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Good evening and thank you for your question. I'm Jeremy, a solicitor specialising in divorce, separation and financial matters. I'm sorry to hear about your situation but I'd be happy to give you some guidance. Firstly, please could you confirm how much you think the property is worth? Secondly, is he insisting that the house be sold? Thanks, J
Hello again and thank you for that information. If you want to remain in the house, you could threaten to make an application under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989 to have the property transferred into your sole name for the benefit of your daughter until she gets to age 11 (sometimes 16 or 18). You could also potentially get him to help pay some (or all) the mortgage for the benefit of your daughter. It is a real 'nuclear strike' when there are children involved and an ex-partner isn't properly considering the child's housing needs but, instead, is trying to get the family home sold.
If he is still living in the house and you want him out, you could consider making an application for an occupation order. This is an injunction made by the court ordering him to leave for between 6 and 12 months. It is backed up by a power of arrest. If he tried to return, you could call the police and have him arrested. To obtain an occupation order, you have to show that you have suffered, are suffering or will suffer 'significant harm.' Harm can be defined as physical, mental or financial. The court also has discretionary powers to make an occupation order based on income, housing needs and any other relevant factors.
There would be no consequences for you. You get to remain in the house with your daughter and your ex would have to live elsewhere. You'd have to make your daughter available to spend time with her father, however, you could negotiate this depending on her needs, commitments, distance, etc.
I think you need to let him know you've sought advice and this is the action you'll take if he tries to force a sale. You could tell him face to face, email/message him or appoint a solicitor to write on your behalf. it'll certainly make him think twice. The drinking issue is a non-issue. He can raise it but, unless you are drunk to the point where you are unable to care for your daughter, the court is not going to be interested. Besides, his jail time for 3 years is far more concerning when looking at the bigger picture.
I appreciate that it's a lot of money, however, it's entirely possible that my firm would accept monthly payments to help you out. The matter would probably take between 6 and 8 months to settle. Kind regards, J