How do you move on when you can’t move out

8th March 2015 by


When the family home won’t sell, and it makes up the major amount of equity for a divorcing couple, the future can look bleak. Spouses may think they have done the hard part in seeking a out a family lawyer and actually getting their hands on a decree absolute, but if there is not enough money for one spouse to buy the other out of the home, it can be a very difficult time waiting for the house to be sold.

It won’t matter whether the couple has been together for decades or if they have sought divorce after a short marriage, being stuck in a jointly-owned property with little prospect of receiving the funds needed for both spouses to move on, and be financially sound, the situation can seem desperate.

Short marriage, no children – long marriage, grown-up kids

When there are dependent children involved in a divorce, it will often be ruled by the court that they should stay in the house, with one parent (usually the mother). The property will be put into trust until the children are old enough to live independently. At this time the property will then be sold and the equity divided between the spouses. The major earner (usually the husband) will be expected to move out and find accommodation paid for out of his income.

Where the couple in question owns a property together and there are no children living at home, it may seem that this will be an easier divorce situation to remedy.

If there are no children, perhaps in the case of a short marriage or where older children have moved out of the family home, it is likely that the property will need to be sold so that either the joint mortgage can be paid off, or the equity be split.

But, if the housing market is in a slump, selling the property may be a distinct problem and if the couple cannot afford to move out before the house is sold, a very difficult situation may arise.

Sadly, no divorce solicitor can wave a magic wand and make this state of affairs tolerable and any house seller will tell you that a poor housing market can be a desperate thing, but hopefully, as in the divorce, if the couple can stay on good terms and communicate well, ground rules for living together can be drawn up and an action plan for making the house more saleable could be achieved.

Healys family lawyers for respectful divorce

As members of Resolution, all divorce solicitors at Healys are committed to approaching family disputes on an amicable, constructive and conciliatory basis. This attitude can help in many ways during divorce, especially during a time when a couple may have to work together to achieve an outcome such as the sale of a property.

While we always attempt to ensure cordial methods are employed, we seek to uphold our client’s best interests at all times and will not shy away from taking forceful and robust action should the necessity arise.

For more information about divorce after a long or short marriage please call the family law team at Healys in London or Brighton today.