Divorce and Property

18th Aug 2020

Divorce is an emotional time and navigating property decisions can have long term effects.

So what are the biggest property mistakes people make when a relationship ends and how can you avoid them?

Trying to sell joint assets

During relationship break down your feelings are hurt and you sometimes want to lash out. People have attempted to sell property without the other parties knowing. But if both parties are owners of the property an agent can’t legally sell it without the approval of everyone.

Clear the decks

You sometimes want to move on with your life and remove any memories of the failed relationship. This means a quick sale of your home.

Selling one of your biggest financial investments quickly could result in a bad return compared to taking your time and marketing it properly.

If you do market it well, don’t let it all fail at the last hurdle by arguing about the final price.

There are also other options, you could buy out your partner, or set up a shared asset.

Telling the buyers too much

Divorce can result in some cheap properties and investors know that.

When selling property, it’s always important to have it looking its best, so if your partner has half emptied the property, you may need to hire furniture to present the property at its best.

Let your agent know not to disclose your situation either.

Buying a new house too quickly

After the property has been sold, it’s equally important to not buy another one straight away.

Reassess your short and long-term housing needs, a separation often means a less affluent lifestyle.

Renting may be an ideal interim option, especially when contemplating a move to a new neighbourhood.

Not paying your fair share of the bills

There can be a fair amount of animosity during a relationship breakdown, but that doesn’t mean that your financial responsibilities also disintegrate. 

It might be tempting during a divorce to stop paying the mortgage and the bills but such a strategy is unwise.

Not only do rates show arrears, banks can also become involved with the sale.

A mortgagee sale is far more stressful than a divorce-driven sale and can often drive down the sale price down even further.

Not getting expert advice

Divorce property sale is not necessarily a straight forward process. As solicitors we often look after other aspects of a property transaction, we spend more time understanding your needs and building a relationship with you. This is so we can help identify if there are any other legal issues you should be aware of either now or in the future.


Here at Liston Legal we have many successful years of handling conveyancing transactions for purchasers, vendors and mortgagees. Purchasing or selling a property is one of the most important transactions you undertake in life. Liston Legal ensures your purchase or sale is completed competently and efficiently.