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Divorce and your family home

Sep 8, 2015

Getting a divorce is a stressful time for you and your family and it can be even more disrupting for you all as you will need to think carefully about what happens to the family home.

You house is probably the most valuable assets you have in your divorce settlement, but in addition to its monetary value, you and your ex-spouse will probably have emotional ties to the property too, especially if you have been bringing up your family there.

So how do you decide what to do with your home? Do you buy it, sell it or leave and are there any rules to think about?

If you want to keep your family home you should ensure that the reasons behind this are valid. For example, if you want to keep it so your children can remain in the house to minimise the impact of the divorce, this is probably a sound reason. However, you should consider the impact of asking your ex-spouse to leave your home – there is likely to be an emotional attachment to the property and pushing too hard could backfire.

When you are in negotiations with your ex-spouse about the house, it may be worthwhile knowing what the court will consider if your case did go all the way to court as this can give you some bargaining power to make sure you get a decent settlement.

  • The needs and welfare of the any children
  • The income, potential income and any other financial resources for each person
  • How long the marriage lasted
  • How old each person is
  • Their physical or mental condition – any disabilities?
  • The non-financial contribution to the family – raising the children and looking after the home

Once all of these factors have been taken into account, the judge will make a decision. Bear in mind that if there is no way financially that you can remain in the property as you cannot afford it without your ex-spouse, the judge will probably order the property to be sold and shared equally, but a family home needs to be provided for the children.

You can see this is a complicated and emotive situation and it is really important to seek independent legal advice from a specialist family law solicitor who can help you to understand your position and negotiate a settlement that meets your needs.

If you would like more information on dividing your assets after a divorce, please contact Karen Legg on klegg@bsandi.co.uk or Sandra Machin on smachin@bsandi.co.uk and they will be happy to talk you through the options open to you. Alternatively, you can call 01264 353411 and ask to speak to either Karen Legg or Sandra Machin.


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