Selling or Dividing the House due to Divorce

By November 22, 2019
House in divorce

What happens to the house in a divorce?

Filing for divorce means that you and your soon to be ex-spouse have some few big decisions to make. The main one revolving around your family home. One of the first questions our clients ask is what happens to our house & what are my rights.

Find out what you need to do & what your options are.

Who gets the house in a divorce?

Who gets the house in a divorce is a hard question to answer and varies depending on your situation. A house is normally one of the biggest assets in a divorce and can be costly to run, so before fighting for the house ensures you can afford it first.

Several factors affect who gets to keep the house, many spouses can agree amicably to who gets it and what happens to it but if not it can depend on the following factors.

  • Who owns the property
  • how long you’ve been married
  • what contribution and assets are within the marriage
  • if there are any dependent children involved and if so where will they live?
  • affordability and income.

Who gets the house when children are involved?

The most important thing in divorce is ensuring that your children needs are met. This includes giving them shelter. You have a few options to help keep a stable environment for your children, they are as follows:

  • Sell the family home and divide the money, with the aim to buy separate homes.
  • If one spouse has the ability, they could buy the other spouse out allowing the children to stay in the home they are familiar with.
  • Keep the property, both parents remain the owners until an agreed date or event. This could be when the children leave home, reach 18 or until they finish education.
  • Transfer interest from one owner to the other, when the time comes to sell, they will be entitled to a percentage of the sale.

Coming to an agreement can be difficult, the court can help you if needed. The court will always ensure that the children’s needs are met and give them access to both parents. Going to court will be costly, so trying to come to an agreement yourselves if often best.

As parents, it’s important to not let divorce consume you. Trying to meet your children’s needs and provide a stable environment is vital.

Transfering the mortgage into one person’s name

If one spouse is going to stay in the family home and solely take over the mortgage, the lender will want to make sure that you can afford the repayments.

The lender will ask a range of in-depth questions and carry out a sequence of checks to ensure you can afford the mortgage.

If you are unable to afford the mortgage alone, you may be entitled to a ‘guarantor mortgage’. This is where a relative or close friend becomes your guarantor, so if you are unable to keep up with the repayments, they will.

Property or house rights?

When getting a divorce or dissolution, its essential you protect your rights to your family home. Particularly if your home is in your spouse’s name.

If your family home is in just one spouse’s name it’s important you know you have a right to be there and they are unable to kick you out. You can register interest in the property to protect your position.

If you entered into a joint mortgage then check out our post on joint mortgage in divorce.

Should I sell my house before or after divorce?

You can sell the house before, during and after the divorce.

Selling your home before the divorce finalises could give you both time to agree on what you are going to do with the money after the sale and will then give you the money to start a new life.

If you are going to sale after a divorce you will need to have an amicable relationship with your ex-spouse to enable you to decide on what you are going to do next. If you choose to sale after a divorce and you are struggling to come to an agreement on what happens with the sale of the property the court will be able to step in.

Who pays the mortgage during a divorce?

Anyone who is named on the mortgage is liable for the mortgage repayments. This means that if you have a joint mortgage and move out, you are still liable for the debt and need to ensure the mortgage is paid.

Contacting your mortgage lender is essential when divorcing, especially if you believe you are going to struggle to keep up the repayments or if you have been left alone to pay the debt.

They may be able to offer help and advice and be able to see if you’re eligible for benefits to help make the repayments.

How to sell quickly after a divorce

If you are looking for a quick sale after divorce then you have a few options however, each comes with their pros and cons.

  • Selling via an estate agent
  • Auction
  • quick house sale company

Selling via an estate agent can take anywhere between 12- 24 weeks or longer. You may also have to consider dropping the asking price if the interest in the property is low.

Selling via an auction is quicker and takes on average 6-10 weeks to complete however, the amount you receive could be less or more that you were hoping for dependent on the auction room that day. You will also need to take into account that the auction house will take 2.5% of the selling cost.

Selling via a quick house sale company is quick and can be done in as little as 2 weeks. However, they do not have to be regulated by the government so some house buyers are not accountable or responsible. They will also take off on average 25% of the properties worth.

Who gets to stay in the house during a divorce?

If you can come to an amicable arrangement then that’s always best. However, it’s important that you understand that if you have a joint mortgage, tenancy, or even if the house is in one spouse’s name both spouses have the right to remain in the property.

You are still able to live in the same house during divorce too, but you will have to live separate lives whilst living together.

If one spouse chooses to move out during the divorce then they are protected by The Family Law Act 1996 which means they don’t forfeit any rights to the ownership of the property and also enables the court to allow them access if they are refused entry by the other spouse.

Property & Consent Orders

A consent order is a vital component in divorce. A consent order is an order made by a judge, where both parties in the divorce agree on how their finances and assets will be split and write them into a legally binding order.

The agreement can include property, money, & assets and gives you a clean break from your spouse. Without one, your spouse could claim assets from you years later.

Order your Consent Order Today

Our qualified solicitors can draft your agreement for just £199 fixed fee with no hidden, extra or hourly fees. Saving you on average over £750.

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