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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 35574
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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I separated from my husband in December due to his cocain

Customer Question

Hi,I separated from my husband in December due to his cocain and gambling addictions. I asked him to leave our family home and am now struggling to manage all of the bills. I believe the only option is to sell the house to pay off the debt, against the house and personal debt.My husband and I jointly own the house and are responsible for the the mortgage and secured loan but the other debt is only in my name. This debt was primarily taken out to pay off debts that my husband owed and he also racked up debt on the credit card via online gambling.He says if we sell the house he wants his half of the equity, after paying off the mortgage and secured loan. My parents are also concerned about any remaining equity as they gave us the deposit for our home, £27,000, as a gift and feel that as there is probably less equity in the house than this that my husband shouldn’t be entitled to anything.Where do I stand? If we sell the house, am I entitled to clear all debt with the equity? Or do I have to split it with my husband? If I divorced my husband would the case still be the same? We also have two children who are remaining with me. Currently my husband is in private rehab to help deal with his addictions.Thanks in advance for your help.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 10 months ago.

My name is ***** ***** I shall do my best to help you. I am reviewing your question now, and will respond further within a few minutes

Expert:  Clare replied 10 months ago.

How long did you live together and how old are the children.

How much is the house worth and how much is outstanding on the loans?

What other assets are there and what income do you each have?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
We bought the house in November 2011. Prior to that we rented from December 2009.We married in December 2012. Our children are 3 and 4 years old.The house is worth around £250k. The mortgage is around £140k, secured loan around £75k, personal loan around £17k, credit card around £7k.No other assets. My annual income is £41k, my husband’s annual income is £46k (this is currently reduced due to the amount of time he has had off work) and child benefit.Since my husband has been living away from our home he has been paying me £800 per month in child maintenance and has continued to pay for our daughter’s childcare vouchers, directly from his pay.
Expert:  Clare replied 10 months ago.

If you sell the property where will you and the children live?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
We will have to rent as there is insufficient equity to use as a deposit for another house.
Expert:  Clare replied 10 months ago.

Do you not wish to remain in the property until your youngest is 18?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I would like that but don’t see how it is financially possible. I’m not able to change the mortgage and secured loans over so that they are both only in my name. My earnings are not sufficient and my husband has recently/ is in the process of setting up an IVA for other debts that he has accumulated. As soon as the mortgage finishes this fixed rate period it will revert to the standard variable rate which will mean another significant rise in monthly payments.
Expert:  Clare replied 10 months ago.

Setting aside the issue of the transfer of the loans - could you actually afford to stay there/

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Not unless I could rely upon the continuing of the £800 per month and I don’t think I can, based on the minimum requirements for child maintenance.
Expert:  Clare replied 10 months ago.

Could you renegotiate the mortgage terms?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I have been in touch with a financial advisor and it doesn’t seem to be a possibility.
Expert:  Clare replied 10 months ago.


Are you intending to start divorce proceedings?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I would start proceedings if it would result in a better outcome with the sale of the house and settlement of the debts but otherwise would probably delay as the added potential stress of this could negatively impact upon my husband’s recovery.
Expert:  Clare replied 10 months ago.

If the matter had to be decided by the family court there is little doubt that the court would order that the loans were paid out of the proceeds of sale - and in fact given the contribution by your parents it is likely that you would then receive the balance of the equity - such as it is

If your ex will not be reasonable in discussions using Family Mediation then you would be better off issuing Divorce proceedings and dealing with the financial matters within the Court process.

I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details