If you are going through a divorce and are planning to move out and into a new apartment or buy a new home, there are a few things you should know before you do. In many states, you need to be separated from your spouse during the divorce process, so leaving your married home is not uncommon. However, you need to consider all of your options when you are hoping to purchase a new home and your divorce is not finalized yet. If you are hoping to start over with a new home, you should consider seeking legal guidance before you purchase. 

Why is buying a new home risky? 

Typically, buying a new home is a joyous occasion that is cause for celebration. However, it can be risky when you are purchasing a home during the divorce process. Whenever you are considering making a large financial decision like this during the divorce process, you should speak with a lawyer. Your lawyer can help you sort out your financial situation and determine if it is a wise choice at the moment. 

  • Your spouse could claim ownership. Even if you are almost finished with the divorce process, if you purchase a home, your spouse may swoop in to claim partial ownership. This is because, typically, assets purchased during a person’s married life (even a mostly-divorced married life) are now community property. Be wary of making any purchases like this using joint money or bank accounts since your spouse would have the right to that property. 
  • You may not get other assets. If you were hoping to leverage the fact that your spouse is getting your family home so that you could get other assets, think again. By buying a home, you may lose that bargaining chip and a judge may reduce the overall assets they award you with. 
  • You might not have the money for it. When you still have money in joint bank accounts, it may look like you have enough to purchase a new home. However, once the divorce is finalized, you may be left without as much as you thought or be paying more in alimony or child custody than you had planned to.   

If you are hoping to start fresh by purchasing a new home during the divorce process, remember to speak with your lawyer first. Reach out to a local attorney’s office today.