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Buying Your Ex Out of the Family Home

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 24 May 2017 | 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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I'm trying to divorce myhusband. I owned a home prior to us marrying. He moved in with me and this become our family home. We have 2 young children. We separated and ex finally moved out. I have since sold my home and in the proceeds of buying another home for me and the children. I gave him assets of £25k which he was initially happy with, but he has now said he wants a cash payment which he knows I wont be able to buy the other house which is a week away from exchanging. I feel he is still trying to control my life and this is so stressful. My Solicitor dealing with the house purchase has advised not proceeding until a financial settlement can be reached between us. I feel he is just being spiteful now. Has anyone else been in this situation??
FK - 24-May-17 @ 4:48 PM
My ex and her husband are assuming the the mortage on the house she was awarded in our divorce. Do i need legal counsel when i go to settlement?
Greg - 9-May-17 @ 1:04 AM
betty - Your Question:
I am now divorced from my ex, our children are all grown up. I have a mortgage in my sole name on the home we all lived in which I paid for everything including the mortgage. In our settlement it was agreed I had to sell the house to pay her the agreed amount. My circumstances have since changed and I want to keep the house, I am able to pay her off with out selling the house, can I do this? I know she wants me to sell as she does not want me to have the house, I am unable to get another mortgage and I will be left with next to nothing if I sell.

Our Response:
If you can offer your ex the agreed amount, then there is no reason why you should have to sell and instead you can simply buy her out. You could seek legal advice and ask a solicitor to draft a letter outlining your rights and advising her to accept your financial offer instead. If she refuses, you would have to take the matter back to court to request a variation on the original order.
DivorceResource - 8-May-17 @ 2:36 PM
I am now divorced from my ex, our children are all grown up.I have a mortgage in my sole name on the home we all lived in which I paid for everything including the mortgage.In our settlement it was agreed I had to sell the house to pay her the agreed amount.My circumstances have since changed and I want to keep the house, I am able to pay her off with out selling the house, can I do this? I know she wants me to sell as she does not want me to have the house, I am unable to get another mortgage and I will be left with next to nothing if I sell.
betty - 7-May-17 @ 11:23 PM
Bell - Your Question:
My friend is currently been bought out by her ex. He hasn't got the money at the moment to buy her out. She has moved out the home and He says she has to keep paying her share of the mortgage until he buys her out is this correct? Doesn't seem fair.

Our Response:
If both names are on the mortgage, then your friend is in a legal agreement to continue to pay her share, unless her ex agrees otherwise and consents to take over the payments. Her only option is to come to a legal agreement regarding the extent of equity she is entitled to the longer she has to pay. Or seek legal advice about taking the matter to court in order to try to force the sale.
DivorceResource - 4-May-17 @ 2:28 PM
My friend is currently been bought out by her ex. He hasn't got the money at the moment to buy her out. She has moved out the home andHe says she has to keep paying her share of the mortgage until he buys her out is this correct? Doesn't seem fair.
Bell - 3-May-17 @ 9:46 PM
I'm divorcing my husband we have no mortgage,my mum's given me the money to buy him out. Am I better to obtain my decree absolute first or carry orwith buying him out? Hehas a company pension. If I put the cheque in my account will it affect the divorce ssettlement? likewise if I buy him out will it affect my rights to a share of his pension? We were married 33 years when he had an affair
Janfish - 27-Apr-17 @ 10:30 PM
Bought a house on my own no Morgages on it.Me and wife have been split for years on and off. She moved bac in with me try give it a go. Didn't work out.She says she intilted to half the house and she wants the daughter to take a mortgage out and take my half can she do thet
Hoho - 16-Apr-17 @ 12:54 PM
Hi I divorced six years ago. My husband was bankrupt at divorce so the divorce stated I r move him from the mortgage once the official receivers had removed their interest. Just after divorce I too had to file for bankruptcy as I was being chased by these debts. I have been solely paying the mortgage and am unable to remove my ex from the mortgage and will be unable to for quit some years. In the future is he entitled to half the equity. The house was in negative equity when we divorced. Please help as I also have a legal aid charge on the property for him to see his children and am worried that he could take more from tbe property in the future than I when I have paid and he hasn't. Desperate for advice. Please help.
