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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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I am a male separating from my partner who I have been

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I am a male separating from my partner who I have been living with for the last 15 years. We are not married and have two children. We have a joint mortgage on a property with some joint equity in the property. I have a number of questions about my rights as follows:
1. If I move out, will my partner be able to stay here….
a) Indefinitely
b) Until the kids are 18
c) Some other length of time
2. In the above scenario, do I lose any right to my portion of the equity in the house? Can this be agreed through a separation agreement.
3. In the above scenario, when we reach the end of our discounted mortgage and cannot renegotiate a new discounted mortgage, will I be liable to pay half of the higher rate?
4. What are the rules on me continuing to be on the mortgage if I don’t live in the house? Could we negotiate a new discounted mortgage without living together?
5. If I needed to move back into the house, what would my rights be?
6. Can a separation agreement tie down who is responsible for paying the mortgage? Between us? ( I understand the Mortgage provider would only go by what is on the agreement and we would both be liable if it was unpaid)
7. Can a time limit be agreed for selling the house within a separation agreement?
8. We rent an annex on our house. If I were to come into hard times, would I be able to claim half of the income from that rental?
9. Do I have any obligation to maintain the house whilst I am not living in it? Can this be agreed through a separation agreement?
10. I believe that we both need to jointly support the children. Is this in equal proportion or does this work as a percentage of income? Can this be agreed in a separation agreement?

Hi, thank you for your question. Just a bit more information to fully assist you:

-How old are the children

-What is the value of the property and outstanding mortgage?

-Are there any formal agreements or deeds of trust between you?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi there,
The children are 12 and 10 years old.
The Value of the property is about £470k. The mortgage is £230k. My partner put in an additional £50k when we bought our first combined house which I intend to honour despite the fact she has no record of this.
There are no formal agreements of deeds of trust between us.

Thanks for confirming. In accordance with your numbering:

1. As the property is in joint names you both have a legal interest and therefore a right to occupy. She will therefore be able to remain in the property indefinitely and until the property is sold or a court order.

2.You do not lose any rights to the equity and remain entitled to the share as held on title.

3. You will remain jointly and separately liable for the mortgage and at the end of the mortgage you should be entering into a new one or deciding whether to sell it.

4. There are no rules on having a mortgage if you do not live there any more. So long as it is not being rented out you would be entitled to apply for another mortgage.

5. So long as your name remains on the title and there are no court orders excluding you from the property you are entitled to return and live there legally. Practically is a different question and usually once a person has moved out it is harder to move back in, but this will not impact your legal rights.

6. A separation will be ideal as it would clearly demonstrate what both your intentions are.

7. This can also be included in the separation agreement, and if it is not kept to you would be entitled to apply to your county court to force a sale.

8. If you have a legal interest in it and continue maintaining it there is nothing stopping you receiving income from this.

9. Unless agreed, there is no legal obligation to maintain and it is usual for the person enjoying the use of the property to maintain it.

10. It is usual for the non-resident parent/main carer to be liable for child maintenance which is based on your gross income and how many nights, on average, they stay over with you each week and it can be agreed in a separation agreement between you.

I hope this assists you. If you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating using the stars at the top of this page. I will not be credited for your question without a positive rating. Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Harris,With respect to answer 3 (and related to answer 1) above, what if I do not wish to renew the mortgage and she is unable to afford to take it over? I am keen to avoid paying for the mortgage ad infinitum for her to live in the house. Can I force a sale at the end of the discounted mortgage period?Regards,Miles

If you move out it is usually the person who remains that should be making the monthly payments and the person who leaves remains liable. If a further remortgage cannot be obtained you can apply to court to have the property sold if you cannot reach agreement between yourselves.

I hope this assists you. If you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating using the stars at the top of this page. I will not be credited for your question without a positive rating. Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi,Just to be clear on the last point. Let's say I have moved out and my ex wants to stay in the house, we reach the end of the discounted phase of our mortgage and the rate increases. Am I obliged to continue paying half of the mortgage or can I simply say that I don't want to do this and insist we sell the house? In other words if she chooses to stay do I have to pay the mortgage in part to enable her to do so?Regards,Miles

No, if she stays she should be paying the mortgage unless you agree otherwise. However, the mortgage company has the right to pursue either of you, or both of you despite any agreement you have between yourselves.

You can propose to sell the house, and if she does not agree you will need to apply to your county court using Form N1 and a £355 court fee to force a sale.

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