Getting a divorce and the process of a divorce is one that is not very enjoyable. Dividing assets is important to ensure that everyone is satisfied. One of the hardest to sort is your home. There are many factors which can affect where the home is left during a divorce. However, whatever the outcome it needs to be sorted. At Norwich Home buyers we work with many clients who are selling their home due to going through a divorce. In our latest article we take a look at what happens to your home during a divorce.
What Are Your Legal Rights?
Before looking at the options that are available to you it is worth looking at what are your legal rights when it comes to staying in your property. What must be said is that your solicitor will be able to advise you further, but it is good to have a personal understanding as well.
For married couples unless there is a prenuptial agreement stating otherwise, both husband and wife have a legal right to live in the home, regardless of whose name is on the deeds or mortgage. It is advised that regardless if you bought home and paid for 100% of everything that you will be entitled to keep living in the home. There are many factors which make up if you are able to, which we discuss later on in this article.
When it comes to deciding the future of your home there are usually only two ways to look at things. One will be an agreement made with limited legal supervision to which is between both the husband and wife. If this is not able to be achieved then a court will be able to decide what is best.
What are Your Options?
Understanding what happens to your home during a divorce will also be be dependant on what options are available. This will be dependent on the relationship which you have with your ex-partner. Some are able to come to a decision without the need for much input from a legal perspective. The options available without the use of legal intervention include the following:-
- Sell the property and divide the equity as you see fit.
- One person stays in the home and buys the other out.
- One person stays in the property on the basis that it will be sold at a certain point in the future and the equity split.
- The value of the property is transferred into one person’s name. The other persons to keep assets up to a similar value.
If you find yourself not in a position to reach an agreement then you may need to take your case to court where a judge will award what they see fit. This does cost extra expense due to needing further legal representation so this is worth bearing in mind.
What About Going To Court And How Does The Judge Decide?
If you are unable to come to a decision with your ex-partner about the future of your home then you may need to seek further legal advice and let a court decide. It is then necessary to attend the court to take part in a hearing. Your solicitor will be able to walk you through this process. Whilst there, the judge will take into account all the factors present to make a decision.
One of the main contributing factors for the court will be if there are children present in the situation. The needs of the children are put above anything else in the process and the judges intention is to not disrupt their lives. It is therefore normal that if you are the primary caregiver you are allowed to stay in the home. The individual who has to depart the home will then have their situation also judged, with any of the following potential rulings being possible:-
- The resident parent must give their ex a lump sum of money in order to buy him or her out of the home.
- The non-resident parent must be awarded alternative assets.
- There should be a mesher order which the property remains in both people’s names but the caregiver is allowed to live in that home until the child is 18 years of age.
Other Factors Affecting The Judges Decision
If you find yourself in a position where there are no children involved then there are some other factors that a judge will consider to make their decision. These include the following:-
- Your ages
- The length or marriage of civil partnership
- Ability to pay the mortgage
- Your usual standard of living
- The situation of your marriage i.e. did you give up your career to bring up your child
Once the judge has made his decision this will be recorded in the form of a court order which makes it legally binding. Ensure that you get advice from a divorce solicitor before going ahead with any proceedings.
When you are going through the process of divorce there are many considerations you need to make. One of these will be your home and deciding what happens to your home during a divorce. Seeking legal advice is the best way in which to operate, and the professionals involved will be able to guide you the best. If you find yourself in a position where you are looking to sell your home after a divorce, then please do contact Norwich Home Buyers.