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Is it possible to purchase a house during a divorce?

| Jul 13, 2021 | Divorce

When a marriage ends, the question of where each party will live when they part ways is one of the most immediate concerns. But, for those who prefer to buy a property rather than rent, this can present an issue. Is it even possible to purchase property before all marital assets have been divided in a final divorce? Some prospective homebuyers in North Carolina who are in the midst of a divorce process will need to wait until after the divorce is final to buy; however, if some criteria are met and there is cooperation on both sides, it can be possible to buy a house during this legal process. 

Challenge #1: Securing a mortgage  

To secure a mortgage, a would-be buyer will need to prove to his or her lender that he or she will have the money to pay for the home even after the divorce is final. This can be difficult to do if issues like child and spousal support are still in the air, or if there are marital debts on record. However, those with solid financials may be able to fulfill this requirement. 

Challenge #2: Documenting how the new home fits into overall assets  

If a home is purchased while a couple is technically still married, even if they are en route to divorce, it could be seen as a marital asset. Buyers should take every possible step to prevent this, working with attorneys on both sides, a financial planner and their former spouse to make sure the purchase does not interfere with divorce matters and can be afforded with their portion of the assets. Without strong cooperation and legal advice, a home purchase will likely significantly complicate a divorce. 

It is easy to see why many people choose not to buy a home until after their divorce is final. However, if buying a house is truly the best financial decision, and there is cooperation and support available to keep things legally above-board, buying a house could be an option even before the final documents are signed. North Carolina individuals looking into a home purchase before a divorce should speak with a family lawyer early on to understand if this is feasible in their case.