How to Deal With Family Home Disputes
When you get divorced or dissolve your civil partnership, you have several options when you’re looking at how to deal with your family home. These options include
- Selling your home
- Transferring ownership
- Keeping the home until an event triggers the sale of the home. For example, when your children reach 18 years old.
You may need to get an Order from the Court to approve any decisions you and your former partner make about your former marital home.
These are some of those Court Orders which could be options for you. Again, getting legal advice from an experienced Divorce Lawyer will give you the best chance of getting the best outcome for you and your family.
Property Adjustment Order
Property Adjustment Orders include immediate sale, outright transfer, deferred trust of land or deferred charge. Let’s look at each of them.
The Court has the power to order the immediate sale of the former matrimonial home and the division of the proceeds. This is appropriate if the Court is looking to achieve a clean break between the couple. The Court will usually allocate a percentage rather than an actual amount and each person can use their share of the equity towards buying separate homes. But the Order for Immediate Sale will need to make sure that any liabilities are paid from the proceeds of the sale. This will include the existing mortgage, estate agents fees and Conveyancing Solicitor fees.
If the Court orders the sale of the former matrimonial home, it is possible that one person may receive a greater proportion of the equity. This normally happens if they are on a lower income as it will allow them to find a new home. Also, where there are children who are still minors, the Court must give consideration to the needs of the children when deciding what should happen to the family home. This is because the court will want to ensure that the children have an adequate home to live in.
If you want to achieve a clean break between you, but one of you wants to stay in the family home, you can achieve this using an Outright Transfer. Your equity will be transferred to your former partner who wants to stay in the property. This could be done in return for a lump sum payment, which is essentially the same as buying out the equity share.
The most important consideration in this situation is to make sure that the person who remains in the home can afford to stay and pay all outgoings. If you are the one staying and having the property transferred, you’ll need to check with the lender to make sure they are happy to facilitate the transfer. If not, you may need to remortgage or explore other financing options.
Deferred Trust of Land
The Court may decide that neither an immediate sale nor an Outright Transfer is appropriate. Instead, the Court could Order that the home is held on trust in joint names and that the sale of the home is postponed until a triggering event occurs. This is rarely used in practice except for Mesher Orders and Martin Orders.