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She doesn't want to sell the flat!

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She doesn't want to sell the flat!

42 replies 11.9K views
Samyusuf_3Samyusuf_3 Forumite
6 posts
Hello to you all,

I have been contemplating ending my marriage for a good few weeks now as I'm convinced that we just weren't meant to be.

Unfortunately, this past week things have been very bad between us and I'm now 100 percent sure that I want to end this marriage once and for all. I honestly cannot believe I'm even typing this as the very thought of not seeing my daughter every day makes me weak in the knees.

To give you a bit of background, my wife and I have been married for 3 years and we have a daughter who is almost two years old.

I say married, we are not married according to UK law but have had an Islamic Nikah so in the eyes of Islam we're married, but I don't believe an Islamic marriage is recognised in the UK, unless things have changed recently.

We always agreed to have our marriage registered in the UK but never really found the time to get around to it as she fell pregnant shortly after we got married, and we moved around between properties quite a bit so life was hectic.

Without going into too much detail, my wife and I simply do not get along and haven't done so pretty much since the marriage begun, but we stood by each other for the sake of our daughter, at least I did.

Now we argue and fight more than ever before, and the relationship has become very toxic, we both pretty much hate each other. The worst part of it is that my poor daughter is stuck in the middle and it tears me apart every time I look at her whenever we argue.

I spoke to my wife last weekend and explained that I want a divorce as I'm very unhappy in this so-called marriage and worried about the damage it's doing to our little girl. She outright refused and asked if I've gone mad.

I told her that I wanted to sell our flat and split it in the middle and that I'd continue to support her and our daughter, but she's just not having it and is in denial about our problems. We do not even sleep in the same bed and haven't done so for many months now on and off.

I would really appreciate some guidance on how I move forward with separating from my wife as we are not officially married.

Also, I'm not sure what will happen to our flat which was purchased by both of us on a joint mortgage two years ago. I'm not sure how much equity there is in the property if any at all, but I expect she will not want to give me my share of the flat out of spite. I have been paying all of the mortgage repayments since the beginning and also paid the majority of the deposit.

Could this end up in court? If it does then I guess the court will most definitely side with my wife and allow her to keep the flat?

I'm willing to offer her a 50/50 settlement if she agrees to sell the flat (I paid 55k deposit and she paid 35k), and I will continue to support her and my daughter however I can going forward. I genuinely do not want to see her go through hardship as that will only affect my daughter, so I am trying to be fair as possible. Although I don't love her, I still care for her very much.

My family, especially my mother, are extremely angry at me for wanting to end this marriage, but what nobody seems to understand is that my daughter means the world to me and for me to come to this decision just tells you how miserable I am, and this isn't helping my daughter in the slightest.

Please kindly advise or point me in the right direction.

Thank you
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Replies

  • edited 20 February 2018 at 8:48AM
    jackieblackjackieblack Forumite
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    edited 20 February 2018 at 8:48AM
    You are correct in your understanding that you are not legally married, so are in the same position as any unmarried couple who are splitting up.

    If the flat is in joint names you will either need her agreement to sell or ask the courts to force a sale, this is a long, expensive process and the court's priority will be your child's welfare so, assuming that your daughter will live the majority of the time with your wife, they may decide that they can continue to live there until your daughter is 18. You also have just as much right to live there should you so choose. If you choose not to, that is your choice.

    You will be expected to maintain your child financially, but not her mother.

    You and your former partner will be equally liable for the mortgage until such time that your former partner can buy you out or the flat is sold.
    If the mortgage isn't paid and the flat is repossessed by the lender both your credit ratings will be trashed.
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  • TonyMMMTonyMMM Forumite
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    SamYusuf wrote: »
    I don't believe an Islamic marriage is recognised in the UK, unless things have changed recently.

    Where did you get married - in the UK or not ? (v important)
  • pearl123pearl123 Forumite
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    Could you perhaps try relationship counseling to see if you can resolve your problems? Relate perhaps.
  • Jackieblack has explained the situation very clearly.

