January 4, 2022
For many couples, their shared home is their main asset. This means that it can be difficult to divide it when a relationship breaks down, particularly if the other available assets are not worth as much. It can also be stressful to have to consider the possibility of selling your home, particularly at a time that is already uncertain.
If the court is asked to intervene and make a decision, it will try to ensure that the financial needs of both of you are met. This may mean a 50:50 split, however, if one party is not in as strong a position financially as the other, then the court may award them a higher share of the available assets.
Options for dealing with the matrimonial home on divorce
The court always prefers that couples make decisions between themselves wherever possible during the divorce process. An experienced family law solicitor will be able to discuss with you what you might expect from a financial settlement and set out your options in respect of the matrimonial home.
They will also be able to negotiate on your behalf and, if this is not successful, represent you during mediation to try and reach an agreement.
The options in respect of a shared home include:
- Selling the property and sharing the proceeds;
- Transferring the property into one person’s name, with the other person receiving a lump sum payment or other assets such as pensions or investments;
- Agreeing that one person will live in the property and it will be sold at a later date. An agreement will also need to be reached as to how the proceeds will be split when the time comes and who will pay for insurance and maintenance costs.
If there is a mortgage over the property, the lender will need to consent to the removal of one party from the mortgage agreement. They will need to be assured that the remaining party is able to meet the mortgage payments.
If you are able to reach an agreement over what will happen to the property, your solicitor can put this in writing and ask the court to seal it in a consent order. This will make the decision legally binding so that you can rely on it in the future.
How the court will decide what should happen to the matrimonial home
If you cannot reach an agreement between yourselves then the court will decide how the property will be dealt with. It will take into account a number of factors, first and foremost the needs of any children involved.
This means that the court will often decide that the party with the main day-to-day care of the children should stay in the property.
It can order that the property be transferred to the main carer, with the other party receiving other assets. If there are not sufficient assets to make this fair, then the court can order that the property be sold when the youngest child reaches 18 and the proceeds divided at that point into specified shares.
The court will also take into account the following factors when splitting matrimonial assets:
- Your ages
- How long your marriage lasted
- Any disabilities either of you may have
- The standard of living you enjoyed during the marriage
- Both of your abilities to earn a living
- Your liabilities and the liabilities that you will have in the future
- What roles you took on during the marriage, for example, giving up a career to raise children
Working out what will happen to your home after a divorce or separation is never easy. At Tayntons Solicitors, we understand how important it is to reach the right outcome and we will do all we can to ensure you have the certainty you need for the future.
If you would like to speak to one of our expert family law solicitors, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, call us on 0800 158 4147 or request a callback and a member of our team will be in touch promptly.