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Advice please - can I move ex out if marital home & return with kids?

(4 Posts)
Takebackcontrol Tue 11-Nov-14 13:02:47

I have a few questions around this subject which is, at the moment, an idea I'm toying with so any advice or past experience from Mums & Dads would be appreciated...

I was in a domestic abuse situation (no violence but very aggressive and scary) where I mainly suffered financial abuse through the entirety of our relationship. I left with the children (5 & 7) and rented a smaller property in a different town - initially for the distance and because it was available and cheaper. My ex was left in the house (4 bedrooms/3 floors so fairly big) and he has the kids 1-2 nights a week currently.

Although my name isn't on the mortgage we are married and it was our marital home until I left at the end of July. I've already had advice on here that it's effectively some sort of split if or when we do eventually sell so I'm not looking for information on that.

Things are fairly amicable but we're not exactly friendly and only really communicate by text as I feel less likely to be manipulated this way.

I really need to move back to the town and this was always my plan. The kids school, clubs, friends etc are there. Neither of us have family in the area and he has no friends or work in the town where he lives. He's often said that if we sell, he'll leave as there's nothing there for him except the kids (no comments needed on this). Basically, other than the one or two evenings he spends with them, he sits alone in the house or goes to work which is half an hour away. It's not a great existence but he's the only one who can improve it and maybe a move into a neighbouring town/village would work for him. Rightly or wrongly, he never made much of an effort with friends or neighbours and even less so now that I've gone.

I work part-time around the kids, have a strong bond with an amazing group of friends (mums and dads) in the town and am very close to most of the neighbours as it was a new development and all the kids met and grew up together there.

He's not doing well financially as he got himself into credit card debt. This was beyond my control as I was never allowed to see financials and I did not benefit from his purchases (BMX bikes, golf clubs, fishing gear, car accessories etc) and he may not be able to mortgage again (which is why I hope we can somehow keep an asset between us in case things change in the future). He has a good salary and to outsiders appears wealthy.

I had a fair understanding that if he needed to cover the mortgage, pay child maintenance and rent himself a house, he'd probably go under and lose the house anyway which was why I thought I should leave him in it. I also left all of the furniture and took donations/charity shops to furnish my own (I love up-cycling anyhow!) I've now been trying to find a house to rent that will accommodate me and the kids but the area is just too expensive and we're beginning to feel isolated being away from everyone. The mortgage on our house is £850 and average rent for the same is £1000 plus. There is very little equity (I imagine after debt repayment, no more than £5-10k each if that)

What I want to know (before I bring this up with my ex) is the following:

1. What rights do I have to 'ask' to re-enter and occupy the house with the kids for the foreseeable future and my ex move out? I still have keys etc.

2. What rights does he have to refuse/keep me out etc and is it advisable to look into an occupation order (for either of us) bearing in mind neither of us really want solicitor/court costs. I'm not prepared to say there was violence in order to obtain one and I can say I don't feel scared anymore.

3. I hope to offer to pay almost half of the mortgage (which is around the same amount that I use to top up my rent payment after housing benefit anyway). This would be almost enough for him to rent a nice flat somewhere outside of the town. I know his financial situation has recently improved with some sort of help from the family to take over car payments and do some sort of swap.

4. Is it unreasonable to expect him to move into a smaller property as most of the week he's alone? I would happily live in smaller but ironically the 4 bed mortgage is smaller than the 3 bed rent! Plus I wouldn't have to scrabble around again for deposits, 1st months rent and fees again.

5. If I do take possession, am I able to allow reasonable access when needed (for belongings etc) but refuse permission to come and go as though he still lives there?

6. If the house does sell because it's no longer possible to keep up with the mortgage, how difficult will it be to obtain housing benefit again during say, the last month of exchange at which point I'd be homeless again?

I think that pretty much covers it but if there's anything you think I may have missed, please pipe up.

PS I fully intend to work towards full time hours once the kids are older and don't feel 'entitled' to stay there without contributing. I prefer to be independent and pay my way when I can :-)

InfinitySeven Tue 11-Nov-14 13:16:09

When did you move out of the house?

hellsbellsmelons Tue 11-Nov-14 13:23:43

OP said this originally it was our marital home until I left at the end of July

Sorry OP I have no idea but you could ask the same questions over on the legal board.

Or see a solicitor for a free half hour to see what they can tell you from the legal side of things.

Takebackcontrol Tue 11-Nov-14 13:29:24

Infinity it was end of July and there's no talk of divorce yet though it's something I'd like to crack on with soon.

Hellsbells thanks - should I just copy and paste do you think?

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