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.
You would however be liable to pay child maintenance at the CMS rates which are here
Do read the whole document but the basic rates start at the top of page 18.
Child maintenance is reduced by 1/7th for each 52 nights that the non-resident parent has the children.
Child contact arrangements don’t have to be done formally. You could do what you like between you but if she will not agree, then you need a Child Arrangement Order.
Fortunately, there is a lot of information on the Internet about Child Arrangement orders and the government have actually produced a guide on the subject which is here.
The different types of Child Arrangement order are:
1 A Contact Order which specifies when parent sees a child,
2 A Residence Order to determine who the child lives with,
3 A Prohibited Steps Order to prevent a parent doing something with the child such as moving away either in this country miles away or taking the child to another country. Particularly relevant if there is a chance that the parent would go to another country and never return. The parent wishing to prevent the move would have to convince the court why it’s not in the best interest of the child to move. Friends, support, school et cetera et cetera all taken into account.
A Prohibited Steps Order is to prevent child Abduction and it’s one of the few areas of law for which legal aid is sometimes still available. It’s often therefore worth seeing a solicitor.
4 A Specific Issue Order to allow a parent to do something specific with the child such as moving away to another part of the country or indeed to another country. . The parent wishing to move would have to prove why it’s not in the best interest of the child to move.. Friends, support, school et cetera et cetera all taken into account. It would also encompass things such as changing school if the parents cannot agree, changing the child's name, and anything other specific.
The courts will not get involved in a Contact or Residence order unless the couple have been to mediation first. So the couple would have to try mediation even if it subsequently fails and the matter proceeds to court.
The suitability of your accommodation would certainly be taken into account particularly with regard to overnight staying contact but you probably have more money than you thought you would have done because as I said earlier, whilst you are liable to pay child maintenance, you are not responsible for the mortgage rent or bills.
Thank you for letting me assist you with your legal question. I am glad that I was able to help.
I am not certain whether that answers the question for you or not, but I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.
It will be my pleasure to help you again either further with this or any future questions you have