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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33505
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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My ex-wife and I have been separated for nearly 10 years and

Resolved Question:

My ex-wife and I have been separated for nearly 10 years and divorced for over 6 years. Since the separation she has continued to live in the former marital home, at the time because our 11 y/o son lived with her. I continued to pay the mortgage until it was paid off in 2011. My ex-wife did not work for the majority of our marriage, claiming health issues (she has epilepsy). Our son has lived with myself and my new wife since March 2013, but my ex-wife has continued to live in our former family home. The property is a upstairs 2 bed maisonette in BR5. In the 10 years since I left, my ex-wife has not maintained the property at all. Any repairs have been funded and organised by myself. The property is now a compete mess with "stuff" strewn all over the place. I wish to buy my ex out of the property with a view to renovating it and selling. My ex is refusing to leave the property.
What are my rights?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How much is the property worth?
Was any financial order made at the time of the Divorce?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No legal financial arrangement was made at the time of the divorce or since. When I left in 2004, the property was worth approx £150,000. Judging from the price that other similar properties in the road have sold for in the last couple of weeks, if in good order it could achieve £190-200K. We have been offered £135k (interior unseen) by a neighbour, but when the inside is seen it is likely that this offer will be reduced.


 


Trevor

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
How much does a one bedroom property in the same general area cost to buy?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

£120,000 approx

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
What other assets do you have and how much do you earn
How old is your son now?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I own no other assets, my son is 21 on Monday. I let my wife live their so that my son could finish his schooling and first job. As soon as he got another job he moved in with me. he she has done nothing to upkeep
the property since I left.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
How much do you earn - and is your current home rented?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


I earn £22,000 and its not rented

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Who owns it and how much is the equity - and yes I am afraid that it is relevant to your answer
has your ex remarried?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

my wife and her ex husband own the property I don't know what the equity is.my ex has not re married

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
What is the position with regard to the eventual sale of the property you are living in?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

My wife's ex husband has a charge on the property. He will need to be bought out of this charge in the event of a sale. We have 2 adult children living with us with no prospect of them being able to afford to rent their own places in the near future. Should the property be sold we would need to purchase something big enough to house all 4 of us. We also have 2 other adult children who do not live local but come to visit regularly and stay over. The mortgage is interest only so the outstanding mortgage will be required to be paid of from the proceeds of any sale.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
How much have you offered your ex?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

£45,000

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Given that she is entitled to at least 50% of the equity (and almost certainly will get more) may I ask why you offered her so little?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I offered her £45,000 on the basis of the amount the property might achieve at sale minus costs, including the skips required to remove the debris she would be likely to leave behind in the property and garden.


I am unable to borrow more as I’m 53 and my salary is £22,000. The property has been devalued due to our lack of maintenance and her lack of housework. I have paid out on maintenance as much as possible but so much needs doing now, i.e. replacement windows, bathroom, kitchen units, guttering, facia and soffit boards and an electrical rewire.


The only reason for selling is the sheer amount of money that needs to be spent that neither of us can afford.


She is refusing to move out but cannot afford upkeep.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi Trevor
The only action that is open to you is an application for the sale of the property using Property Law
The proceeds of sale will be divided equally between you UNLESS your ex choses to make an application to the court within the old Matrimonial proceedings for a larger share.
She can do so because she has not remarried - you I am afraid cannot.
You can try and claim credit for half of any repairs that you have financed - but there is no guarantee that the court will support you
Equally from all that you say there is a high chance that she will get a larger share - and a very real possibility that in fact she will be allowed to remain there so long as she wishes.
Your housing needs are being very well met in the Matrimonial Home - whilst your ex has no other home and has a disability as well.
I fully appreciate that this is not fair - but sadly I can only tell you the law as it is.
If you wish to bring this matter to an end then you make an application to the court for the sale of the property
Provided your ex does not invoke matrimonial law (would she?) then the Order for sale will be made and if necessary you can get an order that she vacates the property so that you can handle the sale and raise whatever funds you can
Please ask if you need further details
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33505
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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