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Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33316
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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There, My wife and I have been married years.

Customer Question

Hello there,
My wife and I have been married for 15 years. We decided to separate and have two young children 10 & 7. I moved out of the home, jointly owned, approx. 14 months ago and the house is currently being marketed. I have fully supported them financially (in excess of £2k per month towards running the house and paying the mortgage plus holidays and clothes for children) as I am the main earner.
I also continue to see the children 3/4 times a week and speak with them every day. My wife has asked for my keys to provide the estate agents and no refuses to give them back and is now beginning to try to make it awkward to speak and see the children. Until now we have been quite amicable and flexible with the children.
Once the house has sold we will agree a settlement figure of the equity to enable us both to find suitable accommodation. I fully expect to give up a fair amount of the equity but don't know what is generally expected. I have a couple of questions:
1. Is my wife legally able to prevent me seeing/speaking with children?
2. Am I entitled to a set of keys to my house although I am not living there full time?
3. Would you be able to give a very outline estimate of the equity split expected?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How much is the house worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage?
What other assets are there and what income do you each have?
How much will a cheaper three bedroom property in the same school area cost to buy?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Clare,

Thanks for response.

The house is being marketed for £525k and we have an offer of £515k which we will probably accept. Mortgage and various debts, kitchen loan etc is approx. £290k so net equity approx. £225k. Little in way of other cash assets. We have pensions etc and each have a car.

I earn £71k basic (plus discretionary bonuses) and my wife works part time and earns approx. £16k with scope to increase hours. A 3 bedroom house in the immediate area will be approx. £400k.

I hope this is helpful and would appreciate your response and also the other points raised.

Regards

Gary

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Clare,

I have responded. A bit confused by audit trail though and status of subsequent reply from you.

Many thanks

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
My apologies for the delay.
Would it be fair to say that in Order to purchase an alternative property your ex will need you to join in with a mortgage?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Clare,

We will not want to buy jointly as will have a clean break. I am prepared to give a bulk of the equity (65/35) and child maintenance above and beyond my requirements following reference to guidance on Government website (probably + 15%).

She realises that she may need to rent as I will need to initially at least.

I hope that answers your query.

Gary

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Has she said that she will still go ahead with the sale?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

Yes she has agreed to the sale and wants a clean break. However, as I have been paying £2k per month towards the mortgage and other costs, she has not exactly been pressing matters. We have not discussed settlement of our respective share of equity until we have a firm and accepted offer.

Regards,

Gary

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Your problem is that the Court will not see your ex renting a property with the children as being acceptable - so if your ex goes to court for a settlement she may well receive all the equity with you waiting for your share until the youngest child is 18 or your ex cohabits.
Indeed if she seeks advise prior to the Exchange of Contracts there is a risk that she will realise that she can remain there (although not on the same generous financial terms she currently enjoys)
To answer your three questions.
1. Legally no - practically it is harder. You shoudl make an urgent appointment with a Family Mediator - www.familymediationhelpline.co.uk
to discuss these issues and try and avoid a court hearing
2. Yes
3. I have some serious concerns - but a split in the region of 65/35 or 70/30 is achievable IF she agrees to rent
Please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Clare,

Thanks for you kind assistance.

This gives me something to go on for now and certainly makes things a little clearer.

Regards,

Gary

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
You are most welcome - I hope it goes well for you
Clare

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