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Buying Your Ex Out of the Family Home

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 16 Nov 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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Discombobulated - Your Question:
My daughter is divorcing. She, with some help from me, has contributed three quarters towards the deposit on the house and has paid virtually all the repayments herself. Her husband was unfaithful to her both before and after the wedding, which she did not find out until too late. It is his fault. She is now living in the house alone and making all the payments with some help from me. I rent and would be willing to try to buy him out of the mortgage with my savings and go to live with her. I have a few years left when I would hope to be working. If we both worked aggressively to pay back as much of the mortgage as we could over the next couple of years, I would have a small pension after I retire where I could help her with costs. He is expecting 50/50 of the equity on the house, which has increased in value, but this is so unfair that she cannot stomach it. He has been totally intimidating to her over the whole business. Is this a feasible option or is she just better to sell up - I want to do what is best for her.

Our Response:
You don't say how long the marriage has been. But 50/50 on the equity of the house isn't unreasonable if the house has gone up in value since they have both owned it. You would really need to seek legal advice here, to see if your daughter has any options. It's difficult to advise on little information regarding figures and other circumstances which may make a difference i.e whether there are any children involved. However, who the fault of the divorce lies with would not be considered as financially punishable through a court.
DivorceResource - 17-Nov-17 @ 3:27 PM
My daughter is divorcing.She, with some help from me, has contributed three quarters towards the deposit on the house and has paid virtually all the repayments herself.Her husband was unfaithful to her both before and after the wedding, which she did not find out until too late.It is his fault.She is now living in the house alone and making all the payments with some help from me.I rent and would be willing to try to buy him out of the mortgage with my savings and go to live with her.I have a few years left when I would hope to be working.If we both worked aggressively to pay back as much of the mortgage as we could over the next couple of years, I would have a small pension after I retire where I could help her with costs.He is expecting 50/50 of the equity on the house, which has increased in value, but this is so unfair that she cannot stomach it.He has been totally intimidating to her over the whole business.Is this a feasible option or is she just better to sell up - I want to do what is best for her.
Discombobulated - 16-Nov-17 @ 8:58 PM
@Froggy - If the house has been valued at £370K, if you can, you would have to work out between you what each of your share is. After you have calculated this, you'll need to calculate whether you can find enough money to repay your share of the existing joint mortgage, plus the difference left from the equity your ex is entitled to take from the house. You would then have to calculate whether you are likely to get a mortgage for this total amount.
Dan71 - 16-Nov-17 @ 1:49 PM
Soon to divorce with full and final settlement there's still the matter of the marital home. I want to buy my ex out. How do we calculate how much this would cost? The house is worth 370k, the mortgage currently 145k. Any advice would be most welcome.
Froggy - 15-Nov-17 @ 8:35 PM
Wallybazoom - Your Question:
My son and his wife have separated and will be divorcing. My son was in the process of buying his wife out of the family home. The bank has agreed terms and his fixed rate ends in march next year so wont be beneficial to remortgage another fixed rate now as there will be £1600 penalties. Everything has been more or less agreed between them and is amicable. However, as their joint mortgage was with a 'Help to buy' scheme he has now been told that it cant be changed to him soley and they must sell. This is very upsetting for him as it could take ages to sell and in the meantime his wife has the luxury of living there and hes payning half the mortgage and is living with us which isnt fair as he hasnt done anything wrong!! They have a 7 year old child but share the custody between them. Its such an upheaval if neither of them can keep the family home. What does it matter who takes over the mortgage if they are in a position to fullfill the mortgage payments (which my son is)? Selling the property will give them no equity to start afresh.Can anyone shed any light on this or any ideas of solutions?

