5th November 2018


I have been considering separating from my partner of 15 years for quite some time now as I believe our marriage has broken down. However, I have never spoken to my partner about this as I have a number of concerns and my main worry is the house as I do not know what would happen or what options I may have. I am worried my son who is aged 11 and I may end up homeless, what can I do?


The breakdown of a marriage can be extremely difficult for all parties and children.

The majority of the time the family home is the main family asset during a divorce/separation and therefore, when a marriage breakdowns parties always worry about the family home.

Firstly in order for negotiations to take place all assets would need to be identified and this would include assets that are held jointly AND solely. The family home would then be valued and parties will start negotiations. There are number of different options that would be available when a party is seeking a divorce/separation including the following;

  • One party may buy the other party out. This would mean the party who bought the other out would solely own the property and could remain in the property.
  • The house could be sold and the proceeds divided between the parties.
  • One party could remain in the property whilst the other party defers their share until an agreed future event such as when the child reaches the age of 18 and moves out or until the property is sold or the party remarries.

A party may wish to remain in the family home if children are involved in order to provide stability and this can be an agreed arrangement.

It is normally clear from the outset if either party is in a position to buy the other out and sometimes neither party is in the financial position to do so and the property is sold.

If the property is in the sole name of one party the other party must act immediately and register their Home Rights on the property in order to prevent the sale of the property without the other party’s knowledge or consent.

Divorce and separation are very much dependent upon their own set of circumstances so it is difficult to say with any certainty in your case what the outcome would be. I would suggest that you seek independent legal advice about your situation so that you can discuss the full details of your case and bespoke advice can be provided to you.

To speak to a specialist family lawyer please phone 0191 565 3112 or email advice@benhoarebell.co.uk.


Please note that this advice was correct at the time of writing. However there may have been changes in the law or procedure since that date. If you are in doubt you should obtain up to date legal advice.