Divorce and Property

When it comes to the asset-splitting side of divorce, it’s likely that both you and your partner will have strong opinions about the shared family home in particular.

This is understandable when you consider the fact that your property is one of your most valuable assets, both financially and emotionally.

Our family solicitors are able to help you understand your entitlements and works towards a divorce agreement which assures a brighter future for both you and your ex-partner.

Agreeing on what will Happen to the Property after Divorce

Unlike other assets such as cars or expensive furniture, determining who should be the owner of the family home can be significantly more complex and is therefore more likely to result in a disagreement.

Keeping the divorce process amicable isn’t always easy, but by respecting your partner’s wishes and working towards a compromise agreement you can potentially avoid going to court and achieve an ideal outcome for everyone involved in less time.

Who gets the Property in a Divorce?

Figuring out who should get the house will depend on the individual circumstances of you and your ex-partner. It may be that the house is to be sold and the equity divided, or it may be that one spouse continues to live in the property by paying off the equity of the other.

If the house was purchased before the marriage by one spouse and they set out a prenuptial agreement allowing them to keep the property in the event of divorce, the other spouse may not have any entitlement to the property or profits from a potential sale.

When Children are Involved

Where children are involved agreements should always be made with the children’s welfare in mind. That means that one spouse is likely allowed to continue living in the property until the time that the children turn 18.

No divorce case is similar to the next; every divorcing couple we work with have different goals, requirements and entitlements.

  • If you are not the legal owner

    Even if your spouse legally owns the house solely in their name, you still may have certain home rights. However, you may need to act quickly to get your name on the title deeds.

    You should register your home rights notice with the Land Registry online as soon as possible, which will assure that nothing happens to the property without your knowledge. Our team would be happy to assist you with this process. 

  • If the house ownership is shared

    The process of dividing the family home becomes a lot more complex when both you and your spouse are listed on the title deeds. If you are in this situation, we highly recommend seeking tailored advice from a family solicitor. 

    You may want to arrange a joint tenants’ agreement, which would mean you both own the property equally and when one of you dies, the other party will inherit full ownership regardless of their will. Alternatively, you could decide to each own a share in the property, which is known as tenants in common.

  • If you have children

    If you have children, it is possible that the court will grant the home to the primary care giver, but this is not always the case.

    The court tends to make decisions that are in the best interest of any children involved and a big part of this means minimising disruption in their everyday lives.

  • The options you can consider

    Depending on the facts of your divorce, you may feel that the best solution is one of the following:

    • You sell the house and split the profits
    • You keep the house and buy your spouse out of the mortgage
    • One party keeps the house and the other receives assets of equal value

    Our family law solicitors are able to negotiate and help you decide what is right, but we will never decide on your behalf.

  • What if the court decides who gets the house?

    If you and your partner simply cannot agree and you have exhausted all attempts of mediation and negotiation, we can represent you in court.

    Your solicitor will present and defend your case to the Judge as well as explain what their rulings will mean for you. They will also help you to prepare for court and ensure that the process is not a daunting one.

    A Judge will take the following matters into account when deciding who should keep the family home:

    • Your earnings
    • The length of your marriage
    • Who the children will be living with, if you have any
    • Your role in the marriage
    • Your usual standard of living

What AWH Solicitors Will Do for You

Our family law solicitors have a breadth of experience in guiding couples to a separation that suits everyone involved.

Whether you are looking to file for a divorce or have been on the receiving end of a divorce petition, we can advise on what to do next. We will communicate directly with the court, your spouse and your spouse’s solicitor, saving you time and hassle.

Avoiding Court where Possible

Once an agreement has been made, we will draft it into a financial agreement and send this over to the court, which makes the terms of the agreement legally binding.

We do everything we can to keep divorce cases out of court, as we believe the outcome for both parties is almost always better if resolved independently.

Consequently, we are happy to provide mediation sessions for couples who cannot agree on certain matters, as working with a trained mediator drastically reduces the chance of needing to go to court.

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