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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33519
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'm currently separated from my wife and I have moved in

Resolved Question:

Hi, I'm currently separated from my wife and I have moved in with my parents. My wife is in the family home with our two children. We have a joint mortgage on our family home
It is a 4 bedroom house with 3 utility rooms, a garage and a big garden.
My wife works part time.
She won't sell the house, and she doesn't have the money to buy me out.
As there is equity in the house, I don't want to just transfer it into her name only.
However, I don't want to keep paying for her to live in a house that is too big and that realistically she doesn't need to live in considering its size and her part time status.
I think she should sell and move to something she can pay for on her own, so that I can afford to rent a place of my own.
The mortgage is direct debited from my wife's account.
Do I have to keep paying my half of the mortgage, or am I able to inform her that I am going to stop giving her money for the mortgage and will only pay the child maintenance and nothing more? This would make her realise that she can't afford the house and would mean that I can release the equity that has built up.
Please can you help me?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Harris replied 11 months ago.
Hi, thanks for your question. Please confirm if you are pursuing a divorce?
Expert:  Clare replied 11 months ago.
HiThank you for your questionTo deal with it we will need to know how much the house is worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage?How old are the children and how much will a cheaper three bedroom property in the same school area cost to buy?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Hi ClareThe family house is worth £225,000.A 3 bedroom house is around £120,000 - £150,000 in the same area.The current balance on the mortgage is £115,471The children are 8 and 4.I look forward to hearing from you.
Expert:  Clare replied 11 months ago.
What mortgage capacity does your wife have?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
OK ClareShe earns around £21,000 per annum.Not sure on the capacity that it generates, but I know the mortgage we have was based on our joint income at the time.Hopefully that info helps with my question?
Expert:  Clare replied 11 months ago.
What settlement have you suggested if the house is sold?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thanks ClareI have not made a suggestion yet, I need to find out where I stand first. But I want to suggest that the amount is the value of my stake in the equity.She has taken legal advice and is aware that as the kids are living in the family home, legally she is entitled to remain in the house until our youngest is 18, and that until then, I can't legally force her to sell.But from my standpoint, I can't keep paying my portion my of the mortgage for a property that I don't live in, as I need to start thinking about getting my own place, as I don't want to remain at my parents for the next 14 years.I need to free myself from paying for something that I can't use (the house) and need that money to pay rent so I can provide my kids with a second home if they want to spend some time with me.She offered me a token £10,000 to buy me out. But this is an unacceptable proposal based on the value of the house, what I have paid into it and the equity that has accumulated.I need her to understand that that she either needs to work on a rekindle with me, or that I am going to have to stop payments if she is unwilling to sell and move to something she can afford on her own.Child maintenance for me is £268 per month and I am happy to keep paying that.But if we are not actively working towards a rekindle, then I need to think about life without her and this will involve me getting a place of my own.I want to sit down and explain to her the above, and stop paying my share of the mortgage, if she wants to stay in the house, she needs to be able to pay for it on her own, as I can't keep paying for a something I am unable to use (the house).I need to explain to her that if she is unable to pay on her own, then realistically, she is living beyond her means, so she should either find a way to cover my side of the payments if she is unable to buy me out, or find a way to provide me with an appropriate buy out amount, and she is unable to do that, she should be honest and admit that 3 people on a part time wage can't afford a 4 bedroom house and Don't need one, so she should consider selling and moving to something she can afford on her own.But legally I don't know where my suggestion sound...I don't know if I can just say to her that in a few months time, if we are not working on a rekindle, I am simply going to stop transferring the amount that relates to the mortgage, and effectively make her realise that I need to move on, and that means I need my share of the equity, or at the very least, I have to stop paying my share of the mortgage and she needs to find a way to cover my portion until our youngest is 18.I hope that helps you to help me with my enquiry?
Expert:  Clare replied 11 months ago.
Just to check - what is your gross income (just want to rule out any risk of spouse maintenance)
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
My gross basic salary is £20,000 I've just started a new job as of January 6th. It's a sales based job where I can earn commission based on sales. As I have not long started I've not earned commission to date as I've not long completed my training.
Expert:  Clare replied 11 months ago.
As a guide what was your gross income from all sources last year
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Last calendar year it was £0.00Last tax year it was approximately £27000This was because Ieft my employer midway through the last tax year
Expert:  Clare replied 11 months ago.
Within the financial side of divorce proceedings the priority for the family Court is the safe and secure housing of the children until they are 18.In your case this could either be by your ex remaining in the current property - or by the property being sold and your ex receiving most if not all of the proceed sto allow her to purchase an alternative property - with you waiting for your share (likely to be be between 30% and 40% of the equity used) until your youngest is 18 or your ex cohabitsThe level of your income makes Spouse maintenance unlikely - and at the moment you are indeed being generous in paying half of the mortgage on top of the child maintenanceIt would be sensible to warn her that you will stop paying the half of the mortgage in say three months time - and offering to discuss matters with her using Family mediation to try and resolve mattersI hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further detailsClare
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hi Clare
Thanks for the answer.So just so I am 100% clear on this before I sit down with my wife.What you are saying is that I am not obliged to pay my share of the mortgage whilst she does not want me in the family home (which is the case as things stand)?Also, if she can't afford the mortgage on her own and if she decided to sell in order to take on a property that is more in line with what she can afford, then she is entitled to most (and possibly all of the £110,000) of equity that has built up?So I end up with nothing regarding the equity if she sold and downsized to a smaller property that she could actually afford on her own?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
P. S. For completeness, she earns approximately £21,000 and she gets money from the UK Government and a reduced council tax bill as she is living in the property on her own.
Expert:  Clare replied 10 months ago.
The priority is the housing of the children until they are 18 so yes if there was a sale she may well get all the equity to start with and you will have to wait until the youngest child is 18 until you receive your shareShe will struggle to make you pay towards the mortgage if you chose not to
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33519
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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