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Will I get to keep the house? Or will it have to be sold?

Will I get to keep the house? Or will it have to be sold?

When considering the capital resources of the family, the central issue is usually the family home.

After resolving the short-term maintenance arrangements, it will often be the first issue that has to be dealt with.

What happens to the home is likely to be a central part of any financial settlement.

It is usually a question of trying to stretch financial resources so that the original home can be maintained at the same time as the (new) second home - often out of the same income. Much depends on the level of any mortgage connected with the home.

The issue as to whether the home has to be sold is often a very emotive one. Different factors will come into play, besides the financial ones. For example, it may not be sensible to disrupt teenagers in the run up to exams. The court will always consider the welfare of any children first, and it is therefore sensible to use the same rule in negotiations.

However, courts are generally anxious to ensure that if the bulk of capital from a house is being used to rehouse a mother (typically) and children, or if they remain in the original home, then the husband should not be deprived of all of his capital. It is important also in such a case that the children can stay for periods of contact with their father who needs sensible housing accommodation as well.

As with maintenance, it is a difficult balancing exercise.

In many cases it may be possible to arrange to pay back to the party who moves out of the house a proportion of the capital tied up in the house later on. The payment could be made when the children are grown up, and the mother can move to a smaller home, so releasing capital.

Much depends on the other financial resources that may be available and upon the ability of the husband and wife to borrow.

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