In a divorce trial, the matrimonial home is usually the parties’ most valuable asset. The Court hence takes many factors into consideration before ruling on the property. Apart from the financial situation and needs of the parties, the nature of the property is also one of the important factors.
If the matrimonial home is rented, the Court will usually allow one side, usually the one who is responsible for taking care of the children, to remain at the property. The issue of who bears the duty to pay rent depends on the circumstances. If the situation allows, the Court may order both parties to find alternative accommodations. If the property is provided by the employer of a spouse, the Court will likely order the other spouse to leave. The vacating party may have the right to seek the costs of alternative accommodation from another.
If the matrimonial home is jointly owned, the Court’s discretion is even wider. Generally, if the parties do not have child, the Court will order to sell the property and distribute the sale by half after repaying unpaid mortgage, or to distribute under an agreed ration between the parties. Considering the distribution, needs and financial burden of each side, the Court may alternatively order the sale to be distributed in a ratio that the Court thinks fit. On the contrary, to maintain the living condition of the child, the Court may order one party to transfer his/her rights to the party with the child custody either outright or upon payment of a sum of money.
If necessary, you can also apply for legal aid. Ms. Ngan is a member of the Legal Aid Department Penal for Criminal, Divorce/Family Law, Employees’ Compensation, Personal Injury, Medical Negligence, and Land Disputes. If legal aid is approved, the aided person has the right to choose a lawyer to represent.