Some people in South Carolina who are going through a divorce would like to start the process of buying a new house before the divorce is finished. This is possible, but it takes some extra paperwork, and there are some financial risks that need to be taken into account.
What to know about buying a house in divorce
Divorce is as much a financial process as it is a legal one. Before a divorce is final, the property division element may not have taken effect yet. You will need a finalized legal separation agreement and a property division agreement if you have one. This is important because property division has a huge impact on your finances, and both you and your lender need to know what to expect in terms of how much debt and income you have. That’s the only way to know how much of a budget you have for the house.
The importance of separating finances
You should finish separating your finances. Take your name off any assets, credit cards, bank accounts and other entities that aren’t your responsibility anymore. That’s crucial to ensure you are not exposed to any financial mistakes or problems that your ex has.
If you did not get awarded the original house, have yourself taken off the mortgage as soon as possible. It’s important that financial statements to a lender include any payments or obligations you have to your ex, like child support, because they legally count as debt.
It is harder to buy a house before the divorce is final. However, it’s not too much harder as long as you have the right paperwork.