Really need some advice on what to do with this situation - Ex partner separation

Okay so this is my first post so bear with me please and any advice or help is much appreciated as this has affected my mental health to another level.

Background - met ex partner 3 years ago - not legally married (only religious wedding which i know doesn't count in the UK law so thats fine) and she moved into my home which was in my sole name and living with me on and off since.  I've always paid bills and mortgage as usual, and she never contributed towards the mortgage or anything.

The mistake - so this year our relationship was on the rocks and i wanted to provide security for her so like the idiot i am, i wore my heart on my sleeve and added her name onto my house - she never made any financial contribution towards this as well.

Situation - So since July 2022 the name got added on same time my rate was due for renewal as joint tenancy (again i know stupid and i am always reminded of this but never thought i'd be in this situation as you do).  A month later, she said she wants out and she came with her family when i was away to collect her things and practically emptied the whole house including bed, everything.  She even left rose petals on the floor with a message saying many happy returns.  

I have a daughter from a previous marriage who stays with me fortnightly so its in my interest to start again and re-buy new furniture etc.

Issue - So i have applied with my mortgage lender to take her name off the house and transfer into my sole name - they have agreed and offered.  My solicitors have tried to communicate with her to ask for her solicitors details and she has responded to them saying she is not willing to take her name off the house and thats it.  My solicitors have left it with me saying they cannot proceed further until she cooperates.

I have tried to reach out to my ex partner what she wants, why shes doing it etc but she has blocked me in all forms of communication.  I tried to reach out to her family and they have blocked me as well before making there empty threats saying "i am lucky as they were going to come down and deal with me" and what not.  

If she wants money then fine even though she is not entitled to anything from my view given she hasnt paid or contributed anything financially but i am aware in the eyes of the law that she is entitled to half and i know thats my mistake that i know sadly may cost me but the fact is now without any communication i dont know where i stand or what i can do. 
I am paying the high mortgage payment just about and i have to as i work in a regulated role etc i've read about consent order etc but have no idea how to do this.  One solicitor said it could cost me upwards £15k to do this which i cannot afford at all.  Im just about able to get the house in my own name with todays interest rate and stress tested means etc.

If you are still reading then i appreciate and any sort of advice would be much appreciated.  I've tried every possible avenue i can think of such as citizens advice, many solicitor firms etc but no luck.  Shes dangling me on a puppet string leaving me in limbo and this has severely affected my mental health and wellbeing living like this.  I only put on a brave face when i have my 8 year old daughter with me.

Again any advice or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.  

Thank you

Comments

  • BAFE
    BAFE Posts: 267
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    Would she be willing for you to buy her out?  Have you asked her that?
  • tacpot12
    tacpot12 Posts: 7,834
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    The situation, if I have understood, it is that you now both own the equity in the house (you mention that you are now joint tenants) and you are both responsible for the mortgage on the property.

    You appear to have two options:
    • Obtain a court order than the house be sold. If she won't engage with the court process, it is much more likely that the order will be granted, but it will take time and money. You can argue that she should pay some of the costs from the sale of the house, and I would expect that at least half the costs would be deducted from her half of the proceeds. 
    • Stop paying the mortgage and ask the lender to reposses the house as soon as they can. They will have to go to court, and get a possession order. You can make it clear that you will co-operate with the process, but that you have no influence on the other party to the mortgage. 
    I would suggest that you immediately start following the process described here to severe the Joint Tenancy:  https://www.gov.uk/joint-property-ownership/change-from-joint-tenants-to-tenants-in-common

    You can do this without her consent. 

    Based on what you have said you will never be able to persuade her to give you back the half of your equity that she now owns, and you don't really want to be paying any more mortgage as you are just gifting her more money.  You need to accept that while you make mortgage payments half of the capital payment is going to go to her. However paying the mortgage while you try to get a court order ordering the sale is probably the bst thing to do. It will only cost £15,000 if you expect the solicitor to do everything for you. If you are prepared to learn the process and do it yourself, just relying on the solicitor for the legal knowedge you need, you can probably get this down to £5,000, and you could clear this from the sale proceeds. Youmight even be able to get an order that means she receives less than half the proceeds of the sale. I would use this suggestion wither her, if you are able to get her to engage with you, to offer her less money for her to agree to be bought out - I would start by offering her 20% of the equity you have in the house to sign the paperwork to transfer ownership back to you. You can use a solicitor to deposit the money for her, on condition that it is not released to her until she has signed all the paperwork to transfer the ownership back to you. (This process is called ESCROW). 

    If you were to stop paying the mortgage, you and she would remain liable for any loss that that lender makes when they sell your home. This could leave you with a significant debt, that might prevent you getting another mortgage until it is cleared and your credit history is clean. You could deposit all the mortgage payments into a savings account can use that to settle your account, but it is very risky. The lender may prepared to accept an offer on your house that you would not. You might want to pay for additional marketing if you feel the lender is not trying to get the best offer, or moves to auction the property too quickly.  

    You should gather evidence of how your ex is not living in the property. As things stand, if she attempts to move back into the property, you cannot legally prevent this as she owns half the property. You can use the evidence you gather to help obtain an regulatory order from a court to exclude her from the property. This would remove a further lever she has to use against you. As she is not related to your daughter, I think the court would be inclined to make such an order much more readily than they would normally do so. Again, the cost can be minimised by doing all the work yourself, but getting the legal advice you need from a solcitor. You have to weigh up the risk of failing to get the order you seek because of your inexperience in the process. The court will some allowance for this, but only so much. 

    The comments I post are my personal opinion. While I try to check everything is correct before posting, I can and do make mistakes, so always try to check official information sources before relying on my posts.
  • RAS
    RAS Posts: 32,437
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    Even though you are not married, you may find wikivorce a useful contact, as people there will have experience orders for sale, regulatory orders etc.

    It may also be worth asking your lender about the possibility of an interest only mortgage for a while? And putting the rest of the money aside to fund the legal work?

    And keep evidence of any threats from her or her family.
    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing

  • It sounds like your ex partner is refusing to cooperate with the process of transferring the house into your sole name. This can be a difficult situation to navigate, particularly when communication has been blocked on her end. The first thing you should do is to determine why she is refusing to cooperate. If it is about money, it may be worth negotiating a settlement with her. Even if she has not contributed financially to the house, she may be entitled to some compensation under the law. Knowing this, you may decide to offer her a financial settlement in exchange for her agreement to take her name off the house. You should also consider speaking with a lawyer to discuss your options. A lawyer can help you understand your legal rights in the situation and advise you on how to proceed. They can also inform you of any potential risks or consequences associated with the transfer of the house.
  • If your ex-partner wants you to move out.
    if you're married or in a civil partnership you both have home rights. this means you can stay in your home even if you don't own it or you're not named on the tenancy. you'll only have to move out permanently if your marriage or civil partnership ends, or if a court orders you to - for example as part of your divorce.
    if you're not married or a civil partnership you won't have home rights. your rights will depend on whether you're a tenant or homeowner
  • tightauldgit
    tightauldgit Posts: 2,628
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    So as you have now found out you won't be able to do anything until she cooperates or a judge signs the paperwork on her behalf. 

    Has she appointed a solicitor or is she just refusing to discuss anything at all? 

    If you've tried everything and she won't play ball then I think the only route forward is going to be to get a court order to force a sale of the property. That's going to take a while but the longer you delay the longer you will add to the total time. 
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