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Divorcing my husband who wants to sell the house & I don't
54

Blackjeans88 · 03/07/2022 13:52

Background info : married for 3 years, 2 children (5 months & 2 years old) marriage has broken down. We own a house we purchased together in 2020 for £355k. My parents gifted us £155k, husband paid 30k and we got a mortgage for the rest. My parents loaned us 20k for the garage conversion with the plan I will work out of there once I return after children. Husband had house valued and now around £425k.

I want to stay in the house with the children. I however am pretty much financially dependent. No savings and currently no job as children are so small. Husband has job that pays 40k and a small amount of savings of 15k.

He wants to sell the house and split it 50/50. He is 'happy' to go to court. I do not want to go court at all. So can he force me to sell? I've looked and feel a mesher order, although not ideal could mean I can stay in the house possibly? I'm just very worried and stressed.

I'm also aware as we are married that our money is joint but just included the source of it due to the emotional ties that come with it.

OP's posts:
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Wonderingtime · 03/07/2022 14:02

the court will only order a mesher in a small amount of cases as a last resort. If you stayed in the property can you afford the full cost of the mortgage, all the bills and maintenance of the property?

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MintJulia · 03/07/2022 14:05

You need to see a solicitor. Did your parents ringfence the deposit? You have two children now, so your dh has a duty to support them.

Is your dh proposing 50:50 care so you could go back to work?

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olympicsrock · 03/07/2022 14:07

You need to see a solicitor . This can’t be sorted outside of court easily as he is suggesting something that is not fair and I don’t think will agree to something in your best interests.

You will need to fight for this I’m afraid

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Wonderingtime · 03/07/2022 14:09

50/50 won’t happen as you’ll be the main carer, but 40k won’t be seen as a high wage by the court, so I don’t think you’ll qualify for spousal maintenance.

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Minimalme · 03/07/2022 14:12

So he has a mortgage for £170k on the house, plus the £30k he put in?

If he solely pays the mortgage and bills on the house, then he will have to sell in order to afford to rent/buy another place.

£40k isn't enough to pay for two homes I'm afraid.

I think you should sell the house but make sure you you each come away with your original investment.

Or perhaps he lives in the garage (if it could be converted into an annex?).

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Eupraxia · 03/07/2022 14:14

Say you remortgage to the tune of £200K on top of your existing mortgage, to give him £200K. With no job, how are you planning on paying this (bigger) mortgage payment each month, on just your income?

Even if he accepts less, say £100k - can you afford that monthly payment, plus all the bills and upkeep, on just your income?

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BackToTheTop · 03/07/2022 14:18

He can't force you to see die to the children, however he can stop paying the mortgage. I do hope your parents ring fenced the money. See a solicitor and speak to them about options

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Lazypuppy · 03/07/2022 14:21

Hoping you did deeds of trust or sinilar for your/your parents money that went in otherwise legally he can fight for 50% of everything as a starting point.

If you want to stay in house you will need a job to pay mortgage and all bills. If this won't be possible you need to sell, take your part each and go and buy somwhere else.

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AliceS1994 · 03/07/2022 14:38

The house is now a marital asset so doesn't matter who put in more money. He can ask for 50% but final figures will be decided in court and can vary obviously depending on who does childcare etc.

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bare · 03/07/2022 14:45

Did you live together before the marriage? It is a short marriage in legal terms, so you might be able to walk away with what you individually put in?

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Fuuuuuckit · 03/07/2022 15:09

bare · 03/07/2022 14:45

Did you live together before the marriage? It is a short marriage in legal terms, so you might be able to walk away with what you individually put in?

This. 3 years IS a short marriage and you should be able to leave as you started - you should be able to protect your parents'contribution (although as it was a gift this could become quite a contentious point, you might be able to argue otherwise).

Ultimately with zero income nor capacity on which to borrow, yes the house can be sold. The share of the proceeds is what will need to be sorted, and it sou ds like its not going to be a smooth ride.

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millymollymoomoo · 03/07/2022 16:02

What is it you actually want? To defer his share ? Or for him to also be paying the mortgage and bills?!!

