Divorce can be intricate, tricky and emotionally overwhelming. When you have to relocate, find new housing and decide to rent or purchase a new home, you pile on additional tasks and frustration.

Many divorcing spouses understand the financial benefits of owning a home rather than renting. While obtaining mortgage financing on any given day may often times involve a lot of paperwork and challenges, doing so during a divorce may seem overwhelming and out of reach for many.

For many reasons, divorcing clients may decide to purchase a new home with cash rather than obtaining mortgage financing. New home buyers who are in a position to pay cash for the new home need to make sure it is the right decision financially as it may cost you the ability to deduct the mortgage interest deduction on future mortgages on the new home.

The mortgage interest deduction is divided into two categories: Acquisition and Home Equity Indebtedness. Acquisition Indebtedness is any mortgage obtained to either purchase (acquire) or significantly improve the home. Home Equity Indebtedness is any mortgage obtained for any other reason than acquisition indebtedness.

When a new homeowner buys their home with cash, they need to ask themselves what their intent was for paying cash. Was it to avoid having any type of mortgage financing? Was is because they currently were unable to obtain mortgage financing because of an ongoing divorce or they didn’t qualify because they were unable to meet the requirements to use maintenance or child support as qualified income? Maybe their debt to income was too high because of their obligation to pay spousal support?

When a new homeowner pays cash for their new home, they need to ask themselves what their intent was for not obtaining mortgage financing. If their intent is to take out a mortgage to replenish their cash reserves used to purchase the home, they need to know there is a time limit to do so. Otherwise they may risk losing any future mortgage interest deductions on the new loan.

Currently IRS Tax Guidelines have a 90 day window for new homeowners to apply for a new mortgage on a home purchased with cash in order for this new mortgage to be classified as Acquisition Indebtedness. If a new mortgage is not applied for during this initial 90 day window, any new mortgage will be categorized as Home Equity Indebtedness which has a mortgage limit of $100,000 and is currently non-tax deductible through the year 2025.

What every new homeowner who buys a home with cash needs to ask themselves is “What was your intent for paying cash?” If their intent is to obtain future mortgage financing to replenish their cash reserves, they should speak to a mortgage professional and financial advisor first in order not to disqualify their future mortgage interest deduction.

Reminder: We are Certified Divorce Lending Professionals (CDLP). Why choose a CDLP? A CDLP brings the financial knowledge and expertise of a solid understanding of the connection between Divorce and Family Law, IRS Tax Rules and mortgage financing strategies as they all relate to real estate and mortgage financing in a divorce situation.

This is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal or tax advice. You should contact an attorney or tax professional to obtain legal and tax advice. Interest rates and fees are estimates provided for informational purposes only, and are subject to market changes. This is not a commitment to lend. Rates change daily – call for current quotations.