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Forcing a house sale

(62 Posts)
violettahatesoperatta Thu 17-Dec-15 10:16:57

Didn't want to get to this point but I can no longer put it off.

So I left the marriage last August but finally moved out this April into private rented. We have two children, 8 & 6

The separation was extremely amicable and there were very few rows.

Kids wise; we agreed joint custody. 50/50 split over two weeks - alt nights and alt weekends. Verbal agreement.

We own a property with significant (i.e over 100K) equity in it. Ex lives there. I left all furniture and a significant proportion of joint possessions to minimise disruption to kids.

As there is so much equity there, I am obviously not entitled to housing benefit. I work part time (70%) as a teacher.

But.. to say I have struggled financially would be the understatement of the year. The financial separation was also very amicable. We agreed each to take on a proportion of the debts. In return for me moving out; ex agreed to take on full responsibility for the mortgage in return for not giving me any financial support. In return, my 'interest' in the equity would be frozen at that point. So any monies accrued in the house after April would be his if we sold.

Right so, I have bent over backwards to make the split amicable at considerable personal cost to my mental health. He has met someone which is cool but he has been consistently overstepping boundaries for some good time now. Two in particular are; allowing his girlfriend to stop overnight (only been together a few months) when the children were in the house. I had said I was happy for her to meet the kids and be introduced but then that very same night I learnt after the fact that she had stopped overnight. Whilst it is his business, I had fully expected that we would have a conversation about appropriateness and timing.. that was the understanding we both undertook. I then discovered recently that he was planning to move her in after Xmas but again failed to tell me so that we could both manage the expectations of the kids. They have only been together say 5 or 6 months? In both cases I backed down for the sake of keeping our friendship good for the kids. In the past he has also demanded my keys back off me. I did get angry at this; he surely has no right to prevent access to my property?

In addition, she is selling her home but he is refusing to take any money from her in return for her excepting a contribution to utilities. She could potentially be in a position to buy me out. I would have my equity and my standard of life would significantly improve.

To slightly complicate matters, he did release 12% of the value of the equity to me. But he is in no position to buy me out on a remortgage. This agreement was not put in writing.

So where do I stand legally? I now need that money in the house and I am utterly tired of having the rug pulled out from under me where the kids are concerned. My understanding is that we are joint legal owners as both names are on deeds and my name is still on the mortgage. I understand that he has slightly more equity than me so I have a beneficial financial interest. I now want to sell, he is refusing.

Girlfriend is young and is displaying a lack of judgement generally. I now feel that I should push for greater custody. I have tried to put the kids best interests first but there is a fine line of doing that and me being a total doormat.

I obviously need legal advice and it looks as if divorce now has to happen. Except I am in no position to pay for any of it. I feel utterly stuck and trapped and totally bewildered as to what my rights are.

Need advice, can anyone help?

hellsbellsmelons Thu 17-Dec-15 10:43:54

Unless there are solicitors on here I'm not sure how much advice we can give.
My advice is to get to a solicitor quick sharp and see what you can get from this.
I know it seems like a good idea to do it between you if it's amicable but it never remains that way. Something will always happen in the future to cause issues.
Please do this via the legal route. A free half hour would suffice to start with.

TempusEedjit Thu 17-Dec-15 11:01:36

In return for me moving out; ex agreed to take on full responsibility for the mortgage in return for not giving me any financial support. In return, my 'interest' in the equity would be frozen at that point. So any monies accrued in the house after April would be his if we sold

That's not right - the return for him taking on full responsibility for the mortgage payments is that he enjoys the sole benefit of living there.

You'll need to start down the formal route i.e. divorce proceedings if you want your finances settled.

mum2mum99 Thu 17-Dec-15 11:10:19

You need to forget the idea that a divorce can be 100% amicable, you have done your best and I draw my hat to you. But this one can't be resolved. I back this up, lawyer seems to be the only way of resolving this.

Offred Thu 17-Dec-15 11:12:47

You need to see a solicitor.

Really as long as he is living there you should be able to expect that you are still entitled to the equity accruing with the mortgage payments. You should be paying your half of the mortgage and so should he if that was the arrangement you had before you split BUT he should also be paying rent to you on top of his half of the mortgage as he is in occupation and you are therefore not able to be in occupation yourself.

Your current agreement may not need to be upheld as it significantly disadvantages you and was made without legal advice.

violettahatesoperatta Thu 17-Dec-15 11:16:14

That's not right - the return for him taking on full responsibility for the mortgage payments is that he enjoys the sole benefit of living there.

Jesus.. I had never thought of it that way before.

He's not paid any CS for 9 months now! Their calculator would make that roughly £1800!! And I've been struggling hand to mouth.

Fuck. :-(

violettahatesoperatta Thu 17-Dec-15 11:17:57

Thanks Offred. So as new 'landlady' to his girlfriend, she is my tenant technically?

Offred Thu 17-Dec-15 11:26:56

You really need to speak to a solicitor about it all.

He absolutely should be paying child support.

YesIcan Thu 17-Dec-15 11:27:14

Your ex is going to HATE mumsnet. I'd be amiable too, if I got such a great deal.

hellsbellsmelons Thu 17-Dec-15 11:31:36

So as new 'landlady' to his girlfriend, she is my tenant technically?
Absolutely!
Bet that's put a smile on your face grin
What you have agreed to is NOT OK though.
Get thee to a lawyer pronto.

Noneedforasitter Thu 17-Dec-15 11:38:18

The agreement looks very lopsided in his favour. No wonder it was amicable from his point of view.

