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Will The Matrimonial Home Have To Be Sold Now We Are Getting Divorced?

A recent article in the Daily Mail posed this question. The lady making enquiry had two teenage daughters.

No Capital Gains Tax would be due on any sale. Whilst it may not be possible, assuming there are no other balancing assets, to stay in the home forever it maybe the case with first consideration of the Court being to the welfare of minor children that any sale would be deferred. If there is insufficient equity for both parties to rehouse themselves, taking into account their respective mortgage capacity and the wife (usually) and children are not over housed in the property in all likelihood a sale would be deferred to the first to occur of a number of triggering events. These are usually the parent in occupations death, cohabitation with another person as husband and wife for say 6 months, the voluntary vacation of the property, the remarriage of the occupying adult, the youngest child attaining the age of say 17 years or ceasing full time education if later.

A Court would also decide, if negotiation has not settled that question, what share of the equity in the house each party should receive. Preservation of the house meets the immediate housing needs. An account would be taken of each parties earning capacity moving forward and any decision on the equity split, that the non-resident parent will be paying child support in the meantime.

If one party substantially earns more than the other (generally speaking this is the party not living with the children) it may be the other spouse is entitled to a greater share of the equity so as to buy off any maintenance claim. This can also be the case if the other party is regaining a significantly greater pension (known as off setting).