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Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33319
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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My 'wife' and I are not married. We have been together

Customer Question

Hello,
My 'wife' and I are not married. We have been together for over thirteen years and have a family of three young children together.
Recently she has become unhappy with our relationship and wants to separate. I do not. We recently bought a house together and moved in, in May this year. We have previously owned a property together since 2007 which we sold in February. My 'wife' has for the majority been a stay at home mum although she has worked part-time in spells over the last eight years whilst our children were growing up (children are aged 8, 3 and 1).
My last two senior roles have finished and I have essentially received a pay-off on both occasions. We chose to pay off any existing debts we had.
Since May my 'wife' has asked me to take on a loan for house improvements which I was reluctant to do but this is in my name. Both cars paid off with severance pay are in my name. There was residual cash from the last pay-off which was placed into a single back account in my other halves name. The children all reside with her.
I now find myself in a situation whereby I am paying for all household bills, the mortgage and anything else my family requires. Currently I am living at work (I work as a Hotel Manager) but find myself effectively homeless (at least that is how it feels). What would you suggest I do to protect myself should the worst happen and we decide to separate.
She has sent me a message to suggest that the house will go on the market and we split the equity 50/50. I am 46 years old now and feel I have nothing to show for my lives mediocre endeavours. Please be as cold and as objective as possible to show me some real prospective to my current situation.
Thank you
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 12 months ago.
HiThank you for your questionMy name is ***** ***** do my best to help you but I need some further information firstHow much is the house worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage?How much is outstanding on the loan and how much are the savings
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
House is worth approx. £250,000 and the mortgage was for £209,000. Loan is only 7 months old. We have no savings other than the money that was shelved from one of my severance packages, as my other half put it to one side straight away into her sole account I am not sure what the balance remains on those savings.
Expert:  Clare replied 12 months ago.
Best guess on the savings and how much is outstanding on the loan?
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Best guess on the savings is in the region of £3k.Loan taken was for £5k, amount outstanding will be in the region of £4.7kMortgage was for £209k, I guess full amount will be outstanding.
Expert:  Clare replied 12 months ago.
What income do you each have?
How often do you see the children at the mopment
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Thanks Clare,Salary is £40k + bonus dependent upon results.
The wife is not employed at present
I see the children for two days each week but see them at my former home.Duncan
Expert:  Clare replied 12 months ago.
Difficult question I know - but do you accept that the relationship is at an end
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Yes quite possibly.
Expert:  Clare replied 12 months ago.
Where would your partner and the children live if the house is sold?
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
No idea, she has no plans.
Expert:  Clare replied 12 months ago.
have you asked for the savings back - since clearly they were yours to begin with?
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
I have but she refuses to relinquish them.
Expert:  Clare replied 12 months ago.
Ok
Again a difficult question
Given that separation is inevitable what outcome would you hope for?
(it is relevant to my assessment of possible outcomes)
How much would a cheaper three bedroom property in the same school area cost to buy?
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
I am not bothered about outcomes. What I would like are the cold hearted options available. Can I be the home provider and carer for our children?The only outcome I would hope for and ideally want is reconciliation. Given that is highly unlikely to happen I would like to be able to have a home for my children. Part of me wants to simply give up and let her have everything and I'll start afresh and do my best. I'm prepared to live in a shed if needs be but then that is no home for them to see and live in. Equally I do not want my 'ex' and my children to live in a council house or in a flat or some sort of squalor-ish environment.The price of a three bedroom property in the same area would be around £120 - £170k.
Expert:  Clare replied 12 months ago.
Ok.
Harsh facts.
You and your partner will need to agree about how the care of the children will be shared between you using Family mediation
www.failymediationhelpline.co.uk
If you cannot reach agreement and the court has to decide they will look at the status quo - which is that your partner is the principal child carer and that is what they are likely to order - with you having alternate weekends and a night in the week and half the school holidays if you can accommodate them.
In terms of the finances you will be liable to pay child maintenance at 16% of your gross income less a reduction if you have them overnight more than 52 nights a year
You will not have to pay anything else.
In terms of the house matters are less happy as you are under a duty to help house the children until they are 18 and your ex could use this to try and remain in the current house - but she will have to pay all the bills including the mortgage.
It might be more realistic to purchase a cheaper property together if need be that is more affordable, and which will allow you to receive your 50% share of the equity immediately - better still if you can be released from the new mortgage
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare

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