When making a decision about spousal support during your divorce, you should think ahead and understand how it may impact your finances in the future. One example is if you will want to secure a mortgage.
Paying spousal support becomes a debt in the eyes of a lender, according to Rocket Mortgage. It is money you owe and have an obligation to pay.
One thing to think about is how long you will pay the support. If you can get a deal to minimize the time you will pay, then your mortgage lender may not give as much weight to it since there is an end date. If you have an open end date, it could have a more negative impact on your ability to secure approval.
The amount you pay is important. You want to look at your finances as a whole because that is what the mortgage lender will do. Ideally, you want a good debt-to-income ratio, which is the comparison of the money you earn to the money you owe in debts.
Most lenders will look for a debt-to-income ratio of 50% or less. You will want to consider all the changes from the divorce when assessing this, including child support and property division decisions.
While the court will not likely reduce your spousal support because you want to buy a home, there may be other options for asking for a reduction. The court will look for a change in circumstances that impacts the need or ability to pay the support. You may be able to ask for a reduction if your former spouse starts earning more money, for example, or if he or she remarries, you can often request ending the payments.
It largely depends on your situation, but in any case, you want to minimize spousal support if possible when you want to buy a home in the future.