No. of Recommendations: 2

You wrote, My coworker was married in June (a 2nd marriage for both of them). She has 3 kids under the age of 9 from her 1st marriage. Crazy as it seems to me, apparently after spending the last 3 years together & just officially getting married, he's decided that this isn't for him (not something she could see coming since he was with his 1st wife for years, so it's not like he has a history of "love em & leave em". She's asking me and 2 of our coworkers what she should do. They have a house & 2 cars in both of their names and multiple CCs. She wants to look at getting a house in her name only. I've never been married, much less divorced, so I was wondering if this was even possible? Would her husband be entitled to the new house too? We live in PA if that helps.

I don't know PA law; but I do know PA is not a community property state. If they divorce, she should be able to hold a second house as her separate property; but I'd consult an attorney just to be sure.

I'd be more concerned about obtaining an amicable division of existing joint assets and whether or not one will demand alimony as part of the settlement. Alimony seems unlikely if they've not been married long and they both work; but again, I don't know PA law.

Does your coworker have enough income to actually support both houses? If she's on the current lien, the new lender will count that against her income when considering a loan for a second property. Also, all that joint debt will be counted against her income as well whether she's paying for it or not. I don't know her situation or the cost of housing in your area; but personally I'm skeptical that she could land a mortgage for another house right now. It probably wouldn't hurt to ask a broker; but like I said, I'm skeptical...

If you're coworker is planning to move out, I suspect she'll need to rent until the divorce is final and the property and debts are properly divided. She could ask the family court for possession of their house. If she decides to fight for the house, she'd better make sure she can pay the bills. If she takes the house and then defaults, she's not done herself any favors. Also, if the house requires both incomes to cover the payments, they'd better put the house on the market ASAP.

- Joel
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