Quick guide: how to divide your property during divorce

7 November 2023

Regardless of the reasons for your split, getting a divorce is never easy. There’s a lot to consider, including child maintenance, the division of assets and financial settlement.

As you navigate the process, one of the key things you’ll need to consider is what to do with your family home. It can be tricky to figure out what will be best for you and your family – which is why we’ve put together this guide on how you can divide the property during divorce.

How can the home we own be divided?

There are several ways you can divide your home when you divorce. What’s right for you and your family will depend on many factors, so it’s important to carefully consider each option and seek professional legal advice.

Some of the options include:

  • Selling the home: you could choose to sell the home and move. The benefit of this is that you can have a fresh start elsewhere and it’ll give you a “clean break” from your spouse. If you make any money from the sale, you can both use this towards new housing.

  • Buying out your spouse: if you want to stay in the property, you could consider buying out your spouse. This would mean that their name is removed from the title deeds and the mortgage, making you the sole owner and responsible for repayments. You’ll need to calculate how much they’re owed and how you’re going to pay them their equity.

  • Co-own the property: another option is to continue co-owning the property. One of you could move out or you could both continue living in the house if this suits you. During the divorce settlement, you might agree to defer the sale of the house until a certain milestone, like your children reaching the age of 18.

What happens if we’re renting?

If you rent your property and both want to move, then you’ll need to end your tenancy with your landlord. This is simple if your tenancy is coming to an end soon – simply give your landlord notice that you’ll be moving out by the end date.

If you have a fixed-term tenancy and want to leave early, check if your tenancy agreement has a break clause. If not, you’ll need to try and negotiate an early exit with your landlord.

Those with a rolling contract won’t have an end date on their tenancy and can give notice in accordance with their agreement.

It’s important to note that if you are joint tenants, you’re both responsible for payments while you’re named on the agreement – regardless of whether you’ve moved out. Both parties can also move back into the home if they are still named on the tenancy agreement.

This is why it’s important to check the details of your agreement and update it accordingly. If one of you wants to stay, you may be able to remove the other party from the agreement. Whether this is possible will depend on several factors, so make sure you get bespoke advice on your rights as you move through the divorce process.

How do we come to an agreement?

One of the hardest aspects of divorce is coming to an agreement with your spouse. If you are civil, the best thing to do is speak to one another about how to divide your family home and try to come to an arrangement that you’re both happy with.

If not, it’s worth seeking mediation. This will involve both of you speaking to a mediator about the property, your issues and your needs to come up with a solution. This can be hugely beneficial in minimising conflict and reducing stress as you navigate the divorce.

Going through a separation is extremely difficult and can take its toll on you and your family. You may be feeling stressed or emotional as you try to decide what to do with your home – but please know that you’re not alone.

You can reach out for support with your divorce online from friendly professionals who will guide you through the process.

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