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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34585
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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I own a home 50/50 with my husband (we are still legally married).

Resolved Question:

I own a home 50/50 with my husband (we are still legally married). No mortgage.
The house is worth approx. £450,000
I moved out of the property 15 years ago allowing him to live there rent free.
He is a chronic alcoholic and currently under the care of the local social services. He does not work and lives off benefits.
I need my share of the property to allow me to move on.
My husband refuses to sell the house and obviously cannot afford to buy me out
Can a court order the property to be sold or would my husbands chronic condition
have an influence on the decision.
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 does a one bedroom/studio property in the same area cost to buy?
Are you intending to start divorce proceedings?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The property in question is a one bedroom flat in London hence the high value.

Do I need to start divorce proceedings?

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
What other housing options does he have?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

He will walk away with £200000+ and have the same housing options as me

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Unfortunately it is not that simple given his condition - the court will wish to know exactly what the options are for his rehousing so it is important that you look into those carefully and have the information available
You have two options in terms of forcing the issue.
You can make a Property Law application for an Order for sale; or you can use Family Law and make a Financial application within Divorce Proceedings.
If you opt for the first path then the court will have no option but to look at a straight split of the equity - with the second option the Court has wide powers to redistribute the assets in any way the court thinks fit.
Whilst this would make the first option more attractive you do need to be aware that it would then be open to your ex to start the Family law Proceedings - which will then make the property law option redundant.
Please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Can you explain why it is my responsibility to ensure that he has a home to go to? What about my rights and requirements.

My circumstances have now changed considerably (I do not work any more)

Why should he be protected while I am forced to struggle?

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
HI
It is not your responsibility at all - it is however the responsibility of the court and it is a matter of making your application as strong as possible
You have excellent arguments for a 50/50 division - you just need to make sure that you do not give him any wriggle room
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks but can you elaborate on what you mean by "wriggle room".

Also, if the courts ordered the property to be sold, how could this be achieved while he is resident in the flat? I know he does not want to move and he would make it almost impossible to sell- abuse of the viewers etc.

The flat also needs to be refurbished before sale as he currently lives in squalor.

I understand that this is a complicated case but everything seems to be in his favour.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
HI
Your ex will argue that his "illness" means that his housing needs have priority - part of your case will be that not only is that not fair but ALSO you can show that he would be able to rehouse himself.
You will also be able to obtain an Order forcing him to leave so that you can rmarket the house
Clare
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