Home > Case Studies > Selling the Family Home After Separation: Case Study

Selling the Family Home After Separation: Case Study

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 23 May 2013 | comments*Discuss
Selling Separation Home Family Daughters

For Sarah White, 45, from Leeds, selling the family home was one of the saddest aspects of her recent separation. Having lived in the home as a family for 15 years, it was not only Sarah that found selling it difficult, but her two daughters, too.

Sarah told us, “When my husband and I initially agreed to separate we thought it would be best if I staying in the family home with our two daughters, aged eight and 10, as they loved the house, knew the area and attended good local schools. We thought this would be the best way for them to learn to accept the separation as their rooms and routines would all be very similar. We even agreed that their dad would stay once a week and I would go out, so that they continued seeing him at home, rather than just at ‘new’ places.”

This set up worked well for the first year after the separation, with the girls showing no dramatic signs of being upset about the separation, even though it had not been all plain sailing.

Changing Situation

Sarah continued, “It was when Izzy, my youngest, started being more upset and aggressive that I began to worry that we’d had an easy ride up until now. I found that she was more argumentative and less keen to see her dad, so I asked her about it and how she was feeling. It turned out that my ex-husband had a new girlfriend who would often be there when he saw the girls, although thankfully never at our family home, and Izzy found it very hard to deal with.”

It was also around this time that Sarah’s ex-husband started to talk about making the separation more formal and asked for a divorce. Although Sarah was expecting this at some point, it all seemed quicker than their initial separation would have suggested.

She explained, “I quickly realised that he was serious about the new girlfriend and that they wanted to move in together. As we were still jointly paying the mortgage on the family home and he was paying the rent for a very small studio flat, he needed to realise his share of the value in the home in order to buy something bigger. It was a very difficult time because although I was very cross with him for putting me and the girls in that position, I’m also very strongly against that whole ‘take him to the cleaners’ attitude that some women seem to have.”

A Fresh Start

Sarah decided to look for a smaller home in the same area that would allow their daughters to stay at the same school and keep the same hobbies. Although putting the house on the market was very emotional, Sarah was keen to see the positives.

She added, “Ideally we would have stayed in the family home, and I’m sure that some courts would have awarded me that, but I felt that in order to set a good example and hold my head up high, I wanted to make an arrangement that was fair to us both and the hard work we both put in to adding value to the home and paying the mortgage. When we actually sold it, we were able to get a good price as it was just before the housing crash, and my new little terrace may be smaller but we’ve been able to create our own new memories there. Daddy still comes to visit but the girls also have a room at his new place. It’s not been easy, but I think it could certainly have been worse.”

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • son
    Re: Selling the Jointly Owned Home
    my ex parther want me to sell our family home or buy him out . i would like to stay in my home . dont know wot to do ...
    19 August 2019
  • SouM
    Re: Buy Out The Mortgage From Your Ex
    Me and my ex partner (not married) own a house as tenants in common. He has put 80% of the deposit and I have put 20%. We…
    10 August 2019
  • NIC
    Re: Selling the Jointly Owned Home
    Hi i left my ex 4 years ago and I remained in the jointly owned property with our 2 kids. Since we split I have paid the…
    3 August 2019
  • Minam
    Re: Should You Tell Your Ex You're Dating Again?
    I don't want my ex back but I feel sorry for him he always cry for and I've found someone new .I broke up…
    11 July 2019
  • Mrs Jennifer Swift
    Re: Selling the Jointly Owned Home
    Hi I split up with my partner 2 years ago and moved out, we have 2 children together, we agreed on splitting everything down the…
    8 July 2019
  • Oli
    Re: Selling the Jointly Owned Home
    My wife and I are separated. Have two children. She lives in the house we jointly own with our children. Up until late last…
    23 June 2019
  • Juju
    Re: Selling the Jointly Owned Home
    A friend brought his house with his then girlfriend 10years ago. She left after 2 years never paying anything but he now wants…
    10 June 2019
  • Shelley
    Re: Selling the Jointly Owned Home
    I have been separated from my husband for 5 years.He wont sign divorce papers and my name is on mortgage.How can I get my divorce
    9 June 2019
  • Lawrence Ham
    Re: Selling the Jointly Owned Home
    my wife has a house with her ex, (not married) she wants out of the mortgage so we can move forward. How do we get her name off…
    21 May 2019
  • Tara
    Re: Selling the Jointly Owned Home
    Hi there I have a slight problem with my partner we always angry with each other we live in the same house but not as partner I…
    13 May 2019