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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34885
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 and I are separating and selling the house. The children

Customer Question

My wife and I are separating and selling the house. The children will spend half the week with me and the other half with her. She is in full time employment - I am self employed and have not worked this month at all. (The nature of my work has been like this 30 years) As a couple we have relied on my wife's wages to pay the mortgage.bills etc - and my earnings to pay extras in life. Now this is all to change I'd like to know where I stand financially and legally as I am worried about being able to afford to pay the mortgage and bills etc etc.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 3 years ago.
I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.
I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question .
Thank you!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I can wait a few days. Thanks.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.

Thank you question.

I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How much is the equity in the property and what other assets are there
What income do you each have?
How old are the children?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


The property has been valued at £395,000. (£180,000 of that will be paid back to the Building Society).

As I am self employed in the Entertainment industry my income varies. e.e In 2014 I didn't work between Jan- April. Things did get better towards the end of the year. I am used to this as I have been in this business 30years. The last two years my income was £14,000 and last year £19,000. The two years prior was less than £10,000. It's impossible to predict my income year. At the moment my diary is pretty empty!

My wife earns £2000 a month. But this will increase as she intends to work longer hours.

The children are ages 13 and 15.

We have been together years and married . Financially everything has always been split down the middle - we have a joint account. So, even at quiet times we have managed as my wife has a guaranteed income. But when we separate this will not be the case. I am really worried I wont be able to afford the mortgage or even the rent when we eventually separate and move into separate homes. The children will be living with me half the week and with my wife the other half.

Hope you can help,


Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.

How much does a cheap three bedroom property in the same school area cost to buy?
Is your wife willing to allow you to claim the child benefit?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


A Cheap three bedroom house in the same school area would cost between £160,000 and £190,000.

At the moment she would not be willing to claim the child benefit.She says we should split it 50-50.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.

Who has had the major day to day care of the children until now?
What do the children wish to happen?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The major day to day care is split between us - though as I am not working I am always here when they get home from school and I prepare their tea. As my wife works she's the one - at the moment - that gets them off to school each morning (that is - makes sure they have breakfast, wash and dress in time bus!). Other meals etc are cooked 50-50 between me and my wife.

The children are upset and don't want us to separate - and neither do I. The 13 yr old has said he does not want to live in two houses and 'if we separate' will decide on where he's going to live. My eldest is a worry. I don't think my wife has thaught things through. She wants to separate asap so we can sell the house and she'd be in her new home by May as our eldest has GCSE exams this summer.I didn't want to tell our children about her plan of separating until everything was sorted but she went ahead and told them without me agreeing!!

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.

In the event of your separation the starting point of the assets is 50?50.
If the share of the child care is indeed 50/50 then there is no Child Maintenance payable either way.
If the Child Maintenance is split between you then you will be able to apply Tax Credits relevant child - and may also be entitled to Working families Tax Credit
You should look at Shared Ownership Schemes in your local area as this may allow you to purchase a property with your share of the equity.
However it does appear that this has not been thought through - and the timing is almost impossibly tight.
the starting point should be to try and discuss this using Family mediation
Please ask if you need further details