Divorce is an emotional period and complex financial and legal issues can often add to the turbulent time. Worrying about what is going to happen to the family home and where you and your children are going to live can add extra stress.
You may be asking yourself, can my ex force me to sell the house? However, no ex-spouse can force their partner to leave the family home because they want half of the money from a property sale. Whilst there are no hard and fast rules as to what happens to a property following a divorce, nobody can be forced to sell until a decision has been reached by your solicitors and the courts. Regardless of who put more money into the family home, a fair decision will be made and this will not necessarily constitute a 50/50 split.
Understanding divorce splitting assets
Whilst divorce is a difficult time, some couples are able to amicably agree on the best route to take when dividing family assets. Solicitors and mediation can help many couples reach a decision on what to do with the family home and it could result in you remaining in the property, one party buying the other out, or selling up.
However, few families are fortunate enough to experience smooth divorce proceedings. With emotions and money involved, a lack of communication or agreement about assets can cause serious rifts. In this situation, many couples seek the help of legal professionals to ensure any financial settlements are fair.
Children are priority
If you and your spouse share children under the age of 18 their welfare is paramount in any legal proceedings. Solicitors and the courts will disregard the thoughts and feelings of both parties until the needs of the children have been met.
Just like deciding who the children will live within the interim until custody agreements can be reached, the courts will decide upon the best housing situation for any dependents. Usually, if the children are settled in education, legal professionals will rarely want to disrupt their lives even more. In the majority of cases, it will be ordered that one parent and the children must remain in the family home.
What is my ex entitled to?
Legally speaking, an ex cannot force you from the family home to sell up. Changing the locks and other such activities are unacceptable as you both have the legal right to remain in the property until a decision has been made. Even once a divorce has been granted it is rare that anyone is obligated to sell and there are no set rules that all assets will be split straight down the middle. No single party in a divorce is entitled to 50% of all assets, including the family home.
Joint mortgage and divorce
Joint mortgages are a popular choice with couples who are buying a property together. It means that both your names are on the mortgage documents, meaning you are both equally as responsible for repayments against your home.
The majority of couples will have an outstanding joint mortgage when they are divorcing. Regardless of who is or isn’t living in the property during this time you are both liable for the debt and the mortgage will need to be paid as normal. Not paying your mortgage can damage the credit history of both individuals and result in repossession if the case were to go to court.
However, in circumstances where your ex is refusing to contribute to the mortgage or you are struggling to make payments, get in touch with your mortgage lender immediately. Most companies, as long as you are honest and get in contact immediately, will be extremely sympathetic to your situation and arrange a mortgage payment or holiday or give you some breathing space whilst you tackle the situation.
Although it may seem stark, most couples have the following options with a joint tenancy property during a divorce:
During a divorce you have the following options if you have a joint mortgage:
- Sell up and move
- Keep the property and pay your mortgage
Selling your home during a divorce
Although nobody is obligated to sell the family home during a divorce, you and your ex-spouse may deem it the most suitable idea, or you may be ordered to sell up by the courts.
If you would like an easy stress free way to sell your house fast there is an alternative to the traditional open market route. Get in touch with us today to discover how we can make selling your home during or after a divorce as stress-free and seamless as possible in as little as seven days. Operating as cash house buyers means we can save you waiting for a long time to complete a sale.
So, if you want an easy and efficient house sale solution following a divorce or separation, simply fill in our enquiry form below and we will be in touch before you know it. We buy any house so find out more today!