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Hi, thank you for your question. Please confirm:
-Are you in England or Wales?
-Is there an order excluding you from the property?
-Do you seek a sale of it?
-What is the value of the property and outstanding mortgage?
Thanks for confirming. Are the children male or female?
Thanks. Have you looked at what prices in the area are for 2 bedroom properties both to buy and rent? Is it clear that she is now running into arrears regarding the mortgage?
Thanks - unfortunately unless your name is ***** ***** the mortgage then you will remain linked to the mortgage and the arrears will continue to impact you and the mortgage company will highly unlikely agree to remove your name as she will not be able to afford to take it on and it is in arrears.
Given that she cannot sustain the mortgage and it will likely lead to a repossession, which would impact you, you should look at having the property sold and for her to approach the council to obtain housing - with the children in her care she will be in priority need. So long as the property is not repossessed she will unlikely be found to be intentionally homeless and they should have a duty to house her. She would then likely be entitled to housing benefit to support her rent.
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Unfortunately, as it is a joint mortgage you are both jointly and separately liable for the mortgage despite the circumstances. The only provision for you is to consider either reclaiming, occupying and taking over the property or to apply to court for a forced sale of the property - you do not need to convince her to sell - it is the court that would need convincing and given she is unable to sustain the home and mortgage it is likely the court will agree that a forced sale is reasonable.
Legally you would be allowed to return to the property as you are a joint owner and there are no exclusion orders to prevent you returning you can legally return there. Practically this would be difficult and initially you should propose this to your ex-partner to prevent repossession and further impacting your credit rating.
If she refuses you can consider applying for an occupation order to return there and to remove her and the children, this can be done using form FL401 to your local family court. Or you can proceed immediately with a forced sale using form N1 and a £355 court fee to your local county court.