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Buying Your Ex Out of the Family Home

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 15 Sep 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Buying Out Ex-partner Buying Partner Out

When it comes to getting divorced one of the main issues you’ll have to face is where you intend to live. Your options are going to be determined by many things like finance, both partners’ wishes and if there are any children to consider.

If you have a joint mortgage, this may mean applying for another mortgage in your own right which may be possible if you’ve built up sufficient equity in your joint arrangement and earn enough to pay off a new mortgage in your own name after you’ve factored in any equity that you’re entitled to. However, this isn’t always possible. Often, you’ll find that it’s the partner with the greater income who is the one who wishes to be bought out and the partner earning less might simply not be able to afford to stay in the home as they might not be able to meet the repayment of a new sole mortgage agreement on the existing property.

Why Your Equity Might be More Than You Think

When couples split up, it’s often assumed that if they are both contributing the same sum to their monthly mortgage repayments that any sale of the house is split 50-50 if they decide to go their separate ways, but that’s not necessarily the case. If an amicable agreement cannot be made, a good solicitor can often look to raise the equitable value of one partner’s share. For example, it might be that one partner has spent a considerable amount of extra money and time in making home improvements, even though the joint mortgage is split 50-50. Therefore, this additional expenditure could be taken into account in terms of the division in equity if an amicable settlement can’t be reached.

Children

The situation of the fair division of a home’s value can be made more complex if children are involved. If, for example, it’s the wife who is looking to buy out her ex-husband but doesn’t think she’ll be able to afford a mortgage in her own name, she may find that it is possible if the husband agrees that the children should stay in the family home as this can then be used to offset a percentage of child maintenance payments that would be due meaning the husband then gets less of a share of the home’s market value whilst also making it affordable for the wife and children to stay there.

Going to Court if an Agreement Cannot be Reached

If no settlement can be reached on the division of the house, a court may decide that ownership should be transferred from one person to another. However, it cannot transfer liability for the mortgage from one person to another without the lender’s consent. The problem here is that the lender may not be willing to transfer the mortgage if there are any existing arrears or if they believe that the new sole owner will be unable to keep up the repayments on their own so if they refuse to transfer the existing mortgage arrangements, the original owner or joint owners will still have to keep up repayments. Therefore, where a situation is not cut and dried or there are disagreements as to what each partner thinks they are financially entitled to in terms of transferring the home to the other partner, then you need to seek legal advice.

Once an Agreement Has Been Reached

Once a settlement has been reached, however, it’s important to check the deeds to your house. In many cases, they contain a ‘survivorship’ clause which entitles the other partner to a share of the house should one partner die, so you need to make sure that once the property is in a sole partner’s name that you have the other partner removed from the deeds or else they could still make a claim on your estate in the future, even if you have split up. Once again, sound legal advice is very important in this regard.

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My boyfriend separated from his defacto wife of 19yrs 2 years ago, the made private agreements that he would pay her off for the family home for which he is still paying mortgage for and he is paying that by himself, she decided to continue to live in the home till paid out in full, she never has had to pay for any bills... he paid her out 6 months ago for the total of $100,000 - he never expected her to pay any bills during this, but now she wont leave and wont stick to any agreements - how can he make her leave?
Vi Vi - 15-Sep-18 @ 11:33 PM
Hi, my husband and I separated 6 years ago. He moved out into rented accommodation and has stayed there. We have 4 children now aged 23, 21, 13 and 11 all living with me. When my ex left he ceased paying the mortgage and gave me £80.00 per month for the children. My question is will he be entitled to half the house, he believes he is. He is happy, for now, for usto remain in the family home but i know, some time soon he will want some money from the house. The mortgage is paid off now. But i have paid approx £44k off more than he has. The house is worth £300-350k. I have also updated the house costing me a further £20k. Please advise me
pixie - 8-Sep-18 @ 3:02 PM
allmac - Your Question:
Recently divorced and the financial order stipulated the sale of the family home with a 50/50 equity split. I’m responsible for the mortgage payments and live in the family home with 1 dependent child. House has been up for sale for about 6 months and the market is quiet so no hope it will be sold this year. I’m now able to remortgage (due to a change in circumstances) and pay my ex-spouse the required equity split but she has refused my offer knowing her share of the equity will increase with each mortgage payment. Can I force her to accept my offer to buy her out and remover her from the mortgage and deeds?

