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Kansas City Divorce and Your Mortgage: A Guide Moving Forward

Going through a divorce in Kansas City, Missouri, or Kansas, is an emotionally challenging experience.  Adding the complexities of dealing with the marital home and its mortgage can feel overwhelming. This comprehensive guide explores your options for handling the mortgage, helping you make informed decisions that prioritize your financial well-being during this difficult time.

Understanding Your Post-Divorce and Your Mortgage Landscape

If both spouses signed the original mortgage documents, you remain  jointly liable  for the debt even after the divorce is finalized. This means both parties are responsible for making payments, regardless of who lives in the house.  To avoid potential complications down the road, most couples choose one of these paths:

Selling the Marital Home:

This often presents the simplest solution, allowing you to split the profits after paying off the mortgage and any associated selling costs.  Consider factors like realtor commissions, closing costs, potential repairs needed to stage the home for selling, and capital gains taxes that might apply.

Refinancing the Mortgage:

Refinancing involves obtaining a new mortgage in only one spouse’s name, effectively removing the other from the loan and its obligations.

Thinking about refinancing your Kansas City home mortgage after divorce?  Get a head start by contacting reputable local mortgage lenders who specialize in handling divorce situations.  They can guide you through the process and ensure you get the best possible terms on your new loan.

Important Considerations for Refinancing:

Qualifying Solo

The spouse applying for the refinance must have sufficient income and a strong credit score to qualify for the new loan on their own. Lenders will analyze their financial situation to determine loan eligibility.

Spousal Support:

If included in the divorce settlement, income from spousal support can be considered when assessing eligibility for the refinance. However, this applies only if the support payments are stipulated for at least three years.

Cash-Out Refinance

If the marital home has built-up equity, a cash-out refinance can be a viable option. This allows you to access a portion of the equity to pay off your ex-spouse’s share of the home.

Buying Out Your Ex-Spouse’s Equity:

If you wish to keep the house, you can buy out your ex-spouse’s share of the equity. To calculate this amount, you’ll need a professional appraisal to determine the home’s current market value.  Subtract the remaining mortgage balance from the appraised value.  Assuming a 50/50 split in equity, divide the remaining amount by two to arrive at the buyout cost for your ex-spouse.

Considering a cash-out refinance or a HELOC to buy out your ex-spouse’s equity share? Consult with a Kansas City-based mortgage professional.  They can assess your financial situation, explore your options, and recommend the best solution for your specific needs.

Additional Considerations When Navigating Your Mortgage After Divorce:

Home Equity Valuation: 

Obtain a professional appraisal to determine the home’s current market value and the amount of equity you have built up.

Tax Implications: 

Both selling the house and buying out your ex-spouse’s share might trigger capital gains taxes. Consult with a qualified tax advisor to understand your individual tax situation and potential liabilities.

Protecting Your Credit: 

Throughout the divorce process, maintain timely payments on all joint accounts, including the mortgage. This helps avoid damaging your credit score, which can affect your ability to obtain future loans.

Kansas City Specific Resources:

While this guide provides a general overview, it’s highly advisable to consult with local professionals familiar with the nuances of divorce laws in Kansas City, Missouri, and Kansas.  Here are some resources to consider:

Divorce Attorneys:  

An experienced divorce attorney can guide you through the legal aspects of dividing marital assets, including the home equity and mortgage obligations.  They can also represent you in court negotiations and ensure a fair and legal settlement regarding the marital property.

Kansas City Mortgage Lenders:  

Metropolitan Mortgage, specializing in divorce situations, comprehends the distinct financial hurdles couples encounter during this period. They provide personalized refinancing options, explore cash-out refinance opportunities, and expertly guide clients through the entirety of the process with care and expertise.

