The fate of a shared home is often one of the greatest concerns a person might have when going through a divorce. In particular, a lot of people worry about whether or not their ex-partner can make them sell the family home. For many, losing a house that has become such a core part of their family life on top of ending a marriage can very stressful indeed.
There is no black and white answer when it comes to what happens to the home during a divorce. Like many disputes within that process, the results are going to be tied to details of the relationship and of who exactly owns the home. Does the deed of the house have the names of both partners of it? Or does the house belong clearly to one individual since they’re the only one who’s name is on it? How much power you have over what happens to the house depends directly on this.
In cases of joint ownership, with both you and your ex-partner’s names on the deeds, no-one has the legal right to make the other sell a shared home, usually. The court may, however, make an exception if your partner is able to demonstrate that selling the home would be essential for their financial wellbeing after the divorce process.
The presence of children in the relationship and in the home also plays a factor in what could happen to the home. It depends largely on what age the children are. If any of them are under 18, then it’s likely your ex-partner will be prevented from selling. They will have to present an extremely compelling argument to justify removing children from a stable property.
It may be the case that the home only has one name on the need, meaning that they’re the sole owner of the property legally. This offers them some advantage in deciding the fate of the home according to the Land Registry, but they may be found to have some obligations to their partner. While married, a spouse is legally obligated to allow their partner to stay on the property. When the divorce has gone through, this right no longer exists. The home may be divided in some way in a court judgement, but in this case, your ex-partner could end up selling the home.
A Notice of Home Rights is an important document to be obtained while you’re going through a divorce. This ensures that your ex-partner cannot sell the property while the two of you are still married, no matter who owns the home or if there is joint ownership. If your partner is the sole name of the deed, then it’s important to bear in mind that this a temporary protection until the divorce is finalised.
Once the divorce is over, there is still some variation on what exactly could happen. One partner can buy the other’s share of the home, often with the help of a loan, or the home could be sold, and the money obtained split between the two of you.
If you have further questions reach out to us.