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Harris, Family Law Expert
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2851
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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My ex partner and I jointly own a house. We split up two months

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My ex partner and I jointly own a house. We split up two months ago. He lives in the house during the week and I live in it at the weekend. It is for sale but hasn't gone yet and he is now saying he wants to be in it whenever he likes. I pay all the bills and they come out of my bank account and the mortgage is in joint names but also comes out of my bank account. What is my legal position here? Can I stop paying the bills if I leave completely and what should I do about the mortgage because I don't think he would pay it and I don't want to get a bad credit rating. I can not be in the house at the same time as him. Can he just come whenever he likes?
Hi, thank you for your question. Just a bit more information required to fully assist you:-Are/were you married to each other?-Do you have children together?-Are there any court orders in place?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No we have not been married. We have two children that are 17 and 16. There are no court orders because I was hoping we could manage this as two reasonable adults.
What are the living arrangements for the children and who has main care for them?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have always cared for them. The older one is at ballet school in Scotland and only comes home in holidays but she is unfortunately at home at the moment while he is choosing to be particularly difficult. The younger one is a day pupil at a boarding school but while this has happened she has boarded because I don't want her involved or messed up more than necessary. She is home at weekends and holidays.
Thanks - just to confirm, you and your partner are in England or Wales?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
We are in England.
Thank you.As the property is held in joint names, you both have a legal interest and can come and go without restriction, unless there is a court order excluding either you from the property. You are both jointly and severally liable for the mortgage - so if this stops being paid, the mortgage provider can pursue you both, or either of you, regarding the debt. If the bills are in your name and you stop paying them, the company will pursue you for any debt. Both non-payment of the mortgage and non-payment of bills in your name will impact your credit rating.If the plan remains that the property is to be sold, the equity in the property will be divided in accordance with how your names are ***** ***** title - so if it is joint tenants in equal shares you are both entitled to 50% each of the proceeds of sale.If you remain the main carer of the children, then you will be entitled to pursue a court application for him to support you financially in housing the children until a certain age (eg. when the youngest finishes education). You will also be able to apply for child maintenance until the children reach 20 (so long as they are studying Alevels or are on a government approved training course). Child maintenance is based on his gross income and how often on average they stay overnight with him a week.I appreciate that some of this information was not requested - but it is useful for you to know in the circumstances.If you have any further questions regarding this please let me know. In the meantime if you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating. I will not be credited for answering your question without a positive rating. Thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your help. What I meant by the stopping paying the bills was that I would no longer be living in the house so surely I could tell the companies and they can ask him to pay instead of me? If I carry on paying all the bills and mortgage and everything then I won't be able to rent somewhere safe for me and my girls.
You should inform the utility companies that you are no longer living there and they will stop the accounts - it will be for him to set up new accounts. Regarding the mortgage, it is not as straightforward to take your name off and you will remain jointly and severally liable until the mortgage is settled or if the mortgage company agrees to transfer it to his sole name - which is unlikely unless the property is also transferred to him.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. I would want to carry on paying the mortgage because I don't want a bad credit rating. Would moving out of the house permanently affect my rights over it?
No, your legal interest in the property remains until the property is sold, or there is a court order restricting your access to the property or transferring it to him. However, you do need to consider your financial position in paying the mortgage, as well as rent on the other property as you will also need to meet your needs, and your children's needs. It may therefore be more appropriate for you to continue pursuing a sale of the property. If you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating. I will not be credited for answering your question without a positive rating. Thank you
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