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Harris, Law Specialist
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2739
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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I have recently split with my wife, we are both joint owners

Customer Question

Hi, I have recently split with my wife, we are both joint owners of the house and we have 3 children. 2 of which are my wifes and the 3rd, both.
We have lived in the house 5 months and the money we used as a deposit was from my inheritance.
We have been married 19 months and now the wife wants me to leave the house for her to live in.
Where do I stand with this please
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There has been physical violence a few years back also from both parties, not sure whether this matters but I've gave her the option to continue living there but separated or to sell the house. I am being reasonable in all this and giving her the options. I'm not telling her anything to do but its not good enough for her
Unfortunately as we bought a New Build house we are unable to sell until August.
She wants me to move until August then sell but I have no money and nowhere to live or go and its not a option.
She thinks I'm being selfish on the children but I am not. The house is a 4 bedroom house and its big enough for all. She thinks I'm messing with the kids heads and uses the kids against me to try manipulate me and get the decision she wants
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My mum passed away 3 years ago and left me her house, which we sold and put £35000 down on a deposit for the new house.
Neither of us can afford to pay for the house without the other person on the mortgage but the ex wife has already applied to tax credits as single parent and she will get £344 per week, plus she works 28 hours a week and gets £800 per month. With benefits she can afford the house but I feel as it cam from my inheritance and we have only been there 5 months, that I shouldn't be made to leave and shes threatening me with court and going to solicitors
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Hi, thanks for your question.
How old are the children and what will the arrangements be - are you intending to be their main carer, or is she?
Generally speaking, inheritance is not considered a matrimonial asset unless it is brought into the family which you have done by using the inheritance for the deposit on the family home. Furthermore, the family home is now in joint names therefore you both have a legal interest in the property, as well as home rights allowing you both to occupy the property. Without agreement or a court order neither of you can exclude the other from the property.
If the matter proceeded to court, the first consideration the court will give is how the children are to be accommodated. Granted, two of the children are not yours, but if she is their main carer the court will take them into consideration and the first consideration is that the children will need to be suitably accommodated. If the family home is suitable, the court will consider whether she and the children should remain there and for the property to be held on trust for the benefit of the children, and when they reach a certain age for the property to be sold and proceeds to be divided.
If she is unable to afford to maintain the property, or if you will be in severe hardship if you moved out, then the court may consider that the property will need to be sold, proceeds divided and for you to both independently rent accommodation.
Please let me know if you have any further questions regarding this.
Harris and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We both work but she will be the main carer. I think I am just in a position where I have nowhere to go, with no money and I would want to support my family with the home.
How long does it take actually going to court
The kids ages are 13,10 - both the ex wife's and 2 the baby which we share
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Thanks - unfortunately, if you are unable to cohabit as a separated couple, and the court considers you cannot continue to live together they will see it reasonable that you, as a potentially single man, will be in an easier position to leave and maintain yourself than your ex-wife and the children.
But again, if you are unable to support this (you will need to provide disclosure regarding your financial position - as would she), then the property may need to be sold and proceeds split and you will both have to rent properties.
Court proceedings could take anywhere between 6-12 months if the matter is contested.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi, So can you give me any advice.
My ex wife wants me out the house. I'm being reasonable but she's saying I'm messing with the children's heads by being there.
I have no money to go and move somewhere and she is being difficult.
The house has been bought by me but we added both names on.
I'm so lost as I can't win whatever I do
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Whether you move out of the property or not is your decision unless there is a court order in place.
The fact is, if you move out you will not be able to afford independent accommodation and she needs to be fully aware of this. You also have a right to occupy the property despite the breakdown in the relationship.
In relation to the two other children - is their father not providing financial support? Is he not in the picture?
I would suggest that as a first point of call you make a referral to an independent mediator (you can find local ones here: The mediator will be able to sit down with you both and assist negotiations regarding this issue.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for the reply.
There is no court order in place and until yesterday, was no talk of speaking to solicitors.
In the back of my mind, I really want her back but realistically, she knows this and I thinks she's trying everyday to manipulate me.Would you advise getting the ball rolling and just going to court to try and make the sale of the house or would you just wait and see what happens.
