Getting A Mortgage After Divorce

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The family residence is often the most valuable asset in divorce.  Valuable economically, and valuable emotionally. It is quite common for one spouse to want to keep the house despite the divorce.  The follow-up is that the ex-spouse keeping the house will usually have to write a check to the other ex-spouse.  Therein lies the rub, because that big chink of money is not always easy to come by.

An article in the US News and World Report helps to fuel thought on how to avoid having to immediately sell the house.  Ideas such as continued joint ownership while the children are in school, nesting arrangements so that the kids stay in the house full-time and the parents alternate staying with them, refinancing are all discussed.  The articles also addresses the problems inherent in trying to get a new mortgage, such as insufficient income, compromised credit ratings, and lack of work history.

While the article does not give concrete answers to any of the problems inherent in trying to keep the home, it does facilitate creative thinking, and helps to introduce divorcing couples to the challenges they will be facing when thinking about keeping the family residence.  It is worth a look, and can be found here.

Here’s my two cents. . . When entertaining the idea of preserving the family residence don’t let sentimentality get in the way of financial reality.  If staying in the house is cheaper than buying a replacement home, or renting, then try to make it happen.  If the house would end up being more expensive, look at it as plywood and nails, and move on.

The professionals that are going to critical in the process are a good mortgage broker and a CPA or financial planner will real world experience dealing with clients in divorce.

Please be sure to visit www.hardinglaw.com, the website for the law firm of Harding & Associates, for more information on California family law.

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