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Refinancing a Home Mortgage After Divorce


Deciding which spouse, if either, gets to keep the marital home is often one of the most contentious issues in divorce mediation.  Houses are expensive.  Most millionaires in the United States only qualify as such because their house is valued at more than a million dollars; many of these millionaires do not have enough money in the bank to cover a month’s worth of necessities and minimum payments on debts.  If the court awards the marital home to you at trial, or if your spouse agrees, during mediation, to let you keep it, you feel at first like you have won, but then reality sets in.  Can you afford a mortgage payment on a single income?  How much alimony is your ex willing to pay for you to stay in a house that is now solely your responsibility, at least on paper?  It is no wonder that many couples in the midst of divorce agree to sell the marital home and divide the proceeds.  For help strategizing about how to get a refinance for your house, and how to deal with the consequences if you get one, contact a Boca Raton divorce lawyer.

So, You Get to Keep the House, but Now You Have to Refinance It

When you don’t factor money into the equation, it is obvious that you keeping the house is the best choice.  The house is near your children’s school, and you have been closely involved with their education from the beginning.  The trouble is that, even when home mortgages were less expensive, you would struggle to qualify on your income, since you have not worked full-time since your children were born.  You have been increasing your hours at work, but your current income is no match for today’s astronomical interest rates.  You might have to ask your parents or one of your siblings to co-sign on the mortgage loan.  You can reassure your relative who generously co-signs that your child support order accounts for the fact that your ex must pay for part of the children’s housing expenses.

How Does This Affect Your Ex-Spouse’s Finances?

Your marital settlement agreement (MSA) will include a date by which you must obtain a refinance for the home mortgage.  While the MSA is a legally binding agreement, so technically your ex can take you back to court if you don’t refinance in time, you have little control over how long it will take you to get your application for a mortgage refinance approved.  You should include provisions in your MSA that, until you get the refinance, it is not your ex’s responsibility to contribute anything toward the mortgage beyond the amounts indicated in the child support order and, if applicable, the alimony order.  You might need to borrow money or charge your groceries on buy now pay later (BNPL) until you can get a refinance, but this is not your ex’s problem.

Contact Schwartz | White About Keeping the House in Divorce

A South Florida family law attorney can help you emerge from your divorce in a financial position where you can afford to keep the marital home.  Contact Schwartz | White in Boca Raton, Florida about your case.



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