The Real Cost of a Divorce

By Carla Fried - 2013-11-25T13:43:42Z

Photograph by Birgitte Magnus/Getty Images

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Consider Your Credit 

Even if you both have great credit scores, borrowing gets tougher after divorce. Normally you’re not going to be able to borrow as much as the two of you could, says Stewart. That’s tricky if one party wants to stay in the house, and if it has a mortgage. The person not keeping the home ideally wants it refinanced to remove all liability for the payments. That’s not necessarily easy if the person keeping the house can’t qualify on one income. Approved mortgage loans lately have been for borrowers whose monthly debt payments don’t top 36 percent of gross monthly income, according to mortgage data firm Ellie Mae. Even if you don’t refinance, you’ll likely pay $400 to $500 for an appraisal to set the home’s value as you work on the settlement. If things are contentious, you may need multiple appraisals.