Thank you for confirming that for me.
As a joint owner of the property - you have a right to occupy the property. You can therefore legally return to live in the property. The only way your wife could restrict this would be if you were asked to leave by the police and bail conditions were put in place if an offence was to be investigated - or if she otained an occupation order from the court.
The reality is that a lot of couples do still have to live together whilst divorce and the finances are resolved. This is ok - if things can remain amicable.
I am going to tell you how the courts look at the division of assets on divorce - as this will give you an idea as to how you stand and how you move forward with the financial matters.
When either person issues for divorce - then either of the parties is able to make a claim in respect of the matrimonial finances.
The matrimonial finances includes all the assets and liabilities for both of you.
The first step is disclosure - that is both of you have to disclose all of your assets and liabilities. Only once this has truly happened can discussions take place in respect of division.
The starting point of division is equality - that being equal. The Matrimonial Causes Act sets out factors that can lead to the depature of equality these include the future care of children, future earning capacity etc.
If these apply to you - then you need to be aware that your wife will likely seek a higher share - somewhere around 10 - 20%.
The housing needs of the children will be important to a court - so a court is unlikley to order the house be sold if there is insufficent equity to met the childrens needs elsewhere. Orders can be made that the house will not be sold so your interest can be realised until a certain event occurs - such as your ex remarrying of the children finishing education.
You also need to be aware that as there is a disparity in your income - then your wife may consider a claim for spousal maintenance. This is not a meal ticket for life and is often now only for a limited period of time. Your wife will have a duty to mitigate her position - this means she will have to find work.
Whilst all the above can be finalised if divorce happens in the future - if this is not currenty contemplated - then a separation agreement should be considered - still dealing with all disclosure and discussions about division.
Mediation can also help you with this. There are lots of mediation servcies and there will be one local to you. If you google family mediation in your area then you can give them a call to self refer. They can help with disclosure and discussions about division.
Let me know if I can help you further.
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