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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33501
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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Divorce and mortgage payments

Resolved Question:

Hello, I am going through a divorce at the moment. My ex and his mother were council tenants, so that me and him could buy a house they purchased it through the right to buy scheme 5 years ago. His mother moved out and it was agreed between us that it was mine and his house that we paid for every month for 5 years. I was not allowed to go on to the mortgage because of the scheme. This was not a problem until we separated April 2013. The property has now been sold and it was always agreed that the proceeds will be split 50/50 between me and my ex. His mother is now claiming 50% leaving me with only 25%. Where do I stand with this as I paid half of the mortgage and she didn’t pay anything towards it? We received a discount because her and my ex were council tenants but she didn’t put any physical cash in to the purchase at all. I also have a 1 year old with him and the baby lives with me.

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.
What paperwork was signed at the time of the purchase to document the agreement?
How much has the property been sold for and where will you and the child live?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Clare, unfortunately there is nothing in writing to document that the house was intended for Chris and me only to own. If we'd have stayed together then moved then it would just be out mortgage but timing wouldn't allow that. Chris left the property while I was pregnant, it was then agreed that he could come back and stay on the sofa for his paternity leave. When my son was 2 and a half weeks old Chris refused to leave the house leaving me with no choice but to leave. His words "it's just as easy for you to leave as it is for me and I'm not leaving" so I left with a new born after a traumatic birth and sofa surfed from November until feb this year when I borrowed some money from work to privately rent somewhere as the council waiting list was 18 months. I know that she has a legal interest being on the mortgage but surely I have a beneficial interest as I paid the mortgage? The property was bought for £97k and sd this year for £165k. The money that is sitting in a solicitors bank account waiting to be split is £76k. He is offering me 25% which comes to £17.5k which if I didn't have Oliver (my son) and a load of legal fees that my hisband has racked up for me I would accept that but I just can't and don't see why I should have to. After everything paid back I will only have about £9-10k which is not financial security for my child. The stress of all of this has had me in hospital and weekly doctors visits so I really just need this to be over :(Just an added note - there were two occasions that I believed it possible to be added on to the mortgage and both times they said it was not possible. Naively I did not look in to this further. Also, the decree nisi was given on 21st may of this year. I have not agreed to apply for the absolute as the finances need sorting out. My husband ignored 8 solicitorseyters asking about financial matters until my solicitor advised to stop contact with my son until he responds and sorts it out as he left me with no other choice. He didn't respond and sent a threat via twitter of all things so was reported to the police. That was 4 months ago... Still the money is not sorted... And now he is taking me to court on 7th November for a contact order. I have said that contact can resume once this is sorted but will be at first I a contact center given his behaviour recently. Thank youChloe
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
How much does a two bedroom property in the same general area cost to buy
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi,I have just looked on rightmove and for a 2 bed in this area is around £160-170k at the moment. The reason we purchased for £97 was because it was through the right to buy scheme from the council. I think 5 years ago the house was valued between £110-120k. ThanksChloe
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Did his mother live with you in the property?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I moved in with him and his mother for 1 year and then we purchased the property in 2009 and as soon as the mortgage completed she moved out to her own privately rented accommodation because it was "nothing to do with her" "just a name on the mortgage" "not her house"
Thanks
Chloe
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
What is the nature of your current accommodation?
How far has the financial side of the divorce reached
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Sorry, what do you mean by nature? I have privately rented a flat on a year contract (due for renewal feb 2015) which I will stay in until I am in the position to buy somewhere.
It is on hold at the moment. My husband has said that his mum is having 50% (£37k approx) and he is having the other half which I am entitled to half of. And he is not budging from that "offer" (of my own money!) so I need to know if I have a leg to stand on to sayoom this is what I'm entitle to blah blah and if it doesn't happen I will take it to court. Even if he said they would split the proceeds of the sale 3 ways, I would still see it as unfair they she gets anything at all but at least there is an end on site. If I was to get £25k (a third) then I am more illy to be able to put a decent chunk aside for a deposit for somewhere after debts/legal fees are paid. I would prob end up with £17.5k ish rather than starting with that figure and not being left with enough to secure a finacial future for me and my son. Does that make sense? I will try to get him to pay at least half of my legal fees too as it's only because of him that solicitors got involved in the first place. While i was on maternity leave with a new born trying to find somewhere for us to live!!
Sorry.
Thanks
Chloe
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Do you remember how much the discount was?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It was valued between £110-120k and we purchased it for £97k. So wort case it's £23k discount.
Thanks
Chloe
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
What was the actual mortgage valuation?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi
The mortgage valuation?
£97,000 was the amount taken out for the mortgage.
£120,000 was the valuation of the property.
£23,000 was the discount received which acted as a deposit.
I'm sorry if I'm not understanding your question? I was kept quite in the dark about all of the details etc because I wasn't on it. At the time it seemed normal but looking back now they didn't really tell me anything about it. Just how much it was each month which me and husband paid equally.
Thanks
Chloe
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you that was what I needed
The discount was essentially 20% of the value and accordingly it would certainly be correct for hi smother to receive that percentage of the equity - indeed there is Case law that supports that.
This means that his mother is entitled to £15,200 in any event - and I would suggest that you confirm your agreement to that as early as possible as it would be a sensible move on your part
You were given some bad advice on the contact issue - the courts do not link finances and contact and are not happy with parents who do so - you must make the offer of contact at a contact centre starting immediately before the next court hearing
With regard to the money if your ex will not negotiate then the way forward is simple - you issue an application within the divorce proceedings for the Financial issues to be dealt with
This will lock you into a Court Time table which will lead to an eventual conclusion.
Bear in mind that the Family Court has wide powers and can distribute the assets between you as it thinks fit.
As I have said make it plain from the start that you understand that his mother is entitled to at least 20% of the equity
Your argument is with your ex - and if he wishes to give his mother half of the equity then that is fine - but the extra 30% comes from HIS share
The approach that you take thereafter is up to you.
You could simply argue that you will take your 40% of the equity (allowing for his mothers 20%) or you can ask for the amount that you expected in the first place
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you.
It is me that has said he can have contact in the contact venter but he has still applied to take me to court. I have also said about his mother getting the "deposit" money back so I am still entitled to more than 25% that he has said? The finances is as part of the divorce but he just doesn't respond. So as long as I know where I stand in the legal front with the finances I can carry on and fight for it. But Ii don't want to be asking for something that I am not entitled to to loose in the end anyway. You know?
thanks
Chloe
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Provided you concede the share his mother is entitled to - then the rest is up for consideration
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33501
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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