign on the Dotted Line, published by Unhooked Books.

From “The House Matters In Divorce,” by Laurel Starks. View this book at this link: