Establishing a new life after divorce involves one or both former spouses finding a new place to reside. While New York spouses sometimes choose to find temporary accommodations during separation and divorce proceedings, many individuals eventually want to purchase a home.

Divorce adds complications to finances. Couples who once shared everything struggle to become independent by disentangling assets and bills. Former spouses who most likely built a marriage on two incomes transition to individuals who live separately on single incomes.

Divorce settlements and decrees do not always sever financial ties with a former spouse. Spousal finances are sometimes intertwined for years after a marriage ends. Joint assets and support payments affect individual credit worthiness, which, in turn, can influence a mortgage loan decision.

Alimony and child support enhance the income of support recipients and diminish it for payers. Mortgage lenders require loan applicants to supply details of a divorce settlement including proof of support receipts or payments. It is common for lenders to ask for evidence of six months of past support along with a guarantee the support will continue for at least three years.

Some former couples continue to co-own marital property or share other financial obligations after divorce. Just because one spouse agrees to take over mortgage payments for a marital property does not mean the other spouse is released from financial responsibility.

Mortgage lenders will approve loans to divorced individuals attached only by name to a former marital home, provided there is solid proof the spouse with the property regularly pays and continues to pay the mortgage. Lenders will not take kindly to borrowers who maintain a joint bank account with an ex to make the marital home mortgage payments.

The clear separation of property during and after divorce is a benefit for both former partners. Divorce attorneys encourage clients to divide property cleanly so ex-spouses can move forward with a clear financial slate.

Source:, “Is Divorce Keeping You From Buying a Home?” Scott Sheldon, Jun. 21, 2013