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How Do You Sell A House When Splitting Up

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  • 01-06-2023
How Do You Sell A House When Splitting Up

This article asks how do you sell a house when splitting up?  Kent Property Witness offer property valuation for divorce in Tonbridge and Kent. Find out more about who gets the house in a divorce with children and protecting ownership rights when selling a house in a divorce. 

Divorces and separations are never easy. Alongside the animosity and heartbreak, there's usually a range of difficult decisions both parties have to make. One of these is what to do with the home they've been living in together for however many years. There are a few options for couples who are separating. Depending on how they want to divide their property, they might choose one of the following:

-For one party to buy the other one out. To sell the property and divide the profits between them. To transfer one half of the property's value to the other party. To keep the property, rent it out and divide the income.

The second option, selling the property and dividing the equity, is possibly the easiest. This allows both parties to separate cleanly and go their own ways. Given the bad blood that can exist between separating partners, this makes things simple and is often the only option for some couples. 

Every separation or divorce is stressful. However, by understanding what's involved regarding your property, you can make things a little easier. You'll also be in a better position to make the right decisions. The remainder of this article will take you through the process of selling your home during a divorce or separation. 


Selling a House After Divorce or Separation

Dividing your possessions during a divorce or separation creates many financial issues. However, these issues can usually be settled through a range of legal processes.

One of the biggest financial issues separating couples encounter is what to do with the property or properties they jointly own. Given that a family home is possibly the largest shared asset most couples will have, deciding what to do with it can be difficult. But one of the best places to start is determining where both parties stand legally.

Once you know what each partner is entitled to, your available options should become clearer. This also means that both parties should protect their individual ownership rights.

Inevitably, this means contacting a solicitor as soon as possible. If your name is on your mortgage agreement, this becomes even more urgent.

How Do You Sell A House When Splitting Up? Property Valuation For Divorce In Tonbridge And Kent

For example, if you are named on your mortgage but aren't making payments or sharing the costs with your former partner, you could run into trouble. You still need to pay off the mortgage debt until your name is removed from the agreement or you pay the mortgage off entirely. So, once you've consulted a solicitor, the next person to call is your mortgage provider. They need to know that you and your partner are separating so they can make the appropriate financial arrangements.

This is even more crucial if you think your partner won't be able to make their share of the payments. Additionally, the other thing to worry about concerning your mortgage is your partner increasing the loan. However, by calling your mortgage provider and telling them you are separating, you can block your partner from increasing the mortgage and taking out bigger loans. 

Who gets the house in a divorce with children?

Deciding how to divide your family home during a separation is stressful enough. But if you have children, it can make things even more difficult. Naturally, all couples should put their children first during a separation. Regardless of how they feel towards one another. Being able to come to an amicable decision about who gets the family home is always the best solution.

The alternative is much more stressful for everyone involved. Without an agreement on the financial settlement of your divorce, you'll have to turn to the courts to resolve your issues. Family courts have the experience that separating couples need. They can create a "Financial Remedy Order" for either party, depending on their case.

These orders allow one party to challenge the other to gain a lump sum of money or for the majority ownership of a property. Alternatively, your Financial Remedy Order can secure regular payments for ongoing childcare and suitable living arrangements from your former partner. In most cases, the court will disregard whether the property is in your or your partner's name, deciding what is best for your children only. 

Protecting ownership rights when selling a house in a divorce

There is only one way to prove you own a home here in the UK. If you are named as the owner on the title deeds, then you have proof that you are the legal owner. However, your partner may also be listed on the property deeds. In other cases, it will be neither of you. If you are separating and want to claim ownership of a property you jointly own, you will need to register your interest.

Even if you aren't named on the title deeds, you can still register your interest. This gives you the best chance of securing ownership from your partner during a divorce. Naturally, these processes can be fairly complicated. So, if you aren't sure where you stand or what you can do regarding your property, it's always best to seek professional advice. Property lawyers and solicitors can offer expert advice to help you get what you need from your separation. 

England & Wales

Alternatively, you can check the Land Registry for England and Wales. The documents the land registry holds should include your title deeds. Here you can check whether your or your partner's name is listed on the title deeds, determining who legally owns the property. If your name isn't listed on the title deeds, you can initiate a "Matrimonial Home Rights Notice". This will protect your position regarding home ownership during a separation. This is a relatively easy process to start by simply filling in the HR1 form found on the GOV.UK website. 


If your property is in Northern Ireland and your name isn't on the title deeds, you'll need to apply for a "Matrimonial Charge". With this charge in place, you will be notified if the property in question is sold or remortgaged. This process can be complicated, so it's best to seek the help of a professional solicitor. 



Protecting your rights to property ownership is trickier in Scotland. Especially if you aren't named on the title deeds. Before doing anything, you should seek professional advice from a solicitor or from the Citizen's Advice Bureau. They can give you the right information for your case. If you are married or in a civil partnership, you have the right to live in a home with your partner. However, this becomes more complex when you choose to separate. If you haven't lived in the property for two years or more during your partnership, you can lose your right to live there during a separation. 

Getting Your Home Ready For Sale

Selling your home is a stressful situation at any time. But if you're also going through a divorce or separation, the stress can quickly become unbearable. In any case, you'll want to get the best price you can for your property. And during a separation, selling quickly can also be a top priority. Therefore, you'll want to do everything you can to make your property as sale-friendly as possible. This means tidying up and decluttering the interior space.

Also, remove all the personal touches you've put in. Not everyone has the same taste, and you want to make the property as neutral as you can. This gives potential buyers the best idea of what they can do with the property, increasing your chances of selling. To make things smoother, you can put your furniture and belongings into storage while the sale goes through.

Are you looking for advice about property valuation for divorce in Tonbridge and Kent? 

Contact  our expert witness surveyor to discuss your requirements.