Lauren Preedy – Senior Solicitor – Head of Divorce Team
Property and Divorce
There are separate pages about maintenance issues and pensions, but a key part of resolving the financial side of the divorce is deciding how to deal with the couple’s property.
Property Adjustment Orders
This is the name for the order which requires one of the couple to transfer their interest in a property to the other. Orders can be transferred to the minor children of the family or adult children of the family who are still in education or where there may be special circumstances such as disability. This can extend to requiring the variation (for the benefit of the parties or their children) of a prenuptial or postnuptial settlement.
A property adjustment order cannot take effect until the granting of a decree of divorce, nullity or dissolution has been made absolute/final.
What is property?
There is no definition of property in Divorce Law. However, it generally includes buildings, land, shares, and policies as well as anything that is capable of being valued in money or money’s worth. This can include including assets in a partnership, a council tenancy, or a tenancy in the private sector.
Call our experienced Family Law Solicitors, Divorce Lawyers or Mediators now
In short, yes – the Court will assume that a foreign court will enforce its order in the absence of any evidence to the contrary. The Court has the power to make property adjustment orders regarding overseas property. If it were clear that a foreign court would disregard a UK order – then the court would still be able to take the value of that property into account when it divided up the property of the couple as a whole.
The Court will normally expect the couple to agree between them what is a reasonable value for the couples different property. If agreement cannot be reached then the court will order that an independent expert provide a valuation.
For houses and other real estate the starting point for agreeing a valuation is normally for each of the couple to obtain an open market appraisal of the value of the property by an estate agent.
Where expert valuers are to be appointed – this would require the permission of the court. The reason for this is to avoid multiple experts being instructed and then court time being wasted by disagreements between experts. The preferred approach is for a single joint expert to be appointed. Normally the single joint expert would be agreed between the parties – but failing this the court may appoint an expert itself.
if a court is considering making a property order it must also consider any dispute concerning the ownership of the property. This may mean a consideration of the rights of third parties. At a very simple level notice of divorce financial proceedings need to be provided to any mortgage company – because a mortgagee is very obviously an interested party. In most cases there is no intervention by the mortgage company.
Third parties who might intervene could be tenants or elderly family members who could be affected if an order were made to sell what would be their home as part of the divorce settlement. Or perhaps the parents of one of the couple, who may have loaned money to the couple to purchase a house.
The effect of remarriage
a property adjustment order cannot be made in favour of one of the couple if they have subsequently remarried or formed a civil partnership – unless they made application to the court prior to the remarriage or civil partnership.
Every case is different
Of course, that the court can make an order does not mean that it should or will.
Every family is different, and the outcome of every case is specific to the history and needs of that family. That is why it is important that anyone considering a divorce takes legal advice.
We are fortunate to have a very strong divorce team who will be happy to assist.
Divorce moves fully online
HM Courts and Tribunals Service (‘HMCTS’), which is responsible for the administration of the courts in England and Wales, has announced that as from today, 13th September, lawyers acting for clients in divorce proceedings must use the
The Government has indicated that it intends to go ahead with court fee increases, despite widespread opposition to the move.
The decision comes in response to a consultation carried out by the Ministry of Justice
It has been reported that Plymouth is one of the top ten cities in the country for people searching the internet for information on divorce.
The report suggests that Plymouth, where one of our offices is located, may be a ‘divorce hotspot’.
We shortlisted for Family Law Awards 2021: FAMILY LAW FIRM OF THE YEAR -SOUTH and we have opportunities to join our team.
The shortlist and winners have been chosen by a judging panel made up of the heads of the Family Law Bar Association, Resolution and the Association of Lawyers for Children, along with Family Law editors and publishing executives.
We are recruiting – talented divorce specialist – outstanding prospects
Divorce specialist,7+ years good PQE – ideally with legal 500 practice.Commitment to Resolution Code. To be based in Exeter with responsibility for developing our Exeter-based divorce practice (with the support of our business development t
When a local authority commences care proceedings in relation to a child it will normally of course notify both of the child’s parents. The parents have the right to oppose the making of a care order, and obviously they need to be told abou
When Neil Sedaka penned his famous hit song Breaking Up Is Hard to Do way back in 1962 he can hardly have realised that he was coining a phrase that would be used by divorce commentators ever after. The latest example comes from the BBC las
Everyone involved in a family law dispute should try to resolve the dispute without going to court, by reaching an agreement with the other party. Court proceedings are time-consuming, stressful and expensive. And often the court’s decision
Legal aid needs urgent reform, says Justice Committee
In 2013 the Government removed the availability of legal aid for most private law family matters (i.e. matters not involving social services). Legal aid needs urgent reform, now, legal aid in private family law matters is generally