Our Response:
If your ex doesn't agree, then your only recourse would be to refer the matter back to the courts. If you live in the house with one dependent child, then it is likely the courts will allow this. Before you refer the matter back to court, a solicitor's letter stating that if your ex doesn't comply, then you will be forced to take the matter back to court may work.
DivorceResource - 7-Sep-18 @ 10:39 AM
I left my husband almost a year ago due to domestic abuse. After myself and my 9 year old son lived with family members for 3 months, I eventually rented a property for us to have a home. We are still awaiting divorce and financial settlement. However, I was wondering if it would be possible for myself and my son to move back to the marital property and my husband have to move out? This is because my son is quite unsettled and misses his home and friends. Thankyou
Robbo - 6-Sep-18 @ 6:10 PM
Recently divorced and the financial order stipulated the sale of the family home with a 50/50 equity split. I’m responsible for the mortgage payments and live in the family home with 1 dependent child. House has been up for sale for about 6 months and the market is quiet so no hope it will be sold this year. I’m now able to remortgage (due to a change in circumstances) and pay my ex-spouse the required equity split but she has refused my offer knowing her share of the equity will increase with each mortgage payment. Can i force her to accept my offer to buy her out and remover her from the mortgage and deeds?
allmac - 6-Sep-18 @ 2:06 PM
my wife wishes to divorce and buy me out of the marital home with financial help from her parents. we have agreed to have the children 50/50,we have 3 , which she is more than happy to do. can I also request extra deposit I put down out of personal money ontop the agreed equity ?
john - 28-Aug-18 @ 12:34 PM
Nicky - Your Question:
Split from my husband he wants me to buy him out I don't work as I am bring the boys up we are divorcing he wants me to give him £35.000 and get the mortgage in my name but I won't be able to afford it

Our Response:
Mediation may be an option for you to consider. Mediation is when two or more parties meet to resolve problems before the matter reaches court. It is most often used in family proceedings, contact orders, residence agreements and divorce. It is a formal negotiation and courts can accept the agreement of the mediation instead of having to go through the court process, although it is subject to final court approval. If you cannot agree through mediation, then the only other option is court. the court will always put the best interests of your children first before making a decision regarding whether you should sell the house or not. The courts can allow a primary carer to remain in the house until the children leave full-time education. However, much would depend upon affordability etc.
DivorceResource - 17-Aug-18 @ 12:15 PM
ZeroTomcat - Your Question:
Yes I have suggested mediation and it was refused! But surely it is in the best interests of the children both parents can provide a suitable home and one parent can not be tied down because of the others refusal to release control??

Our Response:
Unfortunately, if your ex will not come to an agreement with you only a court can decide if and where your ex refuses mediation.
DivorceResource - 17-Aug-18 @ 11:59 AM
Split from my husband he wants me to buy him out I don't work as I am bring the boys up we are divorcing he wants me to give him £35.000 and get the mortgage in my name but I won't be able to afford it
Nicky - 17-Aug-18 @ 9:57 AM
Yes I have suggested mediation and it was refused! But surely it is in the best interests of the children both parents can provide a suitable home and one parent can not be tied down because of the others refusal to release control??
ZeroTomcat - 17-Aug-18 @ 7:27 AM
ZeroTomcat - Your Question:
My wife ended our 5 year marriage nearly 3 years ago and still lives in the former marital home with her (now 2nd) partner who has moved in. I am still on the mortgage and want off so I can get my own mortgage again and move on with my life. She has told me the new partner is paying half the mortgage so the house is as much hers and my ex wife’s. I have asked many times for either my initial deposit or the house valued and me given the appropriate amount. But she simply says she is not ready to assume this debt on her own What can I do?? I say anything I get claims I’ll make the kids homeless. I can’t seem to win, I’m scared to go to court as we did for child arrangements she lied and the family judicial system heavily favours mothers, so to go from having 50/50 custody to simply having the kids “spent time (but not live with) me” I have already lost all faith in family courts. What can I do??

