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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
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My adult son and his ex-partner jointly own a property. They

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My adult son and his ex-partner jointly own a property. They parted acrimoniously 18 months ago and she refuses to communicate with him.
The house was bought in 2008 and has increased in value. My son and ex-partner were both key woprkers at that time, so were eligible for a loan of the deposit from a housing association.
This loan will be repaid at such time as the hiouse is sold. They have a standard repayment mortgage.
The ex-partner lives in the family hone with their eightyear-old child and two children of 17 and 20 by a previous relationship.
They are both working, although probably not earning much. Her father also lives there, paying a reduced rent in return for occasional after-school childcare. Her new boyfriend moved in six months ago. I assume he pays his share of expenses.
My son and the ex-partner were not married. The Land Registry title shows
that they are joint tenants. She has continued to pay the moprtgage.
My son does not wish to force a sale and in any case would be unable to do so as
the child is so young.
But he does want his name removed from the deeds, so that he is not liable for
any future costs or mortgage payments.
At present he paysb child maintenance, based on the CSA calculator, in an informal agreement using a CSA tenplate. This arragement was brokered by myself and signed by both parties.
My son would like to offset the maintenance payments aginast his share of the equitybut has been advuised that his ex-partner could agree to this and then make a claim to the CSA a year and a day later.
When calculating his share of the equirty, he will deduct his share of the mortgage payments from the time he left the family home.
He does not have access to a computer so I am asking the following questions on his behalf:
*His ex partner is certain to refuse to agree to a formal valuation of the house (by two agents so that an average price can be agreed). Would he then have to obtain a court order for the valuation?
He is trying to arrange two informal 'drive-by' valuations but this is not really sufficient.
*It is unlikely that his ex-partner could buy him out by increasing the mortgage. She has a good salary but but both partners' earnings were taken into account when the mortgage was arranged. The new boyfriend might becopme a joint mortgagee but this is an unknown quantity.
* Assuming that the above is not possible, what legal steps can my son take
to ensure he evenbtually receives his share of the equity?
*an he have a charge over the proiperty, payable when the child is 17 or 18? Given that the ex-pertner has been unreasonable at every turn, including child access, would he need this to be underpinbbned with a court order?
Any suggestions would be most wklecome. Son has already spent a large amnount on legal fees relating to child access and money is tight.
Many thanks.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
What is his best guess on the value of the property - and how much is outstanding on the mortgage?
What income do they each have?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I sent you the relevant information re property value and salaries on FrIday 15th but have not yet received a reply.

I am sorry - but I did not receive them?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hello Clare,

Not sure what happened-will try again!

Best guess re house value is £20-30,000, possibly 240,000. There is around £142,000 iourstanding on the mortgage.

Son has an insecure temporary job, salary ariound £15,000. Former partner is a health professional. Her salary is around £30-32,000.

Hope this helps.

Since the boyfriend is resident at the property it could well be possible to force a sale.
Is this an option that your son might wish to pursue
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare,

No, he would not want to disrupt the entire family. In any case I doubt i9f the court would allow it, as his child is only eight.

I don't know the boyfriend's financial situation. I assume he pays rent and continues to household expenses to my son's ex-partner.

But boyfriend has three young children and it may be that he is contributing towards trhe rent.or mortgage on his own former family home.

The court would allow it because of the co-habitation - there is no reason why the new partner should benefit from your son's equity.
However if he is willing to settle for simply being released from the mortgage at this stage then that is fair enough
However he can only achieve this if his ex agrees OR there is a Court Applictaion for an order for sale and the matter is compromised OR his ex makes an application using the Children Act.
He should try and discuss matters with his ex using Family mediation
If that fails then the only way forward will be a Trusts of Land Act applictaion for an Order for sale - within which he can obtain an order for a valuation; and when he agrees to settle he can ask for an Order that he has a Charge on the property repayable when the child is 18 or the house is sold - whichever comes first.
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