40k is not a high salary and with a short marriage and very young children courts are unlikely to want to tie you together financially for next 17.5 years?

potentially there might be something while children are so young that enables you to remain there for a few years/while you get back to full time work etc. but courts can and do order sale of fmh

do you have a solicitor? You need one

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Luredbyapomegranate · 03/07/2022 16:06

well you both need somewhere to live. So

  • pull all your financial info
  • go see a solicitor, who will talk you through the options
  • you will want to try mediation before court, which will just eat your money

Buying him out of his share might be an option. But see a solicitor. And plan to get back to work asap
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stayingpositiveifpossible · 03/07/2022 16:43

I'm wondering how many people posting so far have been through divorce and a finance hearing - some posters are making realistic statements and some off the mark.

You say you don't want to go to court, but if the marriage is broken as you say, the whole process could improve your quality of life ultimately. It is a case of navigating it as best you can.

Yes, you cannot predict the outcome of court and personally that is what makes things so stressful for some people. A solicitor can help you with the legal side of things but not so much with the emotional side as that is obviously not what they are there for.

First, try to be clear where the kids are going to stay for the majority of the time. Yes, you say DH would like 50/50 but given that currently he has nowhere for them to stay - how would this work?

The length of the marriage isn't necessarily significant - what will happen in the family court is that Children's matters will be decided first, then there will be a finance hearing. if you want to google the Children's Act - you will see how things like stability for the kids is taken into account.

In the finance hearing - all assets are expected to be put on the table - the fact that you are currently not doing paid work and are the primary carer at the moment will be taken into account - and you will probably receive a sum in spousal maintenance. However you have no way of knowing what this sum will be or when you will receive it.

So it is a question of working out what you will do in the meantime. If DH leaves it might mean claiming the benefits you can or as others have said, getting a job.

The thing to bear in mind at this point is - even if everything is amicable and there are no disputes - this process will take some time. Up to a year is fairly standard. it is not set in stone that the house will be sold - indeed you need to register marital rights for yourself on the title deed to prevent it being sold without your consent. Ask your solicitor about this and they will do it quickly.

If there are disputes (which you may wish to navigate using mediation) - it could well be longer.

So it kind of goes in phases. Which is difficult in some ways, but in other ways because there will likely be waiting times between the court hearings - in another way it is helpful because it gives you a chance to process what is going on and adjust to new realities.

In some ways it is good that the kids are so small. They will notice changes in circumstances obviously but not as much as if they were older and you would have to explain the emotional bit to them.

As things stand you have more rights than you think you have. Don't be intimidated into agreeing a sale. Get your marital rights registered on the deed of the house.

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femmemara · 03/07/2022 16:44

@stayingpositiveifpossible

There is no way op will receive SM if her husband earns £40k. Zero chance in the uk.

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Bananarama21 · 03/07/2022 16:51

Its highly unlikely they will let you stay in the house with young children for the next 18 years whilst your ex finances it.

. You have a short marriage
. Your husband is on a low wage that courts wouldn't insist on a mesher order or spousal maintenance. You need to get a job and support yourself and sell the house and downsize to a smaller house either bought or rented.
. He would be in his rights to apply for 50/50
. You asked for a divorce you then cannot expect him to fund you for the next 18 years, how would he get his own property?

If your parents had any sense they should have ringfenced the money they gifted however you are married as the house is an asset to be divided.

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Bananarama21 · 03/07/2022 16:53

stayingpositiveifpossible·

I'm wondering how many people posting so far have been through divorce and a finance hearing - some posters are making realistic statements and some off the mark

The only comment off the mark is yours sm on 40k 😬

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Minimalme · 03/07/2022 17:05

The other reason why the house sale makes sense is that it has risen in value.

If you pay your parents back the £20k loan, then you will clear £50k if it sells for £425k.

I would work on keeping things amicable and getting your husband to agree to ring fence your parents original investment.

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stayingpositiveifpossible · 03/07/2022 17:13

Bananarama21 · 03/07/2022 16:53

stayingpositiveifpossible·

I'm wondering how many people posting so far have been through divorce and a finance hearing - some posters are making realistic statements and some off the mark

The only comment off the mark is yours sm on 40k 😬

Right, okay entitled to your opinion.

However I did receive sum in spousal maintenance which was considerable. And there was a partial mortgage on the house. And the house was not sold.

it took some time - but judge decided assets would be divided 50/50 and so they were. That was my spousal maintenance. I received a court order to clarify when I would be paid. And eventually I was paid the sum in spousal maintenance.

In a finance hearing ALL assets should be taken into account and at this stage in the game - it is entirely possible that OP (and her solicitor) does not have a full overview of ALL assets including pension pots etc. How could they? They haven't done the work yet.

