What to do with the House after Becoming Recently Divorced or Widowed

So, You’re Left with a House?

            Through an unfortunate situation, you are now left with a house and a lot of decisions to make. According to a March 2019 report from the Social Security Administration, the average credit score for women is 684 and the average life expectancy of a sixty-five-year-old woman is 86.7 years. You have to plan strategically for your future if you are either newly widowed or newly divorced. 

Newly Widowed Women

Although the home may have a lot of memories and nostalgia, it may not be financially sound to keep it. In a lot of cases, newly widowed women are living in a house too big, too expensive to pay off, and too large to maintain. Downsizing to a smaller home has benefits of lower property taxes, less expensive utility bills, and less work to upkeep the home. Downsizing can also prove therapeutic, in that it provides a fresh start.

Newly Divorced Women

Divorced women have hurdles of their own when it comes to buying a home post-divorce. In the 90’s, divorced women would run into issues with loan approval. Income from child support was not considered consistent income and often hard to prove with documentation. Additionally, stay-at-home moms often had to return to work post-divorce. Often times, divorced stay-at-home moms were unable to find comparable income to the household income prior to the divorce. Today, lending organizations often take a divorce into account when looking at loan applicants. Additionally, loan entities consider whether or not a woman had a solid credit score before her divorce. 

Both newly widowed and newly divorced women should take time to make sure they are making the best decision with their homes, and speak with an attorney-as they do not benefit from either decision, and can offer candid advice. 

Speak with an experienced Smith Strong attorney about your options in your specific situation. Contact Smith Strong, PLC today for more information. Please call one of our offices at (804) 325-1245 (Richmond) or (757) 941-4298 (Williamsburg). 
H. Van Smith
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Trusted Virginia Family Law Attorney Serving Richmond to Williamsburg