Separated - Can I buy a house?

Hi,
I am just wondering where to get advice.

In a nutshell, we have been separated for just over a year. We agreed that my wife and children remain in the rented house. This (and the monthly maintenance I pay) was all part of the separation agreement. Fortunately it is an amicable split.

However, because I need a permanent place to live, I would really like to buy my own house (rather than rent). But the following questions arise:
1. Can I do this before getting a divorce ?
2. Is there such a thing as an agreement we can both sign ?

Or to speed things up, could I go for a 'Quickie Divorce' frequently advertised. I'm not sure a high street solicitor would offer impartial advice on such a process.

Any tips or advice would be most welcome. Thanks.
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Comments

  • 19lottie82
    19lottie82 Posts: 6,027 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    i'd try posting this in the main marriages, families and relationships (or housing) part of the forum. you dont get much traffic through these parts!
  • meer53
    meer53 Posts: 10,217 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    If you can afford it and you can get a mortgage, you can buy whatever you like, you don't need to be divorced.

    Any house would be yours, your ex wouldn't be involved so no agreement needed.

    Are you asking because you are still on the tenancy agreement ? Not sure whether any lender would accept this, someone else may be able to advise.
  • rpc
    rpc Posts: 2,353 Forumite
    meer53 wrote: »
    If you can afford it and you can get a mortgage, you can buy whatever you like, you don't need to be divorced.

    Any house would be yours, your ex wouldn't be involved so no agreement needed.

    Are you asking because you are still on the tenancy agreement ? Not sure whether any lender would accept this, someone else may be able to advise.

    As they haven't yet reached a financial settlement, the assets of the marriage have yet to be divided. In English law, this property would count towards that. If OP doesn't buy, the money he has for a deposit would count towards it.

    Unless you are very sure that you would be able to agree a financial settlement without needing to sell the house, I would wait.

    Divorce need not take that long if you both agree and if the financial split is fair (judges can reject a split that they consider unfair, even if both parties have agreed).
  • gospete
    gospete Posts: 46 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    Another year seems to be a long time to get settled. As I mentioned, I don't really want to spend money on renting a place.
    I am in a position to buy a house, so I guess I need to make sure that there is not going to be any future claim.
    From the advice so far, it seems that it should be possible to get a divorce now provided we are both in agreement. Presumably a solicitor would 'guide' me/us through the reasons or grounds that would be acceptable to the courts?
  • rpc
    rpc Posts: 2,353 Forumite
    To do the divorce now, you would use the "unreasonable behaviour" ground.

    Have a read at http://www.wikivorce.com/

    You can find the grounds at the bottom of http://www.wikivorce.com/divorce/Guides-Divorce/How-To-Guides/Step-1-Initial-Checks.html
  • meer53
    meer53 Posts: 10,217 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    rpc wrote: »
    As they haven't yet reached a financial settlement, the assets of the marriage have yet to be divided. In English law, this property would count towards that. If OP doesn't buy, the money he has for a deposit would count towards it.

    Unless you are very sure that you would be able to agree a financial settlement without needing to sell the house, I would wait.

    Divorce need not take that long if you both agree and if the financial split is fair (judges can reject a split that they consider unfair, even if both parties have agreed).

    I'm confused ? The OP doesn't say they already own a house ? I've read it as they are already renting and that the wife would remain in this house ?
  • sportbeth
    sportbeth Posts: 621 Forumite
    In theory, you can do whatever you want with assets that are not part of the marital pot, however when you divorce you would need to get a consent order, which involves both parties doing a financial disclosure and putting it before a judge. If in that time you have invested wisely and your ex has blown the bank with what she has left, it can get tricky.

    You can draw up a separation agreement which details what you both agree to at this stage but my solicitor said that's not really worth the bother.

    My advice would be to push for divorce ASAP so that it's sorted sooner rather than later, and if you are sure that the funds you have are definitely yours, then you can do what you want with them. Just don't hang around getting the divorce sorted
  • gospete
    gospete Posts: 46 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    meer53 wrote: »
    I'm confused ? The OP doesn't say they already own a house ? I've read it as they are already renting and that the wife would remain in this house ?

    That's correct. We rented. My wife will remain in there.
    Now, I don't want to rent another property, I prefer to buy.
    Thanks.
  • rpc
    rpc Posts: 2,353 Forumite
    meer53 wrote: »
    I'm confused ? The OP doesn't say they already own a house ? I've read it as they are already renting and that the wife would remain in this house ?

    I meant the property that OP wants to buy.

    In England it would count as a marital asset.
  • BaldacchinoR
    BaldacchinoR Posts: 135 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    If your relationship with your wife is amicable, it should not take long to get a quick divorce. You can DIY - see the very useful wikivorce website one of the above referred you to.


    I agree with those posters who say that you can buy a house while still married - you don't have to wait for the divorce. The house you buy will be a marital asset and will be taken into account when your marital finances are sorted out.


    In case you don't know, a divorce does not settle your finances. The finances of the marriage are subject to a separate process but you normally need at least a decree nisi (a decree absolute is better still) to start the separate process. The process is to apply for a consent order where the court will make an order validating the financial settlement.


    If you don't get a consent order, then I was advised that both you and your partner can make a financial claim against each other at any time after the divorce is completed, and not just on marital assets but on any new assets acquired after the divorce too e.g. if either of you have a big lottery win! I think this is quite wrong - any financial settlement after the divorce should be based on asset values at the date of the decree absolute and should not include newly acquired assets which are not marital ones. But as ever, our politicians often fail to iron out obvious unfairness in our existing laws.
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