The difficulties of divorce can be made even more difficult by the uncertainty that comes with who gets to ‘keep’ the home. It’s a difficult question and it is not something that is designed to fit all relationships and families.

For most people going through a divorce the house can be the biggest asset that has to be divided. From a purely economic standpoint this can cause a great amount of stress for each party. Compounded by the added pressure potential children and dependants may bring, working out if someone will keep the house, or sell it entirely is an uncomfortable question.

Every case is different and as such the court orders may change and accommodate different requests. There are some key tips to help prepare yourself and your partner in the unfortunate event of having to decide what to do with the house.

  1. Understand your reasons to remain in the home. Whilst this seems easy, if you have to go to court or mediation, often you will need a better response than just “I want it so my partner doesn’t get it”. Being able to think about and understand the real, practical reasons why you what to remain in your home will help you to have a better discussion and allow all parties to better understand what should happen to the house. For example, you may wish stay in your home as you are involved and close with the surrounding community and it is close to your work or the kids’ school. Although difficult, your reasons for wanting to stay may also be the same as your partner
  2. Talk to your partner. Having this difficult discussion with your partner may help you better understand each other’s position. This makes for a much more civil proceeding in a difficult situation. By openly discussing the house and the outcome it opens a dialogue to be able to find a way forward in compromise. It also allows both parties to understand other third-party concerns.
  3. Think of your children and other dependents. Each family relationship is unique. There may be a variety of different factors from children, pets, older grandparents that live within the home. It can be hard but sometimes these other concerns need to be given weight, along with your own concerns. Other dependents, particularly children, will play a large roll in who, if anyone is allowed to remain in the family home. Understanding the impact others living in the home can have directly impacts on the finical situation of both parties.
  4. Evaluate your finances. Finances in a divorce can be a major issue. One party may earn more than the other or be responsible for supporting the children. This can also be the case in who gets to keep the house. A court may order the house to be sold so that the money can be adequately distributed. One partner may also have the potential to ‘buy out’ the others share. It is important to understand what your financial state is.

There is no guarantee who will get to keep the home in the event of a divorce. Such proceedings can often be difficult and drawn out. Whether the divorce is amicable or hostile, it is important to take proactive steps. Understanding your rights and having up to date advice is the key reaching a settlement for both parties and being in the best position to remain in the family home.

BurkeMead understand the difficulties of divorce and the wish to stay in the home. Contact their expert team to give you the best opportunities in difficult times.