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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33314
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 separated 6 years ago we got divorced approx

Customer Question

My ex wife and I separated 6 years ago we got divorced approx 2-3 years later. As part of the financial settlement she remained in the family home which we had a joint mortgage on. I agreed to continue paying the second mortgage (Approx £300 per month) and to also give her a further £250 per month towards the children (2 boys now aged 10 & 7).
She agreed that she would use her best endeavours to remove me from the mortgage which I feel she hasn't done and which has now began to cause problems as I am unable to get a mortgage of my own.
Approx 5 months ago she agreed that she couldn't get me off the mortgage and that she would put the house up for sale but since then she has stalled and is not doing anything. Whenever I try and broach the subject she just kicks off and refuses to talk about it.
There is approx £25,000 worth of equity in the house which I have told her is hers and that I will continue to give her the exact same amount per month still.
I think I am being more than reasonable and this whole situation is now putting immense pressure on my current relationship.
What can I do ?
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 and how much is outstanding on the mortgage?
Is your ex cohabiting at all?
What is her current mortgage capacity?
Is there a long stop date in the order regarding a sale?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare,

Thanks for the response.
The property is worth £175000 and outstanding on the mortgage is £120000 and there is a second mortgage for £30000.

She is not co-habiting and she only works 16 hrs per week part time as a care worker which is exactly the same as what she did when we were together as we had young children. As soon as the youngest went into full time school though she has continued to work only part time and not looked to go full time which she could have.

After a year of doing this she then decided she wanted to return to studying instead and has now been going to college and has just enrolled for university. This is why we discussed selling the house as I explained I didn't think it seemed fair that I have to stay stuck on the mortgage whilst she studies for another 3-4 years before considering a full time job.

I am not sure what a long stop date would mean all I can recall is that it said she was to use her best endeavours to get me off the mortgage.

I really am at a loss now with all this and feel that if I had known she was going to do this back then I would have never signed to agree to any of it.

Rob

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Do you have a copy of the Order?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi, I should have it somewhere at home but not with me right now at work sorry

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Would you like to continue this evening - I do need the wording
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks Clare, I'm actually a police officer and I'm on shift until 9pm now.
Would it be ok to continue tomorrow and I'll try and dig it out once I get in from work.
Thanks
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
That is fine - add it when you can
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare, I have now got a copy of the order scanned onto my computer. Do you want all 17 pages sending to you ?

Thanks

Rob

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
It is an usual order that runs to 17 pages.
Just send me the page with the part about the house and mortgage on it
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks Clare, If you need anything further let me know

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
I am sorry but the news is not good.
You cannot force a sale of the property until the first of the events set out in Section 1b - those are the long stop dates
In fairness this is still better than what the court would have imposed even if you had not agreed.
Whilst you could try and argue that your ex has taken no active steps to put herself in a position where she can obtain your release from the mortgage it is more likely that the court will see her plans as doing exactly that
I am sorry - I know that this is bad news but sadly it is the legal position that you ar ein
Please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I'm sure I read something somewhere about 'if a further order was made'Is there any way I can apply to the courts to appeal things or have the order changed / reviewed etc !!!Section 1 b iv says about a further order. How could this be pursued?
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
You do not have any grounds for going back.
Your children are still under 18 and still need accommodation - if you make an application you will lose
I am sorry but there is no point in my misleading you
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
As you can imagine it's not easy to swallow but I don't understand why they put the clause in of a further order if you're saying I can't apply for one.
Plus my ex is refusing to communicate with me about anything even though for the last 6 months she has agreed to sell the house, had it valued etc and then all of a sudden just stopped and won't respond.
I just feel there must be a way I could get her to give me some answers through court surely.
If I suddenley stopped paying I'm sure she would be able to get me into court wouldn't she ?
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
That is meant to cover situations where unexpected things happen - such as the children moving to live with you - or her going into a care home or prison etc etc.
The actual Order is set up to ensure the secure housing of the children until they are 18 - it is very standard - and frankly your solicitor is at fault for not having made this clear to you
You cannot force her to explain why she has changed her mind as at this stage you cannot force a sale
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks Clare and your right I feel like I have not been fully advised as to what I was actually signing. My understanding was that I would be able to have much more rights to assist me with removing myself from the mortgage. I will look into the fact I feel I have been mis led and poorly advised
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Yes that is very much my feeling - this is a standard order and frankly the best that you could have got - but you should still have been told what it actually meant
Clare

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