Real Estate Agents:  

If selling the house is your chosen path, a Kansas City real estate agent with expertise in divorce sales can help you navigate the process.  They can assist with pricing the property competitively, managing home viewings, and negotiating with potential buyers to get the best possible price for your property.  They understand the local Kansas City market trends and can effectively position your home to attract qualified buyers.  Their expertise extends beyond marketing and negotiations – they can also guide you through the legalities of selling a marital home during a divorce, ensuring a smooth and stress-free transaction.

Divorce is a complex legal process that goes beyond just finances.  While this guide focuses on the mortgage and the marital home, it’s important to acknowledge the emotional toll it can take. Here are some additional considerations:

Emotional Well-being:  

Divorce is a stressful and emotionally draining experience.  Consider seeking support from a therapist or counselor to navigate the emotional complexities and prioritize your mental health during this time.

An experienced divorce attorney in Kansas City can provide invaluable guidance throughout the legal proceedings.  They can represent you in court, ensure your rights are protected, and negotiate a fair and equitable settlement that addresses all aspects of the divorce, including the marital property division.


Mediation can be a less adversarial and potentially more cost-effective way to reach a divorce settlement with your ex-spouse.  A neutral third-party mediator facilitates discussions and helps you both arrive at mutually agreeable solutions regarding property division, spousal support, and child custody (if applicable).

Building a Strong Financial Future After Divorce

Divorce often necessitates significant financial adjustments. Here are some steps to take control of your finances and build a secure future:


Create a realistic budget that reflects your new income and expenses as a single person.  Consider factors like housing costs, utilities, transportation, groceries, and childcare (if applicable).

Credit Review:  

Obtain a copy of your credit report from all three major bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) to identify any errors or potential issues.  Address any discrepancies promptly to maintain a good credit score, which will be crucial for obtaining future loans like car loans or mortgages.

Debt Management:  

Develop a plan to manage any existing joint debt accumulated during the marriage. Consider options like debt consolidation or negotiating lower interest rates with creditors. Your lawyer can also provide guidance on handling joint debt during the divorce settlement.

Financial Planning:  

Consult with a financial advisor specializing in divorce situations.  They can help you create a long-term financial plan that considers your future goals, risk tolerance, and investment options to build a secure financial future.

Kansas City Support Groups and Resources

Going through a divorce can feel isolating. Here are some Kansas City-based resources that can provide support and guidance:

Divorce Support Groups: 

Connecting with others experiencing similar situations can offer emotional support and a sense of community. Look for local support groups in the Kansas City area that cater to individuals going through divorce. The National Healthy Divorce Network, which can help locate local support groups:

Divorce Attorneys in Kansas City:

Choosing the right divorce attorney in Kansas City is crucial to navigating this challenging time. Consider experience in handling cases similar to yours, communication style, and fees. The Kansas City Bar Association provides a directory of divorce attorneys

Mortgage Lenders Specializing in Divorce

Metropolitan Mortgage offers extensive expertise in assisting homeowners through divorce, navigating emotional and financial complexities with compassion. Their seasoned professionals provide tailored solutions, guiding clients through asset untangling with sensitivity and discretion. Leveraging their mortgage knowledge, they offer customized strategies, empowering homeowners to emerge from divorce with confidence and financial stability.

Real Estate Agents Experienced in Divorce Sales:

Consider mentioning the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and their resources for finding a real estate agent experienced in divorce sales:

Financial Counseling: 

At Creative Planning, they have a team of experienced professionals specifically focused on helping clients navigate the monetary challenges of divorce. They serve as a partner in getting your finances back on track and helping you prepare for the next chapter of life. They take care of the details so you can focus on your family and decide what you want your future to look like –

Conclusion: Moving Forward with Confidence

Divorce is a life-altering event, and navigating the legalities and financial aspects can feel overwhelming.  Remember, you don’t have to go through this alone.  By seeking professional guidance from lawyers, financial advisors, and real estate agents experienced in handling divorce situations, you can make informed decisions about your mortgage and other financial matters.  Prioritize your emotional well-being, build a strong financial foundation, and move forward with confidence into the next chapter of your life.


