Following the breakdown of a relationship, many worry about what may happen to the family home. We see cases where the children have moved out of the family home with the parent looking after them however, this is not how the court approaches the situation. Keith Bull, who leads the Family & Divorce Team at Bromleys, explores what might happen to the home following a separation.
The law says the interests of minor children are the court’s first consideration. The court will do all it can to ensure that children remain in the family home with the parent who looks after them. That means the other parent may have to find alternative accommodation. If there has been domestic abuse of any kind, the court may use its powers to order one parent to leave the house on an urgent basis.
If extra maintenance is needed to pay the mortgage and any other outgoings, this can be ordered. A lot of people who think they cannot afford to stay in the family home realise that they can after working out their child maintenance, tax credit and other benefits and in some cases extra maintenance. Other outgoings such as car loans can often be re-scheduled.
Please take advice before you move out of the family home with the children
If you do not have the children living with you, please take advice about how the court will approach your situation and whether you may end up worse off by trying to stay in the family home while the children move out.
The court often orders that the family home be sold when the children have grown up. Then it can be shared in a fair way. There is nothing stopping you buying out the other party if the money is available. The court will look at all the facts and try to share out all the assets (including pensions) in a fair way. The person caring for children usually receives more to reflect their extra responsibility and contribution to the family well-being.
We have a team of expert solicitors who can advise you as to availability of mediation. If an agreement is reached in mediation, we can assist in having it made into a binding order. We advise at each stage of mediation to ensure any agreement is fair.
To speak with one of our family law advisers today please call us today.