    It's very sad because of the involvement of your little daughter. Never mind what your mother says. Your focus will have to be - somehow - maintaining some kind of a relationship, otherwise there is a danger of losing contact with your daughter altogether. This has happened to many men after divorce/separation, whatever kind of marriage they had, or didn't have.
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  • TBagpussTBagpuss Forumite
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    You are correct in your understanding that you are not legally married, so are in the same position as any unmarried couple who are splitting up.

    If the flat is in joint names you will either need her agreement to sell or ask the courts to force a sale, this is a long, expensive process and the court's priority will be your child's welfare so, assuming that your daughter will live the majority of the time with your wife, they may decide that they can continue to live there until your daughter is 18. You also have just as much right to live there should you so choose. If you choose not to, that is your choice.

    You will be expected to maintain your child financially, but not her mother.

    You and your former partner will be equally liable for the mortgage until such time that your former partner can buy you out or the flat is sold.
    If the mortgage isn't paid and the flat is repossessed by the lender both your credit ratings will be trashed.

    The bolded is not correct. It would be correct if the parties were married and it was a divorce court dealing with the property, but not for an unmarried couple, where the court has far less discretion and would almost certainly order a sale
    All posts are my personal opinion, not formal advice Always get proper, professional advice (particularly about anything legal!)
  • TBagpussTBagpuss Forumite
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    OP, you are right in thinking that the Nikah isn't recognised as a valid marriage in this country. However, if it took place overseas in a county where it is legally binding, then the courts here would recognise it as a valid marriage here as well. My comments are based on the assumption it took place here so you are not married.

    First, I'd suggest that you give your partner some time. You spoke to her at the weekend, and you have yourself been thinking for some time about separating, but to her, this is very new. It's reasonable to allow her some time to take in that you want to separate permanently, before you start trying to discuss things like selling the flat.

    Longer term, you will need to sort out your finances. As you are not married, the start point is that you would look at the deeds of the property, if you own as joint tenants, the assumption is that you are each entitled to 50% of the net equity, if you own as tenants in common, with specific shares, then you are each entitled to the specific share recorded, and if not recorded, to 50%. Unless your deed or a separate declaration of trust states that you agreed you would be entitled to a higher share of the equity because you put more into the deposit, you won't be entitled to a higher share, so saying you would be wiling to offer her 50% doesn't mean much. She would be entitled to that whether you were prepared to offer it to her or not.

    As a first step, it would be sensible to find out what the flat is worth. Ideally you would get 2 or 3 agents in to offer advice, however this is likely to be upsetting for your partner so it might be better if to start with you look at sold prices for similar flats, to get a rough idea, and then get more detailed advice in a month or two, once your partner has had time to take in what you're saying about splitting up.

    Find out from your lender what the redemption figure for your mortgage is, including any ERC. Allow around 2% of the value of the flat for costs of sale, and work out roughly what the equity is.

    Start to think about whether there are any alternatives to selling the flat - for instance, does your partner currently work, or is she likely to go back to work in the foreseeable future., perhaps when your daughter starts nursery? would she be able to afford the mortgage and other outgoings?

    think about whether you would be willing to delay having your money from the flat, if this would give your daughter more security. While a court would probably order a sale of the flat, as the judge has limited discretion where parties are not married, this doesn't stop the two of you reaching a different agreement (which you can then record in a separation agreement, and a Declaration of Trust for the property, defining when and in what circumstances either of you can force a sale, and how the sale proceeds will be split when you do)

    Think about whether you would be willing for your partner to stay in the flat and pay you out at a later stage , if she was able to get you released from the mortgage (for example, if she was able to remortgage in her own name, or with her own family as guarantors).

