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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34235
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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I have been separated from wife for over 7 years (from May

Resolved Question:

I have been separated from wife for over 7 years (from May 2007) and she has been living in the jointly owned home whilst I moved in with my Mother. We did try to sell the house on two occasions but due to the property market this did not happen. I am know in a financial position (due to inheriting following the death of my Mother) to buy out my wife from the house as I would like to move back in . She is in a temporary contract job and is refusing to move. I have tried to keep this as amicable as possible , even to the extent of buying her a car (£7,500) as she needed transport. There are 2 children concerned aged 24 and 29 whom live at the house as well. I have already, in anticipation of her agreement to accept a buy out, repaid apprx £71,500 of the mortgage. Can you advise what my options are please ? Thanks James XXXXXX

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 house worth and how much was outstanding on the mortgage?
What other assets and debts do you each have and how much did you inherit?
What income do you each have and how much does a one bedroom property in the same general area cost to buy?
Which part of the Uk are you in?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you Clare.

I estimate the house to be worth between £380,000 and £400,000. The outstanding debt was £130,600 of which I have recently repaid £71,500 . There is also CCJ against my wife which is set against the property for about £14,000.

I inherited apprx £275,000 out of which I have settled all other debt (credit cards etc) that I had. I'm not sure exactly about my wife but she has advised that she has credit card debts of circa £11,000.

I am unemployed at present since late July and my wife is on a temp contract which she is paid something like £27 per hour. This, I believe, is due to end in Nov/Dec but may continue.

A 1 bedroom flat in the same area would be circa £230-250k. The area concerned is Crenshaw, near Fordham in Surrey. For your information a 3 bedroom house in Woking, Surrey is about £1300 per month to rent.

I have already paid for a car for her at £7500 and was offering her circa £120,000 for her share of the house. At the time of purchase we both put in £100,000. Please let me know if there is any other info you need.

Thanks

James

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hello again Clare, for some reason the area has come out as different to that typed in in. It is actually Frensham near Farnham in Surrey.

Regards

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Sorry I should have asked - how long were you living together?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

We met in Sep 2001 and I left the family house in Frensham in May 2007. I wonder where filing for divorce would simplify matters although obviously I want the fact that I have repaid the bulk of the mortgage off with my money whilst we were not together to be recognized.

Thanks

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Given the value of the house why are you only offering her £120,000 when her share would be roughly £132,500?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I has calculated the residual value of the property and divided by 2 . Whether it be 120 or 132k is actually immaterial as she appears to be set on not leaving the house. I am prepared to give her a fair share but I would like to know what my options are as agreement between us seems unlikely.

What would legal action be likely to result in please ?

Just so you are aware I think the likely amount should the house be sold be no more than £380k , subtracting the outstanding debt would leave a figure of circa £250k and this is without factoring in any legal or estate agent fees, should the house be sold.

I really want to know what course of action to take please - what's my legal position please ?

Thanks

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Are you willing to start divorce proceedings?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Good Morning , yes I am . Could you outline what that would entail please and how it might affect my financial situation and the house .

I just want to be able to get back/buy back the house.

Thanks

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
The most effective way of achieving what you want is to start divorce proceedings based upon the fact that you have lived apart for more than five years.
Within those proceedings you can ask the court to deal with financial issues.
Yours is a short to medium length relationship where your initial capital investment was equal.
On that basis tit is likely that the court will look at a starting point of 50/50 when it comes to the property.
Since you inherited your lump sum well after separation then the Court is unlikely to award her a share of that - HOWEVER the fact that you have already used some of it to pay of part of the mortgage could be a problem as the Court may well simply decide that that part of your inheritance is now simply part of the matrimonial assets and available for division.
The starting point for settlement is to discuss matters with your ex using Family mediation, (www.familymediationhelpline.co.uk)
I hope that this is of some assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you very much for your response. Would you recommend me instructing a solicitor or, once mediation has been done, can this done by myself, ie forms for divorce etc.

Thank you again

James

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
There is no reason not to start the divorce yourself - the details are here
https://www.gov.uk/divorce/file-for-divorce
Clare