Divorce: what happens to the family home?

January has become known as the time of year when matrimonial and family law solicitors are at their

January has become known as the time of year when matrimonial and family law solicitors are at their busiest. Picture: Getty Images - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

When a marriage or long-term relationship ends, one of the first issues to consider is what happens to any shared property, says Sarb Gosal of Spire Solicitors.

Sarb Gosal, of Spire Solicitors. Picture: Contributed

Sarb Gosal, of Spire Solicitors. Picture: Contributed - Credit: Archant

Sadly January has become known as the time of year when matrimonial and family law solicitors are at their busiest. The stress and pressure of Christmas can often be the last straw, and in the New Year many people will immediately consider visiting a family solicitor to discuss their legal rights.

When a relationship breaks down it is clearly a stressful time for all concerned. One of the first issues that usually has to be considered is what to do about any shared property and in particular the family home as in most cases this is likely to be the most valuable and perhaps only asset of value.

For some married couples, and especially where there are no relevant children to consider and where the parties have been married for a relatively short period of time, it may just be a question of selling the home and dividing the proceeds. However if one party has brought more money into the marriage, or had a property to start with, then the matrimonial property division might need to be adjusted somehow in order to make it a fair settlement overall.

Indeed the family home is usually the first asset someone will want to think about protecting and this is where a Matrimonial Conveyancing Solicitor can offer assistance.


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Possibly as part of the overall matrimonial settlement, one party may be looking to transfer his or her half share of the title to the property from their joint names into either their own sole name or the sole name of the other party. This creates a new title of ownership to the property and involves new documentation being prepared. The solicitors in the conveyancing department will routinely deal with this conveyancing transaction and also any mortgage which is involved.

The solicitor will also need to deal with the lender who is providing new funds in order to ensure funds are available when they are expected to be. This is to ensure that a completion date can be achieved or be able to satisfy any requirements or queries that the lender may have.

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If one party is being removed from the title to the property, there are still certain obligations that have to be fulfilled. The person who will be acquiring the new title needs to be assured that they are obtaining a valid title to the property. This means that certain searches will need to be undertaken to ensure that there are no liabilities or creditors which could prevent the transfer from completing.

Please contact Spire Solicitors LLP on 01603 677077 for all your legal needs.

This column is sponsored by Spire Solicitors.

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