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UKfamsol
UKfamsol, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 560
Experience:  Very experienced specialist family law solicitor, qualifed in 1994
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My partner & I have just split up prior to Xmas after 17yrs

Customer Question

My partner & I have just split up prior to Xmas after 17yrs living in a house we have a joint mortgage with. We have a 16yr old daughter can you please advise what will happen to me financially?
Thanks.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  UKfamsol replied 1 year ago.
and thanks question.
I need a bit more informat9ion to be able to answer:
Are you married?
How much is the house worth?
How much is the total mortgage on the house?
What is your annual income from all sources?
What is your partner's from all sources?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

We are not married, our house is worth £160,000 with estimated 60k of equity. I earn a basic salary of £40,000 per annum and 8kpa car allowance. My partner earns £25,000pa, basic child benefit 16yr old daughter.

Our daughter is to soon be going to college to continue her education.

I have brought up my step son since the age of 3 he is now 21. I have supported him financially throughout this period will no financial support or interest from his actual farther.

Regards, Paul.

Expert:  UKfamsol replied 1 year ago.

and thanks information (and sorry delay in getting back to you...)

If you separate, then whichever one of you your daughter lives with can claim child support from the other.

Here's a helpful government website about child maintenance which includes a calculator:-

http://www.cmoptions.org/en/calculator/

The two of you can agree anything you want with regards ***** ***** to divide up the assets of your relationship. However, if between you, you are not able to reach an agreement, then the way that the court would deal with a claim made by either of you is different from how the court would decide on the assets of married couple that divorce.

As a cohabiting couple that separate, the court can make orders only in relation to property, not any other assets, and then only according to strict property law, not according to what division of assets would be fair.

The application would be under section 14 of the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996, known as TLATA or TOLATA. The only orders that a court can make is a declaration of rights of ownership ie the percentage share that you each have in the equity in the property, and an order , which can be suspended until the youngest child reaches 18.

So, in your case, it's likely that the court would say that you each own 50% of the equity as the property is in joint names - unless when you bought the property it was made clear on the transfer document & the Land Registry entry that you & your ex were to own the property in different shares.

There's a possibility that if you have paid significantly more of the capital element of the mortgage or you paid the deposit on purchase or you paid that increased the value of the property (eg new kitchen or bathroom), that you might be able to argue that your share should be more than 50%, even if that is not stated as such on the transfer document - but this is always difficult to argue & to prove.

With a suspended order , once your daughter reached 18 and the order came into effect, the house would be sold and you would each receive the percentage set out in the declaration of rights of ownership.

However, going to court is expensive, time-consuming and stressful, so if you can negotiate either between yourselves, or via solicitors' correspondence or via mediation, that's preferable. The family court anyway now requires the parties to have attempted mediation before it will consider an application to court.

The ideal scenario is to end all financial ties between you and your ex (it's not possible to end liability maintenance).

If your daughter is to stay in the house with her mother, then ideally your ex would buy you out ie pay you your half-share of the equity of £30,000 and transfer the house into her sole name. But to do that, she'd need to increase the mortgage to £130,000 which she won't be able to do on her income of £25,000, as her maximum mortgage capacity is £75,000 or less likely up to £100,000.

So your options are

either to sell the house now and divide the proceeds between you, either 50:50 or in whatever shares you agree - but then your ex will have to find a house with £30,000 (or whatever sum you both agree her share should be) as deposit plus £75,000 mortgage ie priced no more than £105,000 and your daughter - is that realistic in the same area?

or

you buy out her interest by paying her £30,000 (or whatever sum you agree) and transfer the house into your sole name - but see above ex's difficulties in finding a suitable property with that sum

or

you move out, leaving the house in joint names, until your daughter is 18 or finishes college or whatever you agree, at which point the house is sold, and the proceeds divided as agreed. But your name will remain on the mortgage, which may make it difficult to get another mortgage.

Here's where to find a family mediation service near to you:

http://www.familymediationcouncil.org.uk/find-local-mediator/

I thiink you would also benefit from some face-to-face legal advice - here's where to find a specialist family law solicitor:

http://www.resolution.org.uk/findamember/

So - food ! I'm afraid there's no cut-and-dried answer to your query, but I hope I've given you some ideas and where to find further help. I wish you the best of luck.

Thanks and best wishes...

Expert:  UKfamsol replied 1 year ago.
again

I see that you have looked at my answer but not accepted it.

Is there anything in your question you feel I have not answered?

Or anything in my answer you'd like me to clarify?

Please let me know and I'll do my best.

Otherwise, I would be grateful if you would now kindly rate and accept my answer so that I can be credited time.

Thanks and best wishes...
Expert:  UKfamsol replied 1 year ago.
again

Please would now kindly rate and accept my answer so that I can be credited time.

Thanks and best wishes...

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