Selling A House During A Divorce

Selling A House During A Divorce


Going through a break-up or divorce isn’t just painful emotionally; it often comes with complex financial implications. One of the most significant decisions you’ll have to make is what to do with your shared property. There are several options, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. Here's a guide to help you navigate through this challenging period:

One of the biggest decisions you need to make is how to divide the family home. For many couples, this is their biggest asset – and the most significant part of negotiations.

What happens to an existing home – and where one or both partners will go next – will depend on the divorcing couple.

Working out what happens to your home when you get divorced can feel like a bit of a minefield.

Here’s my guide to dividing this asset.

1. Selling the Property and Dividing the Proceeds


  • Ideal for couples without children who desire a fresh start.
  • Simplifies financial ties, making it easier to move on.


  • Uprooting children if involved.
  • Difficulty in selling in a slow market.
  • Possible disagreement on accepting offers.
  • Redemption penalties and additional costs may apply.

2. One Partner Buying Out the Other


  • Minimises disruption for children.
  • Keeps the property within the family.


  • Potentially expensive and might be unaffordable.
  • Transferring the mortgage can be complicated.

3. Retaining Joint Ownership


  • One partner continues to live in the property.
  • Maintains stability for children.


  • Both names remain on the mortgage, complicating future financial decisions.

4. Seeking a Mesher Order (England and Wales)


  • Defers sale until children reach 18.
  • Protects interest of the departing spouse.


  • May lead to mortgage difficulties for the remaining spouse later in life.

Valuing the Property

  • Independent valuation to establish a market value.
  • Court-ordered report if agreement cannot be reached.


What if there are children?

  • Courts prioritise children's needs, affecting property division decisions.

What if the property is only in one name?

  • Marital assets are usually divided equally, even if only in one name.

What if you're co-habiting?

  • Legal rights differ if not married, making legal advice essential.

Moving On: Post-Divorce Options

  • Raising a mortgage on a single income.
  • Consider renting temporarily.
  • Consult a broker to understand your options.

Tips for a Smoother Process

  • Seek legal and financial advice.
  • Be discreet about selling due to divorce, as it may affect buyer offers.
  • Plan how to split costs associated with selling your home.
  • Try to remain detached and amicable during the process.


Handling property matters during a break-up or divorce is never simple. Knowing your options, understanding the implications, and seeking professional guidance can help make the process more manageable. Whether selling, buying out a partner, or opting for a legal agreement like a Mesher order, it’s crucial to consider your unique circumstances and make decisions that support your long-term wellbeing and financial stability.


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