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Possible Separation - Advice on Jointly Owned House

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Possible Separation - Advice on Jointly Owned House

edited 2 October 2019 at 11:56AM in MoneySaving Dads
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TheGame21TheGame21 Forumite
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edited 2 October 2019 at 11:56AM in MoneySaving Dads

Me and my wife are having some serious trouble in our relationship and things have taken a nasty turn. I am just researching options in the event of seperation. One of the issues is that we have a jointly owned house/mortgage. My salary pays for the mortgage and direct debits, my wife's salary mostly goes on our credit card (which is high due to her spending!). I work full time, she works 4 days. We have a 4 year old who has just started at the local school.

My wife has made all sorts of threats to get me to sign the house over without buying me out. She is refusing to sell even if we seperate which will mean we could be at risk of missing mortgage payments as I cannot afford to rent another place and pay the mortgage. She seems in complete denial about the house. I have sought advice and have heard you can get a court order to get her to sell if we seperate but don't really want to go down that road unless needed. We are keen for our daughter to remain in the same school and I have suggested my wife buy anothe property if we sell. She won't be able to afford in our current village but can do in the adjacent one. It will be a small house to one we have however as I have stated sacrifices will have to be made if we seperate.

Other options could be me paying half of the mortgage (roughly £1100 in total so divide this by 2) at the moment however when doing a CSA calculation, it says my payment would only be around £350. Would this be fair and have others done this or would this mean I'm being taken advantage of?

Just wondered whether people have any advice as I'm totally lost on this?


  • edited 2 October 2019 at 1:40PM
    jackieblackjackieblack Forumite
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    edited 2 October 2019 at 1:40PM
    If you and your wife are unable to agree finances between the two of you, the court will decide how things are split. In doing so, your daughters needs will take priority. The court may order the house to be sold and the equity shared, or may decide that it is in your child's best interest to remain in the family home, in which case whichever adult lives there with her will be expected to pay the mortgage, utilities etc.
    Unless you are having your child 50% of the time, you will have to pay child maintenance. Your wife will have to pay her own living costs from her salary and any benefits she may be entitled to in her new circumstances.
    Any other assets and debts will also be shared.
    How you each allocate your salary towards household expenses at the moment is irrelevant.
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  • unholyangelunholyangel Forumite
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    Bear in mind that houses are only one of the biggest assets in a divorce. The other is usually pension pots.

    Theres really no way we could advise on what a court might award other than the starting point is generally 5050 for a long marriage with give/take depending on circumstances. But if it really is looking like a split then it may be worthwhile obtaining legal advice initially to get an idea of your particular circumstances, then if possible agree between you then get it drafted up and both get independent legal advice before signing - it increases the chance of courts rubber stamping it. Because a court doesn't need to rubber stamp any agreement you two come to, but generally if both parties are agreeing eyes wide open (hence independent legal advice) and not potentially being misled, the courts don't tend to care how they split it.

    It can be easy to start off amicable about a split and end up quite venomous - due to both parties having a different idea of what a "fair" split is (because usually people think something is fair if its biased in their favour). So perhaps set some ground rules for negotiations. To try and not escalate emotions (and therefore likely legal bills).

    You do seem to have your head screwed on as you seem to realise that both parties are typically worse off after a divorce. So hopefully your wife can realise the same thing. Have she explained why she should get the house and if/why she expects you to continue to pay the mortgage?
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  • TBagpussTBagpuss Forumite
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    The court won't get involved if yousimply separate, you would need to divorce in order for a court to have jurisdiction.

    If the court were making the decision, the Judge will be aiming to achieve a fair outcome for both of you, taking into account your needs, the needs of any childrne, your respecitive incomes and earning capacities etc.

    They would look at all of the assets, including things such as pensions, not just atthe house.,

    A court will try to ensure that there is a secuire home for any childrne, if at all possible.

    The most common ways of doing this are:
    - for an order to be made which allows the paretns with care to live in the hosue while the childnre are minors, with the property being sold and the equity split once the childnre leave school. this would not normally be appropriate unless that parent can afford to pay the mortgage and outgoings while they are living in the house. Checking what your wife's income once any entitlement to child support and benefits or tax credits are taken into account would be relevent in looking at whether this would be a viable option in your case.

    - Sellin the house and the paretn with care haveing a larger share of the equity if necessary to allow them to rehouse. This can be appropriate where it is practical to downsize, and where this allows the other parent to be released from the mortgage, or where the paretn with care cannot realistically afford the outgoings on the current property. Depending on how muchof the equity is nededtpo enable the parent with care to rehouse, this could be on a clean break basis, or could be on the basis that the other paretns has a chrage back over the new property entitling them to a lump sum once the childrne leve school.

    - One parent buying the other out, paing them their share of the equity now.

    In your case, it sounds as though selling the family home and your wife buying a new property may be the best option, as it sounds as though that would give her a secure home in a suitable location, and enbale her to ford the running cotsts.

    A court can order that a house be sold.

    I would suggest that you go to see a solicitor and get some advice about your personal options, and go from there.

    It may be that a solicitors letter will give your wife the incentice to get some advice herself, in which case she wouldprobably betold that she is unlikely to be entitled to stay in the house without buying you out, particuarly if she was also explecting you to pay the mortgage!
    All posts are my personal opinion, not formal advice Always get proper, professional advice (particularly about anything legal!)
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