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familylawexpert, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 311
Experience:  Substantial experience (14yrs +) in divorce, financial cases, cohabitation, pre-nuptial agreements and civil partnerships.
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I am married (for a year and a half) , we live together but

Customer Question

I am married (for a year and a half) , we live together but the house and mortgage is in my name only. my husband has contributed financially in that time. My two children, aged 11 years and 2 years, live in the property with us, my son if from my previous marriage and my daughter is my husbands. if we divorced could he force me to sell the house? Both children would remain living with me.

Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  familylawexpert replied 4 years ago.

My name is Mac. I can help you with your question. First I need a bit more information:

1. if earlier than when you married, when did you start living together?
2. what is the value of the house (and any mortgage)?
3. did he contribute to the purchase (and when did you buy it)?
4. what is the total value of all other assets held by each of you (roughly)?


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Mac, thank you for your quick response. the house was bought two and a half years ago, one year before we married, previous to that he moved in with me in my rented property (about four years ago.) The current property was bought in my name and the mortgage is in my name as my husband had bad credit history and could not get a mortgage. We both paid in £6000 each for the deposit. He has since paid money into my account each month towards the bills and mortgage.

We have not had the house valued but I believe it to be worth in the region of £120,000. The outstanding mortgage is £102,000. Neither of us hold any other assets.

Unfortunately, I think our marriage may have broken down to the point that divorce is the only option. I am very keen to minimalise the disruption for our children and so would like to remain in the property with them but my husband says that he has sought legal advice and can force me to sell the house. I would be very grateful for any advice you can give me.

Thank you.

Expert:  familylawexpert replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for that. Just a few more things to check first:

1. How much do each of you earn?
2. Are you sure he will agree that the children should stay with you? (How many nights would they stay with him, do you think - if any?)

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

My husband earns around £22,000 per year and I earn £12,000 per year as I work part time, as agreed with my husband when our daughter was born so I could provide most of her care. My son is from a previous marriage and so would stay with me and my husband has said that he knows our daughter would stay with me also, I provide nearly all of her care, he has contributed very little to raising her. Obviously he would have access to her but aside from visits she would stay with him at most one night every fortnight.

Expert:  familylawexpert replied 4 years ago.
I cannot say that it is impossible that the Court might order the sale of the house, it is one of the options available to the Court. However, the equity in the house is fairly small, and the priority for the Court is the chldren's welfare, and the Court is going to want to see them properly housed. It's hard to see what better option could be achieved for housing by selling the house and using the sale proceeds (say £15k after costs) elsewhere.

Overall, therefore, I'd say that it is possible that you and the children can stay in the house, and in fact I expect that you would have a very good chance of doing so. I would therefore discount the likelihood of his threat to force you and the children out of the house actually coming true. There's more chance of you staying than going.

I hope that is helpful. If you would like me to clarify anything, please ask. If not, I would be grateful if you could rate my answer.


Expert:  familylawexpert replied 4 years ago.

I notice that you have not yet rated my question - is there some further clarification that I can offer you on your question?