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Ask Buachaill Your Own Question
Buachaill, Lawyer
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Satisfied Customers: 10525
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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I'm separated 5 years via a judicial separation. currently

Customer Question

I'm separated 5 years via a judicial separation. currently I'm paying maintenance and 50% of the mortgage which is on an interest only basis as instructed by the judge. This judicial separation was subject to review on divorce as instructed by the judge, however, this is not documented. At the moment there's approximately €100k in equity in the family home. My issue/concern is I'm renting and cannot obtain a mortgage. I don't have any particular interest in obtaining a divorce or changing maintenace or access, I would like to move on and not be tied to a mortgage. The bank refused to transfer the mortgage to my wife and to be honest she doesn't have much interest in applying as her portion of the interest only is €300 per month. The interest only period is due to end in 14 months time.
What would a judge do in the event i applied for a divorce and wanted the family addressed?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.

1. What age(s) are any children of the relationship? Do they live in the house?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The girls are 8 and 6 and they live in the family home, however they spend approximately 40% of the time with me.
Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.

2. The bot***** *****ne is that you have to contribute to providing a house for the two girls until they are 18, whether you like it or not. Essentially, the court on the legal separation application made yourself and your wife equally liable for this by dividing the mortgage repayments 50:50 between you. I don't see a court changing this view should you get a divorce. However, the one thing that can change is if you can point to it being cheaper to rent for them to live in, or by downsizing. However, there must be some strong economic argument for this. Courts generally cleave to the status quo. So you will need some strongly backed evidence to change the current set up, I regret to say.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for the reply, some additional questions if I may? The mortgage repayments are 50/50 interest only on the separation order. Would the mortgagee expecting full payments be grounds for a change? Do the courts expect me to rent for another 12 years and still continue to pay the mortgage for another 25 years?
If a divorce was granted and my wife remarried and chose to live in the family home, can a court order a sale when the children are 18?
Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.

3. Any change in circumstances is grounds for some sort of change. But be aware that these changes will be minor, as you will still be expected to pay for your childrens' home in part. The issue of the house going to full payment mortgage repayments raises the issue of whether you want to continue to hold an equity interest in the house. Remember if you do not contribute, you will lose some of your ownership stake in the house, as a consequence. The bot***** *****ne is that you are going to be paying for your childrens' home until the youngest is 18. Not necessarily, the end of the mortgage. However, if you don't contribute to full repayment, then you won't be earning any equity in the home as the mortgage is repaid. Finally, remarriage after divorce won't change things dramatically as you will still have to provide a home for your children. There might be some minor adjustment, but it won't be substantial, I regret to say.