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What happens to a family home in divorce?

Understanding what happens to a family home in divorce is crucial. Going through a divorce can be one of the most stressful and challenging experiences many people will ever face in their lifetime.

Not only are there the emotionally issues that go hand in hand with the end of a relationship, there are also many financial concerns which can significantly add to the difficult nature of a divorce, and in particular the uncertainty of not knowing what happens to a family home in divorce.

Uncertainties about what lies ahead can only serve to add to the stress. Dealing with the financial issues, such as whether or not the family home can remain a family home or whether it will need to be sold as part of the divorce settlement, can enable all those involved to begin to move on and make plans for the future.


The family home: Will we need to divide it?

The family home is often one of the most contentious issues during a divorce.

It is worth noting here that how the family home is dealt with, may depend on who owns it and how. For the purposes of this article, it is assumed that the family home is jointly owned by both spouses. As always, it is important to seek independent legal advice for your circumstances.

For many couples, the family home is not only valuable financially but also holds significant sentimental value. It may be the place where the children have grown up and where many memories have been built over the years.

The thought of having to sell the family home in order to divide it in two, so that each spouse can have a share, can often cause a great deal of distress.

If the family home has to be sold, both parties will have to find somewhere else to live. If there are children involved, they may also have to be uprooted.

So what are some of the options when it comes to the family home?

what happens to a family home in divorce


Selling the family home

As mentioned above, the idea of this can often cause a great deal of upset and distress, especially if there are children involved.

However, the money may be used by each spouse to buy or rent a new property.


Sell the property – but not until later

It may be possible to sell and split the property’s value at a later date, such as when the last child reaches 18 years old.


One spouse buying the other out

If possible, one spouse could buy the other spouses’ share of the home, so that the property was then owned solely by one spouse.


Keep the family home as it is

Some people, especially those with children, may opt to keep the ownership of the family home the same but with only one of them living in it. This is often only possible if the other partner has enough money to buy/rent somewhere else without the sale of the family home or the other partner buying them out.


What about the mortgage?

If the family home has a mortgage on it, it will also be necessary to decide what is going to happen with this.

Speak to a solicitor for more information.


Independent legal advice regarding your financial settlement

These are just some of the options which may be available to you. It is highly recommended that those going through a divorce, seek independent legal advice suited to their individual circumstances.


Do you need help with your divorce options?

Our expert divorce and family law solicitors can help you with a range of legal issues, including:


Contact our expert divorce solicitors for advice on your divorce options

For more information on your divorce options, call our divorce solicitors on 0845 862 5001 or

Our expert divorce solicitors offer a nationwide service. We have client meeting office facilities available, in order to have face-to-face client meetings / conferences as and when required in our:

Leeds Office: St Andrew House, The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 5JW

Sheffield Office: Pinfold Street, The Balance, Sheffield, S1 2GU

Manchester Office: King Street, Manchester, M2 4PD

Wakefield Office: Market Walk, Wakefield, WF1 1QR

Canary Wharf Office: 25 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5LB

London Office: 01 Nothumberland Avenue, Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5BW

Please contact us for more details.

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16th April 2018

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