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Legal advice please - dividing house after split(6 Posts)
I've been going round and round and it's causing me a great deal of stress so would appreciate some advice please. Please bear with me with all of the details!
Ex and I split 2 years ago. He moved out of our house with joint mortgage. I continued living in the house with DD, paying 80% of mortgage (with great difficulty), with him paying remaining 20%. We both disagreed with how the house should be divided if sold. He wanted 50% regardless of paying mortgage or not. I didn't think that was fair. We both saw solicitors - his one supposedly telling him he is entitled to 50% regardless of him contributing to mortgage or not. I didn't agree at all and my solicitor said this would be the most fair solution: to divide the value of property at time he moved (value of house at that time) as 50% each then anything following that to divide the remaining profit 80% to me and 20% to him because I've been paying 80% of mortgage. We saw a mediator and he agreed to all of this as long as I'd remain in the house for no longer than 2 years.
This is where is gets complicated. It's coming up to 2 year mark and because I'm still in the house ex is saying the last agreement is void and as we made no legal document confirming the above, he is again entitled to 50% of house if sold. I have been working an arm and a leg just to cover 80% of the big mortgage and have been eating into my savings. Ex also pays me child maintenance and along with his own rent says it's not fair he is broke and should get 50% of house if sold. My ex is incredibly manipulative and controlling and says if we go to court he would 'win' because both of our names are on the deeds of the house and there's no legal proof of me paying more of the mortgage!!!!
I'd rather sell the house and be done with it, I don't want to be tied financially with ex with this issue going round and round in circles. The only good thing about staying is that if offers some financially stability and security for me and DS, otherwise we are back in rental market.
My questions are: what you think is a 'fair' solution to this. What is the legal standing on this? I know legally both our names are on the house but if I can prove I've been paying most of the mortgage for the last two years surely he is still not entitled to 50% from house? Any advice much appreciated especially from any legal professionals. Thank you!
Not a legal expert but I do think that your agreement is fair with the 2 year timescale. Presumably he is paying rent and can't mortgage because of the joint mortgage.
Surely you have evidence that you have been paying the majority for the pay two years?
When does he want the 50%? Do you want him to wait until dd is 18?
How much equity are you talking about? It's worth seeing if the value of this would be outweighed by legal costs.
I can understand from his side that if he has moved out he will not be able to get another mortgage so can't get on the housing ladder and therefore not build equity. If the house sale is many years away then I can see his concern.
Likewise it feels unfair for you to pay the mortgage and then not receive the full benefit.
It really might be best to sell the house as then you remove all ties towards each other and it's likely that you would receive what was agreed in mediation.
Your agreement sounds unfair to me. I don't agree you should get 80% of the value increase of last 2 years. Yes you've paid 80% of the mortgage - but you didn't pay 80% of the equity. You stand to do well from sharply rising market (if applicable in your case) whilst he was stuck paying rent and unable to take advantage of the market because he stayed on the mortgage in a house he wasn't living in.
I think it's more fair to allow for your additional payments by looking at it in terms of units purchased.
So 2 years ago, let's say a £200K house had £100K equity. You had both "bought" 25 units each, 25% owned each, remaining 50% with bank. There 50 units left to buy, say over 10 years.
2 years later, between you, you've bought 1/5th of the 50 units: 10.
But you paid 80% - so you get 8 units and him 2.
So now, he gets 27%, you 33%, the bank 40%.
I assume you are not married in which case the presumption will be that the split would be 50/50 despite who paid what to the mortgage.
If you are married then the court can make a different order and would do especially if there are children of the family.
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