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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 15648
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I’ve recently separated from my husband. We have 2 kids and

Customer Question

Hi, I’ve recently separated from my husband. We have 2 kids and he earns significantly more that me. Is there a court order that means I can stay in the family home until kids are 18?
JA: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in family court?
Customer: Not yet
JA: Family Court normally sits in a local County and Magistrates' Court. Do you know the location of the court? If not, what county do you live in?
Customer: leeds
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Don’t think so
Submitted: 10 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 10 days ago.

Good afternoon. I will assist with your question - be aware this is an email not chat service.

how long have you been together and married in total?

how old are the children?

who's name(s) on mortgage?

can you afford to pay mortgage and bills?

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Been together 13 years, we have 2 children 6 and 12. His name is ***** ***** mortgage and mine is on the deeds. He earns a lot as a CEO of a digital marketing company and I have always looked after the children.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 10 days ago.

The court will not get involved in marital finances including the sale or nonsale of the house unless you have started divorce or legal separation proceedings.

If you want to know how to do that, I’m happy to send you my do it yourself guide. In respect of children you would need to apply for a Child arrangement order.

Here is the link to the Government webpage on Child Arrangement Orders.

https://www.gov.uk/looking-after-children-divorce

There are lots of different Child arrangement orders.

They can include:

A Contact Order which specifies when parent sees a child,

Residence Order to determine who your child lives with,

Prohibited Steps Order to prevent a parent doing something with the child such as moving away

Specific Issue Order to allow a parent to do something specific with the child such as moving away.

Please note that before rushing off to court you have to have tried mediation first, even if it fails

As part of the divorce process, it is always a good idea apply for a financial order:

https://www.gov.uk/money-property-when-relationship-ends/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?).

With regard to staying in the house, Unless a sale of the house produces enough money for the parent looking after the child(ren), the resident parent, until the youngest reaches 18 and produces a surplus for the non-resident parent, the sale of the house is not on the cards until the youngest child reaches 18.

Both parents are under a duty to provide a home for dependent children until they reach 18. Only then would the house be sold.

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.

So ever sale of the house is not on the cards now, he’s going to have to wait another 12 years until your youngest reaches 18. You are in a reasonable position therefore to offer a knockdown price to buy him out because he either takes the knockdown price now or wait another 12 years to get what would probably be 40%. That depends of course upon you being able to raise the money.

He is responsible, if he is not living with the children, for child maintenance at the CMS rates which are here

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/672432/how-we-work-out-child-maintenance.pdf

Do read the whole document but the basic rates start at the top of page 18.

Child maintenance is reduced by 1/7th for each 52 nights that the non-resident parent has the children.

There is a possibility of a liability for spousal maintenance, maintenance paid to keep a spouse , as opposed to children. Although most commonly paid from husband to wife, that is not necessarily the case. Spousal maintenance is based on both incomes, ability to earn money, previous lifestyles and most importantly, need. It is not about equalising incomes. There is no exact formula, but these links will give some reading..

https://www.blbsolicitors.co.uk/blog/spousal-maintenance-how-much-and-for-how-long/

and

http://www.familylawweek.co.uk/site.aspx?i=ed33597

and

https://family.findlaw.com/divorce/questionnaire-are-you-entitled-to-alimony-spousal-support.html

And here is an interesting and informative article with regard to the division of finances in general (don't worry about it no longer being updated)

https://www.lawteacher.net/cases/financial-matters-on-divorce.php

And finally, here is an article what happens to inheritance in the event of a

divorce:

http://www.marilynstowe.co.uk/2011/05/18/what-happens-to-an-inheritance-in-the-event-of-divorce/

Can I clarify anything else for you?

I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

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Thank you.

If you still need any points clarifying, I will still reply because the thread does not close.

Best wishes.

FES