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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35068
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 husband and I separated two years ago. He lives in flat

Customer Question

My husband and I separated two years ago. He lives in flat round the corner. I remain in home with our two children. We both still have a joint mortgage. I can't afford to buy him out. And want to stay for childrens sake, both school locally. So I receive child tax credits as a single claim
He is struggling to afford his flat as well as paying me maintenance, and I only just about manage.
He is considering moving back on, to a situation where we are living together but separately. Separate finances continuing. According to what I've read on tax credits websites, I can feasably still claim as a single parent, Joint mortgage only. He points out he is entitled to live here anyway, as he half owns. He argues that he can pay me more maintenance by living here.
He'd sleep in his own room, have own cooking/washing arrangements. But we don't have much space.
He wants to remortgage the house with me to build into loft, giving him a bigger separate space and to further increase the value of house. That way, when children are much older, we both get more each once we sell and it makes the living together but seperate more tolerable.
Our son is disabled, and has autism, it helps to have his dad on hand. However, we would still be separate. It is amicable, but very separate!
Is this all legal in tax credit terms? My concern is that by remortgaging together while separated would be seen unfavourably, even though the reasons are security and to keep more separate.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
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 income does your ex have and how much maintenance does he pay?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The house is worth approx £130,00 to £140,000. We bought it for £87,000, approx 60,000 remaining.
Ex earns approx 30,000 and pays £650 per month
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Why is he paying so much maintenance?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I may be wrong about his income, but roughly £500 was what he wanted and advised to pay, but he volunteered to pay a little more because he didn't want the children to have to give up some activities they do. But £150 of what he pays is sometimes used by him when he spends time with the children
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Somewhat confused by relevance of value of our house and how much maintenance he pays to my question?
I'm querying the issue of single claim child tax credits in the scenario posted. Perhaps my original question isn't clear?
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
If he moves back into to the property then it is highly unlikely that the HMRC will accept that you are in fact living separately - and remortgaging together will make this worse.
I asked the questions to try and assess how your explanation is likely to be accepted - and since the maintenance that your ex is paying suggests an income of £48,500 a year complicates the matter (I am NOT saying that he his earning this - just that that is what that level of maintenance would indicate)
Obviously there is a chance that you can persuade the HMRC that you are living separately - but the chances are not good
I am sorry - please ask if you need further details