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Ask Harris Your Own Question

Harris
Harris, Family Law Expert
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1774
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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I have been separated from My husband 3 years

Customer Question

Hi , I have been separated from
My husband for nearly 3 years . He still lives in the marital home and is refusing to sell it even though I have financial difficulties . We have 2 children , until recently we had shared custody but now they live mainly with me as he works away . He pays towards their upkeep but I need my equity from the house to sort out my finances . Can I force him to sell ? We are not yet divorced .
Thanks
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Harris replied 7 months ago.
Hi, thank you for your question. Just a bit more information required to fully assist you:-Have you started the divorce, if so at what stage?-How long have you been married?-How old are the children?-Is the home in sole or joint names?-What is the value of the home, and what is any outstanding mortgage?-What other assets do you both have?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Hi
We have been married for 21 years . I have not started divorce proceedings yet - ironically because I don't have the finances to do it !
We have 2 children , 12 and 16.
The house is in joint names although I haven't paid the mortgage for the last 2 years.
We have no other joint assets .
This value of the home is circa 290k with an outstanding mortgage of 208k I think . The property was for sale , and we had an offer which my husband refused to accept .
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
We both have cars and separate debts . We still have 2 joint accounts though I don't pay into either of those
Expert:  Harris replied 7 months ago.
Thanks - why have you moved out, and what sort of accommodation are you both in now?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Hi
I moved out because for me the marriage was over . I live in rented accomadation and have done since I left - it's a 3 bedroom mews house . My husband still lives in the marital home which is a 4 bedroom detached house . Much of the time this house is empty because my husband works away . He has spoken about renting it out
Expert:  Harris replied 7 months ago.
Thanks for confirming. Once divorce proceedings have started, you can apply to court for financial relief, which can include either selling or returning to live in the home for the benefit of the children.Given the size of the property, it would be reasonable for you to return and you will be able to apply to court to stay there until the children reach a certain age (eg. finish education), after which it will be sole and proceeds of sale to be divided.If you do not wish to return, then you would be able to request that the court makes an order for it to be sold and for the proceeds to be divided in accordance with each of your needs. The court's starting point will be a a 50-50 split of all matrimonial assets and ensuring that both your needs are met in relation to both assets and income. The criteria considered is:1. The income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future, including in the case of earning capacity any increase in that capacity which it would in the opinion of the court be reasonable to expect a party to the marriage to take steps to acquire;2. The financial needs, obligations and responsibilities which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;3. The standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the marriage;4. The age of each party to the marriage and the duration of the marriage;5. Any physical or mental disability of either of the parties to the marriage;6. The contributions which each of the parties has made or is likely in the foreseeable future to make to the welfare of the family, including any contribution by looking after the home or caring for the family;7. The conduct of each of the parties, if that conduct is such that it would in the opinion of the court be inequitable to disregard it;8. In the case of proceedings for divorce or nullity of marriage, the value to each of the parties to the marriage of any benefit which, by reason of the dissolution or annulment of the marriage, that party will lose the chance of acquiring. Prior to submitting an application to court for financial relief you will need to attend a MIAM (Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting) to assess if mediation is suitable to attempt to settle. If the mediator does not think it is, then you can proceed to court. You can find independent mediators here: familymediationcouncil.org.ukIf you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating. I will not be credited for answering your question without a positive rating. Thank you
Expert:  Harris replied 7 months ago.
Hi, this question remains open. If you found my information provided helpful please could you rate my response positively as I will not be credited for my response without a positive rating.

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