Going through a separation and need to divide your property? A guide to property settlement and what it means, from our family solicitors.
Property settlement is the process of finalising the financial ties and arrangements that you have with your former partner. The complexity of dividing your property can depend on a number of factors, but it’s important to understand what it is and how it works. Our family solicitors have provided a simple guide to property settlement.
You and your former partner may own a house where you lived during the relationship or you may own rental properties. You may have a business or hold other property or investments. Whether property is owned by you and your former partner jointly or separately, it will need to be decided what happens to each item of property in a property settlement.
For example, the house or different rental properties may be sold or you or your former partner may retain one or more of those properties and take over any mortgage/s over that property.
However property is divided, the value of each asset and liability is agreed so that an account can be taken to ensure that each of you and your former partner receive your overall entitlement in the property settlement. For example, if one of you retains the house and there is no other real property, it may be that the other party receives some cash payment or other asset.
The way in which assets and liabilities are divided will depend upon several factors. The Family Law Act 1975 sets out the different steps that are considered to work out what entitlement each of you and your former partner will have to property settlement.
There is no mathematical approach. Each relationship and your personal circumstances are different. Hearing from friends then about other people’s experiences may be interesting but it is not going to tell you where you stand. You will need to obtain advice based on your personal circumstances about how property may be divided with your former partner.