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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34898
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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I am have recently separated from my husband. We jointly own

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I have recently separated from my husband. We jointly own our house (4 bedrooms) and are still living at the property together. We have three children aged 3, 8 & 15. For years I have put up with my husband not doing much with the family, rather than spending time with the kids he has distanced himself by sitting in the front room watching tv all weekend and I have mainly done things on my own with them. He has also gone drinking after work without letting me know where he is or that he is going out, and coming home at 2/3 o'clock in the morning. He calls eventually to say where he is when he is drunk and that he is coming home and then still comes back 4 hours or more later. He also swears at the kids and has anger problems. After years of putting up with this I told him I have had enough. He originally said that he understood completely and knew he had done wrong but didn't want our relationship to end. The final straw was when he called, drunk again at 6.30 one evening to say that he would change, took full responsibility and that he was coming home right then to discuss things as he didn't want to loose me etc, he then came home at 2.30am. He originally said he would move out if that was what I wanted as he wanted to make me happy. He told me to tell the kids that we were splitting and that he was moving out as he didn't want to do it as it was what I wanted. He now says he isn't going anywhere and wants to sell up. He says I can rent somewhere with my 50/50 split of the proceeds. Bearing in mind that he earns over £70,000 per year (brings home £4000 net per month) and I am self employed Turnover is £15,000 and net profit is around £10,000 . I don't think this is fair as he can buy somewhere else whereas I can't on my income and will use up all profit from the sale of property on rent in a few years. Rent for 3/4 bedroom house is around £1500, he can rent one bedroom flat for £900 or buy again. He also says he is taking the family car (in his name) so I will have problems getting the kids to school/preschool and have no savings to buy another. He says he can do this as the split is what I want. Our joint Mortgage is £1000 per month, balance outstanding is £150,000.  I have offered to pay £500 towards the mortgage if I stay in the property and have asked for £500 for maintenance for the children per month. Therefore the total I am asking for from my husband is £1000 per month. Please help me to know where I stand legally. Many thanks

Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How much is the house worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage?
How much does a cheaper three bedroom property in the same general area cost to buy?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Our house is worth around £350,000 and mortgage outstanding is £150,000. A three bedroom property is around the same price only slightly less. Also, if I were to allow him to stay in the property and I rent elsewhere as I am entitled to Housing Benefit if I rent would he be liable to pay any of the rent as well as child maintenance? I don't really want to sell our property if possible as it would be my retirement pot. Also, if he still refuses to leave and I don't want to sell, would it me ok for me to leave and rent elsewhere? I wouldn't go and leave and not notify him etc. I would live nearby and husband would have joint custody of kids.


Given the drink problem how would you see him sharing the care of the children?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

He doesn't drink around the children, only after work, not in the house. I'm sure he wouldn't drink when he has them. He drinks as he knows I am at home with the children and takes advantage of the situation. I have no concerns that he is unable to look after them. I just want to know where I stand legally with our joint property and whether I can move out with the children if he is unwilling to leave as I do not want to sell.


When parties separate and are unable to reach agreement on the finances the priority for the Family Court is the safe and secure housing of the children until they are 18.
In your case this is likely to mean that the court would order that you and the children would remain in the property until you cohabit or your youngest child attains the age of 18 (or you can buy your ex out)
When the house is sold you are likely to get a larger share of the equity - at least 60% - more if you forgo your claim on his pensions and accept only limited Spouse Maintenance.
If you move out then you may receive Housing Benefit for a limited period - but after six months you will be expected to have realised your half share (or more) of the Matrimonial Home
If you do force a sale then you would receive as much of the equity as you would need to PURCHASE a new property - your ex will have to wait for his share
The Child Maintenance which would be payable would be 19% of his Gross income - with a reduction if he has the children one night week or more.
On top of that you are eligible for Spouse Maintenance
Whilst you can move out if you wish - you may want to give serious consideration to the financial settlement and discuss it with your ex using Family mediation
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
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