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Ask James Mather Your Own Question
James Mather
James Mather,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22629
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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I separated from my wife in 2008 after she had an affair and

Customer Question

I separated from my wife in 2008 after she had an affair and asked me to leave. Since then, I have been paying half the mortgage/insurance etc.
I know as a joint debt we are both liable to pay the mortgage, but is it fair that she stays in the house for only £255 a month when not only am I paying this, I also have to pay £700 rent of my own?
She has 2 children, not mine, one is 21 and has left home, and the other is 17 and still lives with her. She also has a a well paid job. Is it unreasonable for me to ask her to cover the whole monthly payment which is only £515?
Thank you
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.
You do not have to pay the mortgage or the bills of a house that you do not live in although you remain liable to the lender if your wife stops paying. This is the matrimonial house, then unless there is an order excluding you, you can actually move back in.
Whether you are liable to pay any spousal maintenance which would be used towards rent, would depend on a whole variety of circumstances
There is a possibility of a liability for spousal maintenance, maintenance paid to keep a spouse , as opposed to children. Although most commonly paid from husband to wife, that is not necessarily the case. Spousal maintenance is based on both incomes, ability to earn money, previous lifestyles and most importantly, need. It is not about equalising incomes. There is no exact formula, but these links will give some reading..



However that would only be ordered as part of the divorce proceedings or part of a legal separation.
If you have treated the children as yours and the natural father makes no maintenance payment, you may end up getting stung for child maintenance for the younger one even though the children not yours
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PS now that the youngest child is almost 18, have you discussed selling the house and dividing the proceeds?