When undergoing a divorce, one of your biggest priorities has to be discerning how household assets are divided. Judging this can be complex when you and your partner have children who must be carefully accounted for as well. Your home is an asset the future of which warrants especially careful consideration; however, at Pinder Reaux, we can provide advice on how you can meticulously navigate your way through the potentially choppy waters of asset division.
How could your home be divided?
There are several options open to you here. One is selling the home from which both you and your partner leave; money raised from the sale could go towards purchases of new homes for your newly single selves, should your financial situations make this possible.
Alternatively, one partner could buy out the other, whereby just one of you would leave the property. Another option is keeping the property without any shift in its ownership; it could stay as one partner's routine habitat, maybe until the children are old enough to live independently.
A different strategy described by the Money Advice Service is, with the financial settlement arising from your divorce, transferring part of the property's value from one partner to the other. The partner surrendering their share of ownership would still hold a stake or "interest" allowing them to, when the home is sold, receive a share of the returns.
Tread carefully if you are considering selling the home
Weigh up the state of the local housing market before you decide that completely selling the property would be the most appropriate step forward. You could find that, in your part of the country, property sales are horrendously sluggish.
Therefore, to spur a sale, you might be tempted to reduce the price, The Guardian cautions. This wouldn't be ideal given that, even if you did secure a sale at the asking price, your financial obligations to your children could cut uncomfortably into how much money you would have the option of spending on a new residence. Raising a large mortgage for it could also be tricky.
What if you can't decide how assets should be divided?
In this situation, a solicitor from our own legal firm could help you break the deadlock. They could consider implications of an agreement before making it an order that courts can recognise and enforce. This solicitor will aim to achieve the best possible settlement for you, but also consider what kind of settlement a court could decide on.
Should your case come before a court, they will split the assets while taking into account various considerations cited by Divorce Aid. Those considerations will include your children's welfare. The law deems you to have parental responsibility for the children regardless of your relationship with them; this is not compromised by, for example, how much contact you have with the children.
You can receive further advice about asset division when you consult our divorce lawyers in London, from where they can serve divorcing couples wherever they live in the UK.