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A recent question about handling a co-signed mortgage after a breakup got me thinking...

Is it even appropriate to provide an "answer" on how this situation should be avoided in the first place?

I've read some really crazy co-sign related questions here and all of them involve a co-signer taking on risk that a bank wouldn't even take, and now they're "screwed". It's not as bad in this question, but the timeframe was very short (3 months) from co-sign to splitting up, so the situation is probably avoidable.

However, the OP doesn't mention the premise at all, so should the subject not even be mentioned?

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    Just to be clear, the question you referenced is not a situation where the OP cosigned for someone else. Instead, this is a situation where the OP bought property (and took out a mortgage) with someone she was not married to without a legal agreement. It's still a situation that is not ideal and fraught with difficulties, but it is a different situation than cosigning. – Ben Miller - Reinstate Monica Oct 8 '19 at 18:41
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You can perhaps mention it in passing in part of a long answer to the actual question. But in general, it doesn't really belong and if it were to become controversial in the comments the best resolution would be to remove it.

I'd guess there already are questions about "should I do it". If you can't find one and really feel motivated to say something about the topic, you could try posting a self-answered question yourself.

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Is it even appropriate to provide an "answer" on how this situation should be avoided in the first place?

Context matters, as does the way such answers are crafted. I'd strongly suggest reading the first draft of such an answer you'd post, and ask if you are just rubbing in OP's face. In general, those who ask questions after the fact, after they made some mistake, know that they are in a problem of their own doing. To the OP, they are not here for the advice they should have asked X months prior, but for help moving forward.

On the other hand, I'll often give a closing paragraph, "to the new reader, this should be a friendly warning about what you might wish to do to avoid this happening to you." As Ganesh said, the answer itself should address OP, the future advice should be a lesser matter.

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