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A very British problem: property prices, Brexit and divorce

As Mark Carney warned the cabinet yesterday that a no-deal Brexit could crash house prices, his worst-case scenario a fall of 35%, our thoughts turned to how this could impact on property valuations in a divorce case.

Graham Coy, a partner from our London Chancery Lane office, joins us to share his views on the entangled issues of property prices, Brexit and divorce

For most of us, our homes, if we own one, and property generally are the most valuable assets we will ever own.

When it comes to divorce, that is even starker. Values of the family home and any other property are absolutely fundamental.

Valuing those properties correctly is vital and it is also vital to be wary of likely increases and falls in value.

Mark Carney, The Governor of The Bank of England, yesterday warned the Cabinet that a chaotic “no deal Brexit” could cause house process to crash by as much as 35%.

There is much speculation about whether there will be a “no deal Brexit” and that is likely to carry on for many months yet and perhaps until the last minute in March 2019.

As a result, until what Brexit we have is clear and what it may mean, a lot of care needs to be taken when concluding financial arrangements after divorce, whether outside of the Court process or not.

A failure to do so could well result in one party or another finding that what they thought was a good outcome was anything but.

Courts have made it clear in the past that property prices will always fluctuate and they are very reluctant to allow cases to be re-opened if values fall or rise.

All we can do is to keep a very careful eye on property prices and factor a “no deal Brexit” and its possible consequences into our thinking.

Graham Coy, Partner at the Stowe Family Law London Chancery Lane office.

14 September 2018

Graham was based at the firm's London family law office. His career as a family law specialist has spanned three decades. He is an experienced advocate, mediator and arbitrator who has worked in all areas of family law.

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