If a Deed Names Two Persons but Only One is Named on the Mortgage, How is the Property Treated in Separation?

Ownership of real estate is evidenced by a deed.  If two people are listed on the deed as joint owners, each owns an undivided one-half interest in the whole of the property.

Mortgages, on the other hand, are encumbrances placed upon real property by a lender to secure payment of a loan.  A mortgage signed by one person to purchase real property encumbers that person\’s one-half interest in the real property.

Depending on your state’s laws, ownership interest in the real estate may be equal, regardless of which person paid the mortgage or other fees and costs.

However, in a divorce or separation action, contribution to expenses is often a factor that is considered when assets and liabilities are apportioned to each party. But only a Court can make this determination, which may require a complex legal action requiring the advice of a qualified local attorney.