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How Is A House Divided When Getting Divorced?

More often than not, going through a divorce is an unfortunate and overwhelming experience for ex-couples. What is even more complicated for ex-partners in a separation process is how to divide their house. Typically, the house is arguably the most valuable marital asset owned by many couples. But when it comes to separation, it is a priceless possession in terms of its market value and because concerned couples have a strong emotional connection to the building that used to be called ‘home’.

Basically, there is no simple answer or a one-size-fits-all rule that applies to asset division. So, salient issues like the type of property ownership, the welfare of children (if any), civil partnership, etc., come into play instead of the house mortgage or legal ownership.

The house must be owned by someone – either of you or your ex-partner or both of you. If you don’t have your name on the house’s title deeds, you may be quick to assume or made to believe that you do not have a right to any part of the property. Fortunately for you, this isn’t the case. This article will help you understand how to act quickly and protect yourself in divorce.

For A House Owned in A Single Name

If your house is owned by your partner and the title deeds are in their name, it is within your right to register an interest in the property. In England and Wales, the Land Registry has a record of all title deeds of properties in the country – and almost every property is registered.

After you have done your findings on their website and ascertained that the property is registered with Land Registry, all you have to do is fill and submit a Home Rights Notice (HR1). The HR1 is a form that is used to show a person’s interest in a property.

However, in a case where you do not find the property registered with Land Registry, you can still proceed with registering your interest in such property with a Class F land charge. Though, you should note that this method attracts a little fee.

For A House Co-Owned or Jointly Owned

For a property to be co-owned by you and your partner, there are two ways around it. On the one hand, both of you and your partner can own a property as Joint Tenants. In a case like this, both of you own the property 50/50, and if you die before your partner, he/she gets your share of the property no matter what you have stated in your will. The same law applies if your partner dies before you.
On the other hand, both of you and your partner can own a property as Tenants in Common. In this case, you can agree to share the property 50/50 or split it in any other sharing formula you both decide. Another advantage of this ownership method is that it gives you the freedom to decide what happens to your share of the property when you die – by handing it over to someone stated in your will.

In other words, before you get a divorce, you should consider how your house is owned and decide what options are suitable for you with your advisors or solicitors.

Dividing A House by Mutual Agreement

It is a no-brainer that when you and your partner agree on how your house is divided in a divorce, you save yourselves time and money (that comes with solicitors’ fees). This kind of ‘gentleman’ agreement also helps you avoid potential court hearings and other issues that might arise during the asset distribution.

Basically, you and your partners hire solicitors to help you understand your options and how you have agreed to divide your house in a divorce. They also help ensure that all legal steps are taken, and such agreements are legally binding using a Consent Order.

A Consent Order is a legal document stating that both stakeholders have agreed to a financial settlement, given their consent, assented to it, and an order can be made without a court hearing. This process is usually fast and seamless.

Dividing A House by The Courts

It goes without saying that many ex-partners find it challenging to arrive at a common ground in a divorce due to bad blood between them or other financial or personal reasons. So, in a case where ex-partners cannot agree on how a house is divided when getting divorced, a court – through a judge – steps in to help them decide.

Typically, in the UK, the judge decides to award the property to one person over the other depending on the length of the marriage and other vital factors like age, living expenses, the standard of living, savings and additional assets, the role of partners in the marriage (breadwinner or caregiver), the value of the property, debts of either or both partners, etc. If there are children involved, the court endeavours to prioritize their needs over that of the ex-couple.

Subsequently, when the court reaches a financial settlement after a divorce, standard orders made include:
Selling the house and dividing the proceeds between partners if there are no children.

• Stalling the sale of the house until a particular clause is met. For example, if there are children, a Mesher Order can put the house off sale until the youngest child turns 17 or 18. In the same vein, in a case where there are no children, and one of the partners does not necessarily need the money from the house for their own needs, a Martin order can be used to stall the sale of such property. A Martin Order lets the other person live in the house for life or until they get married to someone else.

• Arranging for a transfer of the property from one partner to another. In this case, a partner buys the other out and becomes the sole owner of the property.

• Transferring a part of the property’s value from one partner to another partner. In this case, if you give up a share of your ownership rights, you are legally backed to keep a stake in the property. And when the house is eventually sold, you are eligible to receive a percentage of its selling value through a chargeback.

Ultimately, every marriage going through or that has gone through a divorce has its own peculiarities. In a court, the outcomes will always vary from case to case. However, these are the ubiquitous methods used to divide a house when getting a divorce in the UK. If you need more information, you can talk to our team of experts at (Sell My Home Now). We will be glad to help you ease the stress that comes with your divorce journey.

