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Apartment Leases In Divorce


If you're going through a divorce while renting an apartment, you may be wondering what will become of your lease. Divorce is a major life change, and it's good to know what your options are regarding your living situation. Due to financial issues or other changes, your living situation may change, so knowing what a divorce means for your obligations can be helpful.

Figuring out the terms of your lease is the first step to figuring out what happens to it while filing for divorce. Beyond that, you may wish to consult with somebody who understands the divorce process better. Fill out the following case review form to get in touch with a local divorce lawyer who can help you determine your next steps.

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Determining Apartment Lease Ownership In Divorce

In the divorce process, what happens with your apartment lease depends primarily on whose name is on the lease:

  • If the lease is in one person's name, that person typically retains the lease and all associated responsibilities after divorce. If that person wishes to move out, and the other spouse wishes to stay, the lease holder may opt to sign the lease over as part of the divorce decree.
  • If the lease is in both spouses' names, then it is treated as any other legal obligation. One spouse may be able to sign all rights to the other to continue living in the apartment. If a landlord will not allow for the removal of names from the lease, you may wish to include a "hold-harmless" clause in order to make only the person still living in the apartment responsible for its upkeep and rent payments, and you can speak to an attorney about this option. You may also want to take stock of other financial factors relating to your lease, including security deposits, rent control protection, and options to purchase.

If You're Unable To Maintain Your Apartment Lease After Divorce

If you are still on a lease, but need to move out due to financial or other reasons, your best option may be to speak to your landlord about it. In many situations, you may be able to work something out if you or the landlord is able to find somebody else to rent.

You will likely be liable for rent until a new tenant is found, as well as costs associated with finding a new tenant, such as advertising. Depending on your situation, this may be an option – though you are legally bound by the renter's agreement, with advance notice landlords may be inclined to find a new tenant.

Figuring out what to do with an apartment lease as you go through divorce is but one of many factors to account for. You may wish to speak with somebody who can provide you with advice about divorce laws in your state to understand how best to work your lease out. Get in touch with a divorce lawyer at 877-349-1311 or fill out the following form to get legal advice on how to handle the process.

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The above summary is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. For legal advice on your particular situation, consult a local divorce attorney.