Our Response:
Much depends on the terms of their contract and what they agreed to when signing the agreement. However, in general cases and according to gov.uk, it says when couples separate: 'The post sales help to buy agent will be able to arrange for a ‘Deed of Release’ which will release your partner from the obligation of having to repay the equity loan. Assuming that your first charge mortgage lender is content for this to take place and that you are able to provide evidence that you can meet your housing costs and still have a reasonable standard of living, permission should be a formality', please see link here.
DivorceResource - 14-Nov-17 @ 3:13 PM
My son and his wife have separated and will be divorcing.My son was in the process of buying his wife out of the family home. The bank has agreed terms and his fixed rate ends in march next year so wont be beneficial to remortgage another fixed rate now as there will be £1600 penalties. Everything has been more or less agreed between them and is amicable.However, as their joint mortgage was with a 'Help to buy' scheme he has now been told that it cant be changed to him soley and they must sell.This is very upsetting for him as it could take ages to sell and in the meantime his wife has the luxury of living there and hes payning half the mortgage and is living with us which isnt fair as he hasnt done anything wrong!! They have a 7 year old child but share the custody between them.Its such an upheaval if neither of them can keep the family home.What does it matter who takes over the mortgage if they are in a position to fullfill the mortgage payments (which my son is)? Selling the property will give them no equity to start afresh. Can anyone shed any light on this or any ideas of solutions?
Wallybazoom - 14-Nov-17 @ 12:12 PM
I wonder if you could advise please? After mediation and an uncontested divorce the Solicitors (mine and my ex partner's) are at work on the Consent Order. She is remortgaging and we have agreed an equal split of the equity. After having spoken to her Solicitors they advise including a 2.5% sales tax amount meaning my pot would decrease by some £2,000. Mine advises that this isn't realistic as she is not selling but remortgaging, and in any case 2.5% would be excessive. I thought all was agreed. Now things have gone backwards. Is this normal practice in a remortgage situation?
5imon - 14-Nov-17 @ 11:55 AM
My son and his wife have separated and will be divorcing.My son was in the process of buying his wife out of the family home. The bank has agreed terms and his fixed rate ends in march next year so wont be beneficial to remortgage another fixed rate now as there will be £1600 penalties. Everything has been more or less agreed between them and is amicable.However, as their joint mortgage was with a 'Help to buy' scheme he has now been told that it cant be changed to him soley and they must sell.This is very upsetting for him as it could take ages to sell and in the meantime his wife has the luxury of living there and hes payning half the mortgage and is living with us which isnt fair as he hasnt done anything wrong!! They have a 7 year old child but share the custody between them.Its such an upheaval if neither of them can keep the family home.What does it matter who takes over the mortgage if they are in a position to fullfill the mortgage payments (which my son is)? Selling the property will give them no equity to start afresh. Can anyone shed any light on this or any ideas of solutions?
Wallybazoom - 14-Nov-17 @ 11:14 AM
peemwit - Your Question:
Advice needed. I left my husband 6 years ago with our 2 children because although we had agreed our relationship was over, he wouldn't leave our marital home and allow us to live in peace Instead he was threatening and abusive in seeking to make me leave and he intended that I would also leave the children with him. The house is jointly owned and the mortgage paid off. I initially rented, but this was hugely expensive so I used some inheritence money as a deposit and bought my own house with an interest only mortgage. The only money he has paid is the amount set by the child support agency, which is paltry. My eldest child is now approaching 18 and will hopefully be going to university so he will no longer have any need for such a large house. I would like to recoup my share of the value of the house so that I can pay off some or all of my mortgage. I have heard that it may also be possible to claim for 'occupation rent' but other advice sites seem to think it is rarely possible. Do you think I could claim something for the past 6 years of being deprived of any value from that house? I also need to get the divorce sorted out as well. My husband has in the past refused to negotiate or discuss the house or to attend mediation. How should I best approach this?also claim for. I would now at such a huge cost and because all the court issues over the children were taking so long and were so costly,

