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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 18742
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I have paid the mortgage since separation in 2016. My ex

Customer Question

I have paid the mortgage since separation in 2016. My ex husband has lived with his mother at no cost. The mortgage is joint. My ex husband is claiming half of the equity I have released in the past 5 years yet hasn't paid the mortgage nor had any housing costs himself. What does the law say on this? We are due to split assets soon after lengthy messy to and fro. Divorce inevitable after assets split
JA: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in family court?
Customer: Divorce proceedings underway
JA: Family Court normally sits in a local County and Magistrates' Court. Do you know the location of the court? If not, what county do you live in?
Customer: High Court
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: Belfast
Submitted: 16 days ago.
Category: Family Law
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Based in Northern Ireland
Expert:  Virtual-mod replied 16 days ago.

I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you!
Expert:  F E Smith replied 16 days ago.

Welcome to Just Answer.

I will be happy to assist with your question today. I need some time to consider this and compose a response. There is NO need to wait online because you will get an email when I respond. Sometimes it will be minutes, sometimes longer.

I apologise for any unavoidable delay, but rest assured I have not forgotten your question.

for background -

how long were you together and married in total?

any children under18? who is main carer?

and are you preparing to sell property?

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
25 years married
all children now adults
both of us worked
I want to keep property and buy him out
Expert:  F E Smith replied 16 days ago.

A person is not responsible for the mortgage or rent or the bills of a house that they do not live in although they remain liable to the lender or landlord  if the other person stays in the property and doesn’t pay the mortgage or rent.

In that case, the non-occupier would be entitled to recover any mortgage or rental payments made by the non-occupier, from the occupier within the finances of the breakup of the relationship/marriage.

So you would be responsible to pay the mortgage if your ex husband is not living in the property.  The fact that he was living rent free with his mother is irrelevant.

There are no children than he is indeed entitled to a large part of the equity and it could well be 50% depending on all the financial circumstances surrounding.

The only part of the mortgage that would be taken into account would be any capital repayments because they would come down to your credit.  You paid the interest for the benefit of living in the property.

I am glad to help.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand.

I would be more than happy to clarify anything else for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

Please be aware that my answer is based strictly upon the information you have given me.

If you still need any points clarifying, I will be happy to reply because the thread does not close. In fact, it remains open indefinitely.

I am always happy to answer any further questions you have on any new thread in which case, please start your question with, “ For FES only”.

That only applies to new threads, not this one. You have me exclusively on this one.

Thank you.

Best wishes.


Customer: replied 16 days ago.
The only part of the mortgage that would be taken into account would be any capital repayments because they would come down to your credit. You paid the interest for the benefit of living in the property.I don't understand this part
Expert:  F E Smith replied 16 days ago.

You may have paid, for example, GBP1000 per month of mortgage over the last few years since your separation in 2016 but that would not credit you with GBP48,000 of mortgage payments.

It would only be the capital repayment of the mortgage payments which has brought down the balance of the mortgage which would affect your share, to increase it.