It is impossible to predict the outcome exactly at this point, this is why there is a court process. And that is why the process is called financial disclosure. There may be assets undisclosed at this point.

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Swimmingpoolsally · 03/07/2022 17:20

As it’s a short marriage you may get away with taking out what you put in, but he isn’t a high earner and a court will wish him to be able to house himself. And they will expect you to also be financially independent. He won’t be expected to live in relative poverty so uou can keep the house as I assume you want him to also pay for it.

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Xenia · 03/07/2022 17:20

A solicitor can best advise. I would try to stay in the house even if you have to try to borrow from your parents and have them take over the mortgage (if they are able and/or guarantee it) and then you pay them back. If the £150k from the parents was a gift not a loan even so in England the short marriage rules are likely to mean you will be put back to how you started not start at 50/50 which of course is a position that benefits you; although children might over turn those rules in your case they work in your favour so take legal advice.

Also check pensions as it he has a pension and you don't you might be able to negotiate more equity in exchange for leaving his pension alone.

I think the house has gone up £70k so even with that your side - your parents - put in the vast amount of the equity although your husband paid the mortgage. I would start with offering him about 30% of the equity or may be his £30k back and half the £70k equity rise so about £65k for a clean break (he pays you no maintenance. You remortgage for that if you can find a parent or relative who will guarantee the mortgage as you don't work as yet although you might want to get a full time job - it was hard but I worked full time with children your age and definitely helped after my own divorce.

Good luck.
Don't rush into any decisions. Are you both still living in the marital home? My husband was advised by his lawyers to stay until the bitter end - until decree absolute and mortgage put into my name and huge lump sum into his name and only then did he leave - took 7 months with no court hearings or financial disclosure as everything was joint and we knew everything about our finances from the start.

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stayingpositiveifpossible · 03/07/2022 17:26

Xenia · 03/07/2022 17:20

A solicitor can best advise. I would try to stay in the house even if you have to try to borrow from your parents and have them take over the mortgage (if they are able and/or guarantee it) and then you pay them back. If the £150k from the parents was a gift not a loan even so in England the short marriage rules are likely to mean you will be put back to how you started not start at 50/50 which of course is a position that benefits you; although children might over turn those rules in your case they work in your favour so take legal advice.

Also check pensions as it he has a pension and you don't you might be able to negotiate more equity in exchange for leaving his pension alone.

I think the house has gone up £70k so even with that your side - your parents - put in the vast amount of the equity although your husband paid the mortgage. I would start with offering him about 30% of the equity or may be his £30k back and half the £70k equity rise so about £65k for a clean break (he pays you no maintenance. You remortgage for that if you can find a parent or relative who will guarantee the mortgage as you don't work as yet although you might want to get a full time job - it was hard but I worked full time with children your age and definitely helped after my own divorce.

Good luck.
Don't rush into any decisions. Are you both still living in the marital home? My husband was advised by his lawyers to stay until the bitter end - until decree absolute and mortgage put into my name and huge lump sum into his name and only then did he leave - took 7 months with no court hearings or financial disclosure as everything was joint and we knew everything about our finances from the start.

As this OP says - be prepared for the long haul. Seven months no disputes relatively short compared to the two or even more years some people have.

Obvious advantages of being able to settle amicably without court if you can. But with disputes it can't be avoided. It is really not that bad nowadays there is a backlog in the Family Court but there are remote hearings on Zoom still in many areas.

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Fuuuuuckit · 03/07/2022 20:07

I'm wondering how many people posting so far have been through divorce and a finance hearing - some posters are making realistic statements and some off the mark.

Zero chance of spousal maintenance after a 3 year marriage and 40k salary. Zero.

I would be amazed if you were ordered SM (the ongoing monthly financial support from the higher earner to the lower earner) as this is vanishingly infrequently awarded, let alone on £40k after 3 years. Are you sure you don't mean a financial settlement (as you mentioned the sale of your marital home), as both parties would normally get a share of the assets in a long marriage.

OP's marriage is short and her stbx is on a low salary for SM to be awarded.

And yes, I self-repped through my own tricky divorce, so I do know what I'm talking about.

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BetterFuture1985 · 13/07/2022 10:09

@Blackjeans88
You need to ensure the advice you get is not only from a solicitor but from a solicitor in your local area. There is a lot of discretion in Family Law and outcomes can vary depending on the region.

