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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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Hi - My husband and I have recently separated because of various

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Hi - My husband and I have recently separated because of various problems but mainly I discovered his infidelity. We jointly own our home and we own and rent out another property. We both work and earn similar salaries. We have two children aged 7 and 5. I am the main carer but my husband is also very involved along with my mother who helps. The majority of the equity we have is in our family home. Can I remain in the home without buying him out (cannot afford to) or what are my options. It is amicable at the moment - I am happy to grant him a share in the house but cannot afford to give it to him just yet. I am anxious not to disrupt the children as we live near their school and friends. I am willing for my husband to have the rental property and any income from that. I don't want his pension or maintenance for myself only maintenance for the children. Once a share is agreed I am happy to take on the mortgage payments and upkeep of the property. Any advice is gratefully received. Our family home is worth around £350k and we have a mortgage of £220k. There is only around £20k in our rental in equity and it yields around 5000 per annum in income. Thank you

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

- what do you each earn (before or after tax)
- do you have any savings (either of you)?
- do you have any idea how much his pension may be worth? (I appreciate that you have said you don't want a share of it).
- how much are the mortgage payments each month?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi there, I earn approximately £2400 after tax and expenses, he earns around £2300. Neither of us have any savings nor do we have much debt (minimal - around £2000 in total all in joint names)

Not sure how much his pension is worth but we have been married ten years and we both have a similar pension scheme which we contribute to. Mine is slightly less as I was part time for 7 years. The mortgage payments at the moment are £1200 on a repayment plan. I am looking to remortgage at the end of our deal in a few months so should be able to bring it down to around £900 per month or less if go for an interest only. His pension is a police pension and he has 16 years 11% annual contribution. I am not sure what that equates to exactly. Mine is around 8/9 years pro rata.

The Court will assume costs of sale of 3% when looking at the net equity of your home, which will therefore be c.£10k, and which means the net equity would be c. £120k. You want to achieve an outcome that minimises his share in the house (understandably).

His share would be c.£60k, you can immediately reduce that by giving him your share (£10k) of the rental property. You could further reduce that if you obtained the "Current Equivalent Value" for each of your pensions. Even if you don't want a share of his pension, there is no reason why you shouldn't take it into account in that way - a court would be likely to consider that your pension interests should be equalised. You are both entitled to obtain your CEV just by writing to the pension trustees/administrators and asking them - they might even be able to give you a rough idea on the telephone. From what you say, I would expect that the pension differential would mean that by simply leaving his pension untouched, but taking it into account, his interest in the house could be reduced by a further £10k+.

It would then be possible for the two of you to reach a financial agreement on the basis that his remaining interest in the house would be registered as a charge (a second charge, ranking after the mortgage) which would only be redeemed upon your youngest reaching the age of 16 (say) or any other age you agree. That is not an unusual outcome for separating parents to reach.

In terms of child maintenance, the two of you can check how much he should be paying by using the Child Support Agency online maintenance calculator - there is no real scope for arguing about it, and it would be much easier if the two of you simply stuck to that figure.

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.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Mac, thank you for this, really useful. Can he force me to sell the house? At the moment I am staying at my mums house with the children and he is in the house but I just needed space and he said he had no were to go. I fear he will try force me to sell it, stating he needs his equity now, however the costs of moving, penalties on a mortgage etc would make that a near impossibility at the moment. Affording a three bedroomed property with the equity reduction would make it difficult for me to buy in the same area we now live. I want to get the children back into their home but i dont think he will leave...Thanks


Do you feel able to move back into the house while he is still there?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

hi yes I could but it would be difficult. provided the atmosphere didn't get too difficult and that we could be adult about it. Just not ideal as I find it hard to think clearly when he is around.


Thanks again for all your help. Just trying to make sense of things.

It's sadly a fact that you are more likely to be able to retain the house going forward if you and the children are in the family home when the court makes a ruling - so if you can bear it, I would suggest you consider returning with the children. Although, assuming this is the case, you should make it clear to to your husband that you are only doing it because it is best for the children to be housed there and not because you are seeking a reconciliation (to avoid mixed messages).

Assuming you are in the house, and on the basis that his share of the equity might be rather low (as I explored above), and also assuming that you can afford the mortgage, I would expect that you had a good chance of staying in the house with the children - for precisely the reason you state, namely that it would be difficult to get an appropriately sized house for you and the children with that amount of equity anyway.

Taking an overall view, the arrangement you are suggesting is within the fair range of outcomes, it should really be something that the two of you can agree and remain reasonably amicable. If I was advising him, I certainly wouldn't be able to tell him that the court could not give the same outcome.

I hope that is helpful.
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