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According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), throughout England and Wales, approximately 42% of marriages sadly end in divorce.
For most, this is a stressful and distressing experience. On top of the pain that is involved in the break up, dividing matrimonial assets, such as your family home, can be extremely demanding and challenging.
The laws surrounding the division of marital money and property can make dividing assets a lengthy and complicated process, depending on the nature of the divorce and the assets involved.
So if you’re wondering how is a house divided in a divorce or civil partnership? To relieve some of the pressure that comes with the process, here we have outlined some useful first steps when looking to divide up your assets during a divorce:
MAKE A FINANCIAL AGREEMENT
First things first, you and your ex-partner must choose how you would like to divide your money and assets. If you can agree on how your assets should be split, then you can usually avoid going to court hearings. However, if you cannot agree then it will be up to the court to decide.
IF YOU CAN AGREE…
There are various measures that you and your ex-partner can adopt to make dividing your money and property a lot simpler.
For example, many people going through divorce will choose to employ a ‘family mediator’. These mediators can help you to find a way to plan for the future and to agree what will work best for you, without having to go to court. They do this by looking at your money, property, savings and investments, and suggest how you should split these – without taking sides.
If you need support with managing finances, there are various divorce and money calculators available online to help give you a better idea of your financial situation before you agree on a divorce settlement. These calculators can work out what money you have, what you owe, and how you might consider splitting these assets and finances.
Your property is likely to be one of the most valuable assets that you own together, so naturally this might be the trickiest asset to divide. If you are both eager to sell your property quickly, you could opt to sell through a quick home-buying company such as We Buy Any Home. We provide you with an initial offer within 24 hours of contact – enabling completion on a house sale in as little as seven days, so that you can start moving on with your life as soon as possible.
Once you have come to a firm arrangement regarding all of your assets, you can use a solicitor to make your agreement legally binding, a clean break.
IF YOU CAN’T AGREE…
If you and your ex-partner are unable to come to an agreement, then in the first instance it is sensible to seek legal advice to ask about the alternative ways to resolve issues out of court (such as family arbitration or collaborative law), as this can be a very stressful and demanding process.
However, if there are decisions that you simply cannot agree on then you must ask a court to make a ‘financial order’. Through a financial order, you can apply for key assets such as ownership of a property, regular maintenance payments for children, or a lump sum payment.
The court will then decide on the fairest way to divide your assets.