Can I buy Another house BEFORE I am divorced ?

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams 414-525-0563 57026-90 Broker

 The answer to that question is a definite "Maybe" because there are so many "What If and Yes Buts" that can be a part of that answer....divorcing transactions have a few more of Divorce gavelthese kinds of conditions than other home buying transactions.  The first logical question to ask is "where are you in the divorce process ?" 

     What we mean by that is have you agreed ....legally on the division of assets...your present home it sold ? Do you know the amouDebtnt of support or maintenance you will pay or receive ? Do you know for how long ? (i.e. is this a temporary order or a permanent one ?)   How old are your children in how many years will what portion of the debt be reduced ?

    You need to look at BOTH sides of the ledger...if you have determined (legally not just by mutual agreement) the division of assets....what about the distribution of debt ?  Do you have credit card, medical, education or other debt and who is responsible for how much and for how long ?

     Is one spouse required to insure the other and dependents?  Lots of expenses can come into play that have timelines that likely don't mean a "forever" situation.  Few things in life are "forever" and when a marriage is not one of them...the aforementioned are among those considerations.

      Where will the down payment come from ?  Wisconsin is a community property state and unless there is money that could have come from an inheritance for example...and the money has NOT been CO-MINGLED.....the down payment Savings1may well be hard to find.  If Paul's Mother passes away and leaves her estate to Paul with no mention of his wife Betty, and Paul puts the money into an account only in his name...Poof...Paul has a down payment for his new home.  IF on the other hand, Paul uses parts of the money to make improvements or repairs on Betty and Paul's current home, the money has been co-mingled with community property and it may well be up to the court to decide if the remainder of the funds left could be Paul's only to use as he saw fit.

     For the sake of answering this FAQ .....let's "assume" (yicks) that there are funds for a down payment OR that Betty or Paul is able to qualify ON THEIR OWN for a no money down mortgage prior to the divorce being final.  That is indeed possible....many markets offer such a product and given that debt to income can be calculated and credit scores are in line....there could be a home purchase in the near future but some states and some legal opinions would say that first, there has to be an agreement for one spouse to "quit claim" the house to the other.  (This is a whole separate post but basically means while it does not take a spouse OFF the gives ONE spouse management and control of the property as agreed to by both spouses.) 

    House Key The second very legal document that is required which may go by different names in different locations is called a "Sole and Separate" agreement. This is required to be signed by both spouses.  It means that....the money used for the purchase, mortgage payments, insurance, maintenance etc. of the property being purchased by the "about to be single" spouse is solely and separately Hers or His and the other has no legal right to the equity or ownership of it.  It may be, if mutually and legally agreed for example be funded by a down payment from a retirement fund awarded to one spouse or the aforementioned inheritance. BOTH spouses need to be in agreement....OR the "new house" could well become marital property and AGAIN subject to division in the not yet final divorce. (BIG yicks !)

    Thank you Anna Banana Kruchten, CRS for making us dig into our resource bank and provide readers with another answer to a FAQ !

    If you or anyone you know ...and you DO or WILL know someone who is dvorcing in southeastern Wisconsin....tell them to call the Hansons for all things real estate ...we are honored to be of service and the only certified divorce real estate agents in Wisconsin.

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Sally K. & David L. Hanson, ABR, CDPE, CSS, e-Pro,ILHM, REDS

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Dorie Dillard
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Sally K. & David L. Hanson ,

Yes there are are lots of "maybes"......sometimes you can and sometimes you can't depending on the circumstances. My client just closed on a new home construction even though his divorce is not final. We are a community property state and the divorce was almost final..just needed the soon to be ex wife to sign off she was not expecting this to part of the settlement...very amicable divorce..not always like that!

Jun 09, 2017 05:01 AM #1
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

You are the experts in helping divorcing couples in selling their home and buying another one.

Jun 09, 2017 05:03 AM #2
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Good morning Sally and David.  Excellent information for those that face themselves in a difficult situation.

Jun 09, 2017 05:22 AM #3
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

With a title like that I am sure you will get a bunch of clicks...happy Friday!

Jun 09, 2017 05:35 AM #4
Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Condo & Home Sale Specialists

You're so right Sally and David. There are so many variables that the answer is most likely "Maybe"...

Jun 09, 2017 06:20 AM #5
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD
Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs

This is excellent advice to share. 

Have a great Friday and an outstanding weekend.

Jun 09, 2017 08:35 AM #6
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hello Sally and David - your niche is very important and your advice for divorcing couples bakes you the go to real estate team for this niche 

Jun 09, 2017 08:44 AM #7
Michael Jacobs
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena Area Real Estate 818.516.4393

Good morning, Sally and David -- so many questions can be answered with "it depends" and you certainly go above and beyond with explaining the maybes for those in the process of divorce.  

Jun 09, 2017 09:47 AM #8
Anita Clark
ColdwellBanker SSK Realtors ~ 478.960.8055 - Warner Robins, GA
Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA

Each situation is different so "maybe" is the answer until more detailed facts are known. Good and thorough explanation, Sally!

Jun 09, 2017 12:35 PM #9
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Sally and David, lots to think about in these situations.  A lot of times there is not clear cut answer.

Jun 09, 2017 07:19 PM #10
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®,CRS,
RE/MAX Professionals. - Tacoma, WA
Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority!

Your blog post always answers a bunch of questions that I might have for my clients about divorce Sally K. & David L. Hanson .

Jun 09, 2017 08:33 PM #11
James Dray
Fathom Realty AR LLC - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Good morning Sally.  My goodness, you sure hit a lot of things for one to consider.  I don't know of anyone in our area who has or wants that niche.  

Jun 10, 2017 03:23 AM #12
Mary Yonkers
Alan Kells School of Real Estate/Howard Hanna Real Estate - Erie, PA
Erie/PA Real Estate Instructor

'By golly' you are the 'Divorce Experts'  Sally K. & David L. Hanson 

Thanks for sharing your expertise.

Jun 12, 2017 01:45 PM #13
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Sally K. & David L. Hanson

WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce
For All Things Wisconsin Real Estate...Call the Hansons
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