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The danger of becoming homeless on divorce

Research from the charity Shelter has found that 30 per cent of those who live with a partner and pay rent or a mortgage in the UK could find themselves homeless if their relationship were to break down.

18 February 2016

Divorce was recently revealed as the most stressful major life event you can go through.

One of the main contributing factors to this stress is the loss of a home. Often in divorce the matrimonial home has to be sold, but you do not always have to sell the marital house when you separate as 28 percent of people wrongly believe.

Dispelling myths

According to Shelter, up to 4.9 million people in England could be in danger of becoming homeless were their relationship to break down. However, that figure is based on the number of people who believe they might end up without a roof over their head should their relationship break down. We could see this figure reduce if some myths about divorce were dispelled.

For example, it isn’t true that you must sell your home if you separate, or that the man has to leave the house, as 28 percent of the respondents to our survey thought. Nor is it true that the wife always gets the house.

What happens to the house is decided based on the individual circumstances of the family involved. So ‘who gets the house’ or ‘who moves out’ will depend on the needs of the husband, wife and children.

When to seek advice

Many couples are able to reach a settlement agreement regarding their property and assets using methods like mediation, collaborative law and arbitration. This is aided when they take a calm approach and seek legal advice on divorce or separation at an early stage. If you are able to maintain an amicable relationship with your ex, it can help to keep the costs of separating down and avoid the need for costly court proceedings.

Click here to read Shelter’s advice on avoiding homelessness.

Slater and Gordon specialise in family mediation which is an alternative way to resolve issues surrounding divorce such as separation of financial assets and child living arrangements. To speak with a divorce solicitor call Slater and Gordon on freephone 0330 041 5869 or contact us online and we will call you.

All information was correct at the time of publication.

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