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How Is A House Divided When Getting Divorced?

More often than not, going through a divorce is an unfortunate and overwhelming experience for ex-couples. What is even more complicated for ex-partners in a separation process is how to divide their house. Typically, the house is arguably the most valuable marital asset owned by many couples. But when it comes to separation, it is a priceless possession in terms of its market value and because concerned couples have a strong emotional connection to the building that used to be called ‘home’. Basically, there is no simple answer or a one-size-fits-all rule that applies to asset division. So, salient issues like the type of property ownership, the welfare of children (if any), civil partnership, etc., come into play instead of the house mortgage or legal ownership. The house must be owned by someone – either of you or your ex-partner or both of you. If you don’t have your name on the house’s title deeds, you may be quick to assume or made to believe that you do not have a right to any part of the property. Fortunately for you, this isn’t the case. This article will help you understand how to act quickly and protect yourself in divorce.

For A House Owned in A Single Name

If your house is owned by your partner and the title deeds are in their name, it is within your right to register an interest in the property. In England and Wales, the Land Registry has a record of all title deeds of properties in the country – and almost every property is registered. After you have done your findings on their website and ascertained that the property is registered with Land Registry, all you have to do is fill and submit a Home Rights Notice (HR1). The HR1 is a form that is used to show a person’s interest in a property. However, in a case where you do not find the property registered with Land Registry, you can still proceed with registering your interest in such property with a Class F land charge. Though, you should note that this method attracts a little fee.

For A House Co-Owned or Jointly Owned

For a property to be co-owned by you and your partner, there are two ways around it. On the one hand, both of you and your partner can own a property as Joint Tenants. In a case like this, both of you own the property 50/50, and if you die before your partner, he/she gets your share of the property no matter what you have stated in your will. The same law applies if your partner dies before you. On the other hand, both of you and your partner can own a property as Tenants in Common. In this case, you can agree to share the property 50/50 or split it in any other sharing formula you both decide. Another advantage of this ownership method is that it gives you the freedom to decide what happens to your share of the property when you die – by handing it over to someone stated in your will. In other words, before you get a divorce, you should consider how your house is owned and decide what options are suitable for you with your advisors or solicitors.

Dividing A House by Mutual Agreement

It is a no-brainer that when you and your partner agree on how your house is divided in a divorce, you save yourselves time and money (that comes with solicitors’ fees). This kind of ‘gentleman’ agreement also helps you avoid potential court hearings and other issues that might arise during the asset distribution. Basically, you and your partners hire solicitors to help you understand your options and how you have agreed to divide your house in a divorce. They also help ensure that all legal steps are taken, and such agreements are legally binding using a Consent Order. A Consent Order is a legal document stating that both stakeholders have agreed to a financial settlement, given their consent, assented to it, and an order can be made without a court hearing. This process is usually fast and seamless.

Dividing A House by The Courts

It goes without saying that many ex-partners find it challenging to arrive at a common ground in a divorce due to bad blood between them or other financial or personal reasons. So, in a case where ex-partners cannot agree on how a house is divided when getting divorced, a court – through a judge – steps in to help them decide. Typically, in the UK, the judge decides to award the property to one person over the other depending on the length of the marriage and other vital factors like age, living expenses, the standard of living, savings and additional assets, the role of partners in the marriage (breadwinner or caregiver), the value of the property, debts of either or both partners, etc. If there are children involved, the court endeavours to prioritize their needs over that of the ex-couple. Subsequently, when the court reaches a financial settlement after a divorce, standard orders made include: • Selling the house and dividing the proceeds between partners if there are no children. • Stalling the sale of the house until a particular clause is met. For example, if there are children, a Mesher Order can put the house off sale until the youngest child turns 17 or 18. In the same vein, in a case where there are no children, and one of the partners does not necessarily need the money from the house for their own needs, a Martin order can be used to stall the sale of such property. A Martin Order lets the other person live in the house for life or until they get married to someone else. • Arranging for a transfer of the property from one partner to another. In this case, a partner buys the other out and becomes the sole owner of the property. • Transferring a part of the property’s value from one partner to another partner. In this case, if you give up a share of your ownership rights, you are legally backed to keep a stake in the property. And when the house is eventually sold, you are eligible to receive a percentage of its selling value through a chargeback. Ultimately, every marriage going through or that has gone through a divorce has its own peculiarities. In a court, the outcomes will always vary from case to case. However, these are the ubiquitous methods used to divide a house when getting a divorce in the UK. If you need more information, you can talk to our team of experts at (Sell My Home Now). We will be glad to help you ease the stress that comes with your divorce journey.

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