Secured Liabilities in Divorce

A secured liability generally denotes that a creditor has a right to take an owners’ stake in the property if the owner fails to make payments or defaults. A residential property that is subject to a bank loan (aka a mortgage) is perhaps the most prominent example of a secured liability. For parties in divorce proceedings, a secured liability has to be handled with particular care and attention. Our Los Angeles family lawyers can help guide you toward a fair disposition of the secured liability as well as the asset that goes with it.

A primary consideration in assigning property with secured liabilities is to ensure that one party should not maintain possession and ownership of an asset while the other party services the debt on that asset.  Not only would this place an unfair burden on the party assigned the debt, but the ownership interests of the party being awarded the asset would also be held “hostage” by the party charged with the debt.

Consider, for instance, a hypothetical marital dissolution in which wife is awarded the family residence while husband remains responsible for making monthly mortgage payments. If the husband then places conditions or restrictions on the wife’s use of the house and threatens not to continue paying the mortgage unless the wife accedes to these demands, the divorced wife may end up having to sell the property or be held hostage to husband’s threats.

Sharp family lawyers can help you stay clear of these pitfalls and assure that your rights and interests in the division of a marital estate are fully asserted. When you need a divorce lawyer on your side, contact the attorneys at Zonder Family Law.