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A person is not responsible for the mortgage or rent or the bills of a house that they do not live in although they remain liable to the lender or landlord if the other person stays in the property and doesn’t pay the mortgage or rent.
In that case, the non-occupier would be entitled to recover any mortgage or rental payments made by the non-occupier, from the occupier within the finances of the breakup of the relationship/marriage.
The court will not get involved in marital finances or the house unless you have started divorce proceedings and only then when you make an application for a financial order.
As part of the divorce process, you may want to apply for a financial order:
Which draws a line under the finances of the marriage and prevents either of you coming back to the other, in some years time, asking for more money if circumstances have changed (the lottery?).
As you appreciate, your wife has no incentive to move and that’s because you have been paying everything. Tell her that after the end of this month, you will not be paying anything.
As part of the application for a financial order you can apply for an order for sale.
No one can be compelled to continue to own a property which they no longer wish to own and they are able to force a sale through the courts if necessary.
The remedy is to make an application to court for an order for sale under section 14 of the Trusts of Land Appointment of Trustees Act (the Act).
Anyone wishing to sell may find that a strongly worded letter from a solicitor threatening a court application and an application for costs, may focus the mind without actually having the need to get to court.
Check house insurance to see if there is legal expenses cover that would pay for the legal cost of taking the matter to court.
If I were advising anyone who has received a letter threatening an application to court under the Act and an application for legal costs, I would tell them to get the agents sign up immediately and cooperate with the sale because if they make the court application, they are likely to get it and they are likely to get costs awarded against them.
If you have only been together a couple of years, it is highly likely that both of you are going to go out of the marriage not much differently than you came in.
It’s unlikely that she would get spousal maintenance, it would just be a lump-sum settlement.
Can I clarify anything else for you?
I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.
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