Welcome to Just Answer
I am a Solicitor and wil assist you today.
Please may I ask:
- do you think you marriage could be saved?
- how much equity is in the house?
- are there any other matrimonial assets including pensions?
- what income is your wife getting?
- how old are your children?
- is divorce contemplated?
Thank you for your response.
Why did she resign from work? Is she considering a different job?
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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Your ex is going to have to start paying her way - although you may have to pay spousal maintenace for a period of time should you divorce. Your ex wil have to seek employment and also appropriate benefits. You can be left paying everything forever. You should self refer to mediation to start the process with your wife about how this is going to work in the future.
Its not goin to possible to get your wife to leave - as she is also a joint owner - she would have to be on bail conditions for an offence or you would have to appy for an occupation order - which wouldnt be easy if she didnt have the means to go elsewhere.
In respect of your children - it is the position of the courts that children are entitled to a good relationship with both of thier parents unless there is a child protection reason why this shouldnt happen. Wherever you both live - you should both get to see your children regularly.
let me know if I can help you further
XXXX Typo XXXXX - you CANT be left paying everything forever! sorry
If you deal with the issue of the matrimonial finances - then she is going to make herself homeless if she doesnt pay.
When you deal with the issue of the matrimonial finances - it will become clear what benefits she gets, what income and spousa maintenance will meet the gap.
It is of course a worry that at any point she may decide not to pay the mortgage, this could be relevant now or say in 5 years and I am sorry to say that there is no easy answer to that for you.
Yes - if you live in the house then the bills will be paid - but it this workable? I do not think that a family court Judge would make her leave - if she has said that she will not pay.
Normally when final court orders are made in respect fo the matrimonial property - such as what your equity is and when this will be realised, lets say when the children finish education, even though this order is legally binding on you and your wife - it simply does not bind the mortgage company - as they have a seperate contract with you both.
Your wife will have to continue usign her best endeavours to get you off the mortgage and then you cannot be chased if there is a later default.
I hope this helps.
Do let me know if I can clarify anythingo for you
There is nothing to stop you moving back in - as you are a joint owner of the property and you therefore have a right to occupy the property. This will remain the position as long as things are amicable.
What you are probably aware of - is that your contract with the mortgage compnay is joint and several. This means that should there be a non payment - then they can chase either of you for a shortfall.
The reality is - that the only way you can sort out the matrimonial finances for the future - is by utilisng mediation and court. This still wont bind the mortgage company.
Unless you deal with the matrimonial finances - you cannot make your wife pay the mortgage now. This can only be done if you were to divorce.
I hope this makes sense :) do let me know if I can clarify anything for you.
do let me know if I can help you further.