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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34886
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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I am at a standstill with my ex husband over the sale of

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Hi, I am at a standstill with my ex husband over the sale of the house. We divorced (all fees paid by me) eight years ago. The divorce specified that my ex would pay half of the mortgage on the understanding that I sold the house asap. We bought at the height of the boom and it was in negative equity until about 12 months ago. He has not paid one single mortgage repayment. It still is really in negative equity ( we paid £145k and I am selling for £135k with a repayment left of £132.5k) but I have accepted an offer on the understanding that my ex gives me £2.5k after the sale so that I can cover the selling fees and pay for a deposit on a rental property. I have no guarantee that he will pay the £2.5k but he is pushing me to sell. Where do I stand?
HiThank you for your questionMy name is ***** ***** do my best to help you but I need some further information firstWas there actually a financial Order made and sealed by the court
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Clare, the divorce was almost 8 years ago. I still have all the paperwork but I think the finances were agreed as part of the divorce procedure. Basically my ex gambled away £25k and I divorced him on those grounds. I paid a small fortune to divorce him, but my solicitor didn't turn up in court for the final outcome. We were meant to share the cost of the divorce but as my solicitor didn't turn up in court ( who I was paying £190 per hour plus VAT) I did get the divorce agreed but I ended up liable for all costs. I am now in a position where I have ploughed thousands into the house and my ex hasn't paid a penny.
How much are the Estate Agents fees?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I paid the estate agents fees up front which was about £800 including VAT.ThanksLiz
Do you actually want to sell at this time?Are there any children involved?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have a ten year son (my ex husband is his father) and I'm happy to move so that I can rent in an area where there are better high schools. However, I wanted to at least achieve what I paid for the house (£145k). I paid the £7.5k deposit on the house and have spent thousands of pounds to ensure it is in a sell-able condition. Much of this was paid for by my parents and my ex did at one point sign a document to say he would re-pay them (but I doubt it would be legally binding.) So in a nutshell I would happily move but would prefer to hold out for a better deal.
What other assets are there and what income do you and your ex have?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
There are no other joint assets. I earn £35k per year. I'm pretty sure he owns nothing other than a car (two year old Audi) as he rents his house but I think he earns around £45-£50k per year. I know he is saving to buy a new house with his partner so I suspect he may have some savings.
is he paying child maintenance ok?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He is at the moment, apologies that all of my replies are very detailed - he didn't initially so I set up a CSA arrangement. We have switched to an 'arrangement' where he gives me £400 per month for my son. However, for some reason the CSA have not closed the case and have left it open, I assume in case he defaults. He is desperate for me to contact them to close the case and says he will give me the £2500 (in 5 installments) once I have done this. This makes me very suspicious that once he has got what he wants - the sale of the house and the closure of the CSA account - that he won't pay me a penny as he'll have all creditors off his back to be able to buy his own house.
Why can he not give it to you in one lump sum?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He says he doesn't have that kind of money to hand. I find it hard to believe. The reason (I suspect) he went to an 'agreement' with CSA is because he should probably pay more than £400 per month if he was assessed on his income level. He will also receive commission in addition of his £45-50k salary. I don't know if this would be taken into account but his maintenance payments are reduced as he has my son every other weekend (on the assumption that he makes financial contributions on those days) but he does not buy any clothes, medicines, even sun cream so I provide everything except meals on his designated weekends with my son.
May i ask WHY you continue to provide everything?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Because if I don't, my ex won't. My son is aware that his dad is tight and it upsets him and makes him stressed. In 8 years his dad has bought him one pair of jeans and one pair of track suit bottoms. I have threatened to send him with no spare clothes but I know Ben would end up wearing dirty clothes all weekend. To put this into context, my ex (to his credit) did actually take my son on holiday earlier this year but it was a day after my son and I got back from our own holiday. When he booked the holiday, I explained he would need to buy Ben some clothes for their holiday (as all his clothes couldn't be washed and ready in time) but when it came to it, he backed out and I bought Ben more clothes for the sole purpose of going on holiday with his dad. I also had to send sun cream as he wouldn't buy the appropriate factor for Ben, also allergy tablets and had to insist on holiday insurance for Ben as he had insured only himself and his girlfriend. He also paid for a suitcase for himself and his girlfriend and would not commit to allowing Ben anything other than hand luggage. That's why I continue to provide everything.
Ok slightly different question - it is you who WANTS to move - rather than not minding?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It's more that he wants me to move but now it's come to it, I do feel it's for the best so I can break all financial ties with him. I don't particularly feel desperate to keep the house.
That is better to work with.If need be are you will to sit tight?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I'd only be prepared to sit tight if I could get him to settle by getting him to pay me off to bring me near to the price we paid for the house. (£145k). This would mean him giving me around £15k to stay put and take the mortgage over but I know he won't do this.
The first thing to understand is that he cannot force you to sell the property until your son is 18 or you remortgage the property - and he will struggle to force you to release him from the mortgage eitherAccordingly if he does wish to achieve this then it id for him to make an offer that appeals to you.At the very least he should pay you the agreed Lump Sum up front and if he is not willing to do so then it would be unwise to go ahead with the saleSo long as you continue to provide everything for your son then your ex will let you - so you do need to be a little firmer - send him with clean underwear and nothing else - it w ill be up to his father to ensure that he is appropriately dressed for any activities planned - and refuse to agree to another holiday unless a suitcase is paid for.If your ex receives substantial commission on top of his salary then he is underpaying maintenance - so consider carefully if you wish to continue with the private arrangementsI hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Clare, thanks so much for your help. I know you probably can't answer this kind of question - but am I ever likely to get a decent settlement over £2.5k ? I'm not sure how much I should stand my ground or just let it go and move on! If you aren't able to comment on this, I would like to thank you for all your help. Best wishes, Liz
That is very hard to say without knowing a great deal more about his financial position.My "gut" feeling is that he has more assets than you think and that you could get more if you hold out - BUT that need sto be balanced against your emotional wellbeing and that of your son
Clare and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks very much Clare. I have spoken to him ad it didn't go to plan. I am going to start a new conversation with you as now I am thinking of going down a different route and taking him to court for his share of the mortgage payments.