Divorce and the Family Home

16 Feb 2021 | Lisa Pepper

What happens to the family house in a divorce?

For separating and divorcing couples, the family home is often the most valuable asset. Deciding if/when to sell it is frequently a major issue to resolve.

One option is to agree to continue to own the property for a period of time, say, until the children have finished school.  This arrangement is often reflected in a Trust Property Deed.  It is important to set out the terms of that continued ownership and occupation in a legally binding way, for both parties.  Some initial considerations with regards to this arrangement are set out below.

The Trust Property Deed would cover matters such as:

  • The choice and location of the property and defining the type of property to be purchased.
  • Who pays the purchase costs.
  • Who the trustees are, their charges and the mechanism for changing them.
  • Is there provision for an alternative replacement property to be purchased if the Occupying Parent (OP) wanted to move.
  • Terms of occupation.
  • Dealing with a change of circumstances (for example, whether a sale is triggered if the OP remarries or cohabits or the child moves to live with the other parent).
  • Who pays for external and internal repairs and decoration.
  • Who pays any mortgage, service charges and ground rent.
  • Who pays insurance and tax expenses.
  • Who pays the utilities, Council tax, internet.
  • Whether the OP should provide an account of expenditure.
  • Whether the OP can buy the other parent out at the end of the term

The creation of a Trust property gives rise to tax and therefore it is important that clients have that advice early on, to factor that into their financial discussions.  At Osbornes Law, we have strong professional relationships with trusted firms of accountants who can provide this advice quickly and cost-effectively.

There are alternative ways that a property can be held, by way of  Charge, Lease or Tenancy Agreement. We provide our solicitor experts in our Private Client Team and Property Team, to work with your Family Law Solicitor to advise on alternatives and enable the creation of a legal structure that is right for you and your family.

If you would like to have a confidential discussion about divorce or separation with divorce lawyer Lisa Pepper, or another member of the Family Law team call 0207 485 8811 or complete an online enquiry form.

Share this article


Contact us today

For a free initial conversation call 020 7485 8811

Email us Send us an email and we’ll get back to you

    Related InsightsVIEW ALL

    1. 8.12.2021

      The Five Legal Grounds for Divorce Explained

      In England and Wales there is only one legal ground for divorce, which is that the marriage has broken down...

      Read more
    2. squirrel hiding assets

      Uncovering hidden assets in your divorce

      What Can I Do if I Think My Ex is Hiding Assets in our Divorce? As part of your divorce,...

      Read more
    3. 10.11.2021

      Decree Nisi and Decree Absolute – what are the...

      The divorce process will, for many people, mean an introduction to some new terminology.  Two of the most important terms...

      Read more
    4. 9.11.2021

      Keeping social media out of divorce proceedings

      We’ve recently seen the playing out on twitter and Instagram of the high-profile separation of actor Ioan Gruffudd and...

      Read more
    5. 9.11.2021

      I helped build my spouse’s career – will...

      It’s been almost two years since The Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown and his wife Blythe separated, but...

      Read more
    6. 9.11.2021

      6 steps to speed up the divorce process

      For many people, once they have made the decision that their marriage is over, they want to have the legalities...

      Read more