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Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33293
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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Hi my name is Russell. I am married but separated we have

Customer Question

Hi my name is Russell.
I am married but separated we have 2 children aged 9 and 6 and a i have a step daughter of 18. We have a mortgage of £182,000 and the house is valued at £250,000. I moved out 6 months ago and i am renting a 1 bed house just down the road. The mortgage has been put on interest only for 12 months. The agreement with the bank is that the house would be sold in this time to repay the mortgage. It went up for sale and then she took it of the market saying she could get an exetention to 24 months, even if she did she says she would then extend to mortgage to my 70th to reduce the repayments and try to come off interest only and take on the mortgage. Right now she is not working and is on benefits and the DHSS pay the mortgage. Basically she never intends to move out of the house.
So my question to you is, where does this leave me? I'm left with a house i can't live in and a mortgage of £182,000. How can i move on in life when i'm stuck with this house? I am happy for her to stay another year or two as it's stable for the children but can't go on forever like this this.
Also if the house was sold, what share of the equity would i get as she has to house the children?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How old are you both?
What other assets are there and what income do you have?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare we spoke last week on a different subject. I am 43 and Tracy the ex is 41, assets not much just basic house appliances and furniture. I am self employed and my income is about £15,000. I forgot to mention the debts, they total about £30,000 of which about £20,000 is just in my name although they were accumalated together and the other £10,000 are joint names on loans.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
I am sorry but I have to be blunt.
You will not be able to force a sale of the property until your youngest is 18 - or your ex cohabits
When the house is sold the likely division is 60/40 in her favour to reflect the fact that she has had the care of the children in that time
HOWEVER in your case the fact that the family debts will have fallen on your shoulders should be sufficient to claw back the 10% and you should push for a 50/50 split
Please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Okay that sounds fair enough, but what would happen if she decided to sell the house next year, what would i get? also if she couldn't keep up the repayments and there was a chance of it being reposed I would then be responsible for the repayments could i then force the sale or move back in?

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
If she sells the house and is NOT purchasing another property then you would get your agreed percentage in accordance with the court order.
Equally if the house is likely to be repossessed you can force an immediate sale - unless you decide to buy out her share instead
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

What would the agreed percentage be likely to be? considering the debts. Shouldn't these debts be paid off first with the equity?

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
That assumes that the house is sold as part of the Divorce - not after the agreement has been made
If it is sold at that point then yes the debts would be paid and I would expect a 60/40 division of the equity in her favour
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Sorry i'm a bit confused, "that the house is sold as part of the divorce " if we sold the house before the divorce would things still be the same?


Also do you mean all debts WILL be paid off then the remaining equity would be split 60/40

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Within the financial side of the divorce you will have to reach a settlement
You cannot force a sale of the property - so if your ex wishes to stay there then anOrder will be made about how much you will receive when it is eventually sold.
As I said given that YOU will have responsibility for the debts you may be able to secure a 50/50 deal. If the house is sold after that order is made then that is what you will get - but YOU will be responsible for the debts
However if instead your ex agrees to a sale immediately then yes the debts will be deducted from the equity and then a 60/40 split is likely to be the best that you achieve
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi, are you saying if she remains in the house until my youngest is 18 the house would be split 60/40 and i would have to keep paying all the debts?


Sorry i am getting a bit confused here. The main thing i want is the debts paid off.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
You will have to continue paying the debts as they are not secured on the property.
The fact that you will have to do so should get you a 50/50 share of the property when your youngest is 18
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Okay, lets say the house is sold when my youngest is 18 and the house is split 50/50 and there was still £20,000 owing on the debts. Would that £20.000 still be my responsibility even though some would be in joint names?

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Unlikely as the Order will have said that you will pay the debts
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Sorry i'm not getting this, if £20,000 debt is left after the house is sold who pays it ? me / her / or from the equity?

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
When the court is made during the divorce proceedings it is likely that you will be ordered to take responsibility for the debts - and that will be it.
When your youngest is 18 you can use the money you receive FOR YOUR SHARE to pay off the debts if they are still outstanding
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks I think i'm getting there now.


