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what happens about splitting a house (not married)?

(22 Posts)
icingonthewall Mon 03-Oct-16 11:30:35

Can anyone give me some info on this (not for me, btw).

Very skimpy summary of the situation is:
- jointly owned house, into which partners have paid unevenly (one has a far higher salary than the other)
- lower salaried partner has done far more childcare than the other, though hasn't taken a long break at any stage.

Lower salaried partner can't afford current mortgage alone; also won't be able to afford a local home that will take them plus kids w a half-share of house equity...

How does this sort of thing get sorted out? Higher earner will dig heels in on every single thing...

hellsbellsmelons Mon 03-Oct-16 11:46:23

Who's kids are they?
Both of theirs?
If so it will be a very different response.

icingonthewall Mon 03-Oct-16 12:11:58

yes, they are the parents.

SortAllTheThings Mon 03-Oct-16 12:38:15

Presumably they're joint tenants?

This is a good link with plenty of information:

Usually, if they're joint tenants, then they have an equal right to a share in the equity, it shouldn't matter if one of them has paid in more (this is from my solicitor - I've no idea if this can be challenged though).

This person should have a proper look at tax credits entitlement, and work out what child maintenance her ex will need to pay.

She should also seek advice from a solicitor. I had a chat with mine and didn't have to pay anything for the first appointment, and she gave me some incredibly good advice.

One thing she said is that I could apply to the court for residency of the property until my eldest is 18. Now, I'm not sure if I want to do that, but it could be useful to know. I think it's called a mesher order.


SortAllTheThings Mon 03-Oct-16 12:39:41

another link with details of transferring of property. I think mesher order might be a different thing, apologies

Lancelottie Mon 03-Oct-16 12:44:34

Till the eldest is 18, or the youngest, Sort? This caught my eye as I also have a friend who seems stuck in the same situation.

SortAllTheThings Mon 03-Oct-16 12:49:34

Sorry, mistyped that bit. Until the youngest is 18.

I put off speaking to a solicitor for a long time, and I was very nervous about it, but it was seriously the best thing I did to sort everything out. It clarified what my rights were and helped me make a proper plan. Absolutely invaluable.

Another useful bit of information is that if you intend on leaving, but are just getting all your ducks in a row, you can start a claim with tax credits from the day you intend to leave, even if the STBXP is still living in the house. Worth a phone call to discuss, if your friend is stuck .

I've just been through all of this, it's difficult, and crap, and I've never done so much bloody paperwork in my life, but it's SO good to be out the other side and free of him.

Lancelottie Mon 03-Oct-16 14:41:02

That's v useful!

icingonthewall Tue 04-Oct-16 07:03:40

Thanks v much.
- is child maintenance payable if children divide their time evenly?
- there's a massive disagreement about which one should move out...
- can the wealthier one insist on buying the less wealthy one's share (i.e. retain the family home).

Cabrinha Tue 04-Oct-16 07:43:25

No, if it's equal nights, truly 50/50 no maintenance will be due. The rules on that changed some years ago.

As for the buying out...
If it got as far as a court agreeing that the property needed to be sold, I cannot think of a good reason why they would block the wealthier party doing the buying out. And frankly, why the weaker party would - yeah, it sucks when a guy you hate keeps "your" home, but it's faster than the open market, saves money on estate agent costs, and provides continuity for the children.

SortAllTheThings Tue 04-Oct-16 19:58:07

They can't insist on buying you out, but they can force a sale of the house. This takes time though.

Who is the primary carer? It's not as clear cut if you each have the kids 50:50.

PigletWasPoohsFriend Tue 04-Oct-16 20:02:32

Can you afford to pay the mortgage and bills on the house, on your own if you stay there?

Don't forget that also it is common for Mescher Orders will have clauses in them.

icingonthewall Wed 05-Oct-16 10:05:08

- Primary carer has been the lower earner (big surprise there!) but it's not always been 100% clear cut.

- Neither partner wants to move. Lower earner thinks that as it's the higher earner who has had an affair and is ending the relationship, they should go. Higher earner thinks that as the lower earner can't afford the house, they should go.

- Lower earner is distraught about the prospect of ex-partner, plus new partner, plus potentially in the future further children, taking over the family home while lower earner loses everything (may not even be able to afford a local 1 bed flat).

- Is a court likely to be involved, or is this all sorted out via some form of mediation?

icingonthewall Wed 05-Oct-16 10:05:46

(I meant to say thank you for v helpful advice - sorry! Thank you! is so complicated...)

ImperialBlether Wed 05-Oct-16 10:08:09

You need a really good lawyer, OP. I'm so sorry this is happening - don't agree to anything until you've spoken to a lawyer.

MrsMogginsMinge Wed 05-Oct-16 10:14:51

(As an aside, and I appreciate this is no help now to the person with the problem in the OP)

BUT if you are reading this as someone who is in the position of the lower earner... It sucks for you when it goes wrong. See above. If that makes you feel a bit vulnerable (even if you're happy in your relationship) that's because you are. Get thee to the registry office and get wed.

<end of public service announcement>

SortAllTheThings Wed 05-Oct-16 12:13:05

Lower earner really needs to look at her entitlement to tax credits, and work out what child maintenance her STBX would have to pay. CAB or just look at the sites online to work it out.

I didn't think I could afford to pay the mortgage on my own, but with TC and CM, as well as help with childcare costs, I was very very surprised and delighted to find that I could afford to stay in the house.

PigletWasPoohsFriend Wed 05-Oct-16 12:26:27

Neither partner wants to move. Lower earner thinks that as it's the higher earner who has had an affair and is ending the relationship, they should go. Higher earner thinks that as the lower earner can't afford the house, they should go.

If it goes to court they don't, as hard as it may seem, care who did or didn't have an affair

icingonthewall Wed 05-Oct-16 13:13:58

MrsMoggin: yes, yes, yes, yes, yes

Sortallthethings: it's not just the mortgage costs tho; it's also the fact that the one who doesn't get to stay in the house wants/needs some capital back out of it, in order to live somewhere else.

Piglet: yes... I just don't have any idea how a court would end up apportioning the house. I presume 50/50, despite unequal payments in??

If a court gets involved, what are they judging/deciding, given there's no marriage to be dissolved? In particular, how are the 'best interests of the child' safeguarded by them? (there's bitter disagreement on what this might be, as you can imagine)

PeppermintPasty Wed 05-Oct-16 13:55:22

Go and see a solicitor.
Go and see a solicitor.
Go and see a solicitor.

You really really must.

SortAllTheThings Wed 05-Oct-16 17:53:55

Yep, solicitor.

SortAllTheThings Wed 05-Oct-16 17:55:31

Would be useful to take along some information like outstanding mortgage figure, approximate house value, etc.

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