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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33813
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 partner and I are separating. We are not married but

Resolved Question:

Hi - My partner and I are separating. We are not married but have a child together (I have another child from a previous relationship). We have a joint mortgage on our house which has money outstanding. I will not be able to afford to take on the mortgage once he has left. We have agreed to keep the house for a year after he has left just to let things settle and allow our daughter adjust. He has agreed to continue paying the mortgage in that time. His sister works as a legal secretary (for family law) and wants me to sign a document to agree that I will not try and stay in the property past a year and block a sale. I have no intention of doing this but understand his concerns. However, I am not comfortable signing a document produced by his sister. What are my rights here? Will the property need to be split 50/50? What sort of document could be drawn up to protect both our rights as his document will only be looking at protecting his interests? Thank you for any help you can offer.
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 is outstanding on the mortgage?
how old are the children and what income do you each have?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare,

The house is worth approx 350 - 360k we have 230k outstanding on the mortgage.

My income is 18k per annum. His is tricky as self-employed. He takes home between £3,800 - £4,500 per month in 'wages' and dividends.

The child we have together is 4 and my son is 17 but still in education.

Thanks

Laura

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
How was the original purchase funded?
How much would a cheaper three bedroom property in the same school area cost to buy?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi

We both gave a £20,000 deposit each and both our incomes were taken into account when applying for the mortgage.

Currently there are three bedroomed properties in the area for £265k

My partner has real issues with the idea of 'funding' a three bedroomed property because he feels he need only fund two as my son is not his son.

Another solicitor told me that the property would have to be split 50/50 and that after maintenance (he said at 12% of his gross income) I may be able to apply for top up funding?

Thank you

Laura

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
How much would a two bedroom property cost to buy?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

There is not a huge amount of two bedroomed properties in the more immediate area where my daughter will go to school. There is a flat for sale for £180k. But due to age difference of children I would not be able to live in a two bedroomed property.

Thanks

Laura

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
I appreciate that but your eldest child is nearly 18 at which point the courts will have no concern for his housing needs
What is your maximum affordable mortgage capacity?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I see.

It' between 60k - 80k

Thanks

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
So if the property was sold you would need all the equity to purchase another property in any event - is that correct?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi

Financially having all the equity would help. I would be very interested to know what I was entitled to as I have been told that as we are not married it would be a 50/50 split without question.

In terms of future relations I would be nervous to go for 100% of equity. It's a bit of a rock and a hard place situation. I need a home clearly, but know he would put up a nasty fight around custody etc. if he felt I was being too greedy with equity.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Under Schedule 1 of the Children Act your ex is under a duty to help you house the child until the child is 18 - and the most secure way of housing a child is in a property owned by you.
This could mean you remaining in your current home until the child is 18 (or you cohabit) or it could mean the house being sold to release your ex from the mortgage but you receiving all of the equity to rehouse yourself and the child and your ex having a charge on your new property to protect his capital until the child is 18 (or you cohabit)
before you sign anything it would be wise to consider discussing the matter further using a Family Mediator
www.familymediationhelpline.co.uk
so that you can agree a fairer arrangement than the one currently available as you would not be forced to sell the house before your elder child is 18 in any event
Please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you Clare,

I thought that family mediation was only available to married couples so that is good news.

Is any agreement drawn up there legally binding or would a solicitor need to be involved?

Kind regards

Laura

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
It is possible for an agreement reached to be turned into a Consent Order and sealed b ythe court if necessary
Family Mediation is indeed available to all
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33813
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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