Our Response:
Have you suggested mediation to your ex? This would be the next option where you cannot agree between you. It may be that your ex cannot afford to buy you out and it may be that your ex or her partner do not wish to buy the house together. As in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the child in question. The court will always put the child’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order. The link here, may also help you further.
DivorceResource - 16-Aug-18 @ 10:10 AM
My wife ended our 5 year marriage nearly 3 years ago and still lives in the former marital home with her (now 2nd) partner who has moved in. I am still on the mortgage and want off so I can get my own mortgage again and move on with my life. She has told me the new partner is paying half the mortgage so the house is as much hers and my ex wife’s. I have asked many times for either my initial deposit or the house valued and me given the appropriate amount. But she simply says she is not ready to assume this debt on her own What can I do?? I say anything I get claims I’ll make the kids homeless. I can’t seem to win, I’m scared to go to court as we did for child arrangements she lied and the family judicial system heavily favours mothers, so to go from having 50/50 custody to simply having the kids “spent time (but not live with) me” I have already lost all faith in family courts. What can I do??
ZeroTomcat - 15-Aug-18 @ 7:01 AM
@Tabby - you can't charge him for 'would haves' only fees that have occurred and need to be split.
JulesT - 14-Aug-18 @ 11:25 AM
Eli - Your Question:
My wife was having an affair and told me I had to move out so her and the kids could stay in the house once I left she moved he new partner straight in we had only had the mortgage for a couple of years they have lived together there for 10month and I have refused to pay any of the mortgage although I pay a good amount of child maintenance Does she have to buy me out or am I entitled to her buying me out?

Our Response:
You would have to agree between you. Much depends upon whether you can afford to buy her out and/or likewise. If you cannot agree between you and you want the situation to be resolved, then court would be the next option to consider.
DivorceResource - 13-Aug-18 @ 2:31 PM
I am going through a divorce. My ex is agreeing for me to buy him out. Once calculating the equity (property worth now minus what is left to repay on the mortgage) does one also have to take into account the fees that would have been incurred on needing to sell the house - e.g. agency fee to sell and penalty for terminating the mortgage early? Thank you
Tabby - 13-Aug-18 @ 1:54 PM
My wife was having an affair and told me I had to move out so her and the kids could stay in the house once I left she moved he new partner straight in we had only had the mortgage for a couple of years they have lived together there for 10month and I have refused to pay any of the mortgage although I pay a good amount of child maintenance Does she have to buy me out or am I entitled to her buying me out?
Eli - 10-Aug-18 @ 2:17 PM
Teddy - Your Question:
My husband of one year wants a divorce, he has cheated on me several times. We have a joint mortgage. He wants to buy me out. I don't want him to buy me out this will be easy for him. I don't want the house but I don't want him to have for his lover to move in. How can I stop him buying me out

Our Response:
Unless you can afford to buy your husband out and/or if you cannot come to an agreement between you about seling the house, then your ex can take the matter to court for the court to decide what happens. If the matter goes to court, it will cost both of you in court fees etc. The only people who benefit financially in such cases are the legal representatives.
DivorceResource - 10-Aug-18 @ 11:14 AM
My husband of one year wants a divorce, he has cheated on me several times. We have a joint mortgage. He wants to buy me out. I don't want him to buy me out this will be easy for him. I don't want the house but I don't want him to have for his lover to move in. How can I stop him buying me out
Teddy - 9-Aug-18 @ 8:57 PM
My ex wife wants to buy my share of the house for £56k, there is no mortgage. Would I have to pay capital gains tax
Gazza - 7-Aug-18 @ 7:18 PM
@Pete m - have you thought of coming to an agreement via mediation or through a solicitor? If you can agree between you what's going to happen to your partner's aunt, then this would be probably best.
Jess80 - 6-Aug-18 @ 12:50 PM
Hi I have been with my partner for 14 yrs she has recently told me that she wants to separate, we aren't married, we have a 7 yr old child together , and a sick aunty of hers living in a granny flat ( extension we had built for her ) next door, the house is worth around 180,000 and we have 87,000 left to pay on it, as I haven't asked for any of this my partner is willing to let me buy her out, but wants to leave the sick aunty in the granny flat as she has cancer and doesn't want to move her, it's a joint tenancy mortgage could you give me any advice on the matter , especially The aunty as she doesn't contribute anything rentwise.
Pete m - 4-Aug-18 @ 10:52 PM
Strawberry - Your Question:
My and my ex husband got married in November 2006 and in November 2007 we bought a home and land it was all in his name he decided to keep cheating and we decided to go out separate was in October of 2010 and in the separation agreement he was to buy my part out of the home he has only paid me 100 dollars on it and our divorce was final in April 2012 he got remarried in June of 2012 and I am still having trouble getting the money from him over the home what should I do can I take him court to get it and or get interest also please help me

