Background facts: have separated from partner after 20 years have 2 children, 14 and 8 joint mortgage on house can't afford mortgage on my own can't afford to buy partner out want to hold on to house if possible am currently looking for a new job (have finances until end of december) HAVE THOUGHT: about changing mortgage terms getting a lodger I am going to CAB tomorrow but any mumsnet knowledge welcome. Thank you
Under Schedule 1 of the Children Act the court has the power to postpone the sale of the house while it is needed for the children, but if you can't afford to pay the mortgage (he'll be paying you child maintenance) the court won't give you a repossession waiting to happen. Assuming you can't claim an enhanced share of the proceeds of sale (on land law principles) the court has no power to vary your existing beneficial interests (ie give you some of his) save to the extent of delaying sale.
That is right. He probably does not want his children homeless so there is no reason you could not pay him a commercial rent once you get your new job although that might stop him buying another house as he'd still be on the first mortgage so he may well not agree.
Will the children choose to stay with him or you? One option sometimes is they stay with their father in the house. The 14 year old will be old enough to choose which parent with whom to live.