Loan and divorce – which spouse will pay the liability?

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There is a statement that a mortgage connects couples more than a marriage vow. And indeed there is a grain of truth in it, because joint debts can be a problem for many years, no matter how the fate of the partners goes. So how do you pay back a mortgage after a divorce?


ABC mortgage

mortgage loan

According to CSO statistics, almost every third marriage in Poland ends in divorce. Interestingly, this level has been relentlessly for several years. Poles decides to separate because of treason or mismatch between characters. A little less often we give up living together for financial or alcohol reasons of the spouse. Despite this, at the beginning of the marriage path many of us have joint financial obligations – and one of them is a mortgage. This is a key debt, because it often accompanies a couple of decades of life of the spouses and affects the overall financial situation.

As it turns out, a divorce does not change anything when it comes to joint debt. Even after marriage, divorces have the status of co-borrowers. So what to do with an apartment taken out for a loan?


Community and property separation

property loan

Pursuant to the provisions of the Family and Guardianship Code, establishing a marriage means establishing a property community. Thus, it covers all assets that were acquired during marriage by one or both partners. During the relationship, none of them can therefore demand a division of property or manage part of it on their own. For example, all consent to rent, sublet or sell an apartment must be the decision of both partners.

Therefore, if the spouses plan to manage the property themselves, they can sign a property separation agreement. Then we deal with two personal assets for which the partners are individually responsible. However, signing intercyzy does not preclude the joint purchase of an apartment / house. Such real estate therefore operates on the basis of joint ownership and the definition of the shares of each of them.


Divorce and division of property

Divorce and division of property

However, before the paths of the spouses diverge for good and each of them begins a new stage of life, it is necessary to divide the property developed over the years. In addition to financial benefits, these may also be outstanding liabilities. Then the division of property becomes a conflict issue, most often decided by the court – either during the divorce hearing or in separate proceedings.

However, explaining who the loans you take will not be easy. Why? Well, the court during the divorce hearing focuses mainly on income and benefits arising from the collected property. He avoids settling decisions on jointly incurred liabilities, because in the case of a mortgage – each partner is liable to the bank! Simply put, the court’s task is to divide the property, and unpaid loans do not belong to it.


Saying goodbye to your partner and your mortgage?

Saying goodbye to your partner and your mortgage?

Although the divorce itself does not invalidate the loan agreement that the marriage has signed with the bank, there are ways to terminate it amicably. If no intercourse has been signed between the spouses, the quickest and cheapest way is to reach an agreement and get along. In this case, there are several options:

  • Assumption of debt by one of the borrowers – to comply with the law must take place with the consent of the bank where the partners signed the mortgage. However, this depends on the financial situation of one of the borrowers and its creditworthiness. Such a solution is particularly advantageous when the spouses have agreed among themselves who the whole property will be credited for,
  • Co-borrower exchange – in the event that one ex-spouse does not have sufficient creditworthiness, he / she may opt for the other co-borrower. It can be anyone who meets the conditions set by the bank,
  • Rental of real estate – if there is a friendly relationship between ex-spouses, renting a previously purchased flat / house can be a profitable business. Then the income received may be used to pay the monthly loan installments. However, what is important, such rent is, so-called an act exceeding the ordinary management of the joint property. That is why such agreement requires the consent of both parties. The lack of signature of one of the spouses makes her invalid,
  • Overpayment of a mortgage after divorce – a less formal but beneficial solution may be overpayment of mortgage installments by one of the borrowers who waives its further repayment. It should be at least enough to allow the other party to meet their debts calmly. An overpayment can also be made if one of the spouses wants to take over the debt and has insufficient creditworthiness,


Other solutions include:

money problem

  • Sale of real estate – this is a key alternative to renting and most often practiced when borrowers cannot reach a mutually beneficial agreement. Then the money from the sale of the property partners can transfer to repay the mortgage,
  • Joint repayment throughout the entire loan period – a good solution for people who think about the future of children. The way in which monthly installments will be repaid is a room for maneuver for spouses, provided that the payments reach the bank on time. With this solution, however, there is a risk of debt of one of the parties. Then the bank will not interfere in what were the personal assumptions between the borrowers and any repayment problem will “land” in the credit history of former spouses.


What about a loan if the spouse’s debt is not promised?

divorce loan

At the hearing about the division of property, the court may transfer an apartment that has been financed by the spouses’ mortgage to one of them. In such a situation, the other explorer is still required to settle the joint commitment. Why?

If both partners’ signatures appear under the loan agreement, the bank has the right to require payment of each of them! Additionally, it may happen that the spouse to whom the property was transferred does not pay for loan installments. Then the other half may expect questions from the creditor demanding repayment. Otherwise, the case will go to the bailiff. This means enforcement on account of, eg remuneration for work or movable property of debtors. Therefore, if the property goes to one of the spouses, the other should strive to have his data from the contract removed as soon as possible!



There is nothing to hide – the decision to divorce has various consequences. Changing marital status or residence is one of them. Therefore, in order to start a new stage of life well without the ongoing affairs of the past, it is worth dealing with the subject of mortgage in friendly circumstances.