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Can I use spousal maintenance to obtain a mortgage?

Posted on 9 May 2016 by Ms Patel


"I am going through a divorce and have yet to agree a financial settlement. I have a rough idea on split of assets but no idea yet on spousal maintenance. I am trying to finish my PhD at Cambridge University - hopefully within the next 6 months. I should be able to earn £35-40k after my PhD should a suitable role be available and I successfully apply for it. Can I use spousal maintenance in the meantime to obtain a mortgage for a home for me and my son?"

Thank you for your enquiry via our ‘Ask the Experts’ section of our website.

Unfortunately there is not a straight forward answer, as it depends on a number of factors. There are some lenders who would consider maintenance income in addition to earned income when assessing affordability for a mortgage.  However, this will be dependent on how many children you have and what ages they are, in addition some lenders cap the amount of benefit they will consider. Some high street lenders would take 100% of these forms of benefit income whilst others would cap it at 60%. The maintenance needs to be either received for 12 months or be court ordered. You are looking to borrow £100,000 based on an property valued of £700,000k with potential salary earnings of £35,000 per annum.

Although not knowing your full financial position, it would appear, based on the information you have supplied that this something we can help you to explore in the future. I would also imagine that you may also receive other benefits, which can be used to secure a mortgage. My advice would be that once your final settlement is agreed, you contact us again and we can see if we can help. As an Independent broker we have access to a wide range lenders including those that still manually underwrite cases and can therefore judge each application on its individual merits, so we who would be able to recommend the most suitable lender based upon your individual circumstances.

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Answers provided in response to Ask the experts are based on the information provided and do not constitute advice under the Financial Services & Markets Act. They reflect the personal views of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views, positions, strategies or opinions of John Charcol. All comments are made in good faith, and John Charcol will not accept liability for them.

We recommend you seek professional advice with regard to any of these topics where appropriate.


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