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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 32199
Experience:  25 years experience of all aspects of family law
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My wife is leaving me after 5 years of marriage and 16 years

Customer Question

My wife is leaving me after 5 years of marriage and 16 years relationship we have a 3 year old son she is taking him with her.

We have a house which is in her name only including the mortgage we purchased it together in 2005 and I have made considerable improvements to it out of my own pocket. I will now be left in the house to pay the mortgage in full and all the bills.

I am self employed so my income is sporadic and less than hers she is a full time teacher in secondary education

If I pay the mortgage and stay her and make this my home where do I stand legally?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: UK Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question
I shall do my best to assist you but I need some further information first.
How much is the house worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage.
What other assets and debts are there and how much do you each actually earn?
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello


 


house is worth 185000 mortgage is 130000 I earn 15000 a year she earns 43000 a year


 


I have combined personal and business debt of 40000 she has around 20000 I think?


 


My main concern is if I stay and pay the mortgage and keep the house running what rights do I have?


 


Hope this helps

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
How will your ex and the children be housed?
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

She is going to rent her own place, this is her choice to leave and take our child with her. Im not forcing her to go I just want to keep my home here going for as long as I can I see no need to sell and she is not forcing the sale as yet. Though im cant say what the future will hold.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
When you ask what rights do you have could you explain what you are concerned about?
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I'm concerned about if I'm paying the mortgage from now on in full where do I stand in terms of rights to live here if she decides to sell
If I can't get the mortgage moved to me what can I do to safe guard myself.
I need to provide myself a home as well as giving my son a place to visit when he's with me.

Can she force me to leave if she is already funding her own new home.

Many Thanks
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
I am afraid that your ex is entitled to apply to the court for an order for the sale of the house - both to ensure that her name is release from the mortgage and to obtain her share of the equity.
It is unlikely that a court would not grant the order I am afraid, although there is a reasonable chance that you will get a slightly larger share of the equity to "buy out" your potential claim for spouse maintenance
If you are going to stay in the house t would be a good idea to have a separation agreement drawn up so that there is a clear understanding of when the house will have to be sold.
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you require further clarification
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
What about any equity that arises from hear on in if I continue to improve the property and pay the mortgage in full.

Should I get a valuation now?

What should I do about hear taking my son?
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Who has had the day to day care of the child until now?
What contact is your ex offering?
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
He is with a child minder and at pre school all week he's kept away from me most of the time by her unless it suites her for me to have him. She is extremely dominant and passive.

Try to compromise doesn't work.

I'm left with this house and I doubt little access to my son.
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
You and your ex need to discuss both the financial side of your separation and how your son will share his time between you.
You can do this using Family mediation (www.familymediationhelpline.co.uk)
If this fails you may wish to consider an application for a defined contact order
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Okay I have a marital rights order on the property registered at the land registry.

I've invested a lot of time money and effort into refurbishing this house.

She is being very dominant and taking control of everything around me.

Are you saying I have no rights and I have to just let her walk away
With our home and my son.

How will I afford to live and move on if that happens?

16 years of my life counts for nothing?

Should I just let her take it all?

Maybe sleeping in my car is the option then?
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
My apologies I should have made it clear and did not.
Not only are you entitled to remain in your matrimonial home so long as you are married but you also have a financial claim on it- certainly for 50% of the equity - possibly a little more to reflect your possible claim for spouse maintenance
As I understand it she does not wish to keep the house - but if she did stay in it you would retain your claim on the equity even if you could not insist on a sale until your son is 18.
So far as your son is concerned since you have clearly always been involved with the day to day care of the child so there is no reason why his care should not be shared between you so that you have him overnight each week.
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Okay so if I have a claim to a possible larger equity stake and I stay and continue to pay the mortgage even though its on her name. If I buy out her equity share legally and continue to improve the property and get her to agree to leave the mortgage in place until I can take it over.

Where would that leave me during the process is there a legal way I could get that agreed. I'm keen to keep the house as my home and fight for all my hard work and give my son a good home to be in when he's with me?

I'm sorry for all the questions but I am really In need of all re advice and help I can get.

I need to know I can legally and lawfully do all of these things


Many Thanks
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
HI
I am sorry but I am not sure that I understand what you are asking - my fault I am sure but I will do my best to try and resolve it.
Within your separation you and your ex have to decide what will happen financially.
From what you have said your ex has no wish to remain in the matrimonial home - which is good from your point of view.
You do, but you will not be able to get a large mortgage so you are reliant on her retaining the mortgage in her name - or in joint names
If you wish to achieve this then you can only do it by negotiation - the court will not order it
Accordingly you need to negotiate with your ex using Family Mediation and reach an agreement
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

okay maybe its my fault currently she is not insisting on a sale however if in the future she does and I have been paying the mortgage in her name and made more improvements or repairs that add to its value.


 


Also if we are separated and finally get divorced and I'm still here what are my rights to stay?


 


Many Thanks

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
You can certainly ask the court to give you credit for any value that you have added to the property
For your own protection however you should not let a Decree Absolute be granted until you also have an order dealing with your interest in your home
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Okay that is starting to make sense what would that order be called?

I presume after a decree absolute I would have no rights to live here?

Many Thanks
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
The Order would be a Financial Order made within the Divorce proceedings.
After the Decree Absolute you woudl still have the right to ask the court for an order allowing you to remain in the property - but it woudl be better to deal with it before then
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello Claire


 


My wife is leaving this weekend and is now refusing to give the address she is moving too. she is taking full mortgage payments from me but I have no idea if its being paid. She is taking our son with her all his belongings and what ever else she decides to remove.


 


Can she do all these things with out any way of me stopping her.


 


Basically after tomorrow I will have no idea where she is where my son is or if the mortgage is paid or have anything left to sit on.


 


Her family are playing ignorant but cohersing her in full and giving her money to do these things. ~Although she is paid well as a teacher of ten years.


 


I'm am being intimidated by her family as they know I'm in a vulnerable situation.


 


I have no family of my own and I'm basically dealing with this alone.


 


 

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Do you have the mortgage details?
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
What details do you require ?
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
HI
Do you have the account number so that you can pay the mortgage yourself?
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I do have it but the mortgage is not in my name. Are you saying I can still pay it regardless if I have the account number.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I have the account number but the mortgage is not in my name are you saying I can pay it to that account regardless of who pays it?
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
HI
You cannot stop your ex leaving the property I am afraid.
You have said that she has generally had the day to day care of the child which makes it unlikely that you would be successful if you applied for a Residence Order so it is unlikely that you could stop him leaving.
However you are entitled to know where your son is living - and to have regular contact.
You should try and discuss this with your ex using Family Mediation - but if this fails you may need to apply to the courts for an order.
It would be sensible to arrange to pay the mortgage directly so that you can be sure that arrears are not arising
Claire

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