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Can he force me to sell my house?

(51 Posts)
Senga67 Tue 04-Oct-16 20:46:54

XH left 13 years ago as having an affair.We are now divorced.XH paid maintenance (decided by him and not through a court order) for DD1 until she was 18 and is continuing to do so for DD2 who is now 16.After an argument last week, he shouted at me that it was time to sell the house as he wanted his half of the money.The mortgage is still in joint names but it has been me that's paid it from my own account and maintained the home completely by myself whilst bringing up the DC.Any advice as to where I stand on this?

FlouncingIntoAutumn Tue 04-Oct-16 20:48:42

Is he on the title deeds for the house?

Anniegetyourgun Tue 04-Oct-16 21:18:54

What did the divorce settlement say? There must have been some direction on dealing with the former marital home.

meditrina Tue 04-Oct-16 21:23:23

Was there a financial settlement a at the time of the divorce, or are you tackling this for the first time now?

Was a valuation of the property carried out at about the time he moved out?

Senga67 Tue 04-Oct-16 21:48:11

No financial settlement was made during the divorce.No valuation was made on the property when he left.We had a basic divorce after about 5 years (when I felt able to cope) He is living with his 'affair lady' and both work full time earning a good wage between them.They live in a small flat and I now suspect they are planning on cashing in on my home.They are both a bit older than me..in their 50's

Senga67 Tue 04-Oct-16 21:51:38

Our names are both still on the mortgage.

HeddaGarbled Tue 04-Oct-16 21:57:57

You need to get some legal advice. It's unlikely he's entitled to half but possible that he is entitled to some of the equity. Don't mess about, see a solicitor ASAP.

HeddaGarbled Tue 04-Oct-16 22:01:46

You might be entitled to part of his pension so you may be able to set one against the other.

Senga67 Tue 04-Oct-16 22:25:38

Hedda, he doesn't have a pension at all that is why I think he wants to cash in sad

Senga67 Tue 04-Oct-16 22:29:33

He was self employed with no pension when we were together,For the past 14 years he has worked for a company (construction industry) but have no idea if he has a pension.

fizzyapple1 Tue 04-Oct-16 22:35:31

Were you not advised to sort out the financials before the Absolute was given? I find it very strange that it was left until now. As far as I'm aware, the starting point is 50/50 until other factors are taken into account.

Cabrinha Tue 04-Oct-16 22:44:39

I think that the rules for divorce should change so that no Absolute can be issued without an order for finances shock

OP, you need to see a solicitor.
If the maintenance he pays is more than the CMS minimum calculation, and never described in a legal agreement as child maintenance, he could claim that extra was always agreed to be towards the house.

To be fair, he's not simply cashing in on your home - some of it belongs to him. Just how much - well, that's why you need a solicitor.

HeddaGarbled Tue 04-Oct-16 22:46:18

The other factors will be the fact that she's paid the mortgage on her own for the last 13 years and has a lower income.

Senga67 Tue 04-Oct-16 22:46:51

Fizzy..we started of the divorce proceedings like this but with no pension from him and a part time pension for me (I work in Education) and no savings whatsoever, we decided to push forward with an 'amicable' divorce as the Solicitor's fees were costing a fortune and I was struggling to pay them.

Manumission Tue 04-Oct-16 22:49:46

But he didn't want to 'amicably' agree finances/house? Sly old dog.

Senga67 Tue 04-Oct-16 22:57:05

The main problem I now have is that I am unable to pay a Solicitor for advice.We never had a legal agreement on anything at all.I had NO IDEA he was having an affair and was absolutely devastated.He left me with a 3yr old and an 8yr old and a mortgage and bills to sort out on my own.I'm just angry that he feels so entitled to HALF when I have done all the hard work with the house and children while he has sat back on his fat arse with his 'partner' and 2 full time wages.Life is so unfair but thanks for the (free) advice I've had this evening.

