Haven't a scooby how to divide equity on our house

(40 Posts)
NightOfTheCactus Thu 11-Jul-13 12:56:11

Getting divorced. We need to sell the house as I won't be able to pay the mortgage on my own. I have mental health problems which has stopped me working for a few years, and I am going onto ESA now we're separated - but even if I was working, I've never earned enough money to pay the mortgage on my own.

When we bought the house initially, my parents gave me a gift of £50K which covered our deposit. Since then, my husband has paid roughly £40K on the mortgage over the 6 years we have lived here (but most of that has been interest, only £9K of the mortgage itself has been paid off). Also because I've been a SAHM and have been unwell, he has been paying all the bills etc too.

We're putting the house on the market soon sad . My STBXH feels that we should be splitting the equity 50/50.

I have other people saying to me that I'd be a soft touch if I agreed to that and I shouldn't be selling myself short, especially as he is able to work at the moment and I'm not, and that even though I wasn't paying bills over the last few years, I was here to do childcare and thus facilitating him to work, and we wouldn't have got the house in the first place if it were not for my parents' gift.

I'm feeling a bit torn, because I don't know what is fair and reasonable to ask/expect. I had a couple of free half hours with Solicitors. The first I saw was basically trying to flog their "package" and doing a hard sell, but I couldn't get any decent information out of her. The other Solicitor pretty much said that I seem very organised and should sort out the divorce myself as the house is the only asset. She wasn't able to give me advice either.

Is it solicitors who should give advice on this, or should I be asking elsewhere or guessing and trying my luck?

I don't want to be a dickhead about the house and I don't want to be unfair to my husband or rip him off, even though he's not exactly my friend.

Anyone able to give me information or able to point me in the direction of somewhere that I could get sensible advice. My parents have offered to pay for me to have an hour with a solicitor because they are concerned about me throwing money away in the long term (and I'm going to need to live off this money, cos once the equity is released, my benefits will stop) but I don't want to waste money if a solicitor isn't the person to advise me on this.

Thanks for your help.

glitch Thu 11-Jul-13 14:25:51

Will they change the term to a longer one so the repayment bit is smaller?

NightOfTheCactus Thu 11-Jul-13 14:27:47

glitch - I wouldn't be able to afford it - have no savings and will be just relying on benefits

NightOfTheCactus Thu 11-Jul-13 14:28:52

They could change the term, but I think I would still struggle

glitch Thu 11-Jul-13 14:31:05

The interest rate they use at the.moment is 3.63%
As an example, this more than covers my mortgage interest at the moment. I don't fully understand it but rather than work it out mortgage by mortgage they just set one rate.
They will pay longer than the 2 years if you are on ESA.

NightOfTheCactus Thu 11-Jul-13 14:36:28

Sorry - I'm really dim about finances/official things - and can't do maths to save my life.

I know that my husband is paying £554 per month and the mortgage we took out was £110K I don't know how much of this would be interest? <very confused!>

NightOfTheCactus Thu 11-Jul-13 14:39:20

doesn't help that doing official stuff triggers the OCD too - this all terrifies me and I feel like a rabbit in the headlines with no clue how to understand it all

NightOfTheCactus Thu 11-Jul-13 14:40:07

headlights even... blush

NightOfTheCactus Thu 11-Jul-13 14:45:09

(our mortgage is variable rate repayment, and as I say, my building soc won't change to an interest only)

Lavenderloves Thu 11-Jul-13 14:49:54

I think that the gift was to you both. If you wanted to ring fence the money you should have said so.

So split the cash however married couples do 60/40?

glitch Thu 11-Jul-13 14:59:46

I have just googled and seen an example of £100k at 3.63% gave MIS of £279 every 4 weeks. If the building society will change your mortgage term to 25 or 30 years that could drop your monthly payments down making the amount you need to find smaller.

iheartdusty Thu 11-Jul-13 15:15:36

A solicitor is most definitely the right person to advise you.

Unfortunately some of the posts on this thread are incorrect or misinformed about division of assets on divorce.

The court looks at the factors under s25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, and usually the single biggest consideration is need.

Not 'contributions;' not being compensated for what each of you' have put in; but what you need to house yourself and your DD.

Please do take up your parents' offer to pay for an advice session with a solicitor, and pick someone who is a member of Resolution.

DuelingFanjo Thu 11-Jul-13 15:31:44

Definitely look into changing the mortgage. We recently changed and it went down by over £100 and that was fixed rate.

DuelingFanjo Thu 11-Jul-13 15:37:00

also - you say for some of the last six years he has been paying interest only and has only paid 9k off but over time has paid £40,000? this means he has paid 31,000 in interest? That's quite a lot to be paying in interest!

My mortgage repayments are about the same as yours on a fixed rate.

NightOfTheCactus Thu 11-Jul-13 16:13:01

We were on a 5 year fixed rate and he was paying £200 more per month at that point - it went down when the 5 years were up and we changed to a variable rate. I've seen the only 2 Resolution solicitors where I live - and neither gave me the impression that they could advise me (but that might have been because I was just doing the 1/2 hour freebie) Not sure which one I should talk to - but maybe I'd better ring and chat with the receptionist...

manitz Fri 12-Jul-13 10:09:47

Hi Can you get dss to pay the interest only part of the mortgage and get a lodger to come in and use that money to pay back the repayment part. You could keep the mortgage in both names but switch to tenants in common and agree what proportion each person owns. When me and dp bought a house before kids I put down deposit from sale of my flat, we had a contract which stated how much we each owned. Then if your ex is not going to contribute from now on, he will own a smaller amount than you.

As far as his interest payments go, I know with our mortgage the proportion you pay towards repaying teh loan goes up over time as interes t is worked out over say 25 years at 100,000 but at 20 years that would be less if that makes sense. By one year it's pretty much all repaying the loan and hardly any interest payment so 5% of whats left to pay for one year is what they add to the loan payment.

All this aside you must get some legal advice. I think mediation would be a good route for both of you, it sounds like your ex stresses you out and is very forceful. I believe that mediation means that you get someone in the room to ensure both parties have a say. understanding the law could save you an awful lot of money. I must say that I think you both own the £50K as you were married but any decision must leave you in a position to look after yourself and care for your daughter. Maybe the law society has some ideas about how to choose a good lawyer and also about what mediation actually is. Or you could start with Citizens advice bureau who could direct you in the basics without feathering their own nests. Your ocd might entitle you to something. I hope you get a working solution sorted.

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