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Fear of falling off the property ladder puts people off divorce

Harjit Rait | Fear of falling off the property ladder puts people off divorce

A significant number of people are putting off divorce due to fears about getting back onto the property ladder.

The Skipton Building Society has expanded its 100% mortgage offer, which was originally aimed at first time buyers, to include people who have previously owned a home, but fallen off the property ladder due to divorce.

The Yorkshire based lender said people who have divorced are a key market for the recently expanded zero deposit mortgage offer and people who haven’t owned a home in the last three years, can apply.

Family Law Partner Harjit Rait said: “It’s encouraging that mortgage lenders are starting to tailor their products to those divorcing, as one of the major concerns clients typically have, is how a divorce will impact home ownership.

“Understandably when dividing assets like the home in a divorce, one of the parties will typically move into a rented property and for lots of people getting enough money together for a deposit to climb back onto the property ladder can be very difficult.

“The cost of living alone is putting many people off divorcing, which is not ideal. Separating parties are often worried about being stuck with high rental payments when moving out of the marital home and finding and paying for rental accommodation can be a real barrier for some, who would otherwise divorce sooner.

“Where divorcing couples and the children will live, as well as who gets what in terms of finances are normally the main issues when it comes to divorce, which is why it is always a good idea to talk everything through with a solicitor to create an accurate overall picture and develop a clear plan to move forward.

Marriage breakdowns are often extremely difficult to navigate emotionally, but if people can get the financial and property aspects organised it can make all the difference. Nobody wants to have to stay in an unhappy relationship just for financial security but worries about mortgage interest rates and the cost of living are obviously preventing some people from going ahead with their divorce.

“I would like to reassure anyone who feels they must stay together, because otherwise they might never own a home again, that they do have options. The first step is to get considered legal advice.

“With the new no-fault divorce system in place, which has removed the need for evidence of one party being to blame for the failure of the marriage, the acrimony and conflict that previously arose during a marriage breakdown has been much reduced, which is incredibly positive, particularly where children are involved. Now, we need to make sure that concerns surrounding home ownership and finances don’t become the next barrier to divorce.”

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