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6 Things to Know When Buying a Home After a Divorce

Written by Posted On Friday, 13 November 2015 03:54

The art of buying a home is intricate enough without the complications of divorce added in. As if getting a mortgage wasn’t a challenge enough on its own, you now need to navigate technical rules for the divorced borrower.

Plenty of individual purchase a home each year despite a previous or impending divorce. You can too! It is a good idea to work closely with divorce attorneys to help you navigate the rules. Here are some things you and qualified divorce attorneys should know about the process. 

1. Plan Ahead 

As we already mentioned, this process is not going to be simple. You will need divorce attorneys to help you provide a mortgage company with the realities of your situation. From the start of the process, during the loan application, make sure to provide the leader with the divorce decree. The more details they know, the more accurately they can structure your loan with more favorable options. 

2. Child Support and Alimony Count as Income 

If you are receiving support from your former spouse in any form, this does count as income towards qualifying for a mortgage. There needs to be a three six month history of this type of income which is projected to last for the next three. Your divorce attorney can help you detail the terms of the obligation of the person who will be providing the income for the following years. 

3. For Those Paying Alimony and Child Support 

Unfortunately, this counts against you when it comes to qualifying for a mortgage. The amount you pay in alimony and child support reduces your borrowing ability. This means extra income would be required to qualify for the same mortgage if you weren’t paying child support and/or alimony. 

4. It Doesn’t Matter How Long Ago You Were Divorced 

There is no statute of limitation on divorce. This means even if you got a divorce 20 years ago it will still be part of your mortgage loan underwriting. When going through a divorce, keeping this legal fact in mind is important when working out the terms of the divorce decree with divorce attorneys. 

5. If You are on the Mortgage of a Home with an Ex-Spouse 

If you are on the mortgage of a home with your ex-spouse this doesn’t necessarily count against you. As long as it is clear the spouse was awarded the home in the divorce and they provide proof they’re making the payments, you are in the clear. 

6. Before You Get Divorced

If you are not divorced yet, it is important to try to get the best marital settlement possible when working with your divorce attorney. While many do not want to deal with a marital settlement, this is an issue that can impact your financial life forever. 

Always Plan Ahead 

It is wise to consult with accountants and divorce attorneys to help navigate the difficult financial road ahead before, during and after a divorce. With enough caution, the divorce will have minimal impact on your life going forward. 


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Nathan Byrd

Nathan Byrd works as a divorce attorney focusing in the area of real estate in the New Orleans area. Nathan lives with his wife and three children in a home he purchased after his first divorce ten years ago. He works at a law firm in Metairie, Louisiana. 


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