Matrimonial Conveyancing: Who should sell the house?
If divorce proceedings result in the family home having to be sold, a couple will have to decide which solicitor is going to act for them on the conveyancing. Both can feel concerned that their matrimonial solicitors are biased and that could impact on them if they were acting on the sale. This can prompt them to instruct a third solicitor to act for them jointly just on the conveyancing itself.
Is this a good idea? It is, of course, entirely a decision for the Client who they would like to do their conveyancing to sell their home with.
However, it can often be beneficial to both of them for it to be one or other of the matrimonial solicitors. This would rarely be the matrimonial solicitor himself and would be dependent on that firm having a conveyancing department. The conveyancing solicitor would act for them both simply on the sale. What it does, however, mean, is that if there are any queries as to how the matrimonial agreement (or Consent Order) is to be implemented it is very easy and straightforward to clarify.
The matrimonial solicitors are familiar with what needs to be done for the implementation. For example, a sum of money may have to be paid to one or other person from the sale proceeds. This may not be an exact amount and could depend on the final figures obtained on the sale. For example, if provision has to be made, or paid to one of them, for Capital Gains Tax liability. This can occur on the matrimonial home if one person has moved out a significant time previously and s/he can have acquired a CGT liability.
A quick question could be asked by the conveyancing solicitor and an answer easily provided at no cost to the Client. At SA Law there is never any cost for those kind of communications between the conveyancing solicitor and the matrimonial solicitor.
However, if a third set of solicitors are instructed and there have to be letters and telephone calls, this will usually be charged.
I often say to my clients that, for the reasons set out above, it could be beneficial to them if the conveyancing is done by one of the matrimonial firms but this is not a suggestion that SA Law should do the conveyancing as equally it can be done quite satisfactorily, and in both clients both interest, by the solicitor acting on the other side of the case.