Divorcing and considering a new home? Expert advice on navigating the financial terrain

Divorcing Well

Leanne Townsend is the founding partner of Townsend Family Law. Each month, our team sends a newsletter full of helpful tips, advice and insights to help you navigate family law challenges.

If a new home is on your post-divorce agenda, it’s important to carefully assess your financial situation and consider any potential impact on your divorce settlement before making any major financial decisions.

On a recent episode of the Divorcing Well podcast, Leanne Townsend interviewed mortgage broker John Panagakos, who shared valuable advice for newly single individuals seeking financing for a new home. According to Panagakos, it’s important to be aware of certain considerations and potential challenges when applying for a mortgage post-divorce.

Your first stop should be checking your credit rating to make sure there are no surprises. Rather than shopping around for the lowest mortgage rate at multiple banks, which can negatively impact your credit score, Panagakos suggests finding a broker to do the shopping on your behalf. Don’t forget to ask lots of questions!

In an instance where one spouse was the breadwinner and the other a stay-at-home parent, causing them to be asset-healthy but income poor, he says some banks will use child support as their income to qualify for a mortgage.

Panagakos says having a family lawyer and mortgage broker who will work in tandem to meet a client’s unique needs can also be helpful.

Listen on AppleSpotify or wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts.

Uncomplicating the ‘simple’ divorce: The surprising truth behind Canada’s two divorce options

Despite what the name suggests, a simple divorce involves more steps and a longer turnaround time than a joint divorce.

In a recent blog post, Townsend Family Law’s senior law clerk, Irina Kochkina, explains that in a simple divorce, a personal service is hired to serve your spouse with divorce papers. This is followed by a waiting period of 30 days to allow your spouse to appeal the divorce. Once the waiting period is over, you’ll need to swear an Affidavit for Divorce to confirm all information in the Application for Divorce.

On the other hand, in a joint divorce, both parties apply for divorce jointly and the 30-day waiting period is waived. The Application and Affidavit are filed simultaneously, making it a quicker and cheaper option if you and your spouse are on amicable grounds.

Check out the blog to learn why a simple divorce might be the best option if your spouse is uncooperative.

The next chapter: Five tips to help you downsize your home after divorce and come out on top

Going through a divorce is draining, but it also means fresh new beginnings, such as moving to a new home.

However, dividing one household into two has financial impacts, so you may experience downsizing on your journey for that new home sweet home.

According to an article from “Apartment Therapy,” writer Merlisa Lawrence Corbett shares five things she learned during her downsizing process after divorce:

  • Avoid self-imposed deadlines that compound stress because you don’t have to have all the answers or be fully settled before the finalization of your divorce
  • You don’t have to feel pressured to keep up with the latest or flashiest decor trends, instead focus on living within your budget
  • Take inventory of your items before selling them, and consider emotional or financial losses
  • Prioritize long-term needs over short-term remorse
  • Rediscover your identity post-divorce, and reflect this in your new space.

After all, this is the start of the next chapter in your life after divorce.

Highlights from Divorce Explained

Every week, Leanne Townsend co-hosts an Instagram Live show with family lawyer Steve Benmor, where they discuss issues on the minds of those who are divorced or divorcing. Here are the topics from a couple of recent shows. Click on the photo to check out the full episode.

Tips for mastering emotions during separation, divorce

There’s no denying that divorce is an emotional experience, but letting emotions drive the process will limit your ability to make the best decisions for your future. In this episode, get expert tips from divorce coach Simona Ksoll on regulating the challenging emotions of divorce.

Post-separation expenses and adjustments

Navigating post-separation expenses (PSAs) during divorce proceedings can be tricky, especially when it comes to proving financial obligations between parties. In this episode, we look at some common PSAs and discuss how judges tend to view them.

Looking for more information?

Looking for more information on what to expect during a divorce, abusive relationships, love and money, life after divorce or other family law topics?

Check out the In the News and Blog sections of my website where there’s a wealth of great content to get you up to speed on everything you need to know.

Leanne Townsend, Family Lawyer

Partner, Brauti Thorning LLP
Brookfield Place161 Bay Street,
Suite 2900,
Toronto, ON M5J 2S1

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Leanne Townsend Lawyer and Divorce Coach
Leanne Townsend is a multifaceted entrepreneur and attorney experienced in the areas of family law and domestic violence. She provides a full range of family law legal services in addition to running workshops and other programs to support people as they go through divorce.

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