One of the most contentious matters on divorce is what happens to the family home (often called
FMH – former marital home). The house is significant from an emotional point of view. It is where you have lived as a couple and perhaps also where your children have grown up. It may be conveniently placed for schools and friendship groups.
However, frequently it is the single biggest financial asset of the marriage (although pensions
can be even more valuable). It does not matter whose name it is in or who pays the mortgage, the house is still a marital asset. If you do note have joint ownership of the property it is important to register your matrimonial home rights. (see www.wikivorce.com/divorce/Financial-Advi...and-Home-Rights.html
However you feel about the house, it will become part of the assets pot for division on divorce although if it is essential that one of the divorcing parties and the children remain there and if it is affordable, then the cash from the property may not be released until some point in the future. (useful thread: www.wikivorce.com/divorce/Divorce-Advice...Re-mesher-order.html
It is important to know how much the house is worth. You can ask a local estate agent for their opinion, you can look at sites like rightmove www.rightmove.co.uk/
to see if any similar houses are on the market (although bear in mind these are not necessarily what the house is wiorth – just what it is being advertised at) OR you can find out what houses have sold for recently on a site like property snake www.propertysnake.co.uk/site/search
. At this stage it is not worth paying for a full valuation – this will be ordered by a court if you cannot agree a valuation and you will share the costs.
If you want help to work out what may happen to the house as part of the financial settlement on divorce, you can post the following information in the forum and members of wikivorce will do their best to advise you.
We need to know:
• Length of marriage – including any pre marriage cohabitation
• Children – ages, genders and arrangements for them – i.e. how many nights with each parent.
• Incomes – including any tax credits or other benefits
• Value of the FMH
• Outstanding mortgage on FMH
• Pensions (CETV – Cash Equivalent Transfer Value) or projected pension
benefits (ie lump sum and annual pension).
• Value of any other assets in sole or joint names – this may be endowment policies, savings, investments etc or assets such as paintings, cars, jewellery (over £500)
• Outstanding debts in sole or joint names and when accrued.