For many people in Pennsylvania, the thought of losing your family home when they get divorced causes them a lot of stress. Many people assign strong emotional ties to their homes, making them want to find a way to keep their houses after they get divorced. However, these spouses should know the facts about how to do this before they make a decision to do so.

One of the biggest things that people need to know is that if a joint mortgage remains in effect, both people can be pursued by the lender for repayment, regardless of what is outlined in a divorce decree. As Bankrate explains, a mortgage holder is not bound by the terms of a divorce settlement and can initiate collection actions on a spouse who is not responsible for the debt per the divorce decree if their name is still on the loan.

For this reason, it is recommended that any person wanting to keep a family home after a divorce obtain a new mortgage in their name only. This will give them a clean financial break from their former spouse and help to avoid any future entanglements related to the home.

It should be noted, however, that securing a home loan as a newly divorced person may not be quite as easy as one would think. According to The Mortgage Reports, a person’s credit score often dips during and just after a divorce in part because their debt-to-income ratio may be worse that it was when they were married.