DIVORCE

SITUATION:

Divorce is stressful emotionally, mentally, physically, and can cause financial difficulties. During a divorce, you and your spouse will be forced to make and accept decisions that have a major impact on your current and future financial situation and security.

One of the major assets that couples share is their home. Handling your mortgage correctly in the divorce will help you and your ex go your separate ways on the right foot financially.  Selling a house and moving is time consuming, stressful and expensive.  It also further disrupts your family and may involve your children having to change schools and friends

One of the most difficult things in a divorce is deciding who will be responsible for any debt the couple has incurred during their marriage. In order to do this, you’ll need to know how much you owe.  Run a credit check from each of the credit reporting agencies. People have been known to run up debt without their spouse’s knowledge, especially when they’re contemplating leaving the marriage.

 

OPTIONS:

Separate your joint accounts as soon as possible.  Emotions may be raw while working through a divorce but refusing to pay joint bills including your mortgage payment will hurt both parties.  Recent slow or missed payments will make it either very expensive or very difficult to qualify for a mortgage.

If all or most of your credit has been in your spouse’s name, get your own accounts as quickly as possible as you will require a credit history as one of the qualifications in getting a mortgage.  You will also need to have all your financial obligations clearly understood to obtain a mortgage so complete your separation/divorce agreement as a matter of priority.

If you are not going to sell the property and wish to buy out your former husband/wife’s share of the matrimonial home, the first step is to agree on the property’s current market value.  You will need to hire an appraiser and with this valuation, agree on the value of your home.  The net equity in the home can then be calculated by subtracting any debts secured against the property along with any costs that would be incurred to sell the property.

 

REQUIREMENTS:

The spouse that wishes to purchase the property must be able to qualify for the mortgage to payout their former spouse’s equity plus the existing mortgage and qualifying on a single income can be difficult.  To calculate your annual income, include your alimony or child support payments as these amounts can be added to your employment income. Conversely, if you are responsible for making these payments, these payments will form part of your ongoing expenses.

Your finances always require careful attention but this is especially true during divorce because decisions made now will affect your financial well-being for the rest of your life.  There are ways you can be prepared, and they’re all part of establishing (and then maintaining) a solid financial foundation for yourself –and your children.  Call me if you would like further information as I work with a number of divorce specialists that can help with this process.