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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35065
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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My son and partner are splitting up. They have an equal share

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My son and partner are splitting up. They have an equal share in the house. He has a 14yr old son with Aspergers; they have a 4yr old son. She says she can seek more than half the equity in the house. I can buy her half so my autistic grandson can stay in his home. I can't afford more. Can she expect more than half the equity?

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 is the house worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage?
What arrangements will be made regarding the care of the 4 year old?
How much do they each earn?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The house is £360k now. Son put in half of purchase price 4 yrs ago. Tracey put in £50k interest only mortgage and put in remainder.

Plan: simultaneous solicitor-led transfer of Tracey's title to son, we pay her half value of houseand she pays off the mortgage. She will take son nearer work. Son will pay £27 pw required legally but will add £23 to help with child care in holidays. He earns little as you see from maintenance. She's working 3 days a week psychotherapist - was on £35k full time. Son's boy Jack is 14 just going into GCSEs and needs stability and staying in his home. Tracey is buying a 3 bed house she admits she can barely afford. It needs repointing, sorting collapsing kitchen ceiling. She wanted son to pay his offered £23 extra a week in an up front amount ie 14 years' worth = £16,744. He doesn't have that kind of money but because she's buying a house that's a bit beyond her means, she wants it somehow. We're an honest, straightforward family and practical. We can see the solution: buy a 2 bed house and work your way up. Help, please.

is there a Declaration of trust setting out the fact that she alone will be responsible for paying off the mortgage?
How much would a two bedroom property cost to buy and were they ever married?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No, the mortgage is in both names, the only way it could be taken out. Our property solicitor will ensure it is paid off via him, he will hold the money and release the remainder to her once it is paid off.

Not married.

I tried to keep out of their arrangements till now but I think she's buying at around £220-£225k. There would be cheaper 2 bed houses at about £190-£200k. Her actual need is a bedroom for her and one for Charlie but she wants (naturally) something larger with a garden.


I'm writing Clare, because my son is severely dyslexic. Jack is too and dysgraphic! They are both finding this very difficult because they like life to be straightforward, especially Jack of course.

I appreciate that the mortgage had to be in joint names - but was there a separate written agreement between them that the mortgage would be paid from her share of the equity alone?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

no, verbal, because by buying her share she could move faster and more easily and have £125k+ cash. It was Tracey's mortgage, always seen as hers, my son's name being a mtge co obligation, nothing more. She always paid the interest, my son had nothing to do with it therefore the intention was always clear. Tracey agreed to all of this and we set up the expected transfer of title/land registry, the repayment of the mortgage and her cash payment. She found a house, we awaited instructions to pass £175k to our solicitor to hold - no exchange has taken place so far. Now she's discovered she's been over-ambitious re the house and wants more money.

His ex is referring to the fact that your son is under a duty to help her house his child until the child is 18.
That COULD have mean that his ex would receive a larger share of the equity - with the extra being repayable when the child is 18.
HOWEVER in these circumstances there is another child to consider and from what you have said the amount that she will receive would be sufficient for a two bedroom property in any event.
On no account should your son pay any maintenance in advance as has been suggested - such an agreement is not legally binding and he could find himself paying again
The only real risk is that there was no written agreement confirming that the mortgage is the responsibility of his ex alone
Please ask if you need further details
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you very much Clare for your help. My rating was due to the fact that it took several occasions to answer questions which perhaps could have been asked in one go.


That is fine.
Sadly experience with others shows that asking them all at once can mean ask questions that turn out not to be relevant - and not asking those that are!