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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35044
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 daughter left her husband last February. Her husband

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My daughter left her husband last February. Her husband refused to leave the family home but it was impossible for her to live in the same house with him because of his unreasonable behaviour so she and their two children (ages 6 and 4) came to stay with my husband and I. They are currently still with us.
My daughter's and her husband's solicitors advised them to seek mediation, which they did. However, after an initial meeting back in April/May, son-in-law has only today said he is taking the documents he has to present to the mediator.
We live 30 miles away from their house and where my daughter works so she has had to commute back and forth (60 mile round trip) to take children to school/child minder and her workplace. He has had complete access to the children whenever his shifts have allowed and/or he wants them (not often). The youngest child is now due to start school in September and my daughter feels they must move back into the area for the sake of the children, so she has arranged to rent a property nearby and she intends to move in on the 31st/1st Sept.
So far she has continued to pay her share of the mortgage on the family home as well as utility bills, but now she will not be able to afford to continue to do this and pay rent. She has given her husband notice that she would like to take some of her and the children's things from the house on 31st/1st Sept, but he has said she cannot do this. She only wants a sofa bed, a table and dining chairs, a bookcase and her books and some kitchen equipment - all of which she bought and paid for herself. Can he legally stop her from doing this?

Thank you for your question

My nam eis Clare

I shall do my best to help you but I need some further information first.

Could you just confirm which part of the Uk you are in.

How much is the house worth an dhow much is outstanding on the mortgage?

What income do they each have?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you Clare. I live in Hampton Wick, Kingston upon Thames. My daughter and son-in-law's house is in Aldershot, Hants. The house has been valued by 4 estate agents at £300,000. I don't know how much is outstanding on the mortgage. I will have to ask my daughter about their incomes when she comes home from work. Perhaps I could put her on to you then? although you will probably have finished work too? Can we resume the conversation tomorrow?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Claire - just got in from work and my Mum showed me this exchange. The outstanding mortgage is 122,000. He is a police officer and earns in the region of £38,000, I work part time and earn about £13,400. I am now getting tax credits but he hasn't given me any contribution to the children as yet. We have agreed that he will buy me out of the house for £75,000 and he is in the process of getting a new mortgage and it is my understanding that when that is finalised (which should be within coming weeks) that we will then instruct solicitors to remove my name for the mortgage and he will pay me the lump sum.
He is on the verge of giving the mediator at least partial financial dislcosure so that the mediator can draft up a Financial Summary for us.
I think the main question my mum was asking is in regards ***** ***** splitting up of our household items. I want to take things out which I paid for myself or which I already owned and brought into the relationship. He is saying that nothing is just mine because we have been married and therefore everything must be negotiated over. I just wish to know my rights in this matter. Thank you.

May I ask why on earth you are still paying half of the mortgage and the bills?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I was given the impression that if I moved out of the house and stopped contributing to the payments then I would be making myself vulnerable for any future claims on my share of the property.

Who told you that?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't think anyone specifically told me that but when I first told my solicitor that I was thinking of moving out of the family home she told me this:"If you decide against occupation order proceedings, then ordinarily, I would not advise leaving the family home unless it is becomes truly intolerable for you to remain living there and you consider there to be a real risk to your health and safety if you were to remain living there. However, if you were to move out of the family home and stay with your parents, you would need to inform Richard about this, or we could do so on your behalf. I would then advise you to start divorce proceedings so that if necessary, the ownership of the family home can be dealt with as part of the financial matters arising from your divorce. This can be done through mediation, negotiations through solicitors, or as a last resort by making an application to commence financial remedy proceedings at court. It is important to start the divorce proceedings early so that these financial matters can be addressed as soon as possible."After telling her what I was doing re: living with my parents and continuing to pay into the house she simply said:I’ve noted that you are willing to continue to pay £600 into the joint account every month in accordance with the status quo."She did not advise me against it or suggest that I seek maintenance payments from him. From this I took it that this was the correct thing to do.

Please change your solicitor immediately - she has not helped you in any way

May I ask why you are accepting less than half the value of the equity?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My husband has a high-conflict personality but I wanted to sound him out about the possibility of either selling the house or buying me out in mediation in order to save some money and time. He paid about £20,000 into the deposit when we bought the house and I paid £10,000. Subsequently he has also paid off our £40,000 Homebuy loan. He has very strong feelings about his money and his assets and is absolutely paranoid about me taking away his savings or his pension, etc. He offered me £65,000 to buy me out and I said I wouldn't accept below £75,000 which he accepted. I know it is about £12,000 short of half the equity but I feel I could easily end up spending £12,000 pursuing the equivalent amount if we take it to court and he puts up a fight. Plus the time it could take to get to a final settlement will leave me in limbo for a long time.

Are you getting a Pension Sharing Order?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We haven't got that far yet. We are supposed to be giving all our financial disclosure (including pension projections etc.) to our Mediator so that he can provide us with suggestions and alternatives to discuss I guess. I am still waiting for him to give his information to the Mediator - he tried to drop it in to the guy's office yesterday but unfortunately he (the mediator) was not there. I have read about pension sharing and I do think I deserve to get a proportion of his pension accrued from the time at which we got married (2010).

It is hard to get past my anger about how badly you have been advised.

I appreciate that his behaviour may well have been bad enough that you needed to leave, but not bad enough to get an Order putting him out.

However you shoudl have been told that at that point you did NOT have to pay him anything at all and that stopping payment would NOT have any affect on your eventual settlement

In addition you should have been encouraged to move the settlement further immediately - not waiting four months for him to get the paperwork together

You should also have been told to make an immediate applictaion to the CMS regarding maintenance if he did not offer 16% of his gross income straightaway.

Finally you should also have been warned not to make a financial settlement piecemeal as you are.

You have a valid claim for spouse maintenance; as well as a pension sharing order - and those together would entitle you to a much larger share of the equity -and this will be difficult to impose once the house has been transferred.

However - that was not what you asked.

The answer to your question is that you are entitled to your share of the belongings (no mater when they were purchased) and the needs of the children are the priority - and you are entitled to go to the property whenever you wish - breaking in if necessary (provided it is before the transfer)

At this stage make a list of ALL the contents and send him a copy asking him to list what he wants in order of priority.

Tell him you will do the same and then they will be divided between you based on that list and your respective priorities.

Tell him that you WILL be taking the items that you have requested - and it is up to him to agree earlier rather than later

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