What happens to a shared property when getting divorced?

There are many difficult decisions to be made when getting divorced, and one of the biggest is what to do with your family home. It can have a big impact on you financially, emotionally and mentally – so it’s important to get it right.

Here are a few different options you could explore when dividing the family home.

Sell the house

If you want a clean break, you may want to sell your home and move out. You could use the money you make on the sale of your property to rent or buy separate homes – depending on your financial situation.

To work out how much you’d both get from the sale of your house, you need to know what equity you have in it. This is the amount of money you would make once you’ve paid off your mortgage.

For example, if you sell your property for £300,000 and have a mortgage of £150,000 – you have £150,000 equity. Things like solicitor and estate agent fees will need to be paid for out of this, so make sure you factor these costs into your calculations.

Then, you can work out how to split the remaining money between you, which may be complicated. A reliable family lawyer will be able to help you figure out how much you’re both entitled to.

Keep the home

If you don’t have much equity in your property, or one of you wants to stay in the house, you may want to keep the home and ownership the same.

This would mean that one of you could stay in the house with any children or dependents until they are old enough to move out. The person who moves out could continue paying towards the mortgage. Eventually, you could sell and split the proceeds as mentioned above.

Another option is that one of you could transfer part of their property share to the other during the divorce settlement. This would mean that when the house is sold later down the line, they would receive a portion of the money.  

Buy the other out

If one of you is keen to stay in the family home but the other doesn’t want to be an owner anymore, then you may agree to a buyout. If it’s you who wants to live in the house, for example, you might be able to buy your ex-partner’s share of the house.

If you have a joint mortgage, this will involve removing your partner’s name from it. This can be complicated, so you’ll need to discuss this with your lender and lawyer to see if this is a viable option for you.

It’s only possible to buy your partner out if you can make any mortgage repayments without your partner’s salary. Mortgage lenders will take into account your income, payment history, credit utilisation and any recent credit applications. Choosing how to divide the house can be difficult, particularly if you and your ex aren’t able to agree. It’s important to get specialist legal advice before you make any important


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