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: 2849
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
90234221
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Harris is online now

I have split from the father of my 5 children for over 5

Resolved Question:

I have split from the father of my 5 children for over 5 years now, we were together for 20 years but not married. He was physically violent to me over that time. I live in the house with my children but the mortgage is in his name. The deposit for the house came from a house which was in my name and since we have owned the current property ( 9 years) I have paid all of the mortgage bar 7 months.
He pays £100 per month towards the children and currently spends most of his time in Jamaica and does not see them or contribute towards their upbringing.
He is insisting that he is entitled to 50% of the equity and when I have attempted to talk about a declaration of trust this is what he wants in it.
He also owned a flat in his name which he bought while we were together, he has sold this and is currently living on the proceeds I did not receive any of this money.
My question is what legal order do I need to apply for in order to allow the court to decide the split on the equity? I don't care so much about maintenance.
Thanks Helen
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.

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

-Whose name is ***** ***** of the property in?

-Is there a declaration of trust, if so what are the terms?

-Are there any formal agreements or agreed intention regarding the split of equity?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The house is in his name.
No there is no declaration of trust, have attempted to put one in place but I do not agree to the terms that he wants (50/50 split on equity being one)
The informal agreement is I remain in the property until my youngest is 18 and he is of the view that at that stage we sell and he gets 50% Helen
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.

If you are not in agreement with a 50-50 split, then what are you seeking?

What is the value of the property, outstanding mortgage and the deposit you put down?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Deposit was @ £40,000
Property current value £450,000
Outstanding mortgage £280,000
I think that a 70 / 30 split is more than generous as I am not only paying for everything and always have but am raising the children alone.
Ideally would want a 80/20 split Helen
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.

Is the mortgage repayment or interest only?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Interest only
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.

How old are the children?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
18. 14. 12. 9 and 6
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for confirming. I am afraid that the news is not good.

Firstly, the legal position as you are unmarried is that he is solely entitled to the whole equity as the title is in his name. However, if you are able to demonstrate an intention or agreement between you that your contributions should entitle you to a share of the equity you would be able to apply to court for an order regarding your contributions. As you are unmarried, contributions such as raising the children are not taken into account. I would therefore not be confident that you would be entitled to obtain more than what your initial deposit contribution was, nor the mortgage payments as this has not added to the value or equity of the property given that it is interest only. It would therefore appear that the informal agreement you have with him is better than you would get if you were to pursue a matter to court.

I appreciate that this may not be the answer you would have hoped for but if you found my information provided helpful please could you rate my response positively using the stars at the top of this page as I will not be credited for my response without a positive rating.

Harris and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you