Dmwors - 15-Apr-17 @ 9:53 AM
I have been separated from my wife from August 2016 I moved out of the marital home to a rented property. There is no mortgage on the marital home and my name is only one on the deeds. The factoring company for the common areas said I am liable for all bills relating to this as I'm on the deeds but don't live at the property is this the case?
Maddog - 13-Apr-17 @ 3:07 PM
@Darcey - unless you raise the money there's not much you can do, your hubby is entitled to his half too.
MelC - 13-Apr-17 @ 2:34 PM
I am getting divorced after 36 years of marriage we jointly own the house and have 4 years left on the mortgage I am desparate to stay in my home and am trying to raise money to buy him out I don't want to loose my home as well as everything else what are my options the house is almost to the point of being exchanged so I need to act fast please can anyone give me some good advice
Darcey - 13-Apr-17 @ 9:17 AM
My husband and I have been separated just over 2 years.We lived in our home since September 2004.The mortgage is in his name only. We have 2 children and me and the children still live in our home.My husband is willing to give the house to me but I need to get a mortgage.Can you advise the best way to do this? We are not divorced yet.
Bee - 6-Apr-17 @ 3:51 PM
I was not married to my ex, neither was there a civil partnership. We owned a house together since 1995 and once I left (2013) I continued to pay my half of the mortgage, the mortgage has since been repaid and now my ex continues to live in the home. We are dealing with this as amicably as possible, he is intending to buy me out but does not wish to obtain another mortgage. He is intending to buy me out in instalments somehow, I am happy with this but am wondering how we go about this - obs need separate solicitors and a legal framework for this.Thanks
SJ - 31-Mar-17 @ 3:38 PM
So me and my husband of 10 years split 9 months ago and are in proceeds of divorce. We brought the house 5 years ago the mortgage is in his name as I was not working at the time. We both work full time and have 2 children under 10. There is around 40k equity in the property. Also my parents loaned us 20k. I want the property from him and I'm willing to pay the mortgage alone. He hasn't officially said what he wants and I'm still in limbo. Is his solicitor prolonging for a reason? If it went to court who's favor would it be in? He is currently paying the mortgage and I pay all the bills.
Shelly - 27-Mar-17 @ 8:08 PM
Holmes- Your Question:
I bought a house with my ex, we were not married. I moved out and he continued to pay the mortgage on his own. We are both married to other people and he now wants to transfer my name off the mortgage and his new wife's name onto it. The bank have given him the ok to do this. When we were together I paid nearly all the mortgage payment each month as well as a lot of other household bills a month. My parents paid a lot of money into the house on decoration and new bathroom. When I moved out I only took personal belongings. I haven't paid towards the house for the past 6yrs, he hasn't been able to get the mortgage in his name alone so only has the house coz of my name being on it. I want to know if I'm intitled ask him for any money to sign it over to him and his new wife.

Our Response:
You don't say how long you lived in the house and paid the mortgage for. Therefore, if you wish to challenge this move, you would have to seek legal advice to try to recoup some money.
DivorceResource - 23-Mar-17 @ 12:00 PM
I bought a house with my ex, we were not married. I moved out and he continued to pay the mortgage on his own. We are both married to other people and he now wants to transfer my name off the mortgage and his new wife's name onto it. The bank have given him the ok to do this. When we were together I paid nearly all the mortgage payment each month as well as a lot of other household bills a month. My parents paid a lot of money into the house on decoration and new bathroom. When I moved out I only took personal belongings. I haven't paid towards the house for the past 6yrs, he hasn't been able to get the mortgage in his name alone so only has the house coz of my name being on it. I want to know if I'm intitled ask him for any money to sign it over to him and his new wife.
Holmes - 22-Mar-17 @ 7:20 PM
shasha - Your Question:
My ex husband and I divorced 5 yrs ago but during that time we went to mediation about selling our house we jointly own we told mediation we would sort this between our self as we were still on good terms with each other and also told solicitors.when the divorce was final he made no attempt to pay my half of the house hes been there 5 yrs since divorce and paying interest only.he now says he wants to buy me out but some money still owing on the mortgage yet.hes trying to give me a small settlement saying hes done home improvements which I didnt ask him to do as it was his choice to do this as hes lived there not me.what is the half I get if buying me out is it half the equity or half the price of the house.thanks

Our Response:
You would have to seek legal advice regarding this, as every case differs and the answer is rarely black and white. If you cannot agree on a settlement figure, then a an agreement through solicitors or mediation may help you to reach a conclusion. However, if these agreements break down, then family arbitration may help. This is where a third party makes a decision about your finances which is final and authorised by the courts. The arbitrator will collect and collate evidence in order to come to a decision called an 'award'.