You moved out of the house, left him with the furniture and gave him an interest free loan with no end date on everything that is yours from the marriage.

I suggest you go straight to a solicitor and make the whole thing a lot fairer for you. If that can be achieved amicably, great. If not, I wouldn't sacrifice your future to prevent it.

Offred Thu 17-Dec-15 11:39:23

You need to be very careful. The agreement you made with him may stand even though it is manifestly unfair on you. It could be overthrown if you get a good lawyer who successfully argues he exerted pressure on you and you agreed to something that disadvantaged you because you hadn't had legal advice.

If you have property and/or children you should always get some legal advice when you split.

wannaBe Thu 17-Dec-15 11:40:38

the issues of finance and residency are entirely separate.

Re the finance, you need to see a solicitor and start divorce proceedings. The equity in the house is rightfully yours, so if your xh doesn't want to sell the house then he will need to find the money to buy you out. It's not a case of him simply refusing. If you are still relatively amicable then it is worth having a conversation with him along the lines of "I need the equity out of the house, so we need to draw up an agreement for me to come off the mortgage in return for x amount, or alternatively put the house on the market so that I can have the equity." If he refuses then point out that you will be filing this with a solicitor as part of the consent order for the divorce, and that him contesting it at that point will incur extra costs etc, therefore it is better to do things amicably rather than through the courts.

WRT residency, I would say try not to be too reactive. It's difficult when you have children and you lose control over parts of their lives because they're with their dad, and he does things that you wouldn't necessarily have chosen for them or that you agree with, and the reaction can be to keep them away from that influence more and keep them with you. But in truth he hasn't actually done anything majorly wrong. Yes you may have agreed at some point to talk about introductions etc and how to do it, but his mind may have changed since then, and he doesn't really have to consult with you first, similarly you don't have to talk to him when you meet a new partner and do your own introductions. Similarly moving in together is something I would have expected to have come from the kids rather than him tbh. Once you're at that point and the kids have met the new partner, it is their opinion which is relevant to him not yours. As harsh as that sounds.

I found out from ds that xh and his gf were moving in together, and when they got engaged. That is his life now and not something I have a say in, and I certainly wouldn't have been talking to him about my plans for the future - I told my ds about them, and as his parent I know that I am equipped to deal with any fallout in the same way his dad should be equipped for the same. And if the fallout comes back then I am adult enough to be able to take the information given and deal with it on the spot - IYSWIM.

So if your ex is a decent father on the whole don't take the introduction to a girlfriend as something to call into question and make you feel that you want more residency. That's about your personal feelings of being pushed out not necessarily what is best for the DC.

Offred Thu 17-Dec-15 11:48:57

Yes the residency is separate.

If he makes unwise decisions re the DC and new relationships now you are living separately he risks his relationship with the DC.

NA200712 Thu 17-Dec-15 11:49:58

Get legal advice ASAP!! and if the new GF is moving in she should be contributing to the house financially, she cant just expect to live there for free.

Charge her rent wink bet your ex would love that ha-ha!!

wannaBe Thu 17-Dec-15 11:54:39

Tbh there is greater merit and more likely success in forcing a buy out or sale of the house than charging the gf rent, as attractive a prospect as that might be it would just cause more animosity between the op and her she and paint the op as the unhinged ex. Whereas releasing the equity is a perfectly reasonable and even expected thing to do.

QuiteLikely5 Thu 17-Dec-15 12:17:59

He has taken you for a ride. You should be demanding maintenance as from today but understand that it is reduced depending upon how many days the children reside with him per week.

As for the mortgage repayments, you are still paying the mortgage because you have given up child maintenance to cover your share of it.

I could understand you doing that if you were not freezing your interest in it as from April but you have declared you won't take anything paid off after that time which doesn't make sense.

I don't know why you couldn't stay there and got him to move out?

Couldn't you have afforded the mortgage with his maintenance payments?

Re the new woman, yes it's personal choice but if she doesn't pose a risk to the children and they are happy, then surely that is all that matters?

Winterisntcoming Thu 17-Dec-15 12:54:41

If the children live 50-50 why should he be paying child maintenance?

Offred Thu 17-Dec-15 12:59:02

Because they are still married and he is in a better financial position than his wife.

NA200712 Thu 17-Dec-15 13:02:30

I have to agree with Winterisntcoming on that one. My daughter sees her dad 50/50 so I wouldn't expect him to pay maintenance.

violettahatesoperatta Thu 17-Dec-15 13:18:03

Yeah.. you see this is why I havnt pushed for maintence either - because I didn't feel I was entitled to it.

However..

This site from the gov www.gov.uk/calculate-your-child-maintenance

Allows you to work it out on various nightly options. One is 3+ nights a week.

violettahatesoperatta Thu 17-Dec-15 13:19:23

A question

Does ex need my permission to move her in?

violettahatesoperatta Thu 17-Dec-15 13:20:24

Oh and I didn't stay as I broke up the marriage and frankly I had began to loathe that house. I was never happy there. I wanted a fresh start.

Shutthatdoor Thu 17-Dec-15 13:28:04

Does ex need my permission to move her in?

No not really if he is paying all bills and mortgage etc.

So you have already had 12% of the equity of the house? That would also be taken into consideration when doing finances etc.

Funinthesun15 Thu 17-Dec-15 13:30:00

Yeah.. you see this is why I havnt pushed for maintence either - because I didn't feel I was entitled to it.

However..

*This site from the gov www.gov.uk/calculate-your-child-maintenance*

Allows you to work it out on various nightly options. One is 3+ nights a week.

Couldn't he then counter claim against you for the time he has them if it is 50/50.

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