Dividing and Protecting Property on Divorce
Going through a separation or divorce can be one of the most challenging times in your life emotionally. Once you have made the decision to separate, the legal process itself is relatively straightforward; it’s the details, and particularly the division of property and assets that can cause the most stress, and it’s important that you fully understand your legal rights.
The family home tends to be the main focus of property disputes during divorce negotiations, but some couples may own or share a portfolio of properties, and when a property is in the sole name of one spouse there can be concerns over how property will be divided. There can be numerous issues over who will retain the right to live in the family home, the impact on the family and any children of the relationship and whether each party will be treated fairly in the settlement.
You may feel that resolving issues over property on divorce seems complicated and extremely daunting, but there is help at hand. If you are considering separating or have already begun divorce proceedings and need guidance on protecting your property, Clifford Johnston & Co can offer support and advice on obtaining the best outcome.
Our clients come from a range of backgrounds and each one has their own unique set of issues in relation to the division of property. We offer bespoke, expert advice tailor made for your specific circumstances; we will ensure that you fully understand your rights and will represent you and your best interests throughout the divorce process, whether you come to an agreement outside of the court system, or if you need representation within it.
Resolving issues around the family home and additional properties
The most commonly contested property is the family home as it tends to be the main and most valuable asset of most couples. It is sensible to seek legal advice regarding the property so that you fully understand what the potential outcomes of court proceedings could be, and how they might impact you. A court will thoroughly examine your circumstances and may order one of the following resolutions:
- The sale of the family home or other property
- Property Adjustment – where the court orders that jointly owned property is transferred solely to one or the other. It may be necessary make a payment or to distribute other assets and property to the spouse who loses the jointly owned property as a way to even the settlement.
- Allowing the parent with main custody of the children to retain the right to live in the family home until the children reach a certain age. The home would remain in joint ownership until sold when the other parent would receive their share.
The court will consider a range of factors, including the value of the properties, the contributions made by both parties and their financial needs. If you have concerns about how your property will be dealt with during divorce proceedings we recommend taking legal advice as soon as you can.
What if property is only in one name?
Even if assets are held in the name of only one of the parties, the other may be able to claim an interest in them, and if you have concerns that an asset may be disposed of or hidden, we recommend that you take expert advice and ask about how such a disposal can be prevented. Equally, you should take advice if you want to dispose of an asset in your sole name, because if a court thinks that either party is taking, or has taken action to reduce the size of their financial settlement it can add to the complexity of the divorce proceedings.
Tax implications when transferring assets
If you or your partner are considering transferring property from one to the other, it is important to consider any relevant tax implications. If you choose to give or dispose of property to your spouse or civil partner before you finalise your divorce or dissolution, you will not usually have to pay Capital Gains Tax . If you lived together at any time during the tax year in which you transferred the property, the normal rules apply. If you transfer an asset after you’ve divorced or dissolved your civil partnership, tax may become payable. If this is something that either of you are considering, we recommend taking legal advice to ensure that everyone is fully informed of the implications.
Coming to a mutual agreement
If it is possible for you and your spouse or partner to reach an agreement between you on how any property should be divided, you will need to apply for a consent order in order to formalise your agreement and make it legally binding. There are a number of routes that you can take towards reaching an agreement out of court, such as mediation or arbitration. This can be more efficient and less expensive than going through the courts, and one of our divorce solicitors can help you to explore the options available to you.
If this is not an option it may be necessary to ask a court to make a financial order. You can also divide property after your marriage or civil partnership has legally ended, although this will have implications and may affect what you’re entitled to, and whether you need to pay tax as a result.
Why choose Clifford Johnston & Co?
As one of the leading family law solicitors in the North West, we understand the emotional impact that a relationship breakdown has upon everyone involved. We can help you to navigate the process, acting on your behalf to secure a fair resolution and protecting your interests in any property involved.
When you choose Clifford Johnston & Co, you’ll have access to our friendly team of experts who are dedicated to your case, offering you practical support with sensitivity. Our initial consultation is free, without obligation – we’ll make sure that we fully understand your situation so that we can offer you the most appropriate advice in relation to your personal circumstances. Anything that you discuss with us will be in the strictest confidence, and you can rest assured that our family law experts have an excellent reputation in their field.
If you are going through a divorce, or are considering beginning proceedings and you would like to discuss property settlements, it’s important to seek expert advice from highly reputable divorce solicitors. Call Clifford Johnston & Co for advice today and let us show you how we can help you to find a solution.
Contact the legal experts
Clifford Johnston & Co. is one of the leading law firms across Stockport and Manchester. Our family law solicitors can help you to reach a clear and amicable separation agreement so that at what can feel like a difficult and uncertain time, you will have peace of mind and assurance for the future.
We believe that everyone has the right to first class, legal advice and we always work to the highest of standards providing a cost-effective and affordable service to all of our clients.
For a free, no-obligation quotation and to find out more about how we can help with any part of your separation, contact us today and speak to one of our team.
Our Divorce Solicitors in Stockport (Heaton Moor) & Manchester (Burnage) are easily accessible. We represent clients not only locally and throughout Stockport, Cheshire, Lancashire & Manchester but also across the United Kingdom. You can count on us to help and guide you whatever your challenge or circumstance.