How the housing crisis is impacting divorce

With rising mortgage rates, lack of affordable housing, a sharp increase in rental prices and a continuing cost of living crisis, the issue of housing for divorcing couples has become a major challenge. Many can no longer afford to move out or afford to run the family home, let alone carry the financial burden of running two homes.

In less challenging times, there are usually three property options for divorcing couples to consider:

  • Selling the family home, paying off the mortgage and dividing the equity which can be used for rent, or to buy another property.
  • Keeping the house and mortgage in joint names with a legal agreement to sell later, for example when the youngest child finishes full-time education or reaches 18 years.
  • One party buys out the other and gains sole ownership of the property.

However, the pressures of high mortgage rates, affordability and lack of decent and affordable rental properties has had a huge impact on divorcing couples. Many are now forced to either postpone divorcing or think of other ways around the problem.


The practice of birdnesting can be a solution in some cases. This is where the children live in the family home and the parents rotate their time living in the house to reflect the contact agreement. Ideally, the parents can afford to buy or rent a property nearby for this to work. Failing that, staying with family or friends can be one way to make this arrangement work until the pressures of the housing market begin to abate.


Where finances make it impossible to move out, many couples are forced to continue living in the family home. If there is the space, this can work if you can both treat each other with respect and compassion. Thinking of it as a house share with agreed responsibilities, along with kitchen and bathroom timetabling can help.

It may also be possible to divide the family home into two flats, while this is not a cheap option, it may prove less expensive than trying to buy two separate properties for you both to live in. If cohabiting is the way forward, both of you must protect your legal rights. Our blog on this topic helps to explain this

When separating or divorcing, we know how important it is to fully understand the law relating to your individual situation before you commit to any course of action, so we offer a low-cost fixed fee initial consultation.

If you are struggling with the impact of divorce and separation, we offer a no obligation initial consultation for a fixed fee of £100 (incl. VAT), for up to one hour. At this meeting, we can advise you on all the issues relating to your personal circumstances, allowing you to make informed decisions moving forward.

To book an appointment please call 01444 472700, email us at or complete the form below.

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