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Harris
Harris, Family Law Expert
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2849
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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I am the joint owner of a property that I and my two daughters

Resolved Question:

I am the joint owner of a property that I and my two daughters live in. My ex- husband is the other owner. We split up in July 2000 and divorced a few years later, with no settlement on the house.
The house is 50% mortgage and 50% rent. I have paid this, without any contribution from my ex, for the past 16 years. Neither has he contributed to the up keep of the property.
He now wants 1/3 rd of the equity.
A few years ago we went to mediation, the solicitor agreed with him. However nothing was legally signed.
I have since been 'advised' that I could charge him a fee for the upkeep of the property which would come out of his proportion of the equity. Is this correct? How do I stand legally ?
My ex is entitled to legal aid whilst I am not. This is why it hasn't been thrashed out between solicitors.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Hi, thanks for your question. Just a bit more information required. Please confirm if you are in England or Wales. Also how old your two daughters are, and what the arrangements for the children have been (how much time they spend with both of you). Was there a financial settlement regarding other assets or maintenance as part of the divorce? Have either of you remarried since the divorce, and how is the property held (50-50 or in unequal shares?) How is he entitled to legal aid? Has there been domestic violence in the past two years from you towards him? If there has not been he would not be entitled to legal aid if this matter went to court or through solicitors - however, if his income is low then he would be entitled to legal aid for mediation.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I live in Barnsley England. The house is 50/50. There has been no financial settlement on other assets. The girls are 22 and 25 now. The girls have always lived with me all the time. The CSA made him pay maintenance of 25 pounds a month which he paid for around 18 months. Then stopped. The CSA couldn't find out where he was working. After around 3 years they manage to track him down. They made him pay 750 pounds and then he gave up work and claimed benefit of which he has been doing ever since. He was also made to pay £5.00 a month for 12 months. (July 2014 -July 2015) He claims pension credit. There has been no domestic violence. I have recently married on 22/12/2015.The house is worth approx £90000 so he would be looking for around £15000. There is £4000 owing on the mortgage.
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
How is he entitled to legal aid? Has there been domestic violence in the past two years from you towards him? If there has not been he would not be entitled to legal aid if this matter went to court or through solicitors - however, if his income is low then he would be entitled to legal aid for mediation.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He is entitled to legal aid because he claims pension credit.
There has been no domestic violence within the last two years.
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Thank you - he will not be entitled to legal aid only based on means. From 1 April 2013, he would need to prove that there was domestic violence from you towards him to be entitled to legal aid for solicitors and court proceedings for this matter. However, he would be entitled to legal aid in relation to mediation. In terms of the property share, if this matter was pursued to the court the starting point the court would look at would be a 50-50 split of the asset and for this starting point to be departed from based on your needs and his needs, as well as contributions. Given that you have contributed solely towards the property you are likely to obtain a greater share - although he has offered to accept a lower share of 1/3 of the property. Given his proposal of accepting a lower share, if the matter were to be pursued to court you will both need to consider the costs of a contested matter. It is likely that if the proceedings were contested your legal fees alone would be greater than £15,000. In terms of the upkeep on the property - if you have made significant contributions towards refurbishments or renovations then this would be taken into account - but again, him offering to accept a lower share of the property is a possible indication that he has taken this into account.
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