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Clare, Solicitor
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 34234
Experience:  family solictor with 25 years experience
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My wife left me a year ago. Has refused to pay her half of

Customer Question

My wife left me a year ago. Has refused to pay her half of the mortgage and her half of creditcard debts (of which I have all the paperwork). Unfortunatly, I was given a caution for harrassment, so I am unable to contact her without the threat of being arrested, so I cannot contact her regarding any debt. I have sent solicitors letters, only to have none replied to. Would I be able to take her to the small claims court? What are the chances I woud win?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 11 months ago.

Hi, Thank you for your question and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I will assist you. Not considering any potential family court proceedings and assuming you are jointly and severally liable for the debts, then yes you can sue her Civil Liability (Contribution) Act 1978. Can I assist you any further? Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
So, I am not in any divorce proceeding or court proceeding. I have had 1 letter from my ex's solicitor stating some stupid and ridicilous agreements, I replied, but that was 2 months ago.Mortgage is in both of our names. Credit card is only in mine, so I understand that I can only go after the mortgage payments.Would the claims court not go against me, as I live in the property, thus have an advantage for paying this? Or as I am sueing for the actual mortgage payments, it would only be seen as this?Also, do I need to inform her of this, can this be done via email or in letter?
Expert:  Alex J. replied 11 months ago.

Hi, Thank you. The problem you have is any county court proceedings will be over ridden by what is agreed in the family court. Does your wife have the means to pay the mortgage?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Well nothing has been agreed or any process started, as of yet, in any court. Its just been minimal solicitors letters.
I have no idea if she has the means to pay or not. I would suggest she could find the money, if needed.
Expert:  Alex J. replied 11 months ago.

Does she expect to have a share of the property? Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
The solicitor letter I sent gave her 3 options.
-I assume full ownershipof property. All debts are gone.
-She assumes full control. I get given the arrears and 8k(50%) of the property.
-We both sell the property and I deduct the arrears for her share of the profit.This letter was sent 5 months ago, as I have had no reply, an extra 2k has been added to arrears, I dont see a way of getting anything other thhan this way. It is costing me about 400 a month.
Expert:  Alex J. replied 11 months ago.

Hi, Thank you. Will the mortgage company release her from the mortgage? If you are not going to commence divorce proceedings then it may be worth the county court route - £8k does qualify for the small claim procedure. This would at least force her to do something. Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Hi.The mortgage company will not release her, as its a high mortgage, that requires 2 peoples salaries to be taken into consideration.I did want to commence divorce proceedngs asap, but now asI have waited for some communication, its not finacially viable to take control of thehouse and debts fully myself. For EG, the house is worth 155, we have about 12k of equity. But I am owed 8k in mortgage arrears, and to sell house is around 3k, thats nearly 10k I would be down, not including other debts.With this is mind, would you think this would be an easy case, ie, to win. Is it worth my time and money to take this route?
Expert:  Alex J. replied 11 months ago.

Hi, Thank you. I am not sure it is a worthwhile exercise unless she actually has the money to pay you. Even with a Judgment you would still have to enforce the Judgment. Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Just one more point, please:If I was to take her to court and win, would a ccj be given to her, as she would never be able to pay. And because we are linked on a mortgage, would this effect my credit rating? I have not been able to remove her from the mortgage.....and cant, essentially, its too large a mortgage.Thanks.
Expert:  Clare replied 11 months ago.

My name is ***** ***** I have been a family lawyer for more than 35 years.

I am sorry but you have no chance of recovering the mortgage "arrears"in this way.

This is a matter which will have to be dealt with within the matrimonial side of divorce proceedings

You have been living in the property and she has not and on that basis "her half" of the mortgage which you have paid will be seen as "occupational rent" and you will not be credited with it.

You have higher hopes of the Credit card debt if you can show that it was for joint spending

From what you have said the most likely outcome is that the house will be sold, the credit card paid off and the balance shared equally between you

Attempting to use the Small Claims Court will be seen as another form of harrassment