So to recap - If the house is sold before my youngest is 18 the debts would be paid off from the equity and the remainder would be spit 60/40 ?


If the house was sold after my youngest is 18 i could push for 50/50 and pay off any outstanding debts?

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
HI
Not quit
There are two possibilities
1. Your ex agrees to an iIMMEDIATE sale of the property. The mortgage and debts are paid off and the balance is divided 60/40 (or even 70/30) in her favour.
2. Your ex remains in the property until your youngest is 18 or she decides to sell before then - you are ordered to pay all the debts - but whenever the house is sold you get 50% of the equity
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks makes sense now, could i get divorced with out putting any finances in place or would you not advise that?


Also does this mean i just have to sit tight until my youngest is 18 if she wont agree to sell? and then can i force sale when he is 18?

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
I do not advise it as if your financial position them improves she could claim a share of that as well - and yes you can indeed force the sale when your youngest is 18
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare, thank you for your help so far. If i decide to go for the divorce and put 1 of the financial options in place, how would i go about it ? And could you give me rough idea of how much you think it might cost me or us?

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
You can find the process for a divorce described here
https://www.gov.uk/divorce
You will then need to use Family mediation (www.familymediationhelpline.co.uk) to reach a financial settlement
C;are
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I spoke to somebody about mediation and they said it would cost about £600 plus about £450 to the court for the divorce. So just over £1,000. I wouldn't get legal aid and i don't have £1,000 to spare!


What can i do?

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
You can deal with the divorce yourself - it is something you are entitled to do.
Mediation is done on a pay as you go basis - so hopefully it can be spaced out
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for all your help here almost done, through the divorce proceedings could my ex try and change the children's surname and her own back to her maiden name? And if so can i stop it in any way?

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
She cannot change their names without your agreement or a Court Order - and she will not get a court order
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi, you say i could force the house up for sale if in danger of being reposed.


At what stage could i do this ie how far behind would she have to get with the repayments?

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
TheMortgage company would have to have written with a date for the proceedings to be issued
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Just one last question please, if she was to meet someone new and he moved in with her and my children in to my house what would this mean? Can she do that and would he have to pay me rent?

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
He will not have to pay you rent.
It woudl however usually e a trigger for you to be able to force an immediate sale
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

And how would i force the sale, through a solicitor ? And what if she starts being awkward ?

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
This would happen as part of the financial side of the divorce proceedings
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33293
Experience: I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Sorry just thought of another question, you say i can force the sale when my youngest is 18. That would be in about 12 years, in that time if she keeps up repayments on the mortgage she would have paid off about an extra £50,000 off the mortgage.


would i be entitled to this extra equity too if the split is 50/50 ?


Also we have a flexible mortgage so if we have paid off say £5,000 we can draw it back out. Would i be able to stop her withdrawing any money out within this 12 years?

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
This is part of the negotiations with regard to the settlement and will be a matter for agreement - but you will indeed be able to ensure that there can be no withdrawals
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi, So if this extra money from her repayments was not agreed would i just be entitled to the 50/50 split of the value of the house when the agreement was made or extra if the value of the property was to rise in that 12 years?

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
You will be entitled to whatever percentage of the equity is either agreed between you or ordered by the court
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi,


Iv'e decided to go bankrupt.


Can you tell me what will happen ? i'm a self employed driving instructor. And what will happen to the house the kids and the ex.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
After a year your ex will either have to "buy" your share of the property from the Trustee in Bankruptcy or the house will be sold - she will get her half of the equity and the Trustee will get your half
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Ok thanks, what about the joint debts, and can i still keep working self employed?

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Your ex will be responsible for any debts IN JOINT NAMES.
You can still work - but will not be able to hold a Bank Account which may make things difficult
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you, Sorry last question, will my name be taken off the mortgage ?

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Your name will remain on the mortgage
You will no longer be entitled to a share of the equity
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi, just a quick question, me ex wife that still lives in my house with my children has a new boyfriend, can i stop him going into my house?

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi Russell
I am sorry but under the site rules I have to ask you to post this as a new question
Please feel free to ask for me - I shal lbe able to link it to our lengthy exchange!
Clare

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