Our Response:
If your ex is refusing, then court would be the only option. You would have to seek advice in your own country as we are a UK-based site, so can only answer UK-based questions.
DivorceResource - 3-Aug-18 @ 12:31 PM
Need2Know - Your Question:
Hi,My husband and I have been married for 4 years and we have a 2.5 year old daughter. He has been unfaithful since we've been married and continue to have the wandering eye. I have given him many chances but feel like its time to split. I am a US citizen and he is British. We live in a house (£800k, 4 bd) that was mostly paid for by his father and is under my husband's name. There is a small mortgage of (£100k). He is a high earner and I am a stay at home mum. Would the courts allow me to stay in this house or would they make him sell and provide another accommodation for us? Could I ask him to purchase a home for me and my daughter in full or would they allow him to take out a mortgage?

Our Response:
Unfortunately, I cannot predict what a court may decide. A court will put the interests of your child first and ensure your child has a roof over her head (if you continue to be the primary carer). However, if your husband's father put money into the home then on the sale of the house it is likely his money would be returned to him. Another factor that would be taken into consideration is the marriage has been short. You may wish to seek legal advice.
DivorceResource - 3-Aug-18 @ 9:39 AM
My and my ex husband got married in November 2006 and in November 2007 we bought a home and land it was all in his name he decided to keep cheating and we decided to go out separate was in October of 2010 and in the separation agreement he was to buy my part out of the home he has only paid me 100 dollars on it and our divorce was final in April 2012 he got remarried in June of 2012 and I am still having trouble getting the money from him over the home what should I do can I take him court to get it and or get interest also please help me
Strawberry - 2-Aug-18 @ 3:14 PM
Hi, My husband and I have been married for 4 years and we have a 2.5 year old daughter. He has been unfaithful since we've been married and continue to have the wandering eye. I have given him many chances but feel like its time to split. I am a US citizen and he is British. We live in a house (£800k, 4 bd) that was mostly paid for by his father and is under my husband's name. There is a small mortgage of (£100k). He is a high earner and I am a stay at home mum. Would the courts allow me to stay in this house or would they make him sell and provide another accommodation for us? Could I ask him to purchase a home for me and my daughter in full or would they allow him to take out a mortgage?
Need2Know - 2-Aug-18 @ 12:34 PM
@jojo i have done exactly that. He has asked them for a variation to include the mortgage. They have an 18 month backlog!!! I cannot believe that I have no say. Ive cateogorically told them i do not want the motgage paid as a substitute for maintenance. Not at all. They said its simply a question of does he pay it or not. If he does then it gets taken into account. The system allows men to control and abuse when its operated this way.
KC - 26-Jul-18 @ 1:04 PM
@KC - easy, why don't you just apply for child maintenance via CMS? You are entitled to - then you can choose whether you wish to put the money towards the mortgage yourself.
Jojo - 26-Jul-18 @ 10:48 AM
My husband and I have been seperated since last December, we were married 3.5 years. We have 3 children aged 6, 2 and 1. The oldest isnt his biologically but he raised him from newborn. I owned a property independantly that I sold and put £140,000 down on a jointly mortgaged property. I protected this with a declaration of trust. This also stated any remainder would be 50/50. My ex is a high earner £70k per annum, I am a low earner £10k. I work from home (childminder) so that I can also raise the children. We were in our joint house 6 months prior to his arrest for domestic violence. He has been emotionally/ financially and sexually abusive throughout the relationship. My earnings are lowered by the fact my children take up paid spaces im my childminding ratio. I cannot work from a rental due to clauses inleases.i am unable to remortgage on my earnings to cover what i need to borrow (220k) to keep the house. The house requires a lot of work (around 60k worth) which I am slowly trying to get done. He refuses to pay child maintenance instead pays full mortgage. I DO NOT want him doing this for a number of reasons: I dont think its appropriate he controls the finances any longer. I feel it places me at risk of him getting a larger share of the house. I want to be independant of him. It shpuld be down to me to decude where child maintenance is