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Can my spouse take half the house if I pay the mortgage?

Property disputes during a divorce can get unpleasant. There are a number of common issues that crop up time after time, and while each situation is unique, ultimately the decisions concerning finances and assets are up to the courts.


This article does not constitute advice. Professional advice should be taken prior to acting on any part of it. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage or any other debt secured on it.


Example scenario

For example, a couple that has been married and lived together for over 10 years is now divorcing. The husband has a child from another relationship and bought the property before the marriage and the deed is in his name.

He also took the brunt of the financial burden concerning the house, covering the mortgage payment and monthly bills. All financials were kept separate throughout the relationship.

After starting divorce proceedings, the wife insists on remaining in the home and claims she is entitled to 50% of the profit if the house is sold.

The husband, however, would like to keep the home.

In a situation like this, the judge could rule either way, but realistically, if the home was sold then the profit would not belong solely to the partner that invested the most money in the property.


What are the considerations?

According to Divorceaid.co.uk, there are many considerations a court would review in a case like this:

  • The income, earning capacity, property, and resources of each partner
  • The financial needs, obligations, and responsibilities of each person
  • The standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the marriage
  • The age of each person and the duration of the marriage
  • The contribution made by each person to the welfare of the family, including looking after the home and bringing up children
  • Welfare of a child
  • Any physical or mental disability

Since the marriage lasted longer than 5 years, it is not considered a “short marriage” which is important because in a short marriage, individuals usually get to keep the assets they bring to the relationship after a split.

The likelihood of a 50/50 split of the profits from the sale of the property increases with the length of the relationship.

In this example, since the husband has a child, his monetary need might be seen as more substantial, but the wife could claim she contributed to the child’s welfare, financially or otherwise. Looking at the facts, the ruling on this case could indeed distribute a portion of the property to the wife.

Again, all cases are different, and a judge has many factors to consider when making a decision. As you can see from the illustration above, no situation is completely cut and dry so it’s best not to assume any outcome during a divorce.


Next steps

It’s important to know there is help available if you find yourself in this situation. Speak to a solicitor and financial professional during any time of financial upheaval to ensure you get the best advice.


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