How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34910
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Clare is online now

Can my separated wife force me to sell my share of the ex matrimonial

Customer Question

can my separated wife force me to sell my share of the ex matrimonial property
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
HiThank you for your questionMy name is ***** ***** do my best to help you but I need some further information firstWho currently lives in the property?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

her and the two children, although they spend some time with me, when the mortgage was taken out it was in joint names

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Does she wish to move?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No, that is the whole point, she wants to effectively buy me out. I don't want to give the share up, for a number of reasons including my credit file history

All I want to know is there some way she can force me against my will ? I have no history of violence etc, and no criminal record at all.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Yes in the long term she will be able to force a resolution as part of the financial side of divorce proceedings It will not be swift - but it can happenPlease ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I presume then it can work the other way, I can force her for me to buy her out?...she has also told me that she has got her child minder accreditation based on the fact of the environment of the house, ie if the house was sold and she would have to move she would loose her accreditation, I find that so hard to this true? So if that is the true there would be no child minders living in really poor areas. This is her argument for wanting to stay in the house. Surely if she lost the house (if it is sold) then the accreditation would not be lost, just because the house was sold? and she could start up elsewhere?

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
How much is the house worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage?What other assets are there and what income do you each have?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

approx value of house 160,000

approx outstanding mortgage owed over 10 years 70,000

outstanding balance at the end of 10 years 35,000

endowment due 2018 approx 20,000

She earns £K15,as a childminder, I am earning c£101K as a Company Director of a Limited Company, 100% mine. No other assets.

She wants to take out a mortagage with my brother as a guarantor.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
How old are the children?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

One boy 16, One girl 14

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Given the difference in your incomes there is no question of your being able to force a sale until your youngest is 18 or your ex cohabitsIn addition your wife will receive more than 50% of the equity - at least 60% possibly more.She is correct - any new property would have to be assessed before she could continue as a Child Minder
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

So what happens when the youngest gets to 18? And why can she force me when I cannot force her? Yes I agree that a property would need to be assessed, but if it is three bedroom reasonably nice terrace house that would surely mean she can carry on her work and does not need a 4 bedroom detached house. So who makes that decision and what is it based on

so why can she force me and I cant do the same back? just due to income? Yes I know she will get 60% of the equity, who determines that? she has told me she will get 70%, based on what? If I then buy a house will she be able to claim the equity on that if it is sold?

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
You do not need the property to live in - your ex needs it as a home for the children until the youngest child is 18 - hence the different position.I am sure a new house would be approved - but there would be a delay and of course her existing clients would move on.You have a liability for Spouse maintenance and if you wish to avoid that then yes a 70/30 split is likely
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I get that I know the children need a decent home, that's not the issue. I know I have a liability for spouse maintenance, I have no issue

Then if a new house is approved, and her clients move on, why is that my problem, and secondly what is this stopping her getting new clients? And clients go to her anyway, so what is stopping them going to another house?

Another question, can she make any claim on my business ? the company is in my sole name with no other directors. ?

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
The approval issue is simply not relevant as it is not a factor the court would give much weight to in any eventDoes the business have a sale value or is it essentially a vehicle for dealing with your income
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Of course the approval issue is an important factor as I explained before. She is using the house as a way of being an accredited childminder, so therefore as this is tied up with the assessment of the house she is using this as a means to block the house being sold as he would have to be assessed in a new property. So are you saying that this is "simply not relevant" or my argument is not relevant...can you clarify please. No the business does not have a sale value, but she has never been involved in it. It is almost the other way round, I helped her set up her child minding business in the house we jointly own, but there is obviously no value in that business either.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Sorry I should have been more clear.It would not be an important factor in the eyes of the Court and would not prevent an Order for sale .If the business has no sale value then there is no claim that your ex can make on it
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

thank you for the clarification, she has told me hat her solicitor has said that if the business is in the house and as it is a childminding her words (not mine or her solicitor) she has said "so you will never ever be able to sell the house"..I know this could just be a stupid thing to say and maybe not the words of the solicitor but are there any grounds at all for her to basically be immune from the house being sold...? I appreciate the children would both have to be 18, fully understand that..and I would not consider it until then anyway, but am I missing something?

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Please do not believe anything that follows the words "my solicitor says' Once your youngest is 18 then the house will be sold UNLESS she pays you a settlement figure