In my work as a mediator for separating couples facing a divorce,a concern is often about the family home.
There are a few questions I ask first to get a better picture of the position.These include the following:
What is the length of the marriage?Who brought what to the marriage?For example was the house inherited by one party prior to the marriage?What other assets are owed by the couple?Is there children?What stage are the children at? Is there any special needs or other relevant circumstances? Who is the the primary caregiver? Is there alternative suitable accommodation available?
Is there a mortgage?What is the amount of the loan versus the value?If so whose names are on the mortgage?
When there is a mortgage in joint names the bank will have to approve the application for the remaining partner on their own grounds for the sum of money in order to remove the other partners’ name.When both parties are named on the mortgage this means that both people are liable for the full sum should the other default.As a rule of thumb people can borrow 3 times their salary and then this is stress tested.
The value of the equity and the house prices are of course key.
The reality is that there is no clear answer to this and the legal advice should be sought on the exact circumstances.
What is clear is that agreeing the matters between the parties is cheaper, easier than going to court.
I have had many clients living with their children in toxic environment with warring parents and neither parent willing to budge. In fact the hardest family meditations that I do are the ones where they are still living together.In my meditation practice I like to keep a very child centered focus and hate to see tactical decisions like not leaving the house cause emotional damage to children.As a mediator my role is not to decide what is fair, instead it is to help the parties to the separation to find a solution that works for everyone.
Susan Appelbe has a law degree and is a solicitor however solely practices as a Mediator and does not give legal advice. The above is nor legal advice and legal advice should be sought. Susan works as a family law mediators for couples facing separation or divorce. Susan works as a mediator with couples dealing with family law issues such as separation, judicial separation and divorce. Susan is based in the Cork area however much of her work is the the counties of Tipperary,Waterford,Kerry, Limerick and Clare.