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Legal advice on selling the home

(7 Posts)
violettahatesoperatta Thu 17-Dec-15 09:36:12

Didn't want to get to this point but I can no longer put it off.

So I left the marriage last August but finally moved out this April into private rented. We have two children, 8 & 6

The separation was extremely amicable and there were very few rows.

Kids wise; we agreed joint custody. 50/50 split over two weeks - alt nights and alt weekends. Verbal agreement.

We own a property with significant (i.e over 100K) equity in it. Ex lives there.

As there is so much equity there, I am obviously not entitled to housing benefit. I work part time (70%) as a teacher.

But.. to say I have struggled financially would be the understatement of the year. The financial separation was also very amicable. We agreed each to take on a proportion of the debts. In return for me moving out; ex agreed to take on full responsibility for the mortgage in return for not giving me any financial support. In return, my 'interest' in the equity would be frozen at that point. So any monies accrued in the house after April would be his if we sold.

Right so, I have bent over backwards to make the split amicable at considerable personal cost to my mental health. He has met someone which is cool but he has been consistently overstepping boundaries for some good time now. Two in particular are; allowing his girlfriend to stop overnight (only been together a few months) when the children were in the house. I had said I was happy for her to meet the kids and be introduced but then that very same night I learnt after the fact that she had stopped overnight. Whilst it is his business, I had fully expected that we would have a conversation about appropriateness and timing.. that was the understanding we both undertook. I then discovered recently that he was planning to move her in after Xmas but again failed to tell me so that we could both manage the expectations of the kids. They have only been together say 5 or 6 months? In both cases I backed down for the sake of keeping our friendship good for the kids. In the past he has also demanded my keys back off me. I did get angry at this; he surely has no right to prevent access to my property?

In addition, she is selling her home but he is refusing to take any money from her in return for her excepting a contribution to utilities. She could potentially be in a position to buy me out. I would have my equity and my standard of life would significantly improve.

To slightly complicate matters, he did release 12% of the value of the equity to me. But he is in no position to buy me out on a remortgage. This agreement was not put in writing.

So where do I stand legally? I now need that money in the house and I am utterly tired of having the rug pulled out from under me where the kids are concerned. My understanding is that we are joint legal owners as both names are on deeds and my name is still on the mortgage. I understand that he has slightly more equity than me so I have a beneficial financial interest. I now want to sell, he is refusing.

Girlfriend is young and is displaying a lack of judgement generally. I now feel that I should push for greater custody. I have tried to put the kids best interests first but there is a fine line of doing that and me being a total doormat.

I obviously need legal advice and it looks as if divorce now has to happen. Except I am in no position to pay for any of it. I feel utterly stuck and trapped and totally bewildered as to what my rights are.

Need advice, can anyone help?

violettahatesoperatta Thu 17-Dec-15 09:37:21

Also to add, to minimise disruption I left the house with just my personal possessions. I left all the furniture and contents to him.

zipzap Thu 17-Dec-15 10:30:38

I know nothing about divorce - but even though this is an amicable split, it sounds like you've been shafted by your ex...

Have you spoken to a solicitor at all? Sorry, just re-read the end of your post and spotted you haven't.

Can you talk to Citizen's Advice bureau or get a couple of introductory free half hour sessions at local solicitors to see. Do you have legal insurance with your house or car insurance that has a help line you could call? Or if you're in a union don't they sometimes have free legal help lines?

Have you sat down and done the sums on paper to show exactly how the money is working compared to how it was beforehand... And also the alternate examples of you continuing to pay for your share of mortgage in the house while your ex pays half of your rent for example (assuming it was a joint decision that you moved out thus a joint decision that you'd need to be running two households rather than one). And what would the financial situation have been if you had carried on paying towards the mortgage and he had paid some sort of financial support so that you still had joint finances effectively and but were running two households rather than one... If you have all the equity in the house why not sell up and split the proceeds... then at least you will be in the same position. If you had stayed, what would the financial position be? And it sounds like you both didn't want to stay in the same house - but why should you be the one suffering for it financially?

is there any reason why your dh got to stay in the house and you moved out? Could you charge the other woman rent for living in your house even if he isn't? Have you got a charge on the property so that it can't be sold without you knowing?

And is the property market rising in your area at the moment? Your dh has managed to look after himself - because you both have to pay more money out in mortgage and rent - but his is going into an asset that will appreciate (hopefully!) in value - but yours is disappearing down the plug hole as rent. I don't know what the difference in value is between the two payments - but why should you have to give up on being able to have your share go into the mortgage? I bet he wouldn't have agreed to it being the other way around...

Sorry, I'm tired so this isn't very clear and it's mostly just questions. however it does sound like you've been screwed - and that your ex has managed to convince you that you are getting a reasonable deal and that it's all been done amicably sad

Wineoclocksomewhere Fri 18-Dec-15 17:45:15

Sorry to hear this and also interested as trying to wade through an 'amicable separation' myself atm. We have a 6 year old DD. DH earns 3 times what I do and is able to buy me out, this gives DD continuity of her familiar home. We also are discussing 50/50 care but this means I need to manage on my salary - this is looking tight.

I agree that you probably need to look at a legal route now, as you DID manage all this between yourselves but it's now a struggle for you. If there's a chance of a transparent face to face sit down with him to say what you said above, give it a go - but maybe be armed with the proper legal stuff?

inchoccyheaven Sat 19-Dec-15 22:11:59

You definitely need to get legal advice because although you are trying to keep it amicable, you are being screwed over. You can go to a financial mediator together to discuss it all and make agreements but i think you should speak to a solicitor first to get advice.

Itisbetternow Mon 21-Dec-15 17:11:49

You need to quickly speak to a solicitor. You should not have agreed to anything without legal advice. Solicitors cost money but most of the time it is well spent. I wouldn't tackle any plumbing without talking to a plumber. You are getting shafted .

babybarrister Sat 26-Dec-15 10:03:32

you should not have moved out to be honest - is there any chance of you getting back in? what was the plan for you and kids to be rehoused when you moved out? go and get some good legal advice - resolution has listings of specialised family lawyers

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