If she has the control, knowing that if she goes to solicitor they will advise that she can get me removed.Mediation may work but it's how to approach that with her as she's very defensive and gets angry when suggesting such things.I even said I will give her a divorce if she wants it but she says she's signing nothing until she sees anyone. Would she be entitled to more than 50%
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
You will not be able to pursue a court application regarding the finances until divorce proceedings have been issued, and even then you will need to attend a mediation information session yourself prior to issuing an application to court to see if mediation is suitable to attempt to settle the matter.
It is difficult to say what either of you would be entitled to in relation to a split of assets, the court's starting point is a 50-50 split of all assets, and you will both need to give full and frank financial disclosure of all assets, liabilities, income and reasonable needs and a split of assets would be based on the following criteria:
1. The income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future, including in the case of earning capacity any increase in that capacity which it would in the opinion of the court be reasonable to expect a party to the marriage to take steps to acquire;
2. The financial needs, obligations and responsibilities which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;
3. The standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the marriage;
4. The age of each party to the marriage and the duration of the marriage;
5. Any physical or mental disability of either of the parties to the marriage;
6. The contributions which each of the parties has made or is likely in the foreseeable future to make to the welfare of the family, including any contribution by looking after the home or caring for the family;
7. The conduct of each of the parties, if that conduct is such that it would in the opinion of the court be inequitable to disregard it;
8. In the case of proceedings for divorce or nullity of marriage, the value to each of the parties to the marriage of any benefit which, by reason of the dissolution or annulment of the marriage, that party will lose the chance of acquiring.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Very confusing... Can she take me to court to get me removed from the property that I have basically paid for, and the furniture inside?
If this is possible, can I then go to mediation to get the financial part of the seperation completed?
Let's say that the ex wife wants me out if the house but doesn't want to sell the house or go to mediation. With the youngest being 2 years old, what would I have to do... Wait until she's 18 to make her sell the property? Waiting 16 years for that could be painful as I will not be able to get another mortgage.Regarding bills.
Only monthly, £800 towards house bills including mortgage and the ex contributing £350 towards bills.
Why would the court decide on this as £800 is approx 65% of my monthly wage and £350 for the ex is approx 45% of her monthly wage.
I didn't understand the part about the conduct of each parties... What would that mean financially.
Also, the standard of living before the marriage... Can I ask what that means... ?
Also, if my job has potentially more opportunity for more money then that would go against me. If it got that far, and the courts ordered me to leave the home. Can I leave my job, that being my only source of income, to force through a sale of the property?
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
There are different routes to pursue removing someone from the property - one alongside the divorce as part of the financial settlement, and another under an occupation order which is usually if there is recent domestic violence that can be relied on. Otherwise, she cannot go to court to remove you from the property and I would suggest that mediation is considered as a first point of call to attempt to reach an amicable agreement.
If she does not agree to a sale of the house, or if the matter cannot be settled using mediation, the court will consider what is best for the children, your wife and yourself. If the court considers that the current accommodation is the best option for the children, then yes the property will be held on trust for the children, and when the youngest reaches a certain age (eg. 18 or finishes education), the property to be sold and the proceeds of sale to be split in accordance with what is either agreed or ordered by the court. I understand that this may not be the best option for you, but if her staying in the property and barely meeting the outgoings and you not being able to afford to rent or purchase independent accommodation, then the court is unlikely to see that this is a suitable arrangement for her to remain there and you should push for it to be sold and proceeds to be divided and for you to each rent separately.
-Conduct would refer to financial misconduct. So if either of you were to sell off assets, or hide assets or not disclose assets, then this is not looked at likely by the court
-Standard of the marriage is how the lifestyle of the family has been during the marriage. Whether you were well-off, or not. The courts would wish for both parties to maintain the same standard enjoyed during the marriage upon divorce.
-If you have more earning potential then the court will take this into consideration and may feel that your future prospects are better, therefore allowing a better settlement for your wife.
