Whether or not the family home has to be sold will depend on the facts of each individual case. In most cases one of the primary concerns is how everyone, including the children, will be accommodated. The parties will eventually separate and where there was one home there will then be two. This can mean that the family home is sold and the net proceeds of sale are divided so that everyone can find new accommodation. This does not necessarily mean, however, that there will be an equal split of the money. Much depends on the needs of the parties and of any children.
It may be possible to postpone the sale of the family home until the children have left home or to offset the family home against other assets (including pensions) so that the property can be retained. Legal advice should be obtained to see what relevant options are available.