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What happens to our family home during the Divorce?

Our family home will often be central to any divorce settlement, though what happens to the family home will depend on the couple. Remember, it is not for the solicitors to tell you what to do, if you able to have an amicable divorce, whatever plan or outcome that suits you both is the right one for you.

Dividing assets

Identifying and valuing all assets is part of the process of working out what there is to divide. The home and any other properties will be included in this, regardless of whose name the property is in.

Buying your partner out

Whatever is decided is unique to every situation, but often one spouse buys the other out and keeps the house. This means that you would have to transfer the ownership from joint owners to sole owner.

If you have a mortgage, you would need to involve the lender in the process and in some cases may need their consent or action to switch the mortgage from joint to a sole name. Lenders will usually insist you use a solicitor to complete the changes. You may think that you will not be able to afford your home on your sole income, but some lenders will include any maintenance that you receive from your ex spouse as part of your income.

Selling the property

Another possibility is that the property has to be sold and the proceeds divided between you both. If a couple can’t agree upon a value, you may need to obtain a report from a local estate agent or surveyor giving a market valuation. Often up to three valuations are obtained and a mean average of all is used.

Right of occupation

If your spouse or civil partner is the sole owner of your home, you can protect your right to live there by registering a notice of home rights. There is no fee for this. It is particularly important to do this if you think they might sell or mortgage your home without telling you. We must tell your spouse or civil partner that you have made the application. NB A notice of home rights doesn’t protect any financial stake you may have in a property – you may want to seek legal advice if you wish to do this.

The points listed above must be taken in context of the all the assets in the divorce. If you wanted to talk more about this and any other aspect of your Divorce or separation, feel free to Contact Your Divorce Coach.

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