How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask James Mather Your Own Question
James Mather
James Mather,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22629
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
Type Your Law Question Here...
James Mather is online now

Hi, hope you can help or at least let me know if I have a chance

This answer was rated:

Hi, hope you can help or at least let me know if I have a chance of any success. My house which I bought outright in 1990 is currently being lived in by my ex wife of 2 years (separated for 4.5 years) and our children, the youngest of which will be 18 in May. I met my ex wife in 1992 and she moved in (never having paid towards my purchase in 1990). Our divorce agreement of 2011 allows her and our two children to live there for free until May 2015 (when our youngest turns 20). I believe I made this agreement rashly and whilst I was not thinking straight and in desparation to ensure I kept half of what I had originally purchased. I am currently renting another property with my new partner and a year old baby. Money is becoming extremely tight and looks as if it may dry up altogether, whilst my ex lives rent free using the facilities I bought and refurbished, furnished etc over the course of 18 years. My question would be; are there decent precedents for me obtaining more than half now? Can I ask them all to start paying half rent perhaps so I can live more comfortably bearing in mind especially my new addition? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks. :-))

Did you have
solicitors when you made the agreement?

Is it subject to
any court order?

What has changed
in the last 18 months?

What is the
addition you have referred to?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for answering.


My ex had a solicitor i did not.


I'm unsure what you mean by court orders but I signed an agreement as part of the divorce that they could all live in my house until my daughter was 20 (1st May 2015) and I was to pay £100 a month in respect of the children until May 2013.


The addition I refer to is my new baby son with my new partner, apart from my livelihood being under considerable threat that is the only change for me. My ex is now in full time employment, my son who also lives there is now employed too.


The deeds only have my name on them although we were married which I believe renders this negligible.


The situation is striking me as more unfair as the months pass and I struggle to stay afloat whilst I have a house elsewhere. I am proud to have provided for them while I could but my new family are under real threat of running out of funds.


Many thanks for your attention. :-)

You were married,
so it is indeed irrelevant that your name only as on the deeds.

As you did not
have a solicitor, it may assist you in proving that you signed the agreement
without knowing what you were doing without taking proper advice.

Usually, in
circumstances like this, your ex would live in the house until the children
were 18 and then it would be sold. You appear to have given away an extra two
years without realising.

I don't
know whether the agreement was ever sealed by the court or not.

If it was sealed
into a court order, you need to make an application to vary it.

If it was not, you
need to tell your ex that you want the house sold and that if she does not
agree, you will apply to court for an order that the house is sold on the basis
that you signed the original agreement, you did not know what you were doing
as you had no advice.

This is not a do
it yourself job and you would be well advised to get a solicitor to deal with
this for you. It will stop you making the same mistakes you made in 2011.

Although you would
only married for a short time, you will have been together for over 20 years
and therefore the chances are that the assets split 50-50 at best in your

Can I help

Please bear with me today because I will be online and off-line with clients
and other users and travelling.

Please don't forget to positively rate my answer service (even if it was not
what you wanted to hear) and I will follow up any further points you raise for

If you don't rate it positively, then the site keep your deposit and I get 0
for my time. It is imperative that you give my answer a positive rating. It
doesn't give me "a pat on the head", "good boy" (like ebay), it is my

If in ratings you feel that you expected more or it only helped a little,
please ask me for further info before rating me negatively otherwise I don't
get paid at all for my time and answer.

The thread remains open.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thanks for your further answers. Couple more points from me and I will be satisfied as I am with your respones thus far.


We were married for 16.5 years (bearing in mind the delay before divorce after I left) and lived together for 16 does that make any difference?


I allowed them the extra 2 years a) to assist my children by giving them more time to establish themselves and b) as part of a concession to my ex so she would not attempt a 75/25 settlement in her favour.


I specifically want to know your opinion and rate my chances of getting the agreement altered more in my favour given my change in circumstances and the seeming unfairness of the situation. This was my initial question after all! Are there precedents that suggest I have a racing chance?


Many thanks for your time, I think your answer/opinion on these will see me very satisifed with your service. :-)

No problem. The slightly different
timescale doesn't make any difference.

I get the impression from what you have
said you were put under pressure, either give another two years, all we will
ask the court for 75%.

I think it unlikely that she would get
that much. Possibly 60% maximum but as the children were almost 18 forced, I think
it more likely to be 5050.

I don't think it is a
no-hoper, although probably 50-50. It depends whether you like, even on or not.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Many thanks, XXXXX XXXXX reflection I may apply to the courts to see if I can get a change or two to help ensure my new family's comfort and redress the unfairness. Good scheme?




Yours with respect,



I am glad to help.

Please don't forget to positively rate my answer service .

If you don't rate it positively, then the site keep your deposit and I get 0
for my time. It is imperative that you give my answer a positive rating. It
doesn't give me "a pat on the head", "good boy" (like ebay), it is my

James Mather,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22629
Experience: Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
James Mather and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
HII am sorry but the simple facts are these.If this Court Order was made by Consent then it cannot be reopened unless you can show that your ex concealed assets or a new relationship - and indeed even then it is unlikelyIf it was made after a full fought hearing you are out of time for an appeal and there is no chance of a Variation based on your change of heart or you new additionI am sorry but there is no point in being unrealisticClaire