Can My Boyfriend and I Get a Home Loan Even Though His Previous Marriage Hasn’t Been Officially Dissolved?

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‘My boyfriend and I have been together for almost two years. He is still technically married. He and his wife started a legal separation in December of 2009, however, they never finished the process (due to financial reasons). Now, we want to buy a house together, but the lender said that no one will consider giving us a loan because of the fact that he is still married according to the state of California. Is an inter-spousal agreement sufficient for his (soon-to-be) ex-wife to sign, or do they have to finish the legal separation? Help please!’

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

Unfortunately, these are questions that you will have to direct to the lender, because the answers aren’t legal.

Your boyfriend is married. The law recognizes only two statuses: married and unmarried, and if the divorce isn’t final then he’s married, period. You didn’t say exactly what the reason is that he didn’t finalize his divorce, but you may be in a position where you need to decide between the value of those reasons and the value of getting a mortgage.

There is no law saying that a lender has to lend money in particular circumstances (except for illegal discrimination). Lenders can and do set up–and frequently change–the criteria under which they will lend
money. For married people, particularly from a community property state such as California, it is typical for lenders to require a spouse to at least sign off on a loan, if not be an applicant.

The question of what they will accept to move the loan process forward is one that only the lender can answer. Don’t be surprised, however, if the answer is different depending on the lender. Different
lenders have different policies, though right now most lenders are much more strict than they used to be.



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Author: House Attorney

A house attorney has answered this question.