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Harris
Harris, Family Law Expert
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2725
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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I have separated from my husband and he is remaining in our

Resolved Question:

I have separated from my husband and he is remaining in our jointly-owned (mortgaged) home and paying half the mortgage, whilst I am living with my new partner. Am I legally entitled to require that my husband pays rent whilst still living in the home?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Hi, thanks for your question. I am a qualified family law solicitor.
Just a bit more information required -
1. Do you have any children and do they reside with your husband?
2. Is he solely meeting the rest of the household expenses himself?
3. Is the mortgage repayment or interest only?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No children and he is meeting all of the household expenses. Mortgage is repayment with approx. 7 years to run.
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Thank you.
The courts have to take a range of factors into account, including: whether under the statutory provisions you have a right of occupation (which you likely do); both your intentions when the property was purchased; whether any other payments should be offset against the occupation rent eg for improvements or mortgage payments that increase the net capital value (so just the repayment part of the mortgage).
As your husband is discharging the outgoings on the property, the court may use its discretion and conclude that no occupation rent is payable.
Given that you have now separated, I would suggest that you consider (if not done so already) issuing divorce proceedings and then proposing mediation in order to reach an agreement regarding the finances. You can find local mediators here: familymediationcouncil.org.uk
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My intention is to file a jointly-agreed financial statement with the court, prior to divorce proceedings being issue: I wish to know whether it would be feasible to propose to my husband that he pays rent (at half-rate, since he would be entitled to half the rental income) and if so, to add this condition to the financial statement. All other ongoing finances - of which there are very few - are currently amicably settled and ongoing and I would like this one to be the same, so as to prevent issues when divorce proceedings take place.
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Thanks. You would not be able to file an agreed financial settlement (or consent order) to be approved by the court prior to divorce proceedings commencing. You can only do this once the Decree Nisi has been granted.
It is a reasonable proposal to make, however what are you proposing should happen to the property upon divorce? Are you agreeing a sale of the property and proceeds to be shared, or is your husband buying out your share?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We don't want to sell the property and ideally want to continue with the existing mortgage in joint names as it is: neither of us wants to - and is probably not in a position to - buy the other out.
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Thanks. The court would need to consider the reasons for there not being a clean break given that you have no children and you are now cohabiting with a new partner.
It may therefore be in your best interests that the consent order has your husband paying the entire mortgage with a clause that your shares in the property remain the same upon sale.
However there are many factors to consider if you wish to continue with this proposal, including:
You will need to consider that you will remain liable for the full mortgage repayments if your husband ceases to pay, which may put you in a difficult financial position, his non-payment would have an impact on your credit rating.
You also have to consider complications in the future should your husband remarry and, in the event of a divorce from a new wife she may pursue a claim against his share, which may include a forced sale and court proceedings to which you will need to be involved in.
You will also need to check how the property is held - if in joint names and you pass away, your share automatically passes to your husband, even after divorce. If held as tenants in common then your share will be distributed according to your will, or if no will in place according to intestacy rules.
Further, if you do wish to purchase a property in the future, the continuing mortgage will likely prevent you from affording this and it may be difficult to agree a sale of the property at a later time, which could lead to further court proceedings to force a sale.
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Hi, this question remains open. Please let me know if you have any further questions. If not and you found the the information provided helpful please could you rate my response positive so that the question can be closed.
Harris and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No further questions - thank you

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