I am finalizing a divorce where I am being given ownership of our house. The house has a joint mortgage on it, which I will be assuming, While removing my soon-to-be ex wife from the house, I would also like to add my soon-to-be fiance to both the mortgage and the deed.

What would the order of operations be here? I'm not sure how to get started.

  • 3
    This sounds more like a legal question than a personal finance question. Commented Sep 16, 2019 at 2:34
  • 1
    @RupertMorrish Questions about mortgages and other loans are on-topic for Personal Finance.
    – Ben Miller
    Commented Sep 16, 2019 at 3:43
  • 3
    @RupertMorrish specifically, something he should ask of his divorce lawyer instead of dogs on the Internet. My guess, though, is that OP and his soon-to-be fiance (but there are so many horror stories about that blowing up in people's faces) must buy the house (specifically, her share of the equity) from his ex-wife, and a new mortgage created.
    – RonJohn
    Commented Sep 16, 2019 at 5:21
  • @RonJohn Re. "must buy the house [...] from his ex-wife". I'm guessing it's possible that "where I am being given ownership of our house" means "and the ex-wife is being given other property/assests to match", so buying from here may not be necessary.
    – TripeHound
    Commented Sep 16, 2019 at 6:59
  • 2
    I’m voting to close this question because it pertains to US state-level legal advice. Commented Jun 21, 2021 at 10:50

2 Answers 2


This a question to ask your lawyer.

Lets say there is no divorce and remarriage involved. Two people (A&B) are on a mortgage and the deed, and you want one persons (B) off the mortgage and deed and another person (C) added to the mortgage and deed.

The lender would have to approve the switch. They would need to know that either you (A) alone, or you and the new person (A&C) can afford the loan and that C's credit score isn't terrible. Since they have the lien they would have to approve the adding of C to the deed, because they may have a policy that the people on the mortgage must equal the people on the deed.

Of course B would also have to approve the change in deed because it would change the ownership structure. There will be paper work.

There will be costs for the credit check, and the paperwork that will have to be submitted to local government. The local laws will determine other costs. Some jurisdictions may consider this a sale that triggers a reappraisal of the property value. This can be a minor thing, but it might also be a big thing if the jurisdiction caps the property tax increase except on ownership changes. Catching up on 10 years of deferred increases could involve a significant change in property tax due next year.

It could also require a new title search and title insurance policy.

Now if this is part of a divorce settlement, then some of these things change. The switch is being ordered by a judge so the lender may be more forgiving regarding their reluctance to approve the changes, but if A alone or A&C can't afford the payments then they might not ever approve the switch.

Being part of a divorce settlement may also avoid the the local government from calling for a reappraisal.

The lawyer should have a advice regarding the local processes involved or have access to somebody who has that expertise.


You will more than likely need to refinance your mortgage and then submit the proper documentation to have your ex wife removed from the deed. Your lawyer will know the proper documentation but with how the mortgage market works now there is a very slim chance you will be able to remove your ex without a refinance.

Also, it would probably be wise to not worry about adding your fiance to both the mortgage and deed seeing as there is no real benefit to you and possible future headaches, especially if you have a soon to be fiance before you even have an ex wife.

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