Divorce is an emotionally turbulent time for everyone involved. If the separating couple have children, then, naturally, they will remain the main priority when making arrangements, but there are so many other issues to be sorted out. And one of the main questions will be what will happen to the family home.
Deciding what will happen to a couple's property can be a major stumbling block in a separation because as well as almost certainly being the major financial asset in the relationship, it may also hold many emotional connotations – much more than mere bricks and mortar. Depending on what the catalyst for the relationship breakdown is, it may be a decision that has been thrust very suddenly upon the parties, and, for this reason alone, it's potentially unfair to just expect one partner to up sticks and move out.
If the situation between spouses is particularly acrimonious, it is probable that one partner will be considering moving out at the earliest possible time. But making such a rash decision, especially over something as important as where you'll be living, is never a good idea and could result in a number of complications down the road.
Moving out after marriage meltdown
Firstly, leaving the house does not absolve anyone from keeping up financial support. You still have a responsibility to maintain mortgage payments until a divorce settlement is finalised. Moving out prematurely is likely to mean payments for two properties which could put a significant strain on the family purse strings.
However hard it may seem, it could be better in the long-run if you attempt to stay living under the same roof for as long as you can until the finances are sorted and you are both able to comfortably afford and properly organise arrangements for living apart. Remaining as fair and as practical as you both possibly can over the matter may seem like an impossibility, but it could save an awful lot of heartache and expense in the future.
When the time is right to sort out what will happen to the family home, particularly if you have children, the advice of a divorce lawyer will be invaluable. If you decide that the house needs to be sold, it's a good idea not to rush the process too much. A readiness to separate as quickly as possible can put pressure on divorcing partners to make a quick sale, and, as selling a house can be a very complicated process at any time, this can cause added stress to an already tense situation. Don't fall into the trap of letting the sale price be reduced to get it off the market faster.
Take a step back and breathe
Second only to buying a home in the first place, a divorce is likely to be the most complex financial issue you are likely to face as an adult.
Divorce settlements are complex and no two cases will have exactly the same circumstances affecting the decisions made. It's true that there are some cases in which a person can be temporarily made to leave their home through the use of an occupation order, but there must be a strong, valid reason, for instance, if they have been physically abusive. However, these cases are the exception, and under the normal circumstances of a relationship breakdown, it is not possible for one partner to force the other out of the family home.
So, while emotions will be running high in the midst of separation, it may be best for both partners' financial futures to stay put until legal advice can be sought and negotiations can be made in a calm, sensible atmosphere.
Moving out in the midst of marriage mayhem could be a milestone that turns into a mill stone.
Contact Oratto on 0845 3883765 to speak with a family law adviser or use our contact form to arrange a call-back.