What happens with your property during divorce?

Owned property

If you own a property with your partner, then you most likely will have a joint mortgage. This means that you are both equally responsible for the whole of the loan amount. This could have implications on your finances whether you wish to leave or remain in the home before a financial settlement is reached.

Any mortgage payments need to be continued, even if your spouse refuses to contribute. You will need to keep meeting your financial commitments. Otherwise, your credit rating could be negatively impacted, making it harder to borrow money in the future.

There are different options for how to deal with the property ownership, depending on your circumstances. You could choose to sell and divide the proceeds between you to help with the costs of finding somewhere else to live. Alternatively, if one party would like to stay in the home, then they may opt to buy out the other person, if funds allow, and become the sole owner.

If you have children, you might decide that the primary carer remains in the home with the children to provide continuity until they are 18 or leave school. Both parties continue to own the property together during this time.

Another option to be considered is transferring the value of the property from one party to another. With the individual that gave up their ownership rights keeping a stake in the home. Meaning when the property is sold in the future, they would receive a percentage of its value.

Rented property

Firstly, you will need to check your tenancy agreement to see who is named. If the tenancy is in your sole name, then you have the right to remain in the property, but you are also solely responsible for making sure the rent is paid.

If you are joint tenants and both wish to leave you may be able to ‘give notice’ to your landlord or letting agency. Depending on what your agreement states you may also be able to negotiate with the landlord so that one of you can continue to rent the property alone.

Where the tenancy agreement is in your partner’s name, they are solely responsible for the rent payments. However, if you are married or in a civil partnership, you do have rights to continue living in the property. Be aware, that these rights will cease once the marriage or civil partnership ends, so you will need to have made alternative living arrangements by then.

You may also have the right to take over the tenancy from your partner, this does depend on legislation where you live and the type of tenancy agreement in place.