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Be careful when buying a home during a divorce

You're in the middle of a divorce, but you've found the home of your dreams where you want to begin your new life. Maybe it's a small condo, a cozy beach cottage or a home closer to work or family.

Buying a home is always a stressful endeavor, but doing so before your divorce is final can be particularly complicated. However, if you have the resources, with the proper legal guidance you can do it.

First, make sure that you'll have enough money after the divorce to pay the mortgage, if you get one, as well as property taxes, homeowner's association fees, utilities and maintenance costs. It's best not to make any large purchases until you're certain of how much spousal and child support you'll be receiving or paying as well as any debts you may need to pay off as part of the divorce agreement.

Determine where the money to buy the home is coming from. You need to make sure that it's from your individual assets. Make sure that these are assets that haven't been commingled with marital assets. If they are, your spouse could claim part of the property. Further, if you close on the sale before your official separation date, it could still be considered marital property even if purchased with your own money.

If you and your spouse are on good terms, he or she can sign an agreement waiving any rights to the property. A judge will likely need to sign it for the agreement to be enforceable. Your attorney may advise you to get court approval for the purchase anyway.

Talk with your Florida family law attorney before putting any money down on a home or making any large purchase before your divorce is settled. This can save you from potentially significant legal and financial issues in the future.

Source: SFGate, "How to Buy a House While Getting Divorced," accessed Oct. 06, 2017

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Phone: 561-328-0718
Fax: 561-253-6353