What happens to the family home in a divorce?

Year Published: 2018

The family home will be treated as an asset of the marriage and will consequently be included in the financial negotiations.

Divorce settlement negotiations start from the point of an equal division of any assets. If one partner wants to remain in the family home they will need to have enough financial resources to be able to offset the value of their spouse’s share of the home and then transfer assets of that value to their ex-spouse.

If not enough financial resources are available to achieve this then the family home may have to be sold so that the equity contained in it can be divided between the parties.

When children are involved, it can sometimes mean that one party can stay in the family home with the children. The courts always place the highest level of importance on the needs of any children involved. However, the courts will not allow an unfair settlement to either party, so this type of arrangement will depend on each party’s financial situation. If the needs of the children mean one party must stay in the family home, then the parent who leaves is likely to retain a financial share of the home. This share will then be realised at an agreed future date and on the eventual sale of the property.


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