DivorceResource - 22-Mar-17 @ 2:03 PM
My ex husband and i divorced 5 yrs ago but during that time we went to mediation about selling our house we jointly own we told mediation we would sort this between our self as we were still on good terms with each other and also told solicitors..when the divorce was final he made no attempt to pay my half of the house hes been there 5 yrs since divorce and paying interest only..he now says he wants to buy me out but some money still owing on the mortgage yet....hes trying to give me a small settlement saying hes done home improvements which i didnt ask him to do as it was his choice to do this as hes lived there not me...what is the half i get if buying me out is it half the equity or half the price of the house...thanks
shasha - 22-Mar-17 @ 7:03 AM
Hi I separated 7 years ago and have only just started divorce proceedings. My ex has agreed to 30% payout of the equity in the house and he will keep his pension, I have one daughter at uni and another who is 17 in first year of A levels. When will I have to pay him ? After second child leaves 6th form or after university ? Many thanks
Mand - 16-Mar-17 @ 7:50 PM
My wife and I split 10 years ago, we have 2 kids, the widest now lives with her own son and the youngest lives with me. We now want to sell the family home but are struggling to sell. My ex-wife has asked if I could buy her half. We have a joint mortgage and now have decent equity in the house. What are my options on how to do this and what, if any, are the possible costs?
MC72 - 10-Mar-17 @ 5:34 PM
I've agreed to sign over my half of our family home to my ex wife,it was agreed at our last court hearing,nothing has been signed yet tho and I've heard nothing from her solicitors about it,she's now put it on the market but where does that leave me?if I havnt signed it over surely she can't sell it,any advice it much appreciated
Chalks - 3-Mar-17 @ 1:39 PM
@Rw - your deposit should stay intact and she will be eligible possibly to claim some of the equity and maybe her money back. If you can't agree between you, see a mediatior or a solicitor and come to agreement based upon the money she has paid in since you have separated and maybe half of the equity which would be £3.5K. All depends on whether the mortgage company will allow you to take on her part of the mortgage as to whether you will have to sell or not. Matt.
MTY - 2-Mar-17 @ 12:38 PM
Me and my girlfriend have spit up. We bought a house for 143,000 i put down 22,000 out my bank account for the deposit. We have only been in the house a year and a half. She moved out in december and is continuing to pay half the mortgage. What is she entiled too. Its a joint mortgage. I have had it revalued today and expect to be around the 150,000 i want to keep the home im in the middle of remortgage and should be fine but not sure what she can claim out the house as i think she is going down that route
Rw - 1-Mar-17 @ 2:37 PM
sarahjane - Your Question:
When we first met I owned a flat which he moved into, he never paid towards the bills even once he got a job. Altho probably paid more when we went out socialising.We married 14 months later then had a child - still no contribution to the bills even once baby came along. After my 9 months maternity (where I still paid all the bills) he gave up work to look after baby (only had a agency labouring job which wasn't permanant)and I gave money each week (as much as I can afford) 8 months later we bought a house in joint names, but it was my £25,000 savings (mainly from pre-relationship) that paid the fees and deposit. I also then paid this much bigger mortgage. After 4 months baby went to nursery which I paid for, but he struggled to get work and used my savings to live off (well go to the pub everyday!) he got a job 2 months later, but still didn't contribute to the bills. he then left 11 months ago and hasn't paid a penny since towards the mortgage or his daughter. He has a job and pays his rent, has a new girlfriend and has been on holiday quite a few times (so obviously has money)If I was to divorce him (which he expects me to pay for) would the court make me give him half of everything? at the moment he says he doesn't want anything, but who knows!

