Dividing the Family Home in Divorce or Separation Proceedings, Expert Lawyers in Yorkshire
Our team of family solicitors understand that one of the biggest concerns of those going through a divorce is what is likely to happen to their home. We recognise that a house can be much more than just an asset with a value, it is a home.
To be able to answer this question it is important to consider the value of the house, the outstanding mortgage and any other charges secured on the home and any other financial resources that are available to either spouse including savings, investments, other property and their income. Other relevant factors include whether there are any dependent children, the duration of the marriage, if either party is in a new cohabiting relationship and the standard of living during the marriage .
Any settlement will usually, as far as possible, seek to ensure that both parties are able to meet their housing needs going forwards as you and your spouse are both going to need somewhere to live. It may be possible to do this without the family home being sold but this may not be achievable or even desirable.
There are a number of different orders the court can make in relation to property, the most common are:
Order for Sale
Whether the property is owned by one spouse or by them jointly, the court has the authority to direct that the property is sold. The court can make orders about how it should be sold, for example, which estate agents should be used and how much it should be marketed for. The court will then determine how the proceeds of sale should be divided.
Property Adjustment Order
The court has the authority to order that the legal ownership of the property be transferred from one spouse to the other, or from joint names into the sole name of one spouse. This may, or may not, be accompanied by an order that the spouse keeping the property pays the other spouse a lump sum.
Postponing Sale of Home
The court could order that the property is sold, but not until a specified event happens. This is often linked with the needs of the children to ensure the parents are able to maintain a roof over their heads until they are no longer financially dependent. The court has to consider the welfare of any child of the family when deciding what should be done with the family home, so depending on other relevant factors, they may decide that a deferred sale is needed. In these circumstances both parties would retain an interest in the property until it is sold, but usually the court would give one spouse exclusive use of that house. In such circumstances the court would also have to make directions about how the mortgage and property maintenance is paid in the interim.
Whatever your circumstances our experienced team of solicitors will listen to you and advise you on what is likely to happen to your home within divorce proceedings helping you to achieve the best outcome for you.