homes and divorce

What happens to my home in a divorce?

Many people going through a divorce wonder about what happens to their home. In general, courts will split the asset 50-50. However, special circumstances may apply.

Divorce law in the UK means that no two cases are ever the same. While equal splits are a common option, the courts will sometimes demand other arrangements, depending on your circumstances.

How You Release Money From Your Property

There are several ways to “split” your home with your ex-partner.

Option #1: Selling Your Home

If you and your partner decide to sell your home, you can use this as a method to split the equity according to the instructions from the court. Occasionally, this means splitting it 50/50, but that will depend on the situation.

Option #2: Out-Buying

The second option involves “out-buying” one of the partners. Usually, this means that the partner who remains in the house takes out a mortgage and pays the cash they receive from the bank to their ex-partner.

Option #3: Remaining In The Home Until Conditions Are Met

Sometimes, one partner is able to remain in the home until certain conditions are met, such as children turning 18.

How The Court Determines How Much Of Your Property You Get

When deciding how much equity each partner gets, the court will consider the following:

  • Minor children: If there are minor children, the court will usually try to accommodate finding a home for them. They will, therefore, take into consideration the parent who has the majority of the custody and where they will live once the divorce goes through. In some cases, that might mean unequally splitting the equity in the marital property between the two partners.
  • The borrowing capacity of each party: The courts will also consider the credit score and the ability of each spouse to borrow. When one party is able to borrow more than another (perhaps because they have a stable profession), they will receive a smaller share of the equity.
  • Pre-marital assets: Courts will also consider premarital assets in calculating what happens to a home. If the marriage was short and the home bought by one or other of the parties before it began, then the courts may decide that it is not part of the “matrimonial property.
  • The lifestyle of the family before separation: The court will also consider the lifestyle of the family before separation and consider and look for ways to split the marital home to ensure a continuation of a familiar standard of living. Normally, the primary consideration is the welfare of the children and whether they will be able to continue living in the matter to which they are accustomed.

Usually, courts will accommodate finding a home for minor children by applying the principles above. Ultimately, the solution should be as equitable as possible for the whole family. If the court cannot find a solution using the above methods, then it will value assets and sell them.

Using a family solicitor is essential for anyone going through a divorce, even if the relationship with the other spouse is amicable. Having a divorce solicitor lets you know where you stand and how to approach the matter strategically. If you need support with a divorce – contact our family law team to find out how we can help you.

Contact our family solicitors London for professional legal advice