Our Response:
You couldn't claim for being deprived of the value of the house. But you should be entitled to something if the house was the marital home. You would really need to seek legal advice here in order to explore your options fully. If your ex doesn't agree with splitting the house, mediation, divorce arbitration and or court are the only options.
DivorceResource - 10-Nov-17 @ 2:55 PM
@Kirstylou2208 - he can try but he wouldn't get very far! He would have needed somewhere to live so you could just look at it as though he was paying rent. The court would look at it this way too. I think you're being pretty generous reimbursing him for the money he spent on the property when this could just come under the increase in value and equity. He's being cheeky. I personally wouldn't oblige. Maybe if he's spent a bit of money on refurbishing it then OK, but not payments towards the mortgage.
MarkG - 10-Nov-17 @ 2:51 PM
hello, My partner and I have recently split up. I am trying to buy him out of the property and have agreed to pay him his deposit back and the cost of anything the bought in the property. He is now asking I repay his mortgage contributions since we bought the property. Is this something he can legally claim back?
Kirstylou2208 - 10-Nov-17 @ 11:40 AM
@Fedupofwaiting - the money can only be released if your partner's ex buys him out, as she would then have to take on a new mortage to cover the amount of equity that's come out of the house.
GelNN - 10-Nov-17 @ 9:56 AM
Advice needed.I left my husband 6 years ago with our 2 children because although we had agreed our relationship was over, he wouldn't leave our marital home and allow us to live in peaceInstead he was threatening and abusive in seeking to make me leave and he intended that I would also leave the children with him.The house is jointly owned and the mortgage paid off.I initially rented, but this was hugely expensive so I used some inheritence money as a deposit and bought my own house with an interest only mortgage.The only money he has paid is the amount set by the child support agency, which is paltry.My eldest child is now approaching 18 and will hopefully be going to university so he will no longer have any need for such a large house.I would like to recoup my share of the value of the house so that I can pay off some or all of my mortgage. I have heard that it may also be possible to claim for 'occupation rent' but other advice sites seem to think it is rarely possible.Do you think I could claim something for the past 6 years of being deprived of any value from that house? I also need to get the divorce sorted out as well.My husband has in the past refused to negotiate or discuss the house or to attend mediation.How should I best approach this? also claim for.I would now at such a huge cost and because all the court issues over the children were taking so long and were so costly,
peemwit - 9-Nov-17 @ 11:46 PM
Josie - Your Question:
My partner and I sold our jointly owned property when we split 3 months ago. We agreed finances and the money was amicably split, trust deed in place for deposit and we split equity 50:50. During our time in the house together we both put in £3000 to have new carpets, boiler updated, garage doors changed, painted most of the property as well as buying items for the arrival of our twins. Prior to the split we jointly agreed an amount which he pays me for child maintenance and he usually pays this each month, though often with reductions for things he says he has spent on the children. He is now saying that when we jointly put funds into the property during our time together, that he put an extra £3500 which he claims was given to him as a gift and as such he says he should now be repaid at least half. I have no recollection of this extra £3500 going into the property or any paperwork showing this. He says that he will deduct some money each month from the child maintence until amount repaid. Can he legally ask me to repay this amount?

Our Response:
No, he cannot request you pay back this extra money unless you agree. You may wish to request he takes you to the small claims court if he wishes to attempt to extract money that you don't believe exists. In which case he would have to demonstrate proof of this 'gift' in order to have a possible case. If you have a family-based child maintenance arrangement, then payments are discussed and arranged between you. However, child maintenance should be allocated for your children's day-to-day needs. If you wish to take a more 'official' route where they money is a set amount and you do not have to be party to push-pull negotiations, you may wish to apply via CMS, please see link here .
DivorceResource - 9-Nov-17 @ 2:27 PM
Loopy lewis - Your Question:
I've been separated from my ex for 14 months now. I will apply for a divorce on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour.We have a joint mortgage. She wanted me out of the house ,so I had to find rental accommodation. I cannot afford to pay half of the mortgage payments because I have to pay rent where I'm living.We have a 15 yr daughter.Do I have to pay back my share of mortgage payments.Plus can she buy me out or sell up on a 50 % share. What happens if she says no ?

