Who owns the matrimonial home? Does it matter on divorce?
On divorce, the Matrimonial Court has the power to order the sale or transfer of assets. Therefore, in general the answer is no. However, there are circumstances when property rights in the matrimonial home remain of importance for a number of reasons. Examples are:
- Third parties such as parents may claim the beneficial interests in the home, on the basis that they contributed financially to the purchase. If so, it is necessary to resolve the issue before dividing the marital pot.
- If a couple are not married, unlike on divorce, the Courts will not adjust property rights, so the position must be determined as a matter of strict law.
- It can help the claimant spouse if the home is in joint names, because most Judges will start from a presumption of equality, despite the parties’ actual contributions.
- When a spouse dies, the surviving spouse will be affected by whether the property forms part of the survivor’s own property or falls into the deceased’s estate.
If you would like advice in connection with property rights in the matrimonial home, or any other property, please contact our Family Department
t: 020 7227 7448
This briefing is for guidance purposes only. RadcliffesLeBrasseur accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever for any action taken or not taken in relation to this note and recommends that appropriate legal advice be taken having regard to a client's own particular circumstances.