Buying a House While Separated

by Jason from Tampa, Florida, Hillsborough County

I want to buy a house. It is a great deal and needs to be done quick, however I have been separated from my ex for over 10 years.

Does she have to sign the mortgage, or is there any way I can do it myself.

I don't have time for the divorce to buy this house, and she will not sign anything until we are divorced.

Answer to Florida Divorce Question

Dear Jason,

It depends on your lender.

It is not contrary to Florida law for one spouse to own real estate without the other.

However, lenders may refuse to write a mortgage with only one spouse named, because they do not want the other spouse to make a claim of ownership later on.

Asking your lender to Attach an Addendum to the contract documents stating that you are a married person but your intention is to purchase this house alone may suffice.

Another option might be to prepare a Quit Claim deed for the property in advance, and have your wife sign it before you go to closing. Check with your mortgage broker to make sure doing that would be proper and ethical.

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