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Harris, Law Specialist
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2851
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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Just separated from my wife. We have an 11 year old daughter.

Customer Question

just separated from my wife. We have an 11 year old daughter. She moved into my house before we married. She isn`t on any house details at all. She has never contributed to any of the bills ie gas / electric/ water rates/ telephone/ internet/ tv/ council tax. She never had her name put on the mortgage it was solely in my name. I left the property so my daughter could remain in a really nice environment. My ex wife has now got heavily envolved with another man and has him staying over. what, if any, are my rights. Can I prevent him from staying? Can I sell my house? Does my ex wife have a claim on my property and if she does what?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Harris replied 2 years ago.
Hi, thanks for your question. I am a qualified family law solicitor.
Unfortunately, as it is the marital home she will have a right to occupy the property, even though it is in your sole name and was acquired before the marriage. Furthermore, as it appears she is the main carer of the daughter if you were to attempt to remove her from the property the court will likely refuse any attempts to remove her in the interests of your daughter.
As it is the marital home she can apply to the land registry to register her home rights - basically this puts a notice on the title stating her home rights interest which would be flagged up with any purchasers. Furthermore, as you are married, if divorce proceedings are issued she can proceed with an application for financial relief to pursue a claim for a share of the property. The court will assess all your assets, income, contributions and needs, as well as your wife's, and the needs of your daughter (this will be the first thing the court considers) when deciding how to distribute the assets.
It is likely that, save for any alternative and appropriate proposals that your daughter is to remain with the main carer at the marital home until she reaches 16, or completion of education, after which there would likely be an order for the home to be sold and whatever has been agreed/ordered regarding the equity to be distributed between you.
Regarding her new partner - I would suggest that you formally write to her to express your disagreement, especially if the relationship is new. I would also suggest that if he is there when your daughter is with her, and it is a fairly new relationship, that you reach and agreement for your daughter to be with you during this time. It is not appropriate for your daughter to be having contact with a new partner, until such time as your ex-wife can demonstrate that it is a long-term relationship as this would cause your daughter uncertain and may impact your relationship with her.
I understand that this would likely be a difficult thing to do and think about, but it is usually appropriate for separating couples to sit down and discuss a way forward by agreement which takes into account your daughter's interests first and foremost. I would recommend you contact a local mediator and arrange an appointment so you can discuss these things with your ex-wife to reach an amicable agreement - you can find local mediators here:
Please do let me know if you have any further questions.