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Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33002
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 am seeking advice as to my children's financial

Customer Question

I am seeking advice as to my children's financial entitlements. He left the army last year and received a £60,000 gratuity and a pension of around £1,000 per month. I agreed to not receiving maintenance for 3 months to allow him time to study. Unfortunately his dad then became I'll so I agreed to not receive maintenance for an extended period. Sadly 1 year on his dad has now died. He will inherit 1/3 of a 5 bed detached house on the Cornish coast. He says he now no longer needs to work and that at the age of 43. He is now paying £160 per month. Please could you kindly advice me whether this is reasonable.
Yours Sincerely
Georgina Carter
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 month ago.

Thank you for your question

My name is Clare

I shall do my best to help you but I need some further information first

Were you married?

What is your housing position?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Hello Clare,Thank you for your response. We were never married. We lived together for 3 years in the house which I own. Then we brought a house together and I rented my house out. On separating he refused to leave out family home. I stopped renting out my house and moved back in with the children. The house we brought together remains in joint names but ***** *****ves their with his girl friend. He also own a flat which he rents out.Thank youGeorgie
Expert:  Clare replied 1 month ago.

Why have you nor forced the sale of the house?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I am not sure I am entitled too. He will say I do not have any equity in it and he has obviously made the repayment since I moved out. I also have my name on the joint account but no card etc to gain access.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 month ago.

When was the house purchased, how much is it worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage?

How old are the chidlren?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
We purchased the house for 225,000. I think about 135,000. The children are 5 and 7 years old.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 month ago.

How much is it worth now?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
A neighbours house of the same specification sold for 268,000 in May so assume it is worth a similar amount.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 month ago.

Is it a repayment or an interest only mortgage?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
It is a repayment mortgage. We put down about 35,000 and he has paid off a lump sum of 40,000 from his gratuity.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 month ago.

The bad news is that child maintenance is based on income and I am afraid that he is paying the correct amount.

The good news is that you are entitled to insist that the property is sold and you are entitled to half of the equity - although you may have to give credit for the capital he used from his gratuity.

If he argues that in fact he has paid all the mortgage since you left point out that he did so partly using the money that should have been used to pay child maintenance and accordingly you have in fact paid your share

If he will not agree to a sale then you can apply to the court to force a sale

Details here

I hope that this is of assistance please ask if you need further details

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Reading the guidance on maintenance it talks about if the ex partners financial position changes. Obviously he had a drop in income when retiring from the Army and his income changing from salary to pension. The maintenance is based on this figure and does not reflect his rental income, gratuity or inheritance. Is this correct?
Expert:  Clare replied 1 month ago.

The maintenance assessment is based on his gross income - so yes any rental income he receives will be taken into account - but not his capital I am afraid

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