This guide is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal or financial advice.  Always consult with qualified professionals in Kansas City, Missouri, or Kansas, to address your specific circumstances and legal requirements.

FAQs About Divorce and Your Mortgage

Divorce can be a complex and emotional process. Here are some frequently asked questions to help you navigate this challenging time:

General Questions:

What are the grounds for divorce in Kansas and Missouri?

Both Kansas and Missouri are no-fault divorce states. This means you don’t need to prove your spouse did something wrong, such as infidelity or abuse, to file for divorce. You only need to state that the marriage is irretrievably broken.

How long does a divorce typically take?

The length of a divorce can vary depending on several factors, including the complexity of your case, whether you have children, and if you and your spouse can agree on terms. Uncontested divorces, where both spouses agree on all issues, can be finalized relatively quickly, sometimes within a few months. Contested divorces, involving disagreements over property division, child custody, or spousal support, can take much longer, potentially lasting a year or more.

Do I need a lawyer to get a divorce?

While you are not legally required to have a lawyer, it’s highly advisable, especially if you have children, significant assets, or anticipate disagreements with your spouse. A lawyer can guide you through the legal process, represent you in court if necessary, and ensure your rights are protected.

Financial Questions:

What happens to our house in a divorce?

In the event of a divorce, the fate of the marital home hinges on several options tailored to your unique circumstances:

  1. Sell the house: Opting to sell the property can offer a straightforward resolution. Upon selling, the proceeds can be divided between both parties, typically after settling the mortgage and any associated selling expenses. This approach provides a clean break and an opportunity to start anew.
  2. Refinance the mortgage: If one spouse wishes to retain ownership of the home, they may choose to refinance the mortgage solely in their name. This process effectively removes the other spouse from financial responsibility and ownership of the property. However, it requires the individual seeking to retain the home to qualify for the mortgage on their own.
  3. Buy out your spouse’s equity: For those who desire to maintain possession of the home, buying out the ex-spouse’s equity presents a viable option. This entails compensating the departing spouse for their share of ownership in the property. The buyout amount is typically determined by the home’s current market value and the equity accumulated during the marriage. This option allows one party to retain sole ownership of the property and can provide stability, especially if there are children involved who wish to remain in their familiar environment.

Each of these options carries its own implications and considerations, ranging from financial feasibility to emotional ties. Consulting with professionals, such as real estate agents and mortgage experts like Metropolitan Mortgage, can help you navigate these choices and arrive at a solution that best serves your needs.

How do we divide our assets and debts?

In Kansas and Missouri, marital property (assets and debts acquired during the marriage) is generally divided equitably, meaning a fair but not necessarily equal split. Separate property (assets owned by one spouse before the marriage or inherited during the marriage) typically remains with that spouse. Your divorce settlement will detail the division of assets and debts.

What is spousal support, and will I receive it?

Spousal support, also known as alimony, is a payment made from one spouse to the other after a divorce. Factors considered when awarding spousal support include the length of the marriage, the income disparity between the spouses, and the need for one spouse to maintain a certain standard of living. A lawyer can advise you on the likelihood of receiving or paying spousal support.

Children and Custody:

What happens to child custody in a divorce?

The court’s primary concern is the best interests of the child. There are different custody arrangements, including sole custody (one parent has primary responsibility), joint custody (both parents share decision-making and parenting time), or a variation depending on the specific situation.

How is child support determined?

Child support is a financial contribution from one parent to the other to help cover the child’s expenses. Kansas and Missouri have child support guidelines that consider factors like income, number of children, and daycare costs. A judge will use these guidelines to determine the appropriate child support amount.

Remember: This FAQ is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice.   For specific questions and guidance on your unique situation, consult with a qualified divorce attorney in Kansas City, Missouri, or Kansas.

Loan Officer Rick Woodruff Overland Park KS Twitter
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