1 July 2021
Mortgage, separation, and divorce
Egle Kemezyte
Growth Marketer

Who takes over a mortgage after divorce or separation? Arranging a divorce takes a great deal of planning, especially if you own a house with a mortgage.

The first step is to reach a mutual agreement about what is going to happen with a home. Are you going to stay in the property and buy out your ex-partner, or will you sell the house and buy out your ex-partner?

Living arrangements in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands, couples have various options for formalizing their living arrangements, each regulated by law. The variety of options reflects the Dutch commitment to providing couples with flexibility in defining the legal aspects of their relationships based on their individual preferences and needs. Here, we discussed the top living arrangements in the Netherlands.

When a married couple decides to purchase a home together, they share equal responsibility for repayments. However, keep in mind that the ownership of a home is not equally split unless the couple has a prenup agreement. In the Netherlands, as of January 1, 2018, when partners get married, a limited community of property applies automatically unless the couple has a prenup arrangement. The term “limited community of property” refers to the fact that the partners do not share all of their assets and liabilities. In general, a community of property marriage means that each partner’s property and debts are transferred.

Partners who do not want to marry in the Netherlands can instead register their relationship. In this country, marriage and registered partnership are similar. If you are married in a community of property, both your home and your mortgage debt may become part of the community. A prenuptial agreement can limit the community of property.

A living together agreement outlines that both parties share ownership of the residence and share responsibility for the mortgage commitment. The distribution of mortgage expenses may be based on a proportional arrangement. Additionally, the cohabitation agreement typically delineates the shared and individual household items, as well as specifying each person's contribution to overall household expenses.

Have you got married abroad?

In most situations, expats who marry overseas and get back to the Netherlands are not covered by Dutch matrimonial property law. What should you do? Are you married and intending to purchase a home in the Netherlands and apply for a mortgage? Then, be ready to answer inquiries about your matrimonial property division. But first, make sure you understand which laws and regimes apply.

A civil law notary in the Netherlands draws up the prenuptial agreement. A civil notary who specializes in foreign matrimonial property law can guide you through the process.

What are mortgage and divorce scenarios?

There is no need to split a home if you or your partner own the home individually and are not married in a community of property. However, if you have prenuptial agreements, you can make unique arrangements for the mortgage and the house.

1. Sell a home and pay a mortgage back.
2. Take over a house and a mortgage.
3. Leave the mortgage and remain responsible for the mortgage payments.

1. Sell a home and pay a mortgage back.

In many cases, the mortgage is calculated based on two incomes. As a result, a couple needs to sell their home and look for a more cost-effective home.

How does it work?
You sell the house and pay the mortgage debt to the bank. If you have earned a profit, you share the profit with your partner. When selling your property with a residential mortgage, you may find that a property is undervalued. In this case, the home is sold for less, which means you must split the remaining debt between the two of you. If you have to sell a home with residual debt and your mortgage is protected by the NHG (Nationale Hypotheek Garantie), the remaining debt may be forgiven. If one of you stays in the house and there is an undervalue after taxes, the departing ex-partner must compensate the remaining ex-partner proportionately for their share of the house and the undervalue.

2. Take over a house and a mortgage

If you and your ex-partner both own the house and wish to take it over, you must buy out your ex-partner. Then, you can take over a home with your own money or other assets. If you have sufficient income, you can also do this by increasing your mortgage.

How does it work?
The first step is to find out how much the house is worth. An appraisal can help you to determine the value of a property. Next, take a look at your mortgage to see how much it has increased in value. What is the current balance of your mortgage? Your equity is the gap between the value of your home and the amount owed on your mortgage. A new mortgage deed will be drawn to relieve the departing ex-partner from liabilities. The civil law notary will then make the necessary changes to the mortgage debt registration. If you have a sufficient income, you can also do this by increasing your mortgage. It will be stated who obtains the house in a notarial deed.

3. Leave the mortgage 

In some cases, you have the option of remaining co-owners of the home and, for example, continuing to pay the mortgage together.

New partner and mortgage

If your new partner wants a mortgage, a new partner can sign the mortgage deed, and, you are “jointly bonded.” You and your spouse are jointly liable for the mortgage until it is taken over or a new mortgage is signed. Then, if the monthly payments are not made, you are both responsible to the mortgage provider or bank.

How long does the process of divorce and mortgage can take?

On average, arranging everything can take up to two months. Whether it takes longer or shorter can differ per situation.

Keep in mind

In case of separation or divorce, you must change term life insurance.

Questions about post-divorce mortgage?

Schedule a free call with our mortgage specialists

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Sezer Yilmaz
Egle Kemezyte
Growth Marketer
Robin Uijtdehaage
Client Director & Financial Specialist
Lisa Grondsma
Financial Specialist