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How divorce may affect home ownership

Florida couples who are getting a divorce might own a home together. One person might want to keep the home or may want to buy a new home, but doing either of these could be more complicated than the person initially realizes.

The person who wants to keep the home should make certain that the decision is a sound financial one and not an emotional one. A number of factors should be considered. The person should think about the appraised value of the home, income, whether or not it is possible to refinance the home, and whether there are alimony and child support obligations or payments, among other issues. Consulting a mortgage specialist may be helpful.

There are challenges involved in both refinancing the home and in getting a mortgage after a divorce. A person may have less income, and the instability of divorce means a person may have fallen behind on some bills. This could mean a lower credit rating. Furthermore, lenders may not accept some forms of income. For example, it may be several months before alimony can be included as a part of income. Part-time income, bonuses and commission-based income might need to be reported on tax returns for two years before they are accepted.

An attorney may be able to assist a person in making the right financial choices during a divorce. Finances are often a struggle for people after a divorce, but the division of assets could have a significant effect on a person's financial security. For example, a person who keeps the family home may fail to take into account the cost of upkeep, property taxes and utility bills on a single salary. A person might agree to a spouse's requests because of a desire to get the divorce over with quickly, but it is important to be protected financially.

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