I'm going to give you some caveats but feel free to go to the last paragraph. MumsNet is generally a good place to get moral support and a bad place to get legal advice. Most of the people on this forum are people like me who have experience of just one divorce unique to ourselves. You'll find the following characters regularly on any thread:

It Was Amicable: Quite representative of most divorces, they were able to agree on everything through mediation and the divorce sailed through, relatively speaking. 60/40 split in favour of the lower earner, a share of custody ranging from 65/35 to 50/50. Legal flaw: none, but you're probably here because mediation has gotten you nowhere.

Dogmatic Feminist: Every SAHM gave up a stellar career. Devout belief in the justified redistribution of income through spousal maintenance provided the recipient is a mother and regardless of the father's ability to pay. Also tends to believes mum should get the house and half the pension. Legal flaw: maintenance is based on needs and ability to pay, not sharing. Both parents have to be able to house themselves. The outcome must be fair to both parties. The dogmatic feminist ignores all of these legal principles because they think the compensation principle applies even in "small money" cases, but it doesn't.

Captain Self Help: The direct opposite of dogmatic feminist. Believes everyone should stand on their own two feet after divorce. No maintenance, 50/50 sharing of assets, weaker financial party should get a full time job and an extra job on the side. Legal flaw: again, the law just doesn't work this way. Most divorces are needs cases and sometimes one parent needs more than half of the assets. Spousal maintenance also features in around 16% of divorces although most of the time for a nominal amount, so it can't automatically be disregarded. Often it is worth bringing up because the claim is quite small rather than non-existent and can be capitalised for a few thousand pounds extra of assets.

I Want the Lot: Not divorced yet, really here seeking advice themselves. Often developing into a Dogmatic Feminist, but a male version exists as well. Generally early in the divorce process and still believe their life should stay exactly the same "for the kids" (that they benefit enormously themselves is just a happy coincidence). Other parent can become a bedsit dwelling money robot who never sees the children. Legal flaw: they might egg you on to fight fruitless cases in court because of their own lack of experience.

Mrs Left Alone: Ex is a dick who doesn't pay his fair share towards the children (often self employed and fudging the figures). Or ex is perfectly fair but Mrs Left Alone thinks he should pay more. Different circumstances but their advice is the same. Fight for at least 70% of custody to get the house, battle through CMS. Legal flaw: not too many, but their case could be very, very different from yours. If their ex is a dick they're doing the right thing. The problem is you don't know them from Adam and they could be in the wrong and using the children for financial game is a big moral no no.

Moneybags: Husband earned a megaton, she got the house, she got maintenance, she keeps his balls in a jar on the mantelpiece.... Legal flaw: big money cases are rare and most of the principles applied in them are irrelevant in needs cases, because needs principles trump everything else.

Bitter Bum: I can be extra cruel in my name and description of this one because it's probably the category I fall into! Typically came away from divorce with less than half the assets or had to burn through assets fighting for a fair share. In many cases role in the family was undermined because of claims by ex that they did less of the childcare than was actually true. Ex was normally an I Want the Lot. Legal flaw: a lot of them are higher earners who are still so pissed off that the courts in England are so generous to the weaker financial party that they still can't quite believe it. May well give you moral perspective rather than a legal one.

Pretend Family Lawyer: Knows the legal language, doesn't know the relevant law. Will misunderstand and then tell you about various legal principles that won't apply to your case. Some of the most dangerous are the ones who are lawyers but don't specialise in family law. Plenty of divorce cases out there where highly paid solicitors fought fruitless claims, like Goran Mickovski. Legal flaw: lots of bad advice!

With all that said, going back to your original question about a Mesher Order. Statistically rather than legally speaking, I think your odds are low because these orders are exceptionally rare these days, as in much more rare than spousal maintenance. Also, I've heard anecdotes that if they are awarded it's normally for a short period of 3-4 years for reasons such as children doing GCSE and A-Levels or to let a fixed mortgage deal reach an end. However, two caveats. One, it might apply to your case and only a local solicitor will be able to say (so get a 30 min free consultation with a local family solicitor who - and this is very important - is a member of Resolution). And two, when he looks at the equity split your ex might decide he wants one. The advice about you paying the mortgage is also generally true and he wouldn't earn enough to pay it and be able to house himself. Again, only a local solicitor will really be able to give you sound advice though.

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Guardup · 13/07/2022 10:38

@Fuuuuuckit

your descriptions are so on the mark!

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