Divorce is a challenging time. On top of everything else, you have to figure out what to do with your house and mortgage. How do you handle divorce and mortgages?

Here is a short article to help guide you through that process and your options.

Divorce & Mortgage Choice #1: Stay or Sell?

The first thing you have to decide is whether you want to stay in your current home or sell it.

There are advantages to either option. In the 2022 housing market, homes will be selling for a lot, and we expect prices to continue to increase. That’s a great reason to sell!

On the other hand, you may decide that you want to stay. You’ve made memories in your current home and don’t want to go through the process of buying another house. That’s understandable and also a good option.

There’s no right or wrong answer; it just depends on what makes sense for you. But to help you decide, there are a few questions you can ask yourself.

  • Do I really want to stay in this house, or would I be happier in a different house in the same area?
  • If I want to change homes, does it also make sense to move to another part of town?
  • What do my children want to do?
  • What is my ex-spouse planning on doing?
  • If I stay in my current home, can I refinance my mortgage?
  • If I want to move, what kind of mortgage can I afford?

From a mortgage perspective, you really have two main options: you can stay and consider refinancing to see if you can get a better rate, or you can look at buying a new home. Let’s explore each.

Refinancing Your Morgage After Divorce

Your first option is refinancing. Of course, you may be able to stay in your home without refinancing, but if your ex-spouse is on the current loan, then you probably want to consider refinancing the house in just your name. This is one of the complications with divorce and mortgage.

There are two factors to keep in mind as you explore this option:

  1. You will be the only income source, so the lender will extend an offer based on how much you’re earning. You may want to consider using a tool like this Freddie Mac calculator to see how much home you can afford it. It doesn’t necessarily reflect how the lender will see the situation, but it will help you understand at a high level whether or not you’ll be able to comfortably pay the mortgage each month.
  2. Refinancing the loan only changes who is responsible for the payments. This is different than the title – or ownership – of the home. Make sure you have the title updated when you refinance! It doesn’t make sense for your ex to be on there.

Qualifying for a Mortgage to Buy a Different Home

You may decide that the best option for you is to sell your current home and buy a different one. In that case, your first step is to reach out to a lender to get prequalified for a mortgage. This is where the lender looks at some of your financial information to determine whether or not they think you’ll be able to qualify for a loan.

Again, one thing to keep in mind is that your income, credit score, debt-to-income ratio, etc., is what’s being considered to buy a home. If your marriage was a two-income situation and now it’s dropping down to just one, you probably won’t be able to afford the same kind of home you used to live in. That’s where using home affordability tools and talking to your lender can help you understand how much home you can afford on your own.


Divorce is not easy. Aside from everything else, you have to figure out how to manage your divorce and mortgages. The good news is you have options! Send us an email at team@lisafleckteam.com or call us at (775) 688-9100, and we will help you navigate this situation quickly and smoothly.