Our Response:
It is highly likely that if you are now the primary carer of your daughter and paid out of your own money for the deposit, then this would be taken into consideration (should your ex change his mind about wanting part of the property and the matter went to court). Therefore, it is likely the house would be signed over to you at least until your child is 18. The court will always put the best interests of your child first in cases such as this and your child having a roof over her head until she is 18, is considered the most important issue. However, regardless of whether your ex paid towards the mortgage/bills or not when you were together, your marital pot is still considered joint. If your ex was to contest your current agreement a court would assess your estate by beginning at a 50/50 share and then working backwards taking into consideration how long you had been married before separation, whether the deposit was paid jointly, who is the primary carer of your child and how long you have been paying the mortgage since separation. Therefore, you may wish to seek legal advice to explore your best options. If your ex has a new job and is earning, he is also legally responsible for paying child maintenance, so you may wish to look into this.
DivorceResource - 1-Mar-17 @ 10:47 AM
When we first met I owned a flat which he moved into, he never paid towards the bills even once he got a job. Altho probably paid more when we went out socialising. We married 14 months later then had a child - still no contribution to the bills even once baby came along. After my 9 months maternity (where I still paid all the bills) he gave up work to look after baby (only had a agency labouring job which wasn't permanant)and I gave money each week (as much as I can afford) 8 months later we bought a house in joint names, but it was my £25,000 savings (mainly from pre-relationship) that paid the fees and deposit. I also then paid this much bigger mortgage. After 4 months baby went to nursery which I paid for, but he struggled to get work and used my savings to live off (well go to the pub everyday!) he got a job 2 months later, but still didn't contribute to the bills. he then left 11 months ago and hasn't paid a penny since towards the mortgage or his daughter.He has a job and pays his rent, has a new girlfriend and has been on holiday quite a few times (so obviously has money) If I was to divorce him (which he expects me to pay for) would the court make me give him half of everything? at the moment he says he doesn't want anything, but who knows!
sarahjane - 28-Feb-17 @ 9:19 AM
I've a question as to what happens when the mortgage is only in one name. In my case it is in my own name, the house was purchased during the marriage but as my wife had serious financial problems the bank wouldn't let her be on the mortgage. She has never paid towards the mortgage. Our youngest child is 16. My wife has a lot of debts again and claims she can't afford to move out, so I'm looking at maybe moving out myself, paying the mortgage every month and saving up enough to buy out her equity, but does moving out give her more rights to the house and would she still be entitled to half the profit?
John Doe - 26-Feb-17 @ 2:30 PM
Hi My husband and I have decided to separate with a view to divorce soon. He wants 1/3rd if the equity on the house. I owned the house for 4.5 yrs before he moved in and I added him to my mortgage. We have a 21yr old son. He has a pension and shares and doesn't want me to stake a claim ... I'd be happy to leave them but is it legal to pay out a spouse whilst still legally married?? We are amicable at the moment so hopefully it'll stay that way. I pay him out. He doesn't Support me when he goes. He has the bigger income.
Clavs - 25-Feb-17 @ 3:36 PM
Can anyone give me some advice please.My wife of 10 years has decided to leave me.We have 2 children aged 5&2. It has been quite amicable so far.I am going to pay my wife £22500 to buy her out of the martial home and pay £400 a month maintance and have a share of the children.However, before we met. I purchased a house for my mother to live in and currently pay £260 on an interst only mortgage. My mother does not pay me any rent.My mother also has a right to live in the house until death to protect her future.Could my wife stake a claim to this property or is it a non marital asset?
Daddycool - 23-Feb-17 @ 9:10 PM
Im sorry this is a long story...I started divorce proceedings with ex in 2002. We had bought a house 12 months previous but owned a flat for 2 yrs before that. We had 2 children.He dragged his feet and made it constantly hard work and the divorce took 2 years. By which time I had met someone eles who I wanted to marry..basically in order to get on with the divorce and let me keep the home for the children he insisted on us giving him £15,000. My soliciter continued to say this was an unfair amount and that at tops he was entitled to £8,000. He gave me no choice as I wanted to move on with my life...so we got a new mortgage together and paid my ex the 15,000. Three years after this my ex sister-inlaw nformed me that the ex who saw the children regularly was not safe to be around them. She informed us that he had abused her as a child and was on a sex offenders register. We then contacted social services who looked into it and said it was the case...my now new husband applied to adopt the children and the court agreed it was in the interest to agree to this and have no futher contact with their biological father. I continue to feel cheated out of money by my ex and would like to know if there is any way I can claim any of it back, as had I have had any knowledge of his past I certainly would not have gott involved with him, let alone have let him bully us into giving him a large payout. Sorry for long post.
Lulu - 22-Feb-17 @ 6:07 PM
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