With lockdown restrictions easing, you may be considering moving out of the family home following a relationship breakdown.

This can be emotionally very difficult, especially if there are children involved.

What should you consider?

• Consider whether the property that you move into is appropriate for the amount of time you will be living there - think long-term, not short-term.

• Deal with your divorce and dividing your matrimonial assets simultaneously, as disagreements over asset division could extend your divorce. Consider whether you can comfortably afford to live in your chosen property until an agreement is reached.

• How will children be cared for? Any arrangement should be made in the best interests of the children. If the children do not move with you, you need to consider whether the new property is suitable to enable the children to comfortably spend time with you there.

• An agreed sale of the family home will usually be managed by both parties. If you have moved out, it may be difficult to be fully involved in the sale process. We do not recommend that the family home is sold before an agreement about the division of all assets has been reached and approved by the court.

• If a couple own multiple properties, typically a capital gains tax liability will arise if those properties are transferred or sold. However, this can also arise if one party moves out of the family home into another property, thus surrendering the private residence relief that they would have claimed over the family home.

• Stay in the family home if you wish to retain it - however this may not always be appropriate. If you move out and later wish to move back in, you may experience difficulties. At this point, you may need to consider making an application to the court.

  • Sam Hickman is a partner at award-winning law firm VWV, which has offices in Clarendon Road, Watford