Getting divorced or separated is stressful and emotionally draining, especially if there are children involved. Most people are keen to make a clean break and move on as quickly as possible.
But what happens if you own a property together? It can take months or even years to sell a house, can’t it? What if you and your ex-partner disagree about selling? Can you force a sale? Read on to find out everything you need to know about selling a family home after divorce.
What Are Your Options for Sharing a Family Home after Divorce?
If one person is reluctant to sell, they can buy their ex-partner out of the house. Alternatively, you can agree to keep shared ownership of the property, but one of you moves out.
Many people lack the finances to consider either of these options.
Buying a partner out means effectively doubling your mortgage payments (assuming these were split 50:50 during the relationship), not to mention the cost of running and maintaining a family home on your own. You’ll also need a lump sum of cash to reimburse your partner for their share of the deposit and any equity that exists in the property.
If you maintain joint ownership, the partner who leaves may not have to find a lump sum of cash, but they will need the funds to continue paying their share of the mortgage and upkeep as well as the rent or mortgage on a new home.
The majority of divorcing or separating couples choose to sell their home and split the proceeds.
What Are Your Legal Rights to a House in a Divorce with Children?
If you and your partner cannot agree on what to do with a family home, the courts can decide.
A Financial Remedy Order, otherwise known as an Ancillary Relief Order, can be issued by a family court to secure a lump sum payment or ownership of a property. However, the courts will prioritise the welfare of any children under the age of 18. If you have left the property and your partner remains there with the children, provided they can afford to stay, most legal bodies will not force them to move out.
The courts may issue a “Mesher Order”, which defers the sale of a family home for a fixed period or until a specific event occurs — all children residing in the property turning 18, for example.
What Happens to a Joint Mortgage When You Divorce?
Regardless of who lives in the family home, all parties named on the mortgage will be liable to continue making payments. If you or your partner plan to remain in the family home after a divorce or civil partnership dissolution is final, speak to the lender about transferring the mortgage into one name. This will allow the departing spouse to secure finance for a new property and enables the remaining partner to move on, without any reliance on their ex for financial contributions to the mortgage.
If you sell the home, the joint mortgage can be repaid in full with the proceeds, allowing both parties a clean break.
How to Sell Your Home Quickly after a Divorce
The quickest way to sell a family home after a divorce is to reach an amicable agreement on how to proceed. If one party doesn’t want to sell or wishes to defer the sale of the property, the only recourse to action may be to seek legal intervention, which can be time consuming and expensive.
Selling via the “traditional” route — advertising with an estate agent, hosting countless viewings and waiting months for a buyer — can be upsetting and difficult on a practical level when a couple is going through a separation. This process can also be disruptive for any children involved.
A reputable quick house sale company is the easiest way to secure a guaranteed sale. House Buyer Bureau is one of just a handful of buyers recommended by The Advisory, the impartial authority on house selling. We pride ourselves on our honest and transparent approach. Selling to us means no solicitors, surveyors or estate agents fees, no strangers walking through the family home to view the property and zero risk of a broken property chain leading to a failed sale. Whether you need to sell in seven days or 70, we’ll work to a schedule that suits you.