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Home / Legal Services / Family Law Solicitors / Divorce / Matrimonial Home Rights in Divorce

Matrimonial Home Rights in Divorce

When it comes to getting a divorce, the matrimonial home is usually one of the first assets that are discussed by the divorcing parties.

So, what happens to the marital home upon divorce? The divorce house rights that either party have to the property will depend on a range of factors, but typically the matrimonial home will form part of the overall financial settlement – however, this may not be a 50/50 split.
Our divorce house rights lawyers in Leeds can answer any questions you have, please contact us on 0113 243 2288 or email family@henryhyams.com.

What happens to the house in a divorce?

Figuring out the best solution to how is a house divided in a divorce will depend on the specific circumstances and will generally require negotiation between the couple – possibly even mediation. There are generally 4 options for a property when in a divorce proceeding. These are:

Selling up – possibly the best option for achieving a ‘clean break’ will be to put the property on the market and divide any profit from the sale. 

Buying the full share of equity – if either party can purchase their former spouse’s share of the equity, this would also provide for a clean break, however, this will normally mean the new owner staying in the marital home or renting it out.

Maintenance – if one divorcing party is in a stronger financial position, they may agree to move out and leave the marital home to their former partner (whilst continuing to pay their share of the mortgage). This arrangement may form part of the overall maintenance agreement.

Transferring the property – if a home is jointly owned and the mortgage has been paid off, one spouse may agree to transfer the property to their ex as part of any financial settlement.

What are Matrimonial Home Rights?

When a couple enters into a marriage or civil partnership each person automatically becomes entitled to Matrimonial Home Rights.

Matrimonial Home Rights we provided to ensure that both parties have an automatic legal right to occupy the matrimonial home regardless of whose name the property is in. The purpose of this right is to prevent anyone from being evicted from the family home no matter which spouse has a legal right to occupy the property.

What are Matrimonial Home Rights?

Whilst spouses automatically gain Matrimonial Home Rights upon entering into marriage a common difficulty is that 3rd parties, such as potential buyers of the matrimonial home, would be unaware of these rights. This is because the Title Deeds for the home would not automatically state that there is a spouse in the property who has a right to occupy under their Home Rights.

A situation frequently arises during separation when the party who owns the property in their sole name decides to sell the home without the consent of the non-owning spouse. Such an action could result in the non-owning spouse losing their home.

To prevent such a situation from occurring the non-owning spouse can register their Matrimonial Home Rights with the Land Registry by way of a Matrimonial Home Rights Notice. This results in a written Notice being placed on the Title Deeds making it clear to any potential purchasers that a non-owning spouse has Matrimonial Home Rights to occupy the property.

What are Matrimonial Home Rights?

Matrimonial Home Rights Notice has been registered. The granting of a Matrimonial Home Rights Notice does not give the non-owning spouse any new rights, all it does is warn 3rd parties of the rights that are already in existence.

Who pays the mortgage during a divorce?

Deciding on how to split property with a joint mortgage will generally be down to negotiation between the divorcing parties. If the parties are unable to agree between themselves, it will be necessary to consider mediation, before taking the matter to court and asking a judge to decide if necessary.

While negotiations are ongoing, regular repayments for the joint mortgage must carry on as normal, otherwise, you run the risk of losing the property or damaging your credit ratings. It is also a good idea to inform the mortgage company of the divorce as soon as possible.

What are Matrimonial Home Rights?

Joint mortgages can be transferred to one person following a divorce so long as both people named on the joint mortgage agree to transfer to one party.

How Henry Hyams family law solicitors can help with our divorce services

Our team of divorce and mortgage lawyers is one of the top family law firms in Leeds and have the experience and expertise to guide you through protecting your assets through a divorce. 

One of our matrimonial home rights solicitors can talk you through the legal process and costs and answer any questions about property agreements and resolutions. Please contact our Leeds family law solicitors on the email below or contact us on 0113 2432288 for more information.

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