Separating when not married(8 Posts)
I have recently split from ex oh, we own a house jointly, and have a dc together, toddler age. Been together 20 years and we are not married. He is emotionally abusive and he no longer lives in the house we own. We are making moves to sell the house, there is a good amount of equity, approx £250k and the plan is to split this equally. I very much want to sell and severe ties and settle in a better area (but not too far from ex oh so contact is possible).Would love to buy a place of my own but my salary isn't great as working part time and I'm struggling to work out how I am going to make this happen/where to move/what is for the best however that could be a whole other thread!
Guess my main worry is whether I am making the right decision regarding the financial aspect of things. Ex pays maintenance but as he is foot lose and fancy free and earning much more money than me, should I be entitled to more than just 50% share of house? I'll be housing our son after all and need decent accommodation whereas he only has himself to think about.
I am guessing that as we are not married then this could be a stumbling block in this regard... I wasn't planning on getting legal advice as didn't think it was necessary. Just wanted to split the money and go, but now wondering if this needs more thought. I've also been paying the mortgage since he left..
Would be very grateful if anyone has any advice.
How is the house split on the title deeds? You aren't married so won't get the financial protection that marriage offers. If the house is in exP sole name you will be entitled to nothing, if you are joint owners 50% each, if you are tenants in common the deeds will state the share for each of you.
Thanks for your reply, we are joint owners.
I suspected as much regarding the marriage issue.
I am in a similar situation to you - not married, been together over 20 years, one child age 8. I have been advised that I can actually achieve more than 50 percent.
Me and ex partner are joint tenants ( not tenants in common) like you, but my solicitor has advised that family courts will look at need under the rights of the child act. He earns hugely more than me, has savings for a decent deposit, will get a mortgage more easily. I have been shouldering the vast majority of child care to enable him to work abroad and build his career.
As primary carer my DD will live with me and therefore has the right to a decent home, like you we have a decent amount of equity so I have been advised that I am likely to achieve a 75 % share. Not being married does not impact on this as it is about the welfare of the child.
Obviously I have no rights to other assets e.g. Pension, inheritance, savings as we are not married, but this is okay with me as I can earn enough to support my daughter if I have a house bought and paid for.
Honestly if I were you I would try and seek legal advice, you may have a chance of achieving a better share of the equity.
Thank you vintagevixon that is food for thought, and I will definitely try and get further advice. I hope things work out for you, and it seems completely fair and reasonable that you should get a higher percentage of equity.
I agree- would have thought a child's interests are paramount whether parents are married or not.. but not familiar with all the legalities.
If the property is in just his name, then you can register a 'home rights notice' with the land registry. (Form HR1). It doesn't not prove 'entitlement' to any assets from the property but it does prevent it being sold without your knowledge, whilst you investigate a claim to a share legally though solicitors etc. If you apply for this yourself it won't cost you anything (Online it said there was a £40 fee, so I sent a cheque, which was later sent back - it is a really straight forward form and can be downloaded online). My solicitor advised me to do in the very first instant and to do it myself as if she did it I would incur costs. A letter was sent my The Land registry to my STBEXH to notify him that a notice had been put on the property. Maybe it's worth you doing this too. Mine took just three days to from me filling in the form to receiving the confirmation it had been done.
Good luck with everything
Please do take legal advice. In particular....
The Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act will allow you to stay in the house until the children are aults. Not your preferred option I know, but better than spending your equity on rent. He would get his share when the kids are adulT.
Schedule 1 Children Act would enable you to seek more than your share of the equity so you can buy a suitable home. His share of that property would again be payable when the kids are grown.
If your mortgage payments since he left have reduced the mortgage then equitable accounting principles mean you should get the benefit of that reduction.
As been stated in the short term you might be able to get a larger share to purchase a home for your children but eventually you would have to pay back the extra share.
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