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I'm not sure of the value of the house, but houses in the neighbourhood are on the market for up to £140,000. I also spent in and around £40,000 5 years ago putting in a very large conservatory and having the entire back yard reclaimed and paved - which would probably increase the value of the property slightly. I don't have exact figures to hand, but I think there is something in the region of £40,000 outstanding on the mortgage. We also have a joint endowment (life insurance policy), I'd have to check its current worth, but I think it's about £15,000 at the moment. I have no idea how much my ex's debts amount to -( I am getting hassled by the bank where we held our joint account, asking for the outstanding balance of £320 to be repaid so that they can close the account - i am reluctant to pay this as I have had nothing to do with this account for a number of years, although my name is XXXXX XXXXX it. I myself owe about £3,500 on credit cards, which I am repaying as quickly as I can. I also have about £1,000 outstanding on a o% finance agreement I took out to have double-glazing put in (direct debit, agreement, all on track) I am self-employed and my last year's net taxable profit was just over £9,000. I get child tax and working tax credit as a single parent. The children are 16, 9 and 5.
Also: my ex has no income at the moment: he suffered a massive heart attack before Christmas, but has continued to drink heavily, and currently seems to be experiencing additional mental health problems.
It would be unreasonable and unfair of me, under the circumstances, to ask for maintenance he cannot afford, but was wondering if a court would consider fair his claim to half the property's worth?
I also have a question surrounding liability for my ex's debts: I am constantly getting phone-calls from debt-collection agencies asking to speak to him - I know he owes credit-card companies, mobile phone service providers, etc.. but he obviously gave the family address rather than his parents' address when setting up these agreements. I am concerned that I may be liable by association, particularly given the fact that he is now in such a poor state financially that he has no way of repaying any these debts.
A further question surrounding the work I had done on the house: this was financed by a substantial gift to both of us by my father for the purpose of creating more living space after the birth of our third child - would the fact that this was a gift to both of us alter your view of the possible outcome of how assets would be divided in court?
Many thanks for your help.