06, June, 2023

What is a Mecher order?

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What is a Mecher order?
A Mecher order gives protection in a divorce, agreeing a date for the family house to be sold in the future giving security to the partner remaining in the house.

If you’re currently dealing with a divorce and having to go through court proceedings, you may have been told about a Mecher Order. At We Buy Any House, we recognise how difficult dealing with a divorce can be, and so have got all of the information about Mecher orders together, so you don’t have to.

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What is a Mecher order?

A Mecher order is a court order that lays out how the family house gets dealt with after the divorce. Standardly, this order will dictate that the sale of the house is to be delayed for a certain amount of time, or until a ‘trigger event’ – such as the children living in the property finishing school, or turning 18.

Who can apply for a Mecher order?

If you’re a parent or a guardian for any children under the age of 18, you can apply for a Mecher order. This includes children from the current marriage and step-children. It does not include foster children that have been placed with you.

What’s a Martin order?

A Martin order is quite similar to a Mecher order, but the key difference is that a Mecher order is where there are children involved in the divorce. A Martin order can be enforced in divorces that don’t include children, but for the safety of one partner who wouldn’t be able to cope financially through the sale of the marital house.

What are the pros of a Mecher order?

There are several positives to securing a Mecher order –

  • It postpones the stress of moving adding to the already high levels of stress that going through a divorce inevitably brings to life
  • It gives some stability to the partner who will be staying in the house to care for the children until the trigger event or the date set by the court for the house to go up for sale
  • It ensures that the welfare of the children are prioritised through the divorce proceedings
  • If downsizing or buying another house for one of the partners isn’t feasible due to finance or credit, a Mecher order adds protection
  • If the house is in negative equity, it won’t’ benefit either party to sell.

Are there negatives to a Mecher order?

While for some a Mecher order can be a real help, it isn’t always the case –

  • They are only temporary – because of this it can cause concern for the future of the partners involved when the end of the Mecher order is reached, and it’s time to sell the house
  • There isn’t always enough capital when the house is sold for both partners to buy somewhere else, so it can seem like delaying the inevitable
  • Depending on your age, you could face a reduced mortgage offer at the end of the order when you sell the house and look to buy elsewhere. This is especially the case for those who are looking for Mecher orders for over ten years – securing a mortgage when you’re older is much harder as lenders aren’t always as willing to offer larger amounts
  • With these orders, it means that you’re unable to release the capital in the house that you may rely on later down the line for whatever reason
  • A financial link will still exist between you and your ex-partner, which can be very hard if you’re looking for a fresh start. This financial link could also mean that you suffer from their poor credit if the mortgage is going unpaid
  • You will also have to keep communication open with your ex-partner, so if the separation has been challenging, this isn’t always ideal.
  • When a Mecher order is put into place, a judge will decide the trigger event or time frame and the percentage that each of you will get at the end of the order. The decision is percentage-based, and not a lump sum, which means that if property value changes, you could be receiving less than you expected.

Are there alternatives to Mecher orders?

If you’re not sure that a Mecher order is the right decision for you, you do have alternatives that may be more suitable for your situation.

  • Transfer of Property order – this allows you to negotiate for the equity in the property. This may allow you to finance a new family house much earlier than having a Mecher order and give you more security in the future.
  • Outright Transfer of the Matrimonial House – this will facilitate a clean break, transferring the legal ownership of the whole of the property to you.

What will the court consider before granting a Mecher order?

A judge will take several factors into consideration before you’re awarded a Mecher order, such as –

  • The income, earning capacity, property and financial resources of each partner during the divorce and what they’re expected to be in the future
  • The financial needs, obligations and any responsibilities that each partner has now and is expected to in the future
  • The financial needs of the children that are involved in the divorce
  • Any income or financial resources the children involved may have
  • If the children involved have any disabilities or health issues
  • How the children were educated or how they were going to be educated.

How much will my ex get if I get a Mecher order?

The spouse that isn’t residing in the marital house with the children will be awarded a percentage of the house value, which they will receive at the end of the order when the house is sold. This percentage can range, depending on a few factors. If the spouse not living in the house is continuing to pay some of the mortgage and maintenance costs, it’s likely that they’ll be rewarded a higher percentage, somewhere in the region of 40-50%. If they are not going to be contributing and the mortgage is being changed to solely in the name of the partner residing in the property, the percentage will more likely be 30-40%. This is not guaranteed, though, and the final decision of how the house value will be split when it gets sold is down to the judge.

Dealing with a divorce is one of the most stressful experiences that we go through, so we want to do everything that we can to make the process as easy as possible for you. If you’re considering a Mecher order, you should speak to your solicitor and make sure that you can apply and that they think that it would go in your favour. If you’re not sure if it’s the right choice for you and you’re keen to start fresh and leave the past behind you, we can still help. Coming to We Buy Any House will get you a free offer for your property and the peace of mind knowing that we’ll do everything we can to help.

We buy any home in as little as 7 days, or timescales to suit you. Head to our website for more information.

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