Hi, when a marriage is about to break up, what is the best thing to do with the family home? My husband says he will move out but continue to pay half of the mortgage - is this ok or should I try and make arrangements to buy his share or sell up altogether? It's a difficult time at the moment and I don't want to make a decision based on emotion.
1. At the outset, you ought to realise that you have to live somewhere. Accordingly, the first choice you have to make is whether you want to continue to live in the same place or move. Secondly, so far as financial arrangements upon separation or divorce are concerned, the rule is that proper provision has to be made for the dependent spouse. Very often this means that ownership of the family home is divided equally between the two spouses. However, the family home remains in place until the youngest child is 18 or finishes third level. VEry often it is the wife who lives there with the children. Given that the husband will ultimately own half the house, it is usual for him to contribute to half the mortgage payments. It is only where there are additional assets of the marriage that these general guidelines are departed from and additional monies given to the dependent spouse. In your situation, you will have to consider what are the assets of the marriage. Then consider what share the family home is of these assets. It would only be where there are substantially more assets that you should look to own the house. Finally, there is no difficulty with buying out your husband's share. However, you should then consider what alternative financial monies he may pay to you as he will be relieved from half the mortgage payments.
Thanks for your reply. We do not have any children together however my husband has a 15 year old child from a previous relationship, does this mean that he would have more of a claim on our house? Custody of his child is shared however most of her time is spent with us?
2. No, just because he has a child does not give him any more claim on the house than you.
Barrister 17 years experience
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