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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35073
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 wife has moved out of the family home and taken the children

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My wife has moved out of the family home and taken the children (11 & 8) and moved into rented property. I have established how much Child Support I have to pay and this is adjusted according to how many nights the girls spend with me each week.
We have a joint mortgage based on 2 incomes and I can just about cover the repayments from my income (self employed), wife earning £25k pa. I do not want to move and sell the property because I could only get a very small mortgage in my own name and I need considerable space for my work materials and vehicle.
This is my third house. I owned a property in my own name for 5 years before she moved in with two children from a previous relationship (now 27 & 22). When this property was sold I made £100k profit which was subsequently ploughed into the next and our present home. She has contributed no capital at all. If the house is sold how much of the equity is she entitled to?
Can I be forced to sell the house? My wife has a dog and with her new tenancy agreement this cannot be left alone in her new house. While she is at work she intends to leave the dog at our house where it can run in the garden. She says she is entitled to do this as the house is still half hers. Would I be justified in now paying half of the mortgage? I don't think she understands 'Joint & Several Liability'.
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?
How long have you lived together and what income do you each have?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The property is worth approx. £300k - mortgae £180k.

We have lived together since 2000 - married 2002.

My income (net profit) £27k - wife £25k

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Do you have my reply? Not sure if this was sent.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Do you have my reply? Not sure if this was sent.

I require no further info.

Will your ex need Housing Benefit to pay the rent?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No. She is earning £25k pa, she will receive family inc benefit, working tax credits and maintenance from me £240pm. Her rent is £640pm

I am afraid that a 14 year relationship with two minor children means that the starting point for division of the matrimonial assets is 50/50 and she will get at least half of the equity of the house is sold
Indeed if she wished to return to the property with the children and remain there (without you) until the youngest child is 18 then the court would allow this
Alternatively if she requests it then yes the court will order the sale of the property
I am afraid that she is indeed entitled to leave the dog at the property - she remains a joint owner
However whilst she remains liable for the mortgage so far as the mortgage company is concerned since you are there and she is not it is reasonable for her to not pay the mortgage - despite the dog issue.
I am sorry I know that this is not good news - but you need to know whe e you stand in any negotiations.
Please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Is the situation still the same if I can prove that she had an adulterous relationship with her boss and this is why our relationship broke down?

The reason for the separation is not relevant I am afraid
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you