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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35215
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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Can a civil partner who deserted a family for another

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Can a civil partner who deserted a family for another relationship demand the jointly-owned family home is sold, despite one of the children from the original relationship still being a dependent at University as a full time student?

Thank you for your question

My name is Clare

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

How much is the property worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage?

How long were you living together and when was the Civil Partnership entered into?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
The property is worth £295,000 according to a recent valuation. The mortgage was repaid in October 2015.
We began to live together when the house was bought in October 1990.
The two children were born 17/8/93 and 24/3/98. The youngest is due to leave university in 2019, but may continue to do a Master's.
My partner left in 2010.
I worked part time and brought up the children, while he worked full time to pay mortgage etc. My wages supplemented his and were always spent on the family (kids clothes, holidays, Christmas presents, etc).
The house is in joint names.
He left for and lives with a new partner in her house.
He paid bills, but never paid maintenance for the children, or me after he left.

Just for clarity - you were never married and and simply cohabited - is that correct?

How much of the mortgage did your ex pay after he left?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Correct. Never thought we'd need to marry, given we had two children and no apparent problems. He left out of the blue.
He paid all the mortgage payments as I'd given up any chance of a career to bring up the children and still was doing so with no help, other then his financial commitment. My youngest child was only 11 when he left. He virtually abandoned them, never shared custody of had them live with him at all, so I was a single parent, with him paying mortgage and some bills.

How much would a two bedroom property in a cheaper area cost to buy?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Probably £160-200k, unfortunately. My house is ex-local authority stock and not in very good condition, hence the low valuation. Since my partner left I have had neither the money nor the time, skills or desire to keep it in top condition.

I am sorry the news is not good

Since your youngest is over 18 there is no basis on which the court can refuse an applictaion for the sale of the property if your ex makes one

I am afraid that since he continued paying the mortgage he will be entitled to his full 50% of the equity - although you can discuss matters with your ex using Family Mediation

and negotiate a 60/40 split in your favour if he wishes to avoid the hassle of a court application

I am sorry that the news is not better - please ask if you need further details

Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you