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Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33323
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 husband and I separated some time ago. He moved out in

Customer Question

My husband and I separated some time ago. He moved out in November 2012 and our divorce finally came through in June 2014 on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour on his part. I lost my job just before Christmas and have now gone back into teaching but I haven't been paid any money since before Christmas and I am now earning less money. He does pay some maintenance towards our two children but not the full amount which I have never pushed for. I cannot afford to stay living here and he has been pushing to get his money back from the house since we separated. I now have a buyer and want to purchase a house with my new partner and although he wants to move back to Ireland and buy a property with his new girlfriend, he refuses to sign the paperwork on the joint mortgage to go forward with the purchase as he put in £87,600 and I put in £168,500. We are joint tenants but the agreement was that we would each get back our original investment and split any profit 50/50. We will actually make about about £12,000 below our original investment and this is without the cost of solicitor's fees etc. He will not only not accept a slightly reduced amount but he is actually insisting that, despite the fact I have paid the mortgage alone for over two years and a couple of loans in his name and that I support both of our children, he needs £95,000 to buy a new property outright or he will not sign. He needs a house big enough for two adults in Northern Ireland and I need a house big enough for both the children (boy and girl) in Buckinghamshire as they are both at school here. So, my questions are, is he entitled to this amount of money and is there any way that I can force a sale without his signature given that he hasn't lived here for over two years and I cannot afford to pay any more? Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year 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 long did you live together in total and how old are the children?
How much is the house worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage?
What other assets are there and what income do you each have?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Clare,
We lived together for 13 years and our children are 11 and 15. He has been paying £200 below child maintenance guideline and his outgoings in rent and bills amounted to £685/month and mine have amounted to £1100 per month just in mortgage and utility bills. He has not paid anything towards these in over two years. The house is worth £375000 and the outstanding mortgage is £123000 but I put in £168,000 and he put in £87000. He now has to get a house in Ireland for him and his new partner. He wants £95000 to buy his new house outright and expects me to settle for £155000 to buy a new house big enough for the children, of whom I have sole care, and within the vicinity so it does not disrupt their schooling. He plans on giving up his job so I will get no further child maintenance. We have no other assets. He has always earnt £38000 per year and I earnt £42000 per year until 2010 and then for the following five years have brought home between £19000 and £20000 although this January I accepted a teaching job which should earn £38000.
Hope this is clearer.
Regards,
Debbie
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
How much will you need to rehouse the children?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Just as Walter has a new partner with no children, I also have a new partner with one child. We therefore need four bedrooms. This aside, I would need to have at least three bedrooms just as we already have because I can't put a boy and a girl in together. I also need to stay in the Buckinghamshire area because of both the children's schooling and they have had a great deal of upheaval. We are moving to a less expensive and desirable area in order to be able to afford a four bedroom house which costs £500,000 but we would not be looking at less than £375,000 for a 3 bedroom house in this area. That is what we are selling this one for (it only has three bedrooms and one reception room at that price) and I cannot afford to live here as it is, certainly not having paid Walter £95,000. He is also demanding that I cover all legal costs and pay off all debts that have his name on from the time we were married. I have paid them all entirely by myself for the last two and a half years but now he insists I settle them too which will amount to a further £1,500 in addition to the legal costs.

Debbie

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Clare.

Are you any closer to an answer please as my ex-husband and I are having heated arguments and he is refusing to sign any house sale papers and is seeking legal advice tomorrow in order to take as much as he possibly can. I need to know what my position is hence it was an urgent request 25 hours ago. Alternatively can I pass the questions on to another solicitor please.

Regards,

Debbie

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
The priority for the family court is the safe and secure housing of the children until they are 18 - and in fact if you wished to remain in the property your ex would not be able to force you to sell the property until the youngest child is 18 or you decided to cohabit.
If he refused the pay the full amount of child maintenance then you could ask the CMS to deal with it - and indeed you might have sufficient funds to stay where you are
However since you are wishing to cohabit then the issue is how should the proceeds of sale be divided between you.
The starting point so far as the family court is concerned is 50/50 - but the fact that you have the children to house and brought the majority of the capital to the marriage makes a 70/30 split in your favour very achievable - giving him £75,600
he would also be expected to pay his own debts
If he will not co-operate with you on this sale then the way forward is to apply to the court for the financial issues arising from the divorce to be dealt with - which will eventually lead to an Order for the sale of the property if that is what you seek.
before doing that you will have to discuss matters with your ex using Family mediation
www.familymediationhelpline.co.uk
You have far more power in this situation than he realises
Please ask for any further details you need
Clare

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