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Assessing home affordability post-divorce

When divorcing, virtually every aspect of a person’s life may change. At least in an effort to maintain some stability for themselves or for their children, some people may wish to keep their family home after they get divorced.

Affording the same home on one income that was previously supported by two incomes may or may not be possible. People wishing to take this on should understand everything that may be involved in doing this.

Mortgages and divorce

As explained by Bankrate, allowing a joint mortgage to remain intact after the couple divorces could lead to financial problems for the spouse who leaves the house. Despite the terms outlined in a divorce decree, the lender may consider both parties financially responsible for the property so long as both names remain on the loan account. If the person identified as responsible for the mortgage falls behind on the payments, the other person’s credit may be impacted, and the lender may request repayment from that party.

The cost of home ownership

The spouse wanting to stay in the home may apply for a new mortgage in their name only. However, Forbes notes that one step in this process involves both spouses agreeing on a purchase price. From there, decisions need to be made about how to split the overall marital estate should that be part of how the one person affords to keep the house.

In addition to the monthly mortgage payments, the person staying in the home should honestly assess their ability to afford all costs associated with home ownership. This includes calculating taxes, insurance, repairs and maintenance.