allocated. I want a proven demonstration of managing payments alone so i have bigger chance of taking the mortgage over. I cannot prove my income at a highet level if maintenance isnt forthcoming, reducing my chances of remortgage. My ex has applied for a finacial order as part of our divorce process and refuses to diacuss or engage with me about it all. If i have to sell then i cant afford to repurchase, my child would have to leave the 2nd best performing state school in England. Id have no income as woukdnt have a business. I cant afford to work elsewhere and pay childcare for 3 kids. If he remains on mortgage the house value will rise but a lot wull be to do with money I have paid to improve it. Please advise me on my options. I cant even affird a solicitor nd legal aid was refused to to equity in house (despite being no money in my bank!)
KC - 25-Jul-18 @ 12:55 PM
I was divorced 10 years ago It was a messy divorce he admitted his adultery but due to his behaviour I had an injunction taken out against him .. he then assaulted me on our front door step and he was prosecuted He just would not accept that his boys teenagers do not want to see him The divorce happened quiet quickly but I was way to ill to lock horns with this psychologically violent man I had 4 children .. no money and my priority was trying my best to pay bills and keep everyone ok .... Over the last 10 years despite having a good job I have not received any money for the mortgage bills improvements house insurances and just a few payments from CSA ... basically nothing 4 years ago he said he would sign the house over I went through the process of getting mortgage lined up and even got a solicitor ready for him to attend ... at the last moment he said no and promotly left the Uk He is now married to a US citizen and I have no contact with him ... I do have his email My youngest son is now coming to the end of uni I may want to sell the house ... What can I do ? People tell me I should have sorted this at the time but they have no idea how he had treated me and just how at the time if I had not distanced myself from him his violence I would not have been ok NB it was my home before he moved in But I did put him on the mortgage Please help me get the shadow of this man from hanging over me
Terry - 23-Jul-18 @ 10:24 PM
Raggedyanne - Your Question:
I rented my council house for 10 years and then met my partner( Now Husband) He never wanted to be part of the rent, and didnt want his name on any of the household bills or rent book. A few years later we decided to marry, and then the following year I applied for right-to-buy. To do this I HAD to include him on the rent book, but only for 1-2 months until the mortgage went through. I got a massive 55% discount and we went halves in the solicitors fees etc, and now I live in a £120,000 house which cost £45,000 (It was valued at £1000,000 at the time of buying it) We are now 4 years in, and next year we can sell or move without having to repay any discount back to the council. But things between us are really bad and I want a divorce. For someone who didnt even want his name of the rent-book, he has reminded me that he owns HALF of the house! when in fact it was MY 55% (£55,000) that was put down as deposit, and for the princely sum of £500 which was half the solicitors bill, he now owns half of what is now £120,000. Yes he gives me housekeeping, but the mortgage and insurances ALL go out of my bank account, of course the mortgage is in joint names. I would like to know, seeing as I can prove I was SOLE tenant for the qualifying years (25yrs) which gained me 55% discount, would he really be entitled to HALF of the property value? It feels like I effectually put down the £55,000 and now he wants half of everything including the discount I accrued.10 years of it I was not even WITH him while I rented the house. I would like to buy him out of the house, but it may come at a cost I cant afford. He CANNOT afford to buy me out so we would be at a standstill.

Our Response:
You don't say how long you have been married, which would make a difference. Everything in marriage is deemed jointly owned. However, you may be awarded your deposit back if the marriage has been short (under five years). If you have kids, this would make a financial difference also in terms of who is the primary carer. If you can come to a mutual agreement it will serve you both better. A solicitor can advise what you should offer your husband. The difficulty comes if he refuses and insists on taking the matter to court, as court and legal costs can swallow any gains. This is why a fair and mutual agreement is the most cost-effective way forward for both.
DivorceResource - 17-Jul-18 @ 11:10 AM
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