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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 41220
Experience:  I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
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Hi. My friend in California ... A community property state

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Hi. My friend in California ... A community property state ... Is getting a divorce. Papers have been filed. They own a house together and she moved out in august but promised him she would still pay her half of mortgage in September. She didn't make good on her promise - claiming she couldn't afford it. Just today he got an email from her saying that she is going to start paying her half again and that she has already talked to the mortgage company about sending in payments. Is there a legal reason she would be doing this? Is she obligated to pay her half still? Should my friend tell her not to? Will he get shafted somehow if she does this? What do you suggest he says or does? He didn't think they were going to need attorneys but she got one and filed without letting him know ... Which is why he doesn't have an attorney yet to ask for advice. Thank you.
Thank you for your question.

There is absolutely no "legal" reason her for to speak with the company, but she may have called them to obtain information on foreclosures, short-sales, or other options with the property in case she is unable to make payments. As for making payments, both your friend and the spouse are "jointly and separately" liable for the debt--that means that EITHER of them can be held to pay all of the mortgage, or both can be held to pay it. If she fails to pay, the obligation of your friend does not disappear. Whether or not he pays or she pays makes no difference in terms of ownership of the property, it remains a 50/50 asset if under both names OR purchased while married.

Please understand that while I am an attorney, I am not your attorney, or your friend's attorney. If he is seeking actual advice, for that he will need to retain counsel. I am limited to providing information as anything else is beyond the scope of the services that JustAnswer or the JustAnswer experts can provide.

Good luck.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi. I think you misunderstood me. I wasn't asking about a legal reason for her contacting the mortgage company ... I meant is there a legal reason she has to pay her half? My friend is already paying the full mortgage amount so as not to default. We can't see her paying this out of the kindness of her heart ... There must be an ulterior motive. If she were not to pay half, would that go against her if she were to ask for half the house? We are pretty sure she will do this. Or can you think of another reason for her to make the payment? Thank you.
Thank you for your follow-up.

I am sorry, I did misunderstand. Sorry, there is no legal reason for her to pay half--so long as the lender receives the full payment from either co-signer or both, there is no breach of terms. Without a court order forcing her to pay half she does not have to make the payments. It would NOT go against her if she were to pursue the property, since she already owns half of the home. The only "ulterior" motive may be showing that she is responsible and is making her obligations in good faith.

Good luck.
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