How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35076
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Clare is online now

Hi, I need some advice on separation and divorce

This answer was rated:

My wife and I (legally still married for 13 years) have been separated for just over two years and we have two joint children:


One son age 10

On daughter age 4


My wife – age 43

I – age 39


We are still living in the same house in separate rooms and with no physical relationship at all. We both want to divorce and the financial situation is what kept us ‘together’ for long time, so I believe that once this is sorted we can get divorced fairly quickly.


 I have been working abroad and spent most of the last two years away with on a 14 weeks away and 14 weeks back here in the UK.


We have £250,000 interest only mortgage on a house where we live with both our children. The value of the house is around £350-400,000. Nice house fully renovated to full spec which we worked hard on and spent

 £50000 on renovations; I physically did a lot of the DYI work in this house.


The house and mortgage are on both our names.  Monthly mortgage payment £530 (interest only)

Total monthly bills including childcare £2500, not including food.


My wife is working full time with £40,000 per annum job and have had the higher income since we got married in 2001. I earn a salary abroad of £32,000 per annum. My wife I paying towards her pension; I do not have one.



I left Israel when we got married in 2001 and followed my wife to live here in the UK and I do not have any family here. I have big family who lives in Israel but I obviously want to stay here in England close to my children. I have British and Israeli citizenships.


My wife has a brother who is lives with his wife and two children here in England and she also have parents who have properties with potential ability to assist financially. She also has many cousins, uncles and aunties in England to support her but I have no one here really apart from a couple of friends and of course my children.



My wife is not prepared to sell the house and wants to stay in it. She cannot afford to buy me out according to her, although her parents have assets. I want to leave the house but not before we agree on the finances. At the moment I pay half of the all joint outgoings every month even though I do not live here many months of the year. I do this to ensure the kids are not affected but I now feel it is time to move out as I do not thing it is ‘healthy’ environment for our children.

My questions:


I know I cannot force her to sell but what happens if I want to come off the mortgage and stop paying so I can rent my own place? I am quite happy to pay whatever the law requires me to pay for the children.


Do I have the right for half of the equity in the house? She implied that this is not necessarily the case?


Does she have to pay me my share in the equity i.e. buy me out or because it is the family home can she pay me only when she can or when the children are 18.


How much do I need to pay maintenance? am I responsible for the wife if she decides to stop working when we are still married?



What other fair alternatives can you suggest?


Does the fact that she looks after the children for long periods when I am away makes a difference to a near future financial agreement whilst I am still working abroad? Is this a disadvantage for me?






Is this reasonable to suggest that if she cannot pay me out and I pay half of the mortgage that I demand ‘rent fees’ for my half if she wants to keep the house without me living it. The house that we live in is about £1500 per month to rent if we were to rent it to someone else.


Perhaps the alternative is to rent it completely?


She obviously wants to stay in this nice house but she cannot really afford it on her own



Finally, if you have any advice on things I need to be careful about at this stage?


Thank you



Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How much would a cheaper three bedroom house in the same school area cost to buy?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


Thanks; we have a four bed detached.


Three bed semi or terrace in our area is about 275 k +

Can she afford to stay there if you are paying 16% of your Gross income but nothing more?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

This means about £450 per month? probably not. only the council tax is £180...she will need help foe sure. she clears about £2200 pe

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

This means about £450 per month? (my gross is 33 k). she clears about £2400 + £450 - it takes her to nearly £3000. Yes there is a chance she can afford this, providing the mortgage terms remain low as they are.

To an extent that would be her problem.
The priority for the court id the safe and secure housing of the children until they are 18
Since selling the house would not give enough funds to allow her to purchase another property and release funds to you there is little likelihood that the court wold order a sale until the youngest is 18 or she co-habits.
At that point the starting point for division of the equity is 50/50 a;though there is a good chance that she will get 60% because she will have had the care of the children
However the only maintenance she will get is Child maintenance - and it will be up to her to manage her income and expenditure accordingly
You also have a claim for a pension sharing order
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you; if you do not mind, can you please clarify why the view is that she must have the ability to buy another house and not just rent one? this would be my last one....

The Court takes the view that owned property is the most secure and she will not be forced to sell and move into rented accommodation I am afraid
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you