What to expect?


I'm recently divorced (start of the year) and things are now proceeding towards a financial settlement with my now ex-wife.

The main area of concern is naturally the mortgage and two children involved.

The house is worth around £270,000 with a Mortgage of around 185k, my two children are 6 and 3. I earn 71k and my ex earns around 20k (part time)

I hate the thought of having to uproot the children, but as more time goes on the harder it feels to keep them in that home and be able to get myself in a more sustainable position.

Roughly paying a total of £1150 to my ex-wife which is to cover the mortgage, child maintenance. The boys stay with me a couple of times a month.

In my mind, releasing the equity and both of us having a suitable home for our children feels best...but the ex is adamant she stays in the house until they boys are 18...is this realistic?


  • TBagpuss
    TBagpuss Posts: 11,198
    First Post First Anniversary Name Dropper
    It depends - your solicitor will be able to advise you.
    One issue is what it would cost for your wife to rehouse, in a home suitable for her and the children, and whether that is a more practical option than her staying put.

    There isn't any requirement that she stays in the same house as when you were together, but the need to ensure that there is a secure home for the children would usually take priority over your need to buy rather than rent straight away.

    It's relatively unusual for there to be settlement which requires you to pay the mortgage long term, so it's also relevant to look at whether, with child support, any benefits or tax credits and her own earnings, she can afford the mortgage.

    If the house were sold, and supposing she had the equity (or most of it) to put towards a new property,how much would she need to borrow, and could she get a suitable mortgage?
    All posts are my personal opinion, not formal advice Always get proper, professional advice (particularly about anything legal!)
  • BAFE
    BAFE Posts: 267
    First Anniversary First Post
    How big is the house? If it were to be sold would you then both be able to afford a 2 bedroomed house? Would she be able to get a mortgage? How much would a 2 bed house/flat cost where you live?
  • Do you HAVE to pay child maintenance and the mortgage?

    You could argue that by paying for a roof over their head that is providing maintenance for your children.
    This will only be until the clean break order is sorted and all the financial details are sorted.

    She does not have to stay in that house she could move to a cheaper one.

    Good luck
  • badmemory
    badmemory Posts: 7,527
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    What about their schools? On £71k that mortgage should be a drop in the ocean.
  • The mortgage is close to £900 a month, so not a drop in the ocean to me, particularly when I need to sustain another place suitable for the children to spend time with me as well.

    Currently, she is living in a 4 bedroom house, with two sitting rooms, big gardens, summer house. Meanwhile I'm in a one bedroom flat and having to sleep on a mattress when I have the boys stay over.

    She doesn't earn much, £20k a year. But I'm paying her around £1150 a month on top of that. There is currently about 75/80k equity in the house. I'd be willing to forfeit much of that to allow her to get a house quickly (while I continue to rent) and I begin to start saving. A slight reduction in outgoings would result in me being able to save consistently and get a mortgage within the next 2-3 years.

    In terms of their school, there are 3 bedroom houses available within 2-3 miles of where they live currently for around £150-160k (as opposed to the £260k house now). Which with a substantial deposit and with the maintenance I'm willing to commit to would be more than achievable.
  • CakeCrusader
    CakeCrusader Posts: 1,118 Forumite
    Your solicitor should have sorted all of this for you. The usual split is 50/50, but it also takes into account how long you've been married, any savings/pensions/joint debts etc so the 50/50 split can be deviated from, it wouldn't be wise for you to write everything down on here. Downsizing is a possibility, but you have to look into how this will affect your children. Their family's not the same now and they will be adjusting to the divorce, sometimes a period in the home they've grown up in is helpful for them. Your ex may be able to find a better job once your little one starts school so she'll may be able to cover a little more of the mortgage.

    Speaking to your solicitor's better than speaking to a load of strangers on the internet.
  • The solicitor is sorting things now.

    This post was purely a sense check for me. E.g. am I being naive, is the ex being naive etc.
  • There are cases where the resident parent has remained in the family home until the children have reached 18, there's not many though and the non resident parents income is usually considerably higher. Courts generally prefer a clean break (a lump sum). If you gave her a large chunk of the equity so that she has a large deposit she could probably find somewhere affordable with her income. A 20k salary would give her a mortgage of about 80-100k (4-5 times her salary). A clean break is important for you too, you need to be able to rebuild things without having to pay a mortgage for a house that you don't live in for the next 15 years. It does sound as though the house is larger than they need really, so it might be worth offering her a chunk of the equity instead of mortgage payments.
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