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The Benefits of divorce mortgage planning

Tami Wollensak

With about 50 percent of marriages ending in divorce in the U.S., it’s shocking to me that divorce mortgage planning isn’t more widely utilized. Among the countless stressors that accompany divorce is figuring out the best living situation for everyone involved.

Maybe you’d like to keep your marital home and buy out your spouse’s share of the equity. Maybe you’d prefer the opposite—have your spouse pay you for your share of the existing home so you can find your own. Or, you both decide that selling the house and renting separately is best for now. The first two options require getting a mortgage following the divorce.

There are no right or wrong answers regarding your home in the divorce, only options to consider that will make everyone—you, your spouse, and children—feel comfortable and safe. One reason some consider renting is fear of the unknown. Buying a home or refinancing to stay in the current home can seem intimidating because of the process of getting a mortgage after divorce.

Working in the mortgage business for the last 25 years, I am very familiar with the fears both men and women have when it comes to getting a mortgage, especially following a divorce. The process can seem daunting, complicated, and difficult to understand, and it’s common to have doubts about qualifying for a mortgage for the home you really want.

Knowing your options during the negotiations and before signing on the dotted line is critical for easing your fears. Empowering yourself with knowledge will help you negotiate more effectively and ease anxiety.

As a Certified Divorce Lending Professional (CDLP), I consult with my clients’ financial advisors so I can present you with clear and understandable options. I also give you a good indication of what the options look like prior to the mediation or negotiations so you can prepare to base your decisions on facts instead of emotions.

In some ways, getting a mortgage after divorce is no different from applying for a mortgage any other time in your life. Regardless of the situation, the mortgage process may seem lengthy and complicated. Your lender will ask you a lot of questions and ask for several documents. It’s important to have trust in that person, but also insist that each step is explained to you clearly. Inevitably, you will get an education throughout the process.

In my business, I want my clients to feel empowered. I won’t just tell my clients to trust me; I work with them through the process to earn that trust. My goal is to provide all the information they need to make decisions based on choices and scenarios I offer in conjunction with their financial planner, divorce attorney, and/or mediator.

Knowledge is power over fear. Gathering all the information during the process allows you to make more informed, better decisions for your future. Do yourself a favor and be resourceful when it matters most. Divorce mortgage planning will set you up for the best possible outcome as you navigate through this life transition.