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Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 33290
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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I split with my partner 5 years ago. We have 4 children

Customer Question

I split with my partner 5 years ago. We have 4 children (15,13,10 and 7 years old) and jointly own our house. I left with the 4 children and moved in with my mum and dad as he had become increasingly volatile. I paid the mortgage for the next 14 months while he continued to live in the house. After that he moved into a flat and I moved back to the house with the children. Since then I have paid the mortgage myself, though obviously he has had to pay rent on his flat. We have not agreed any maintenance and he usually pays a small amount a month - approx £70-100 per child. Though he paid nothing the first year and has not paid every month since. In this time he had also transferred approx £40,000 from our joint mortgage account (reserve account) in various lump sums into his own account. I am keen to continue living in the house and had hoped that he would sign over for a lump sum - he had agreed to this. However, I have now been approved for a remortgage he has said that he wants lump sum and to retain 40% of the house. I can obviously not agree to this as I want security for me and children and don't want the fear that he will insist on selling the house down the line. He has said that if I don't agree to this he wants us to sell and he will take his 50% share of the equity in the house. Do you think that he is entitled to half the house or would his share have diminished due to his withdrawals of funds and lack of child support? The problem is that though there is a good amount of equity in the house I would not have sufficient funds to remain in the area when looking to buy a new home for me and the children - moving from where the children grow up and go to school would obviously be very upsetting and is something I wish to avoid. I would appreciate your opinion on what you thinks is a fair offer and one that if I needed to go to court would have a good chance of success. Thank you

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question
My name is Clare
i shall 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?
How much would a cheaper four bedroom property in the same school area cost to buy?
What income does your ex have?
Please confirm that you are not married to each other
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

In answer to your questions - I can confirm that we were never married. I am not 100% sure of my ex-partners current salary but appox £60,000. The house was valued for re-mortgage at £470,000 (this probably a conservative valuation) There is still a o/s mortgage of approx £140,000 which includes the additional borrowing since split that I mentioned. You would not be able to buy a cheaper 4 bedroom in the immediate area. The cheapest online is £500,000 and most are considerably more. Ours is 4 bedroom as a result double storey side extension we did after purchasing it. This extension was paid for by my parents but not sure what paperwork would be available to prove this. My Salary is now £40,000 meaning maximum mortgage I can get is for £200,000.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
How much did the extension add to the value of the property?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

This is not exact but looking at other similar houses sale prices I would think in the region of £80,000

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Thank you for that - could you just tell me what income your ex has?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Approx £60,000 annual salary

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
How many nights a month do the children stay with him?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I think I will leave this now as did not realise answers would be going on a public forum.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
You will have the chance to lock the question at the end of the process - and you have not said anything to identify yourself in any event
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The 3 older children do not stay with him at all. The youngest stays on average once a Week. He only rents a studio flat at the moment.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
He should be paying you 19% of his gross income as child maintenance - subject to a small deduction to reflect the nights the children spend with him
He is also under a duty to help you house the children until they are 18 and he will NOT be able to force a sale unless he can show that the house can be sold and enough funds released to allow you to purchase a four bedroom property for yourself and the children
At the moment when there is a sale the proceeds will be divided 50/50 (allowing for the £40,000 that he has already had)
However the fact that your parents paid for the extension which has enhanced the value of the property could allow you to claim a higher share of the equity
On that basis - and as a very rough guide a 60/40 split in your favour could be possible.
Taking the current figures that would mean your ex receiving £132,000 - he has already received £40,000 leaving £92,000
However if he wants money now and not to have to remain on the mortgage then that sum could be discounted again - so an offer of £80.000 would be generous
Remember that this can only be the roughest of guides
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare
I hope that this is of assi

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