Our Response:
Your obligation when buying a house and signing a mortgage agreement is to the mortgage company, not your wife. Much depends upon whether your wife can afford to buy you out. This is always the easiest solution if the other partner can. But, often it is the case where the other partner may not earn enough for the mortgage company to allow the transfer to take place.  If your ex cannot afford to buy you out, then either you continue to pay and then once your daughter has finished full-time education agree to sell the house and split the equity 50/50. Or, you let the payments slip and face the option of the house being repossessed. However, the court can intervene here and request that you continue paying until your child is 18. Alternatively, you could speak to your mortgage company and try to come to an arrangement. There are too many variables to be able to give you accurate advice, so you may wish to seek legal advice in order to explore your options.
DivorceResource - 9-Nov-17 @ 2:18 PM
My partner wants his ex to pay him part of his share of equity in their house. The mortgage is paid. She lives there with their 2 children. He has his children 50% of the time and extra when she requests it. He needs capital to equal mine so we can set up home together. She does not want to move. She says she has no money to pay him. Can she sign release of capital and both remain on the deeds? Can this be done as a life time mortgage so it's paid if house is sold etc?
Fedupofwaiting - 9-Nov-17 @ 9:13 AM
I've been separated from my ex for 14 months now. I will apply for a divorce on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour. We have a joint mortgage. She wanted me out of the house ,so I had to find rental accommodation. I cannot afford to pay half of the mortgage payments because I have to pay rent where I'm living. We have a 15 yr daughter. Do I have to pay back my share of mortgage payments. Plus can she buy me out or sell up on a 50 % share. What happens if she says no ?
Loopy lewis - 8-Nov-17 @ 8:47 PM
My partner and I sold our jointly owned property when we split 3 months ago. We agreed finances and the money was amicably split, trust deed in place for deposit and we split equity 50:50. During our time in the house together we both put in £3000 to have new carpets, boiler updated, garage doors changed, painted most of the property as well as buying items for the arrival of our twins. Prior to the split we jointly agreed an amount which he pays me for child maintenance and he usually pays this each month, though often with reductions for things he says he has spent on the children. He is now saying that when we jointly put funds into the property during our time together, that he put an extra £3500 which he claims was given to him as a gift and as such he says he should now be repaid at least half. I have no recollection of this extra £3500 going into the property or any paperwork showing this. He says that he will deduct some money each month from the child maintence until amount repaid. Can he legally ask me to repay this amount?
Josie - 7-Nov-17 @ 9:04 PM
After a turbulent relationship my partner decided he was going to commit and be a grown up. He sold his house. We bought one together with his money. My name went on the deeds as security as he had repeatedly thrown me out of his old house. I gave up my local authority house. On the deeds I only own a very small percentage. It seems when signing I commented that I wanted it in writing if things went wrong I'd nee a month to find some where. This went in writing on the documents we signed the day of the deeds. After ten months he is now saying I have a month to get out. I know if on deeds he can't put me out although he will make life hell. I'm worried about this month thing I signed. I'm hoping that me on the deeds rules out anything else. Thanks
Butterfly - 1-Nov-17 @ 9:13 AM
caroline - Your Question:
I am in the process of buying my partner out of a property, however, they currently live in the property and its now in a terrible condition, I am happy to still pay half of the equity over and take over the mortgage. How can I go about making sure no other damage is done to the property before its all exchanged? Can I have pictures and an inventory done on the property?

