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Practicalities of becoming a lone parent if not married

(13 Posts)
friendinneedtoday Thu 11-Jun-09 20:57:18

Things not good and I can see me being on own soon. Please can anyone point me in direction (other threads/websites) of information on what "rights" (I know there are very few) you have if you are not married and leave/are left with children? Maintenance (for kids - I know I get nothing even though I had to give up job to look after kids) - whether have to sell house etc. Thank you

ridingjoker Thu 11-Jun-09 21:20:35

is the house in your name , joint names or only oh name

friendinneedtoday Thu 11-Jun-09 21:31:38


ridingjoker Thu 11-Jun-09 21:40:22

someone will be along shortly who can link you to some info. but really best to speak to your local CAB.

good thing is if house in your name too you do have some rights although not married.

but as for maintenence. you will find that will be down to CSA(who are hopeless), unless you can come to an agreement with your oh between the 2 of you.

it's best to try and sort it out between yourselves tbh though if you are on good terms.

but csa can also act as a mediator and sort out a maintenence agreement between you both if he's agreed to something.

Meglet Thu 11-Jun-09 21:46:34

the csa website has a calculator you can put your details into and it tells you how much maintenance you should get.

find out if you have a family meditation service near you. they can help you sort out access, money etc. my solicitor recommended one for me, i've only had one initial meeting with them but may go back with ex p to get sort out a few details with the kids.

simpson Thu 11-Jun-09 23:35:29

look at

friendinneedtoday Fri 12-Jun-09 08:45:50

I have read some of this info and have a couple of questions.

Am I right in thinking even though my career is over as I gave it up to look after children I (as opposed to children) am entitled to no financial suport despite the fact that if I leave with children I can't work even if I wanted to. So how am I supposed to support myself? I have some very modest savings. Am I just expected to live off that and then go onto benefits?

According to CSA calculator with children I am entitled to £90 maintenance a week for them. Is this supposed to cover rent, bills etc or just their living expenses? And if so where is the rest of the living expenses e.g. household bills meant to come from.

Do you think I am having a horrifying reality check? I feel sick/depressed and frightened all at the same time today

Niceguy2 Fri 12-Jun-09 09:15:40

Since you have never been married then no, you will not get any kind of spousal maintenance. In fact, even if you were, its very unlikely unless you were married to the likes of Macca that you'd get maintenance.

Your partner is still obliged to pay for the kids though. When you put the figures into the CSA calculator, did you account for the nights he may be having them? He gets a reduction for that.

The rest of the living expenses as you put it will come from tax credits, income support and/or housing benefits (depending upon your circumstances).

Since the house is in joint names then you are entitled to a share of the equity. The STARTING point unless you have an agreement or have held the house as Tenants in Common is 50-50. (The default is joint tenants). If you don't know which it is, chances are its joint tenants since for TiC you'd have signed another contract (Declaration of Trust) which you should have noticed will define a split.

HOWEVER, in practice it will depend on who's paid what and how long you've shared the house for. For example, if your ex put most of the equity in and you've only lived together for a short time then he'll get more than 50%. If you've contributed equally then its 50-50.

Unfortunately, since you are not married, courts will not take looking after the kids into account when deciding the split as this becomes a land law issue rather than matrimony.

FINALLY.....I don't know what your personal circumstances are but I'll say this. Are you 100% sure a split is inevitable. Sometimes people think splitting up will solve their problems but often all that happens is you are left dealing with a different set of problems. Make sure you explore all avenues such as counselling, lean on family/friends to mediate etc. before pulling the plug.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

Niceguy2 Fri 12-Jun-09 09:27:29

Oh forgot to add...

If you do decide to split, you should also think about how your ex will want to divide the furniture etc.

Again since you were not married, what you paid for is yours, what he paid for is his. So anything he bought whilst he was working and you were not, is legally his.

Gifts to you (eg. birthday/xmas etc) are yours to keep.

The key I think is to talk about it and keep it as amicable as you can for yours and the kids sake.

friendinneedtoday Fri 12-Jun-09 11:11:46

many thanks for all this very useful information - it is much appreciated

ridingjoker Fri 12-Jun-09 11:15:25

agree with niceguy.

but essentially if you give up work to look after kids and leave you really get scrwed if not married.

you only get full benefits if you have no saving or property.

try and work it out if this is not for definate yet.

get yourself back to work and then if you still cant stay in the situation, then leave.

as niceguy says. splitting is just whole new set of problems. unless the relationship is in dire straits and unbearable and cannot be fixed, i would strongly suggest staying put and resolving your issues.

or can you split but still live together for a period? till you get into employment, or dc start school.

how old are they?

cestlavielife Fri 12-Jun-09 15:06:20

both sides have to agree on thigns like selelign house etc as far as i can see.
but on this topic, niceguy you mentioned court - how do i bring financial agreement to court as not married?

we have court ongoing re: contact but what is it called or what application to court do i need to make in order to force financial issues eg force him to sell a joint owned flat which is rented out etc?

i will a sk in legal matters too.. solicitor seems to be on holiday.

Niceguy2 Fri 12-Jun-09 18:11:45

C'estlavie, yes, both parties will have to sign before the house can be sold. So OP's interests are protected in that respect. The problem is that in effect one person can hold the other one to ransom by not playing ball.

I can't remember what the application was called now because ultimately I realised it was easier to pay my ex a bit more than she otherwise deserved and get a quick result than it was to go to court, for it to take months and spend thousands for a result that was by no means guaranteed.

Your solicitor will be able to help but it will cost you a lot of time & effort to resolve the matter if your ex wants to play silly buggers.

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