The Matrimonial Home on Divorce

Is it owned or rented in your joint names? If yes, you have a right to live there up until this is changed by agreement or by a Court Order in the divorce proceedings.

Do not move out without legal advice.

What if the tenancy or property is owned by only one of you?

Let us know. Your rights to live in the property, if not owned in your name, will have to be protected by a Notice that has to be given. Towards the conclusion of the divorce it may be necessary to protect your rights to remain living in the property because after the Decree Absolute you may lose your right to remain living there.

Unless the property is owned in the sole name of one of you then it will be owned either as ‘Tenants in Common’, where you each own an identifiable share e.g. 50/50, 70/30 or as ‘Joint Tenants’, where you both own the property in its entirety.

What if it is owned in your joint names as ‘joint tenants’ and you die before the divorce is finished?

The property would pass automatically to your husband or wife. If you want to change this let us know, so they can do something about it. It is possible to sever the joint tenancy allowing each party to own separate shares in the property. Severing the joint tenancy in this way is, however, something of a double-edged sword. At present, if you husband/wife is the first to die then the property would automatically pass to you as the surviving joint tenant, whereas once the joint tenancy is severed, then his/her interest in the property would pass to any beneficiaries he/she has appointed under the terms of his/her Will.

You could then make a Will leaving your Estate, including your interest in your home, to whoever you want, for example to your children. If you do not make a Will your Estate will pass under the laws of intestacy. Under the Rules of Intestacy your husband/wife will receive your personal chattels, that is your personal items such as cars, china, jewellery, furniture etc. and cash assets from the Estate, plus possibly a life interest in the residue of the estate (that is what is left after payment of debts, funeral expenses etc), depending on whether there are any surviving children of the family (or grandchildren etc) at the time of your death. It is therefore important that a Will is made at the same time as the tenancy is severed.

For more information regarding Wills please do not hesitate to contact are Lifetime Planning Department for more information.

Talk to one of our team today:
0800 633 5543

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64-66 Springfield Rd
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01245 258 892

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