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If you are writing a decree of divorce, either as a lawyer, or a pro se person, you want to be sure to assign any mortgages of the community estate properly.

It would not work if in your decree of divorce you simply write: “Wife is to pay the mortgage with Wells Fargo.”  This is far too vague.  If wife fails to pay the mortgage, you will have to file a lawsuit to clarify your decree because it is unclear the terms under which Wife is obligated to pay the mortgage.

A proper mortgage assignment should look like this:

P-1. The balance due, including principal, interest, tax, and insurance escrow, on the promissory note executed by____________________________, in the original principal sum of $306,486.00, dated December 31, 2012, payable to Primelending Ventures, and secured by deed of trust on the real property awarded in this decree to the Petitioner, which is recorded at volume 15874, page 2210, Deed of Trust Records of Bexar County, Texas.

You find the information to put into the paragraph by looking at your own deed of trust, which was recorded at the time that you bought the property.

Notably this paragraph is a clear assignment of the mortgage, but to ensure that the other party will actually have to pay the mortgage if they are awarded the same, it is best to have the paying party of the mortgage execute a Deed of Trust to Secure Assumption in conjunction with the divorce decree.  This will enable the spouse that was not given the mortgage to actually foreclose upon the property and satisfy the lien in the event that the paying spouse of the mortgage fails to pay.

Video Explaining the Provision that Assigns the Mortgage Debts in a Decree of Divorce