Our Response:
It's a tricky question, as there is not much you can do, unless your ex allows you into the property to take photos and an inventory and agrees to passing on the house in the condition it is currently in. You may wish to make this part of the agreement. However, you would need a solicitor to advise on whether this can be drawn up as a condition of sale.
DivorceResource - 31-Oct-17 @ 11:50 AM
Hi, Me and my partner have split and I am starting the process of buying them out. We have only had the home for just under 5 years and we used the help to buy government scheme (20% contribution), how would we go about this? If i buy her out will i have to take over the total loan entirely?
dhelp - 30-Oct-17 @ 10:21 AM
I am in the process of buying my partner out of a property, however, they currently live in the property and its now in a terrible condition, i am happy to still pay half of the equity over and take over the mortgage. How can i go about making sure no other damage is done to the property before its all exchanged? Can i have pictures and an inventory done on the property?
caroline - 30-Oct-17 @ 10:03 AM
Confused- Your Question:
I’ve been married for 18 years we have 8.5 years left on a repayment mortgage. I’ve recenetly woken up to the fact that my husband is emotionally abusive and controlling. I’ve contacted woman’s aid but my situation is complicated. Firstly we have a 16 year old daughter and she’s my absolute priority going through exams right now I don’t want to disrupt her more than necessary also I don’t want to have her live with him, I couldn’t bear it. Although they idolise each other so would be happy to share custody. But we are in massive debt which I’ve also now come to realise is based on extreme financial abuse which he has put mostly credit card debt and loans in my name. We owe about £94k left on the mortgage but have unsecured debts jointly of around £76k! Not had house valued but according to zoopla it’s probably worth about £290k. However before we were married I invested £10k for the deposit and had a legal agreement drawn up if we split and sold house I’d get that share back. My parents have also loaned us about £40k which he never paid back and has now got us in a worse situation again. Would I be entitled to more of the property equity given the abuse and the other financial circumstances? Over the years he’s also spent loads of money we don’t have on himself and expensive hobbies while I’ve gone without. He also draws down moeny from our mortgage to pay for things like his self employed tax bills and doesn’t tell me until he’s done it as it’s too late! He doesn’t know I’m planning anything at the moment I’ve just had this massive wake up call and am trying to get my head straight and know my rights where possible but I’m feeling overwhelmed with it all. I don’t want to be saddled with this debt he’s put in my name but I also don’t want to lose out and want to be able to provide the best Home for my daughter and most important of all keep her with me. Any advice please? Thank you.

Our Response:
In this case it would be advisable to seek legal advice. If you are married, then all money and/or debts are viewed as being part of the joint marital pot. You would have to seek guidance from a debt adviser with regards to your husband taking out loans in your name etc, to see if there is any recourse (dependent upon whether you have signed for these loans etc). With regards to the money your parents and your own money put into the property, you may be able to claim this from the estate. However, if you have to do this through courts it will cost in fees and legal representation. So where any mutual agreement can be reached, this is for the best. National Debtline may be able to help in the first instance, please see link here .
DivorceResource - 24-Oct-17 @ 12:01 PM
I’ve been married for 18 years we have 8.5 years left on a repayment mortgage. I’ve recenetly woken up to the fact that my husband is emotionally abusive and controlling. I’ve contacted woman’s aid but my situation is complicated. Firstly we have a 16 year old daughter and she’s my absolute priority going through exams right now I don’t want to disrupt her more than necessary also I don’t want to have her live with him, I couldn’t bear it. Although they idolise each other so would be happy to share custody. But we are in massive debt which I’ve also now come to realise is based on extreme financial abuse which he has put mostly credit card debt and loansin my name. We owe about £94k left on the mortgage but have unsecured debts jointly of around £76k! Not had house valued but according to zoopla it’s probably worth about £290k. However before we were married I invested £10k for the deposit and had a legal agreement drawn up if we split and sold house I’d get that share back. My parents have also loaned us about £40k which he never paid back and has now got us in a worse situation again. Would I be entitled to more of the property equity given the abuse and the other financial circumstances? Over the years he’s also spent loads of money we don’t have on himself and expensive hobbies while I’ve gone without. He also draws down moeny from our mortgage to pay for things like his self employed tax bills and doesn’t tell me until he’s done it as it’s too late!He doesn’t know I’m planning anything at the moment I’ve just had this massive wake up call and am trying to get my head straight and know my rights where possible but I’m feeling overwhelmed with it all.I don’t want to be saddled with this debt he’s put in my name but I also don’t want to lose out and want to be able to provide the best Home for my daughter and most important of all keep her with me. Any advice please? Thank you.
Confused - 23-Oct-17 @ 7:08 PM
My wife recently moved out of the family home. We have a joint mortgage - she has never contributed to this. I accept that in future divorce proceedings she will be entitled to 50% of the equity of the house - this property will only be sold when the interest only mortgage runs out in 10 years. She has agreed to not sell the house which currently houses myself and two grown up children. My question is: if she doesn't not contribute to the mortgage repayments in her absence will she be entitled to 50% of the equity in the future or will there be a calculation which will allow her only 50% of equity according to the value of the property at the time of her departure. Also, by law should I notify the mortgage company to inform them of her departure and request that I become the sole mortgage holder and would this mean an increase in my mortgage payments on the new mortgage?
Albie - 18-Oct-17 @ 12:41 AM
Pinkslippers70- Your Question:
Hello my ex and I sold the FMH and split the equity 50/50 and I have since purchased my new home. I am in the process of doing the divorce but re the financial consent form I wish to know there is no possiblity that he can make a claim on my new home.

