Divorce and Property: Your Questions Answered
Getting divorced or dissolving a civil partnership can be a troubling time. Grappling with the financial side of a legal separation can prove particularly confusing. Everyone’s circumstances are different and will be considered on their own merit when seeking legal advice – this is why legal advice is important! When it comes to divorce and property questions, you will want straight-forward answers. Some of the most important questions surround the protection of property ownerships rights. You may also have questions about mortgage payments and moving with your children. This article hopes to clear the fog around some of the most common divorce questions. An understanding of divorce law and property ties will help you find a firm footing.
Divorce and Your Property Ownership Rights
If your ex-partner holds the family home in their name alone, it is important to register your interest in the property to protect your position during a legal separation. In England or Wales, this is possible if the property is registered at the Land Registry. With your partner’s name and the property’s title number you will be able to check if the property is in the Land Registry. From here, you can fill out a free application for registration of a ‘Notice of home rights,’ or HR1 form. This will allow you to register your interest in the property. If the property is not in the Land Registry, for a £1 fee you can apply instead through a ‘Class F Land Charge.’ When you register your interest, your partner will not be able to sell the property or get a larger mortgage without you being notified.
For jointly owned properties, partners may wish to change their ownership from a joint tenancy into a ‘tenants in common’ arrangement. This way you can divide ownership. Each partner is free to pass on their share of the property to whomever they please in their Will. This is different to a joint tenancy, in which one tenant inherits the share of the other tenant upon the other tenant’s death, regardless of any Will. You can change your type of joint ownership with an SEV form. This change does not require the ex-partners agreement.
Mortgages and Moving after Legal Separation
The welfare of children is the most important consideration in any divorce, and children’s accommodation and requirements will factor into decisions about the fate of a shared home. A sale of the house may be considered if the house is seen to exceed the child or children’s needs. In navigating the world of divorce and property, you may well benefit from the help of experienced family court solicitors.
Many couples who are separating but share a joint mortgage will attempt to move the mortgage into the name of one partner. This has an array of benefits. The person who takes on the mortgage is no longer dependent on the partner. The partner who relinquishes the mortgage can borrow more money for themselves. This will also help the couple separate their credit files from one another, so that the financial decisions of one partner no longer affects the credit file of the other. Taking this action will require proving to the mortgage lender that one partner can afford the payments on their own.
If you require advice or legal assistance with any aspect of property or family law or, contact Norton Peskett today.