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Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33284
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 boyfriend has 3 girls with his ex wife ( 6 / 8 /

Customer Question

, hoping you can help, so my boyfriend has 3 girls with his ex wife ( ages 6 - 10 ), who are with him over 104 confirmed days of the year and additionally there are holidays etc which cannot be included with the CSA. He agreed a settlement amount with his wife ( 1/4 of the equity of their home and another settlement if anyone moved in with her ) and now she has said she wants to get solicitors involved. Since they agreed to settle independently without solicitors circumstances have changed considerably. I now half own a house with my boyfriend and she has moved her boyfriend and his child in to the house that my boyfriend supports her with ( the mortgage ex is in my boyfriends name as she couldn't get a mortgage however her new partner may be taking this over). Her earning potential is much greater as all three children are at school however I am not sure this affects anything? I want to get help boyfriend as I feel his ex is being greatly unreasonable, he has been over paying child payments and didn't realise but has not demanded back payments and also ensured that her and the children had everything they needed and more. Can you offer any advice? So my question is, because she has moved in her boyfriend does this affect spousal payment or settlement amounts? Also with regards ***** ***** equity of the house how is this usually divided up? Finally the fact that we have a joint mortgage does this affect anything? one of my concerns is we may wish to have children in the future and if I decide to be a stay at home mother then his outgoings could be astronomical. Margot.

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Thank you question.

I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How much does your partner earn gross per annum
How much is he currently paying in maintenance?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Clare,

so he is in sales, it varies from approx. 100k-120k per annum. He was paying £1,500 but it was bought to his attention that he was over paying and this has been renegotiated to £1,200 a month.

Thanks

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

can I confirm if this conversation is public or not?

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

So there is no spouse maintenance being paid - just child maintenance?
How much is the house worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Clare, it was just agreed maintenance between the two of them. However now CSA have been involved and have confirmed the total amount is £1,200 a month. So the house that the ex has moved into has actually increased in value, I believe that the house is worth around £460k potentially more and the mortgage is £100k. Walter my boyfriend has already received £100k but his solicitor has said he is due more, but his ex's solicitor is saying that he is due no more. Thanks Margot.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Clare, it was just agreed maintenance between the two of them. However now CSA have been involved and have confirmed the total amount is £1,200 a month. So the house that the ex has moved into has actually increased in value, I believe that the house is worth around £460k potentially more and the mortgage is £100k. Walter my boyfriend has already received £100k but his solicitor has said he is due more, but his ex's solicitor is saying that he is due no more. Thanks Margot.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I believe a clean break was agreed along with child maintenance but this is all up in the air again now if that's helps at all

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Do you know if there was a Court Order within the Divorce Proceedings?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

what do you mean by court order?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I believe that they have started from the beginning again she has requested a FDA and the negotiations appear to be starting again

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

When did your partner receive his £100,000 and how was that money raised?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Claire,

him and his ex originally agreed to settle between themselves with involvement from Walters solicitors to keep costs down. it was agreed that they would sell the family home and from the equity of the house (£421k equity) from the house sale it was agreed that Walter would get £100k and the rest of the funds would go towards a house children and Walter would keep the mortgage in his name as his ex couldn't get one, Walter wanted his children in a safe area so was happy to do this to provide . However upon going back to his solicitor the solicitor advised that actually he was entitled to more when his ex cohabited, to the sum of around £50k and that his original workings were not accurate and in fact a little light on Walters behalf. He then went back to his ex to advise that there was another 50k due to be paid and she agreed at the time but has since got legal advise and is now saying that her solicitor disagrees. the amount was payable after 6 months of cohabiting with a new partner, she is now cohabiting with her partner so the sum would have been payable I guess 6 months from settlement. Can you help with regards ***** ***** the entitlement actually is or is there a rule of thumb to approximate this. also my original questions stand. His ex works a couple of days a week, the children are at school and she chooses not to work full time. Her monthly income including child maintenance, child benefits, tax credits and salary prior to this month were £2,534, now that CSA have formally calculated an amount it is £2,234. Her mortgage is minimal £110k over 28 years I believe. However it has been suggested that her cohabiting partner will take this on so that he has equity in the house. Walter just wants a clean brake and wants both him and his ex to get what they are both entitled to. This is very distressing as I'm sure you can imagine, they've been separated almost 3 and a half years and he just wants to sort it out. Please let me know if you have a list of questions that would help you.

Thanks

Margot.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

sorry separated June 2012 - 2 and a half years

thanks

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Was that agreement that was reached between them recorded in writing at all?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Clare, Walter sent a mail after being informed by his solicitor informing his ex of what he had been told, there's no contract or anything official whereby Walter confirmed this to be gospel, it was merely based on what he had been informed and he was supporting and helping his ex in trying to move forward with her life and find a new house. the mail outlined how much a £100k mortgage would cost her and he said that would be all she needed, the mortgage is joint ( apologies just found out ) as his ex couldn't get her own. Walter was then later informed approximately 6 weeks after that in fact he should be due about another 50k at a point of Janine his ex cohabiting. Basically the house sold than it was meant to so this changed the solicitors stance. Basically Walter wanted a clean brake and was informed that 100k from the house and monthly payments of £1,500 would offer this and then his house sold than expected and Walter's solicitor informed him he was due a third. Please let me know if there are a list of questions you need answering.

Thanks

Margot.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

There are three separate issues here
The first is how much your partner pays in child maintenance - a matter now resolved by the CMS
However he had no right to recover any "overpayment" made in the past
The second is spouse maintenance. I am not certain if he has actually been paying the mortgage on the property his ex lives in. If he has been then that has indeed been a form of Spouse maintenance - and that should cease since she is now cohabiting
Finally the capital settlement
Your partner and his ex reached an agreement as to settlement and both of them acted upon it - the house was sold your partner received his agreed money and a new mortgage was taken out.
AFTER this had happened your partner discovered that he MIGHT have been able to get a better deal in court - so now he wants an extra £50,000
I say might because it is open to dispute.
From what you have said the split of the capital assets was 76/24 in her favour.
This is certainly within the range of what a Court might have ordered. It is admittedly at the lower end of the range - but it is within the range
Much depends then on whether your partner has a pension that he kept untouched; and whether or not he has been paying the mortgage and thus spouse maintenance.
What is certain is that if his ex has a new partner living with her then your partner should now be released from the mortgage - and that there needs to be a final court order dismissing all claims that he and his ex have against each other
If he wishes to pursue a further payment of £50,000 then the full process will have to be followed and if no agreement can be reached then the matter will have to go through the whole court process - at which point his interest in your property will also be taken into account.
Please ask if you need further details
Clare

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