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Refinancing Your Mortgage After Divorce


A home mortgage is the biggest debt that most people take on in their lifetimes, so divorce cases are more complicated in cases where the couple owns a house encumbered by a mortgage than where the marital home is paid off or where the couple has been living in rented accommodations throughout the marriage.  If both spouses’ names are on the mortgage, then the spouse who is keeping the marital home will probably need to refinance the mortgage to take out a new mortgage loan where he or she is listed as the sole borrower.  Applying for a mortgage is a big job even when you are happily married, but there are even more possibilities for complications if you are applying for a refinance while your divorce is in progress or when it has recently become final.  A Boca Raton divorce lawyer can help you emerge from your divorce in a financial position that will enable you to qualify for an affordable mortgage refinance.

Is It Better to Refinance or to Sell Your House?

If you owned a house during your marriage, then it stands to reason that you wish to be able to own a house after you get divorced, too.  The housing market constantly fluctuates, so what was affordable one year may not be affordable to next.  Some couples decide that the best option is to sell the marital home so that each spouse can have a sum of money to put a down payment on another house (or to spend on something else, as they choose).  If the couple has children whose school eligibility is based on the location of their residence, they might decide that the spouse who has parenting time on school days should keep the house, even if this is much more costly in the long term than selling it.  In this case, the spouse who keeps the house will need to refinance for a mortgage loan where she is the only person responsible for the mortgage.

Qualifying for a Mortgage Without Your Spouse’s Income

In order to qualify for a mortgage refinance, you will need to demonstrate to the loan officer that you will be able to afford the mortgage payments on your income alone.  It is easier to do this if you are employed.  If your employment income is not sufficient to keep up with the payments on a refinanced mortgage, this is one of the main reasons that the court might order your ex-spouse to pay alimony.  Remember that, for all except the longest marriages, alimony obligations cannot last longer than the duration of the marriage, and the duration of alimony is usually much shorter.

The Importance of Temporary Alimony

When you apply for a mortgage refinance, the loan officer will ask you for extensive documentation, including proof of your income and several recent bank statements.  This is one of the reasons that the court might order your spouse to pay pendente lite alimony, also known as temporary alimony.  Even though pendente lite automatically terminates when the divorce becomes final, it is often a point of contention in divorce cases.

Contact Schwartz | White About Keeping Your Marital Home

A South Florida family law attorney can help you qualify for a mortgage refinance after your divorce, so you can stay in the marital home and provide continuity for your children.  Contact Schwartz | White in Boca Raton, Florida about your case.



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