Do I Still Have To Pay My Mortgage In The Middle Of My Divorce?

Imagine you are in the middle of your divorce proceeding, and your finances are extremely tight.  You know that you will be selling your house after the divorce and figure that maybe you could just stop paying your mortgage until the house is sold. Or perhaps, you decide that you could save some money and just stop paying the mortgage for a month or two.

Can you just stop paying your mortgage while in the middle of your divorce?

The answer is usually “no”. Several years ago, New York State enacted the “Automatic Orders” for every divorce case. One part of this law states that you cannot “incur unreasonable debts”. If you have always been paying your mortgage and then you just simply stop paying your mortgage that could be considered as incurring an unreasonable debt.

If you stop paying your mortgage, you could be deemed to be in contempt of the Automatic Orders. Furthermore, most Judges would not look very kindly upon you taking such drastic action.

If you believe that you don’t have the money to continue paying your mortgage, then you do have some options. First, you should consult with your attorney. Second, if your spouse agrees, in a signed, notarized and written agreement that you can stop paying the mortgage, then, that may qualify as an exception to the usual rule. Third, you can ask the court for permission to stop paying the mortgage, but, you need to ask for permission, before stopping your payments. Depending on your particular situations, there could be other options available to you.

The Badanes Law Office has helped numerous clients in their divorce and in counseling them in their finances. If you are thinking of getting divorced, call David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office today at 631-239-1702, email at or visit our website:

The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport, Suffolk County and Garden City, Nassau County.

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What Are Automatic Orders? Video

Straight talk with Long Island’s top rated divorce attorney, David Badanes, Esq.

Today’s Straight Talk: What are automatic orders?

In New York State, once you file for divorce, there are what called automatic orders for both you and your spouse. In general terms, this means keeping your status quo in terms of paying your bills and your financial information and financial documents.

So if you’ve been paying the mortgage prior to divorce. You are obligated to keep paying the mortgage. If you’ve been paying all these other general bills, electricity, heating, and water. You have to keep paying those bills as well. Also, you cannot just keep running off credit card debt if you have not been doing that prior to divorce.

So the automatic orders are orders that say to you, that you have to, in general terms keep the status quo as it pertains to your financial information and your financial life.