Are you considering selling your home after divorce?
The period after a divorce can be an extremely difficult time, with significant amounts of paperwork and an inevitable emotional toll.
One consideration that must be made after the dissolution of a marriage is the question of what is to be done with any residential property connected to the divorcing couple.
In many cases, divorcees choose to sell the home they shared. Usually, this happens either because it’s easier to sell than to have one spouse buy the other out of their share, or simply to achieve a “fresh start” moving forward.
In this article, home buying experts over in the UK, Property Solvers, explore the process of selling your home after divorce.
Should You Sell Your Home After Divorce?
Selling your property is only one of a number of options you may choose following a divorce.
Depending on the state you reside in, both you and your ex-spouse may have equal access to the property you shared, no matter which of your names is on the deed. This access will remain in place until you come to a decision over who will take on full ownership of the home, or if a judge rules that it should be made the sole property of one half of the couple.
If you decide that one party will be granted sole ownership of the home, the other may receive a range of other assets of equal value to make the arrangement as fair as possible.
If you have children, and if it has been decided that those children will spend the majority of their time with one half of the couple, it may work best if that individual is granted ownership of the family home in order to prevent too much disruption to home lives and schooling.
However, this may not always be the most practical option.
Ex-spouses may instead decide to divide ownership of a property in order to fairly balance the value of the assets they will each receive. This may then lead to one spouse “buying the other out,” which means taking on their share of the property and becoming its sole owner. In this case, they will likely need to re-qualify for a mortgage to assure the lender that they will be able to keep up with repayments.
Otherwise, the decision may be made to sell the home, with its final sale value then being divided between the two ex-spouses according to the size of their respective “shares.”
It is up to you, your ex-partner, and any legal advisers you may employ to decide which of these options is best for your unique circumstances.
Going Through Court
If you cannot come to a mutual decision about what is to happen to your property, you may need to rely on the decision of a court. If this is done, the court will consider your case based on a number of factors. These include:
- The length of time you have been married
- Your respective ages
- Your respective incomes and possible future earnings
- The “contributions” (financial or otherwise) of each spouse to the marriage
- The health of each person and any disabilities they may have
- The welfare and needs of any dependents, including children under 18
The court may decide to grant full ownership of the property to one spouse if this can be done in a way that is financially fair to both parties. Alternatively, they may divide the property using a ratio that enables all assets to be equally distributed.
The Process of Selling Your Home
If you wish to sell your home after divorce, you will usually need the consent of your ex-spouse in order to do so.
The sale of a property following divorce can be very complex and stressful. For this reason, it’s important to consult a legal specialist before beginning any kind of process involving ownership or use of your home.
James Durr has been a property buyer and developer for almost 2 decades. As one of the co-founders of a leading UK home buying firm, he has accumulated a vast amount of knowledge in speaking with property owners and business owners to find genuine win-win solutions.