When figuring out your life after divorce, this process comes with its own sets of challenges. It’s a significant transition that will include plenty of changes and adjustments, including a change of residence. You or your ex-spouse will have to move out of your current home, so determining what to do with your house is another issue in itself.
Your home carries strong emotional ties. It was a symbol of the future you initially envisioned with your ex-spouse and the children that you have or planned to have together. Now that the vision is gone, you may not be sure if you should hold onto the property. After all, it does offer some much-needed stability during an incredibly uncertain time. Here are a few questions you might have about your property when you divorce:
Do I Need to Sell It Right Away?
Fortunately, you do not need to sell your property once you and your ex-spouse separate. Situations tend to vary, and you may live on the same property with your ex-spouse for the time being.
Can I Hold the Property and Sell Later On?
Keeping the property to sell it at a more advantageous price is possible, although it highly depends on the agreement and the amiability between you and your ex-spouse. Some couples agree on the property, such as one party residing in the house for a specified time. Both parties may also decide to rent it out for a year or more. In this case, you’ll want a binding financial agreement to ensure that each party understands their financial responsibilities in the property.
Can We Both Own It But Have Only One Of Us Live In It?
It is definitely possible for both parties to own the property and have one of them reside in it. However, many separations seek the total severance of ties and co-owning a property runs contrary to that. If there are coercion and control issues in a relationship, this may not be an ideal option.
However, for more amicable splits, the parties may opt for a financial agreement or court orders that determine the property’s future division or ownership by one or both individuals. Like many things, your course of action highly depends on the nature of your relationship. If you are uncertain, it’s best to consult family solicitors.
Who is Responsible for Repaying any Mortgage Debt?
If both you and your ex-spouse have your names listed on the mortgage, then you are both responsible for paying the debt. However, if you’ve made special arrangements that assign financial liability in a certain way, then that arrangement will apply.
Can the Mortgage Be Passed Onto the Other Party?
If both parties agree to this arrangement, then this is feasible. However, you will both need to consult with your lender or bank to ensure that the responsible party is fit to secure the necessary funds for the mortgage. When one person takes over the mortgage, they will need a Court Order to transfer the title officially or to nominate the financial responsibility to that individual.
Is It Possible to Change the Property Title to Sole Ownership?
Once you’ve reached a financial settlement and created an Order with the Family Court, you can transfer the title into one name without needing to pay the Stamp Duty. If you don’t have the Court Order that nominates the title transfer, you’ll have to pay the Stamp Duty.
What if the Property Sells for Less Than the Mortgage’s Value?
If this happens, then the remaining debt is shared between you and your ex-spouse unless court orders state otherwise. You’ll both have to repay the debt to your lender. You may have other assets that you can liquidate to pay off the rest of the mortgage. However, if you have another loan or property, then the residual debt may be rolled into it as long as you have your lender’s approval.
There are a lot of details to consider when undergoing a divorce, and your property is going to be one of the main points of discussion. The best-case scenario will be to settle everything amicably with your ex-spouse, as that will make dealing with your property more straightforward. Otherwise, it’s best to consult your local wills and estate lawyers along with your family solicitors.
If you’re looking for family law solicitors in Ipswich, Springfield Legals is the firm to contact. We are a law centre that specialises in family law, property and business conveyancing, and income protection and succession planning. Our many years of experience and commitment to excellence ensures you the best legal service in the Springfield and Ipswich region. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help!