It may sound like a dream come true to many couples going through contested Court proceedings “fighting over” who gets to keep the matrimonial home. However, Amsterdam based design and engineering practice Studio OBA has the solution to the problem. Split the house in half.
How you say?
A floating home that will drift apart when you also drift apart and separate with your other half. It has been dubbed “pre-nuptial housing”.
Studio OBA have designed a modern house boat that is made up of two prefabricated units constructed from lightweight carbon fibre elements and wood. When couples are together the two components slot in together and form one modern property. When couples decide to go there separate ways, the connecting mechanism allows the two components to detach and separate. In case your relationship improves and your love rekindles, the properties can be reconnected again.
Vincent Ringoir who runs Studio OBA said “Due to the way we designed it, the house responds to the flow of the relationship: when all is well, the house remains a unity. But when couples separate, the house – literally – drifts apart as well.”
The home was created by Omar Kiri, a PR and pop culture expert who enlisted the assistance of Studio OBA to create the concept house he thought of while searching for a property to live in with his girlfriend.
So instead of asking your partner to sign a pre-nuptial agreement, or financial agreement before entering into a de facto relationship, why not ask your partner to build one of these homes?
Whilst it may make the break up a bit easier, it may be a dampener when trying to convince your significant other to buy a house that can be split in half when you break up. A further downside is having your ex as your permanent neighbour; perhaps not for every couple.
In reality not everyone can keep the major asset of the relationship, usually the family home. Factors that may be considered when parties are making the decision to keep the home on a final basis after a property settlement is the primary care of children, continuity and consistency for children, sentimental value, location, affordability, and a party’s ability to borrow and refinance.