-You cannot do anything to impact your asset or income position to deny your wife a claim or impact a financial settlement - this is what is referred to in relation to the conduct criteria.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Why would happen if I was sacked / laid off / lost my job?I understood your last message and I understand it better now... Me paying over double what the ex pays for the bills would go for me in court.This has been very educational for me and I know understand a lot more going forward. Although I'm still in a precarious situation, I am a little more confident regarding the sale of the house if she pursues a court order to have me removed.
I'm not sure if she will do but in time, I'm assuming someone will advise her to go and see someone and when she hears the words that she may be able to get me, I can see her going that route.
Can we get legal aid towards the court? She is on benefits now, single parent tax credits. I'm not on any... Why would be the legal costs roughly going the court route, also with divorce included too?Can I ask you for some advice (a little more)What would you do in my position? Would you start the ball rolling?
Would you stay in the home until I hear from her side?
Would you attempt to give it time and see how we get on?
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
If you lost your job then this would not be your fault (hopefully!), and it would not be used against you as misconduct. It would make your needs higher but the court will look at your employment history and earning capacity and prospects. The court will want to see that you both need to maximise your earning potentials, either from employment or benefits so as not to rely on the other.
Neither of you will be eligible for legal aid in relation to the divorce or financial matter as you will need evidence of domestic violence from the other in the past 2 years, and then undertake a financial assessment. This will therefore leave you both having to pay your own legal fees. For the divorce, if this is uncontested should be in the region of £1000-1500 including court fees. You could request that she shares half the cost of the applicaiton. In relation to the financial matter, this is more difficult to estimate and would depend on how contested it is. It could be anywhere in the region of £3000(if uncontested and fully agreed) to tens of thousands if contested at court, and this is for you each.
I would suggest that you do not move out. It is much harder getting back in if you have moved out. In the meantime, you should attempt amicable negotiations with your wife to see if matters can be agreed directly with her, and if not suggest a referral to a mediator to assist you reaching an agreement. This is very cost effective and would help keep things amicable between you, especially if you stay in the property.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Excellent - thank you very much for all your help. I really appreciate it
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Hope it goes well. If you require further assistance in the future you can ask for me directly by starting your question For Harris
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi, where would I stand if the ex is seeing someone else. Being only seperated 2 weeks, I've been advised that she has been seeing someone.
Regarding our marriage vows and inheritance into the property. What would be the situation and circumstances?
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
The court will not take this into consideration when deciding how assets should be split, however you can rely on this as unreasonable behaviour for the divorce to be granted.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi, my wife is thinking of claiming for single prent tax credits. Can she legally do this if I'm still living with her with me paying the majority of the bills
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
She would need to demonstrate that you are indeed separate for her to claim this and disclose that you remain in the property and that you contribute towards the bills. She will need to show that you live separate lives, although in the same property.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How could she demonstrate this?
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
She will need to outline it to them and they may require an sworn statement/letter or to demonstrate that a divorce is pursued.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So if non of the above is currently in operation, then it's illegal, right?
Would that help me in anyway in court regarding her claiming benefits fraudelently?
How long can one person claim single parent tax credits? I believe she intends to use this to pay for the mortgage of the house.
She wants me to leave, as stated above. I am not leaving but she's declining to sell the property also... We both want to live there.
Can you give me any advice as to what's best way to get her out the house? Also remembering that she will take the kids.
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
If she cannot prove that she is single/separated then she cannot claim single parent tax credit - she can claim it so long as she is eligible under the terms of the tax credit application.
If there is no agreement to who is to leave the home, or whether it should be sold, the only way to deal with this is through a court application as outlined previously. However, as she will be the main carer of the children it will be difficult to persuade a court that she and the children are to live if there is no other suitable property arrangements for them.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi - she applied and managed to get single parent tax credits over the phone. She just mentioned that I left and we are seperated and they mentioned it would be sorted in 3 weeks. That's all.
There is no agreement in place as she wants to stay in the house, so do I and she is unwilling to agree the sale.
If I go court I will probably lose and be asked to leave the house but seeing as though it was all my money out into the property, I feel a bit reluctant to do that
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Thank you - if you have not left then she is not being truthful in her application.
As stated previously, she cannot force you out without her obtaining a court order.