Family Lawyer FAQ: Should I Refinance My Home During a Divorce?

Some of the most common questions family lawyers get from homeowners who are considering a divorce are: 

  • “What will happen to our home?” 
  • “Will one of us get to keep it and the other will need to move out?” 
  • “Does my home need to be sold quickly?” 

Obviously, if you are a homeowner and thinking about divorce, you may feel an overwhelming amount of uncertainty about what will happen to your home. 

Even once the question regarding who will get the home is resolved, if the person staying in the home has not applied for a mortgage or refinance, they could be stressed about pursuing either option. This is particularly a concern when they have not been working because they were caring for the children. As a family lawyer might tell you, it is possible to refinance your home during a divorce, but you should seek guidance from an attorney. 

Can You Refinance Your Home?
Many parents who are thinking about getting a divorce don’t realize they can take advantage of refinancing opportunities. Lawyers work with many stay at home moms who want to keep the home, but feel that they cannot refinance it because they have not been working. This is not always true. Although a lender will want to see a sustainable source of income, this is not exclusive to a job. Rather, if you have any of the following income sources coming in, you may be able to refinance your home during a divorce:

  • Alimony
  • Child support
  • Separation maintenance
  • Retirement
  • Trust income
  • + More

When combined, the total amount is considered to be your income. In general, staying at home to care for children, or going to school may be counted as the required two year employment history.

Should You Refinance?
If you are getting a divorce and wondering if you should refinance your home, ask yourself how long you plan on staying in the home. If you will be moving in the near future, you should not do anything as you likely won’t recoup any closing costs. If you will be in your home indefinitely,  refinancing might be an option. 

Family lawyers often recommend clients in these situations to talk with a mortgage broker as they will have access to various loans. Your monthly payment may be based upon your mortgage, taxes, and insurance.

Hopefully this information has helped you to understand whether you can refinance, or keep your home, in the event of a divorce. If you need any further information or legal advice, please call a family lawyer today. He or she will offer consultation to all new clients and are knowledgeable in a broad range of areas pertaining to family law. Guided by experience and due diligence, family lawyers seek solutions to many different needs.