Home Buying in Phoenix>Question Details

Gail Zastrow, Home Buyer in Phoenix, AZ

Can one spouse buy a house in AZ-they're going to get divorce?

Asked by Gail Zastrow, Phoenix, AZ Mon Aug 29, 2011

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Dzgz77:

Geez, I hate to be a party-pooper after so many positive answers regarding the legal issue, but my practical experience is if the lender knows about the divorce, they are going to be pretty reluctant to do a deal since they have no idea which debts are going to be taken on by the borrower-spouse. In addition, how do they know if, and how much, you are going to have to pay for alimony, child-support, etc., so how can they calculate your pending debt-ratio?

The mortgage underwriting process looks at past, present and future. Underwriters want to know what income and debts the borrower is going to incur three (3) years into the future. A pending divorce makes that impossible to do, so they will throw up roadblocks...can your lender address those with your help?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 30, 2011
That would be a Quit-claim, not a quick claim. Yes it can be done, it is all dependent upon how title is taken, but if a divorce is in the works or future I recommend discussnig it with your attorney to avoid issues.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 29, 2011
Hi Dzgz:
Yes, the spouse can buy the house alone. If the marriage is still effective at time of closing, the other party would sign a quick claim to the property. By saying so, during the loan application, if they are still married, we would need to count the total debt from both parties for qualification.

We can prepare you a prequalification letter, before shopping for the house.

Jinyi(Jennie) Allee 602-459-1779
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 29, 2011

Yes you can obtain financing and have the spouse sign a disclaimer deed, but you definitely want to discuss this with your divorce attorney prior to making any decisions.

Best Regards,


Ron & Brenda Cunningham
*** Recognized in the Phoenix Business Journal as "One of the Top 50 Realtors in the Valley"
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 29, 2011
You've received lots of good advice below, so I won't add to it except to say I'd strongly advise waiting until the divorce is final, not only because of potential legal complications, but also financing can be affected when there is a divorce action in place, and more subjectively, what you think you want now, might not be what you want 6 months from now when the divorce is final. Rent for awhile and give yourself time to recover.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 29, 2011
Dear DZ:

Yes. However, this situation should be reviewed with the divorce attorney. There is no way in this open forum that any one will be able to know the individual circumstances fo this future divorce.

To see and/or search for some homes for sale on the MLS in the spouse's desired neigbhorhoods check the website.

Jeff Masich
HomeSmart Realty
Web Reference: http://ArizonaHomesLand.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 29, 2011
Yes you can but in order to have the property in your name alone, your spouse will need to sign a disclaimer deed. A disclaimer deed is a document which the spouse says they have no interest or claim to the property. Disclaimer: This is not legal advice, you do need to consult with an attorney before proceeding with any offer to purchase.If your divorce is amicable then, no problem, but if not, this could be an issue. You risk having your property included with community property. My personal experience is that it is best to wait until the divorce is final. Buying property is stressful, getting a divorce is stressful. The two together create a situation that can cause a person to lose their sanity in the worst case or the in the best case, their normal sunny disposition. If you can wait, that would be my advice to you. If not, make sure you get legal counsel and that you get everything in writing. I wish you the best.

If I can assist you, please let me know.
Fred Shocklie
Owner/Real Estate Consultant
MoreChoices Real Estate LLC
623-505-4585, ext 611
Web Reference: http://www.morechoices.net/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 29, 2011
Definitely yes, but there can be many complications - especially if it is a contested divorce. Before doing anything make sure to discuss it with your divorce attorney!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 29, 2011
Hi Dzgz, as far as the financing is concerned, yes, a spouse can purchase a home even if a divorce is pending. However, if the spouse purchasing the home is planning on using a government loan such as FHA, VA or even USDA, the other spouses debts will have to be calculated to determine the debt-to-income ratios since the divorce is not finalized. Most of these loan programs will allow the total debts to account for 50-55% of the gross income so keep that in mind.

If the buyer is utilizing conventional financing, then the debts of the future ex-spouse do not have to be considered into the debt-to-income ratios. If you would like to discuss the loan options available in greater detail, I'd be happy to help. I can be reached at 602-694-5279 any day between 8AM-8PM. Have a great day!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 29, 2011
Any person can purchase a home whether single, married, divorced, etc. The issue is how to title the property. A married person can purchase as sole/separate property if the other party "signs off" with a disclaimer deed. Or the property can be purchased in both names (as community property) but then a divorce agreement would have to specify how/who owns the property from a divorce date forward. Legal assistance should be seriously sought since the ownership issues and title transfers are important financial and personal considerations. Real estate agents do not provide legal advice, but we can give you several references of legal services from which you could select someone to represent your interests.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 29, 2011
Yes it is possible, however in my experience it does require your spouse to acknowledge via signature that you are buying this property sole and separate. The spouse knows about it and is OK with buying on your own.

I have completed a few under the situation and the spouse involvement is limited but still necessary.

Arizona Homes for Sale by a Guy from Iowa
Web Reference: http://www.McVinua.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 29, 2011
Yes. The spouse not purchasing the property needs to sign a disclaimer deed. The title company can put that together for you.

Neil Brooks
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 29, 2011
Hi Dzgz
Yes a spouse can buy a house. I would check with your attorney as to the other spouses rights to the house. AZ is a community property state. More then likely this would be considered community property meaning your spouse will own 50%. Thanks
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 29, 2011
I suggest you consult with an attorney. Laws vary from state to state. In my state, things bought during a marriage are marital property and will be evenly split if left up to the court. If things are mediated privately between the two people that could be different. Every circumstance is different.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 29, 2011
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