At 10 years of age, it is debatable whether the court would take much notice of what the child wants particularly if there was any suggestion that the child was being pressured or coerced by the particular parent although a lot does depend on the maturity of the child. Certainly at 11 or 12 they would take notice.
Courts do not regularly break up siblings although once again it depends on what they both want and how they get on together.
The 14 year old would almost certainly go where the 14-year-old wanted to go.
You would need to make an application for a Child arrangement order if you can’t decide where.
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, it is no longer called "access".
2 A Residence Order to determine who the child lives with, it is no longer called "custody"
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. That doesn't apply however if something is required in an emergency such as a Prohibited Steps Order.
With regard to the house:
You have to remember that if you have dependent children, under 18, the situation can be completely different.
Parents are under a duty to provide a home for dependent children until they reach 18 and therefore, unless there is a lot of equity in the property, sufficient to release some money to the non-resident parent AND provide a home for the resident parent aAND the children until the youngest reaches 18, it’s unlikely that the non-resident parent is going to be able to force a sale of the property.
The only good news is that the party that remains in the property is responsible for the mortgage and the bills.
The situation would be completely different if there were no children and it would be infinitely possible for the person wishing to sell to force a sale of the property if necessary under section 14 of the Trusts of Land Appointment of Trustees Act by applying for an “order for sale”.
Dependent children, under 18, change all that. However in those circumstances the resident parent would be responsible for the mortgage and the bills not the non-resident parent although there is still the possibility of child maintenance and spousal maintenance.
If the parent with residence of the children cannot afford doesn't want to live in the property because, for example, it's too big, they can always sell it and asked the court to apply the proceeds to a new house to provide a home for the children until they reach 18. Only then would it be sold.
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.
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