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My husband has had an affair and left the marital home to live with his girlfriend. He wants a divorce asap and also wants equity from the family home. We have 3 children 2-8years old.
We have had a joint mortgage for 5 years. We got married 8 years ago. My husband contributed nothing to the deposit which all came from a house I had bought prior to our relationship. I had to pay a large chunk of equity out to pay off his credit card debts that he was defaulting payments to the point that he went with a debt consolidation company. I hadn't known about the debts when we started the relationship and all his salary was going on the debt - I paid it when pregnant with our first child so that we could have a fresh start. Our equity hasn't recovered to the level of the deposit that I first put down.
Anyone got advice re can he make me sell the marital home? I could afford to take on the mortgage if he doesn't take any equity out. This would be better for the kids obviously.
I'd appreciate any advice on this situation in general as I'm devastated by what has happened and feel quite frightened for my financial future.
So sorry to hear this .
A good starting point is the CAB online help CAB which has loads of useful advice about how to unpick a marriage.
With regards to the debt/equity situation I would urge you to make an appointment with your local CAB once you've had a read of the website pages.
Sounds to me like he's got a bloody nerve wanting equity from the house when you paid the deposit, cleared his debts and you've only had the mortgage 5 years.
You will probably need a solicitor but CAB can take you a long way down the path of knowing what needs sorting, before you have to start paying a solicitor's bills.
I'm afraid the house will still be viewed as "half his" as you're married, whoever put down a deposit is irrelevant. However, no judge will force you to sell when you have 3 kids. Best case scenario for him is that you are ordered to sell when youngest turns 18.
How much equity is in the property? Are you in a position to offer him a settlement as a "clean break", when you divorce, to prevent him making a claim further down the line?
Also, is your income sufficient to take on a new mortgage, in your name only?
As advised you need to see a solicitor.
I've been through this but I had just the one child. By the time we got to court the she was 18. I got 55% of the house and 60% of the total pension pot, i. about a third of his pension as my pension pot was much smaller after not being employed full time for a good few years. The money I get from the pension is meant to help me purchase another home. So don't forget about pensions. It is the next most valuable asset. I would say that because you have young children you will not be expected to sell until the children have reached 18. I would also think that if you think you can satisfy the mortgage company that you can take the mortgage over in your sole name you might be able to bargain, pension for more house equity.
For example, if the house equity after the mortgage was paid off is £100,000. His pension many worth £100,000 and yours worth £50,000. That is a total pension pot of up to £200,000. On a straight 50/50 split he would get £50,000 from the house and £75,000 from the joint pot. Then do the adjustments to take into account your reduced income and your need to care for the children etc etc. If it is your desire to keep the family home you use the pension pots as bargaining chips. For example you get 75% of the house and he gets to keep more pension. You will still get some of the pension but not as much.
In our case, my ex was unable to cash in pension being under 55 but I'm over 55 so it was desire that I took more pension and less house. I am using the pension that I have will have to cash in to buy a house. However, I have to pay tax on that pension cashing in. Around 40% of the total amount I'm cashing in. That reduces my available amount for house purchase so don't see the generous offers of pension pot to enthusiastically. I fought and fought to have the lions' share of the house if I could let him keep the pension. The judge, sadly didn't think it would be right let him walk away with no ready cash as he's about 7 years away from the magic 55!. Don't let him fob you off with 50/50 split. With young children you should be able enjoy the security of the family home so they can continue to feel secure.
good luck with it all, but please don't forget the pensions!!!
The law protects children first. If they are under 18 and you are the resident parent (one who has them most of the time). If there isn't enough equity in your home to provide both you and your exhusband a house each. Then you get to stay in the house and he may have to pay you spousal maintenance to help you cover the mortgage, this is in addition to child maintenance. If you can't afford to take on the house ( most mothers with young children cannot) then the court/ solicitors may agree to award him a portion of the equity in the house once your youngest reaches 18. In England you as the resident parent are protected. In Europe you'd have to fend for yourself more.
You need to be prepared to hand over a % of the equity in the property at some stage in the future.
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