How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Harris Your Own Question
Harris
Harris, Family Law Expert
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2724
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
90234221
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Harris is online now

I have separated from my ex. We have 2 kids together (3 and

Resolved Question:

I have separated from my ex. We have 2 kids together (3 and 1). They have remained living in the house that I own and I have moved out to rent provately. She has 2 kids from her previous marriage (13 and 11). The 2 older kids occupy 2 bedrooms and my 2 kids and my ex share a room together. I currently pay the mortgage and child maintenance. Can she claim benefits? Is there any other financial support that I can get?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.

Hi, thank you for your question. Just a bit more information required to fully assist you:

-Are/were you married to her?

-How have you calculated child maintnenace?

-What is your gross income?

-How many nights on average do your children stay with you each week?

-Is her name on the title of the property?

-How much is the property worth and how much is any outstanding mortgage?

-Do either of you have any other properties or assets, if so what and what is their value?

-Is the father of the other children involved and in what way does he contribute?

-Does she have any qualifications?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
To answer your questions:-Are/were you married to her? No - together for 4 years. Living together for 2 1/2-How have you calculated child maintnenace? Online via Gov website. £500 per month. Mortgage is £750-What is your gross income? £60k-How many nights on average do your children stay with you each week? 4-Is her name on the title of the property? No-How much is the property worth and how much is any outstanding mortgage? Value - £180k; £155k left on mortgage-Do either of you have any other properties or assets, if so what and what is their value? No-Is the father of the other children involved and in what way does he contribute? None whatsoever. He has no involvement. He lives in the US. I supported the other kids for 4 years.-Does she have any qualifications? Yes - qualified nurse and OT although she has not worked for approx 6 years. She is currently on benefits. Her only other source of income is the child maintenance I pay.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry - update to the following question:
-How many nights on average do your children stay with you each week? 3 nights on average for 3 year old; I don't yet have any overnights with the 1 year old. I see her for an hour or so before each overnight with the 3 year old.
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. Firstly, as her name is ***** ***** the property and you are not married she has no legal or beneficial interest in the property and you can ask her to leave upon reasonable notice. When she leaves she will be made homeless and can apply to her local authority housing office who will assess whether they have a duty to accomodate her - this is likely as she has 4 children in her care and no other accommodation. You have no responsibility to maintain her and your only legal obligation at this time is for child maintenance which you are meeting. If the mother is unable to secure appropriate accommodation then she is able to apply to court for you to meet her housing needs for the benefit of the children, however, the court will assess both your full financial circumstances and will seek to ensure that she is maximising her earning potential. At this time, as she is unemployed and with no assets, she would be entitled to income support, child benefit, possible child tax credit and housing benefit. She therefore has potential to make a substantial claim for benefits.

I hope this assists you. If you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating using the stars at the top of this page. I will not be credited for your question without a positive rating. Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry - my initial query may not have been clear. She already claims full benefits and I do not really want to render her (and my kids) homeless. I currently rent 200m away from where they live so that I can see the kids as often as possible and be available to hand if required. My query is:a. Can my payment of the mortgage be in lieu of child maintenance if she elects to stay;
b. Can she claim housing benefit, or partial housing benefit, for her and the two older kids for whom I have no responsibility;
c. Whilst I accept I have a good salary, do I have any state support entitlement given the significant amount I pay on her and all 4 kids (1250 per month).Many thanks
d.
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.

I see, apologies.

1. Child maintenance, if it is made under a voluntary arrangement between both of you can be paid in any way - however, she has a right to ignore this and apply to the child maintenance service as the money should legally be used to meet the needs of the children.

2. She could attempt to claim housing benefit if she were paying you rent- however, this is not clear and in any event if the housing office were to scrutinise the arrangement they may conclude that you are too closely related for housing benefit entitlement.

3. Unfortunately I can not think of any benefits entitlement both due to your high income and the equity in your property.

I hope this assists you further. If you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating using the stars at the top of this page. I will not be credited for your question without a positive rating. Thank you.

Harris and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you

Related Family Law Questions