If you are the situation where your relationship breaks down you are likely to be upset and emotions will be high. However, you will unfortunately have a lot to sort out at this time, whether you feel like it or not. Putting it off until tomorrow will only prolong the inevitable. One of the matters which will have to be discussed will be property.
If you drafted a prenuptial agreement you should refer to this and try to simply divide the property as outlined within it avoided any unnecessary complications. If you did not draft a prenuptial agreement it will be cheapest and least invasive for you both if you can manage to come to a mutually accepted agreement without having to involve lawyers. It is absolutely not necessary to involve a lawyer in your divorce settlement, although many couples have to due to a breakdown of relations between the two individuals. Many other couples though do manage to come to agreements without the use of a solicitor. If you wish to cement an agreement you have come to with a legal contract it is possible to come to the agreement without a lawyer and then apply for a ‘consent order’. This will need to be drafted with a solicitor and will ensure your agreements are legally binding.
Often lawyers or mediators do need to become involved in the divorce proceedings. Firstly, you should contact a family mediator as mediation is generally quicker and less expensive than court. Mediation simply means a neutral party will be present to ensure that the discussion between you and your partner remains civilised, fair and gives everyone a chance to speak. If mediation does not work you will have to contact a solicitor who specialises in family law and go to court. The court will then decide how the property will be divided between you with a ‘financial order’.
If you co-own a house and you are both on the deeds, decisions regarding it will have to be made together. There are generally two routes which separating couples tend to follow in this situation. Either a partner will buy the other out, purchasing the co-owner’s share of the property and making it their own. The other option is to both agree to sell the property, split the profits and go your own separate ways. If your home is in your partner’s name, if they are not willing to be reasonable, you may have a legal battle on your hands – you do have some rights in the eyes of the law even if the sole owner of the property is your partner, particularly if you have children together that need to be supported and housed.
Roskell Davies are a law firm in Birmingham who can help you get through your divorce. Our sensitive team will support you every step of the way. If you need legal advice about how to proceed call us on 0800 142 2901 or fill in an online enquiry. All initial enquiries are offered completely free of charge.