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What documents are needed to purchase a home during a divorce?

On Behalf of | Jun 28, 2023 | Divorce

The issue of where to live after marriage can bewilder soon-to-be divorcees in Maryland. Often, finding a new place to live involves acquiring property, yet making a large purchase before the divorce is finalized can seem like a bad idea with regard to property division. Thankfully, there are some ways this can be done — however, some extra steps and paperwork are needed.  

Documents you may need to buy a new home after a divorce include: 

  • Legal separation agreement: Prior to signing final divorce papers, individuals should be able to access a legal separation agreement. These agreements are often required to get a mortgage since they are needed to calculate the debt-to-income ratio.
  • Property settlement agreement: While these documents are not present in all divorces, lenders will want a copy if it exists.
  • Quitclaim deeds: Since Maryland is not a community property state, it is a bit more complex to determine the assets and debts an individual has for the purpose of approving a mortgage. Until the property division is finalized, getting approval could prove challenging. Quitclaim deeds may be a way around this if everyone agrees to certain aspects of property division by confirming in writing who owns what while separated. This, of course, is only an option if the soon-to-be ex-spouse is willing to sign a quitclaim deed. 

The average divorce takes 12 to 18 months, which for most people is far too long to go without a separate home. If one’s spouse is not willing to sign a quitclaim deed, purchasing a home with the spouse as a partial owner or simply renting are two potential options Maryland individuals can consider in the interim. When navigating issues involving property or significant communication between parties, it is a good idea to involve legal counsel on both sides. 

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