Separating from a significant other can be extremely distressing, but what makes it even more stressful is if you are leaving the home you once shared together. This article will talk about some of the things you should consider prior to moving into your own home following a divorce or separation.
Division of Assets
Whilst this seems obvious, you should ensure your previous abode is no longer yours to worry about. For renters this is a much simpler process; however, for property owners, this can be more difficult. As a renter, you can simply contact your landlord and let them know you are no longer going to be living in the property and would like your name removing from the tenancy.
They may choose to run affordability checks on your ex, or insist you remain on the agreement until the initial period runs out (if you are still in a shorthold tenancy contract). However, you should ensure your name is removed at your earliest convenience, as this means you are no longer liable for damages or rent should your ex-partner cause any issues.
If, however, you are joint homeowners, removing your name from a mortgage becomes more difficult. Lenders prefer to have two people to chase in case of default. So, they are reluctant to remove a name, even if the mortgage is in good standing.
It will often leave you with two options:
- Sell the property, pay off the mortgage and split any equity/debt that may be left over.
- Your ex re-mortgages the property based on their own earnings in their own name.
It is worthwhile seeking the advice of a financial advisor or solicitor like Cordell and Cordell when trying to remove your name from a jointly owned property, but ideally, you would do this before moving on.
If you are staying in your locality, then you may know the area well already. However, if you want a fresh start somewhere new, it is probably wise to research locations before signing for a property. You obviously want to look at things like schools and crime rate, but also the facilities that are available for you and your family.
Think about your quality of life. For example, if you love to swim, you may want a town with a swimming pool. Ensuring you do your research will make it more likely you will be happy long term in your new location.
Work out what your financial situation is likely to be after the divorce and use this to help you gauge how much you could realistically afford to spend on rent or mortgage payments as a single person or parent. You will already know your wage, but you can use online tools such as ‘Entitled To’ to help you work out if you are eligible for any benefits which may make life easier for you financially. You could also visit somewhere like Citizens Advice who will be able to advise you of this also.
Suitability & Compromise
You know what you need in a home, for example, if you have two children, you may ideally want three bedrooms and a garden. However, sometimes, we have to compromise on the things we would like from a home. If the house itself is most important to you, then you may have to compromise on location if it is otherwise outside of your budget.
If, however, the location is perfect, you may have to think about sacrificing your garden or having your children share a room. Weigh up affordability with which aspects are most important in your new home and it should help you make the best decision for you and your family.
Planning ahead, researching and ensuring everything is made legal when separating will make the process easier and as stress free as possible.