    Finally, bear in mind that while you were not married, if you are found to be engaged (which might be the case, given that you entered into a religious marriage and had the joint intention to marry legally as well) that it would be open to your partner to make an application to the court which would be heard under the laws relating to divorces, and under which a court could potentially take your daughter's needs into account in determining what should happen with the flat.

    i would suggest that you see a solicitor for advice, but in the mean time, do try to remember that you have just dropped a bombshell on your wife, give her a few weeks to get used to the idea before you try to push her to talk about financial arrangements.
    All posts are my personal opinion, not formal advice Always get proper, professional advice (particularly about anything legal!)
  • Hi All

    Thank you very much for taking the time to reply to my thread.

    \\
    TonyMMM wrote: »
    Where did you get married - in the UK or not ? (v important)

    Tony, we got married in the UK. I am aware that if the marriage took place outside the UK then it is recognised as a legit marriage in the UK. Having said that, if what Jackie posted above is true then it looks like it doesn't make any difference whether you are married or not if there is a child involved.

    jackieblack - Thanks for your detailed message. I understand what you are saying and it makes sense. but I'm still not clear on how things will work if she is to be given the flat.

    - For example she only works two days a week and makes no contribution towards the mortgage at present. I have been paying the full £1100 mortgage since day one + all the utility bills + broadband etc.

    - If the court decides she gets to keep the flat, then I will most definitely move out and rent elsewhere, which means I'd be looking to pay at least £1300-£1500 rent a month + plus my own bills, travel expenses to and from work + child maintenance.

    - I don't believe she will be able to pay the mortgage + bills + childcare on her own.

    - Does the Mortgage lender not have a say in this matter as the mortgage is only two years old? Surely it is in their best interest if the property was sold.

    - It seems to me that it's pointless taking her to court to sell the flat as the court will more than likely decide in her favour anyway.
  • JenniefourJenniefour Forumite
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    OP, please read TBagpuss's response for the correct information. The fact that you are not married in UK law makes a huge amount of difference, including circumstances like yours where a child is involved.

    The reality is that you could force a sale of the flat - but would you want to do that (and it's a very costly road to take too) and is it in your daughters' best interests? Please read the response from TBagpuss.
  • edited 2 April 2018 at 10:27AM
    Samyusuf_3Samyusuf_3 Forumite
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    edited 2 April 2018 at 10:27AM
    TBagpuss and Jennie, thank you very much for your input.

    I'm sad to say that many weeks later I now find myself in a more difficult situation than I was to begin with.

    My partner and I argued over nonsense a few days ago which ended in me walking away but she then told my close friend that I physically abused her which I most certainly did not.

    It's very clear to me that she does not have good intentions and can no longer be trusted, and I must now figure out a way I can start gathering evidence which will prove that I'm not being abusive or anything along those lines.

    Video recording from the moment I get home till the moment I leave for work (roughly 12 hours) is not an option.

    The only thing I can think of is to use a voice recorder instead with a date and time stamp, and perhaps I can also say out loud a few top stories from the BBC News website so as to prove the date.

    I will record every day and keep a backup in the cloud and if she ever does decide to stitch me up by reporting me to the authorities then at least I can provide these recordings as proof of my innocence.

    I would assume the police will ask her when the abuse took place and they can then listen to that days recording if you get my meaning.

    Sorry if I'm coming across as a bit frantic but I did some googling and was shocked to learn that a man has pretty much no protection from the law if someone accuses him of domestic violence. Many men have actually said that it was cheaper to just plead guilty and take the sentence than to actually hire a lawyer which will most likely be of no use.

    What strange laws we have and it's no wonder that suicide amongst men in the UK is increasing year upon year.

    I guess I'm asking if my idea above about voice recording every moment I spend with my partner is a good idea and if it will be accepted as evidence?

    Or could that get me into more trouble?

    Are there any better options that I should concider?

    Just so you understand my intentions, I am still wanting separation but I'm worried about the flat which I've been told will most likely be handed over to her and I'll be left with nothing.

    I haven't figured out a way in which I can force a sale of the flat and I understand I'll need some proper legal advice in this regard.

    Thank you again.
  • Red-Squirrel_2Red-Squirrel_2 PPR
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    Why not just move out?
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