11 April 2019

Does my partner have to buy me out of the house when we divorce?

Sadly the inevitable consequence for many divorcing couples is that the family home has to be sold and both parties will need to rehouse themselves. It’s not always as simple as it seems, as Zoe Touhey, head of our residential conveyancing team, explains.

Once the ink is dry on the final court order, the parties will be looking to make arrangements for the future. If the house is to be sold, then, subject to an agreement over accepting any offers received and the usual frustrations with incomplete chains and last minute hitches, the process is no different or more stressful than an ordinary house move.

But if the house is to be transferred to one or other of the parties, then difficulties with the existing lender or trying to find a new one can cause all sorts of problems, and seeking advice early can be time well spent.

It would be usual to approach the existing mortgage lender about a transfer of equity application initially, and certainly long before the terms of the court order are agreed. If a new lender is to be involved, then a loan in principle should be agreed, making sure it truly is affordable. A good mortgage broker with up to date knowledge of the market place can be key at this stage, especially for those for whom organising borrowing is a dim and distant memory.

We can help too. Our expert property teams across all of our offices complete thousands of transactions every year, and whilst we cannot absolutely guarantee there will be no challenges and delays along the way, we will be on hand to do our best to achieve a smooth transaction and a quick completion, leaving you to move on in more ways than one.

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About the Author
Zoe Touhey, Partner, Head of Residential Property in the Three Counties
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