We’ve tackled some of the most frequently asked questions, but if there’s anything else you’d like to know about divorce and home loans, then get in touch with us today and our expert brokers will point you in the right direction.
Who is entitled to the marital home?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a straightforward answer to this. It depends on many factors, and ultimately, the courts priority (if there are children involved) is always to make sure any children under 18 have a secure home to live in.
The house is in my name, does that mean I can stay in it and my ex has to move out?
Even if the house is in your name alone, if you are a married couple then this will have no influence on who stays in the house. Property is always considered a marital asset so whether the house in one person’s name or both, is irrelevant. It’s worth basing whatever agreement you come to on what the court might decide, for instance, taking into consideration maintenance payments.
I want to leave the house to my wife so she can remain living there with the children, but she can’t afford the home loan on her own. What can we do?
First, your wife should see what benefits she might qualify for from The Citizens Advice Bureau. Once she knows exactly how much money she will have coming in, she can then work out if she is short on meeting the loan repayments. If there is still a shortage, you can support your family and contribute to the rest - this is known as spousal maintenance - or if you cannot afford the additional costs, the house will have to be sold.
If I transfer the property over to my spouse, is there no possibility of a future claim?
If you have transferred the title deed from two names to one, you may think that everything is sorted, but this isn’t necessarily the case. The lender has a first charge against the property, so unless you have paid your mortgage off in full, then the property belongs to the lender and they are within their rights to reject any transfer of names from the home loan. This can happen whether your spouse can afford to continue paying the loan repayments on their own or not. Always check with the lender first before transferring your ownership.
My ex-partner wants to keep the house but I want to sell it. What happens now?
A home can only be sold by one of two ways:
- Both parties agree to sell
- A court order
If neither party can agree to sell the house, then as a last resort, a Judge will need to conclude what should happen going forwards. This can be costly, timely and often stressful for both parties as they’ll have to come to a compromise. You can appeal the Judge’s decision but this is only within a strict time frame and you could be left paying the legal costs if you lose your appeal.
My partner and I are splitting up, and I need to get a home loan on my own. How do I do that?
It’s best to get yourself organised financially as soon as you can, so that you know how much you can afford either if you’re refinancing to buy your ex out of your current property, or if you’re looking to buy a new place of your own.
If you need advice about getting a home loan, either contact your current lender and explain the situation to see if they will help you, or talk to a qualified broker who’ll be able to work through the whole process with you and talk to lenders on your behalf to find the right home loan for your circumstances.
I’m in my early fifties, and due to divorce. I’m now starting again and need to buy another property to live in. Will I still be able to get a home loan, or am I too old now?
Different lenders have different upper age limits, and some don’t have any age limit on home loans at all, so it’s possible that if you shop around, you’ll find a bank or building society who will lend to you. The main thing if you’re going to be borrowing in later life is that you can prove you can still pay the mortgage when you retire, and that you will have a reliable source of income, perhaps from a pension or investments.
I’m buying my ex out of the property we owned together. Do I have to pay any Stamp Duty?
When a married couple divorce and one buys the other out of the marital home, no Stamp Duty is payable on the portion of the property that the ex-spouse is effectively buying from the other. However, it’s slightly different if you were cohabiting and not married, in which case Stamp Duty would be payable on the portion of the property that you’re buying from your ex.
I need to get a mortgage on my own; I work full time but I pay my ex-partner maintenance for our children. Will a lender reduce the amount that they might lend me because of this?
The short answer is most probably yes. Getting a home loan is based on your ability to afford the repayments and, as with any other committed outgoings e.g. utilities, loan repayments etc., a lender will count any child or spousal support as a committed expenditure, so this is likely to affect how much they will allow you to borrow.
I need to get a mortgage on my own, but I don’t work full time. My ex-partner pays me maintenance for our children. Will a lender take these payments into account when they are assessing how much they might allow me to borrow?
If you work part time, it’s still possible to get a home loan. Some lenders will also take maintenance payments into account. However, if these payments relate to children, then it can depend on how old the children are and how long the maintenance payments will be made for.
If you'd like to discuss your personal circumstances with a broker, please contact our friendly team and we'll answer any questions you might have.