Our Response:
It is highly unlikely if the split was agreed and you have not used money which may be part of the marital estate that has not been divided evenly. Only if there was money used that could be construed as part of the marital estate and has been used unbeknown to your ex, could there be any repercussions.
DivorceResource - 16-Oct-17 @ 2:18 PM
Hello my ex and I sold the FMH and split the equity 50/50 and I have since purchased my new home. I am in the process of doing the divorce but re the financial consent form I wish to know there is no possiblity that he can make a claim on my new home.
Pinkslippers70 - 15-Oct-17 @ 5:18 PM
Bailey - Your Question:
Going through divorce at the moment from my partner (together 14 years and married 3 years) based on equity of the house being split 50:50 I made him a buy-out offer. But his response has been that he wants £7k more based on the extra he put in on the first property (never legally recorded) we bought 10 years ago and for me to pay he moving and stamp duty on his next property. We have no children and have always paid bills evenly, I believe he is doing this to make it hard for me to buy our marital home. in this situation can someone claim for such things when it should clearly just be a clean 50:50 split.

Our Response:
Unfortunately, unless you can both agree, then you end up in a stalemate position where the situation becomes unresolved, or takes its time to become resolved and/or ends up going through divorce arbitration or court (which costs). Mediation may be an option for you to consider, but if still neither of you can agree, court is the only other option left. It is actually often not about what is seen as fair, people view the term 'fair' and '50-50' in different ways.
DivorceResource - 12-Oct-17 @ 10:39 AM
Going through divorce at the moment from my partner (together 14 years and married 3 years) based on equity of the house being split 50:50 I made him a buy-out offer. But his response has been that he wants £7k more based on the extra he put in on the first property (never legally recorded) we bought 10 years ago and for me to pay he moving and stamp duty on his next property. We have no children and have always paid bills evenly, I believe he is doing this to make it hard for me to buy our marital home... in this situation can someone claim for such things when it should clearly just be a clean 50:50 split.
Bailey - 11-Oct-17 @ 9:24 AM
HW - Your Question:
Hi. My parents have been separated for over 13 years but not divorced. The relationship breakdown was due to my mother developing mental health issues (unfortunately undiagnosed due to denial) after giving birth to my much younger sister (now 14 years old). My father lived in the family home and then in an annex on the property for many years but eventually moved out due to the abusive treatment. My mother and sister remain in the family home but she cannot afford the large repayments and has let the house become so run down (no flooring downstairs, broken boiler so no heating etc.) that this would de-value the property significantly. My father wishes to make the repairs and put the house on the market so they can sell and go their separate ways but she refuses to sell or to let him in the house to make any repairs. She has a very small income and has been using inheritance funds to pay the mortgage which we fear will run out very shortly prompting re-possession by the lender. I have suggested to my father that divorce may be the only way to force the sale, but I'm not sure if there is any way of ensuring the repairs are made first so the valuation isn't decreased? My only other thought it that he initiates divorce proceedings and my partner and I may be able to step in and buy the property along with his equity and my mother can take her share? I don't know if that's an option but I'd greatly appreciate any input or advice.

Our Response:
If your mother refuses to leave the property and/or refuses to discuss the matter and come to a resolution, then only way this can be concluded would be for your father to take the matter to court. However, as your sister is still under the age of 18, then she will be given priority. As a rule, a court will not move to force her to sell until your sister has completed her full-time education. Only if a repossession is imminent may the court order her to sell. However, it is unlikely the court would make an order allowing your father to undertake repairs, if your mother objects. Your father would really have to seek legal advice and keep in mind that taking the matter to court will cost. He may wish to ask your mother to attend mediation as a way of trying to resolve the issue out of court.
DivorceResource - 3-Oct-17 @ 12:37 PM
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