Senga67 Tue 04-Oct-16 22:59:37

Manumission...YES!!! Sly old dog indeed...I was very vunerable when he left and even during the divorce proceedings I was happy to take what I thought was the easy way out with no fighting or arguing about it.

HeddaGarbled Tue 04-Oct-16 23:02:49

You MUST get legal advice. Overdraft, credit card, beg, save or borrow. I genuinely don't think he'll get half but you need proper advice to protect yourself from him.

bloodyteenagers Tue 04-Oct-16 23:05:15

I have just seen you work in education, any chance you pay into Unison? One of the benefits is free telephone advice. Might be worth looking into. Also some children centres have free legal sessions.

RealityCheque Tue 04-Oct-16 23:11:38

If you were building a pension and he wasn't while you were together, he also has a (completely valid) claim on that.

The fact he had an affair will not be taken into consideration when settling finances.

He will be basically be entitled to half of the percentage of the house that was in equity at the time of divorce (as a starting point). You will unlikely be able to argue that Perce rate up too much now that your children are almost 18.

This really should have been sorted out 13 years ago when your position was much stronger. Agree with the person who said that divorce should have to include financials at the same time. It's batshit crazy to divorce but stay financially connected to someone.

garlicandsapphire Tue 04-Oct-16 23:13:37

I'm really surprised about your situation OP. I thought you had to have a financial settlement in place before the court approved decree absolut.

Firstly, the child maintenance and spousal maintenance (if paid due to differential earnings) is separate to any dealings on the assets of the marriage. You then look at all the assets - pension pot, savings/debt, shares, the house. The general principle is that these are all split 50/50. So if your pensions are roughly equal and there were no other major assets in place, your XH was entitled to 50 % of the property in principle - that is only fair. I'm not sure how the fact that you have been paying the mortgage and accrued value would now be factored in, since he has had to pay rent or mortgage in the meantime without access to his share of the assets. Did you have a valuation of the house at the time of the court application so as to establish the value then?

You definitely need to get legal advice. Sorry to say it legal advice at the time of the divorce should have warned you of this and put it into a financial settlement and told you not to agree to the divorce without it being sorted. Frankly, I thought the court normally inspects the financial settlement before agreeing to the decree absolut.

Cabrinha Tue 04-Oct-16 23:13:51

Right, so what do you think you should pay him?

The one thing about not having agreed anything that I suppose goes in your favour, is that there is no trigger point for you to sell. If he wants money from it, it's him that will have to apply to take you to court.

So the first thing I'd do, is do nothing. Or rather - say nothing. Let it be all work on his side.

I stress that I'm not a lawyer, but I would expect if it went to court, any order for sale would be delayed 2 years until your oldest is 18.

Second thing - if by any chance you're over paying your mortgage, stop - not point in paying off more than you need to until you know what is happening.

Don't propose anything, let him do the running - but work out in your own mind what you think is fair.

I might think like this: say you split when the house was worth £100K, and the mortgage was £50K. I might decide that a fair settlement if you'd sorted it out then would have been 70/30. So at that point, the bank owned 50%, you 35% and him 15%. If the house is now worth £200K, you owe him 15% of it - £30K.

There's 100 opinions of course... but at least based on what you think is fair, you need to start planning how you'll buy him out - because cheating arsehole or not, he is owed money.

If he brings it up again, tell him what you'll pay him and when. And if he doesn't like it, leave the legal runaround and cost to him.

Start saving to see a solicitor though - you really should get proper advice.

garlicandsapphire Tue 04-Oct-16 23:14:50

Sorry - I see I've said much the same as Realitycheque!

garlicandsapphire Tue 04-Oct-16 23:16:33

And agree too - its no blame divorce so who left who or had an affair makes no difference to the splitting of the assets.

RealityCheque Tue 04-Oct-16 23:21:47

And whatever you do agree, do NOT give a penny until it has been signed off as the final financial settlement by the courts. Otherwise he can come back for more later.

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