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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33521
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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Clare, I have been separated from my Wife since August

Resolved Question:

Hi Clare,
I have been separated from my Wife since August 2015 and trying to work through the financial parts. Fortunately we are amicable when it comes to time with our 2 kids. I have a few questions and really hoping you can help answer them please:
My Wife got a solicitor to put her on the land registry so that I can not sell the house, is this actually valid?
She has told me legally she can stay in the house until our children are 16 years old (currently a boy 6 and girl almost 3) and we have a 2 Bed house, is this accurate?
I have paid all bills for the household, currently (so for the last 5months) I have carried on paying all household bills inc Mortgage, Utilities, Groceries, Council Tax, Sky, etc... obviously I can't continue to carry on paying all the above as I will not be able to get my own place whether Mortgaged or Renting (I am currently back at my Mums house), should I be paying everything? If not what is the minimum I have to pay for the home if she is still living there?
If the house/mortgage is in my name only and we are separated but she is living there would she be entitled to Housing Benefit?
How much does a divorce cost on average if both parties can iron out a lot of the items prior?
Thank you for your help with this, much appreciated
Martin
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi MartinThank you for your question and thank you for asking for meIn order o help you I need some further informtaionHow much is the house worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage?What other assets and debts are there?What income do you each have?Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Clare,The house is worth £180,000.. it is an Interest only mortgage, I believe £132,000 with a £20,000 unsecured loan running alongside it so £152,000 in total. I bought it 10 years ago with Northern Rock with a 5 years fixed rate, after the 5 years I intended to go to Repayment but did not ( I was young and did not realise the result of not changing!) so now I am 10 years into a 25 year Interest only mortgage.
No assets that I can think of.. Debts wise I have 3 credit cards in my name we used totalling £2000, small loan from her Dad which is half paid roughly £1000 left and I have a small loan with my mum for a car around £2000.I earn £60,000 p/a employed, she is self employed and earns between 18,000-24,000p/aThanks
Martin
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Your marriage, and the fact that there are two young children involved means that your wife has an equal share of the property (at least) and that is why her Matrimonial Home Rights have been quite properly registered at the Land Registry.Your wife is correct - she would be allowed to remain in the property with the chidlren until the youngest child is 18 or your wife cohabit's at which point the property will be sold and the proceeds divided between you.HOWEVER you do not have to continue paying for everything at all - and indeed your wife would be expected to contribute towards the mortgage (no she is not entitled to housing benefit) Your child maintenance liability will be 16% of your gross income at most - less if the chidlren stay with you more than 52 nights a yearYou may also have a small liability for spouse maintenance - but if you were to pay for the mortgage instead of spouse and child maintenance that is likely to suffice.You can discuss the finances with your ex using Family Mediationhttp://www.familymediationcouncil.org.uk/find-local-mediator/to agree the terms of a Consent order to be placed before the Court within the divorce proceedings.You can deal with the divorce yourselves - details herehttps://www.gov.uk/divorce/file-for-divorcewhich would mean that the only costs would be the court fees - currently a total of £460I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further detailsClare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If my Wife is expected to contribute to the mortgage is by law and how would it be upheld? Also you mentioned just the mortgage but does this apply to the house bills that go with it i.e Council Tax, Water, Gas, Electric and so on?
What would happen if she refused to pay anything towards mortgage, house bills as above..? And if I didn't pay them I take it my house in my name would get repossessed?
If I have it correctly do I have £30,000 equity in the house once sold? I already told her that I'm happy to split the equity 50/50 but she doesn't want to..I'm not sure how to convince her it is the best option as one day she would have to move at as the kids could not cohabit easily in the same room.Thanks
Martin
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
HiYou would transfer all the bills (apart form the mortgage) into her name and she will have to use her income from all sourcesThe issue of the Mortgage would have to be dealt with by way of a court orderIf the property is sold before the youngest child is 18 then it is likely that your wife will get more than 50% of the equity - but it is difficult to assess whatthe split would be
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Clare,Sorry for the delay..
I know you mentioned my Wife is expected to pay/contribute to the mortgage/bills. If I ask my Wife to pay the bills and mortgage but she refuses does she have to legally or if she says no then thats it? If she says no but it is legally expected for her to pay if she lives there then what are the steps for this? I believe when I speak to her this weekend about the financial situation and inform her that I will be only paying the child maintenance going forward and she would need to cover the bills she will flat refuse!Thanks
Martin
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
You are entitled to transfer the bills to her name since you are not living there any more.tell her that in future you will pay child maintenance plus the mortgage whilst negotiations are ongoing - if she choses not to pay the bills then I am afraid she wonthave electricity and will be sued for Council Tax!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok I will try that and see how it goes down.
I will look at mediation next.
Is there anything now that I can prepare or have in place prior to the mediation?
Thanks
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Make sure that you have a clear grasp of the finances - and can prove the figures that you use!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Clare
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
You are most welcome - good luck
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33521
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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