Home > Property > Buying Your Ex Out of the Family Home

Buying Your Ex Out of the Family Home

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 26 Apr 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.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Hi - Your Question:
Hello. I purchased property with my ex partner with a 50/50deposit. We separated shortly afterwards. I have moved out of the property and waiting patiently for my name to be removed off the property. Am I elligable for my deposit payment back once the mortgage resorted

Our Response:
Much depends on what you have agreed with your ex. If your ex is buying you out, it rests on what price was agreed as to whether you will have your deposit refunded, or any equity that may have accrued since you purchased the house.
DivorceResource - 24-Apr-18 @ 3:39 PM
John - Your Question:
My wife and I purchased our house six years ago in June. We have been married for three years in July. Our daughter is two. I put 70% of the downpayment down and her 30%. I have paid at least double towards the house over the last two years. She makes about £900 less after tax a month than I do. How will the division of assets work?

Our Response:
If you are married and have a child and your wife is essentially the primary carer of your child, then the division would be made fairly and towards what is in the best interests of your child. The court will not look at the amount you personally have put into the house. If you are the earner, and for instance your wife the predominant primary-carer of your child, then it stands to reason she cannot contribute as much and so will not be financially penalised.
DivorceResource - 24-Apr-18 @ 1:01 PM
Faye - Your Question:
Hi my husband and I are separating we are selling house and I am going to have to rent as I cannot afford a mortgage alone. I have 2 children who will be living with me does the equity of house get split 50/50 or can I go for 60/40 as I have the children Thanks

Our Response:
You would have to discuss this with your ex directly, as there is no right or wrong here. Some agree to 50/50, some 60/40 for the primary carer. If you cannot agree between yourselves, mediation should be considered.
DivorceResource - 24-Apr-18 @ 10:21 AM
Hello. I purchased property with my ex partner with a 50/50deposit. We separated shortly afterwards. I have moved out of the property and waiting patiently for my name to be removedoff the property. Am I elligable for my deposit payment back once the mortgage resorted
Hi - 24-Apr-18 @ 8:36 AM
My wife and I purchased our house six years ago in June. We have been married for three years in July. Our daughter is two. I put 70% of the downpayment down and her 30%. I have paid atleast double towards the house over the last two years. She makes about £900 less after tax a month than I do. How will the division of assets work?
John - 23-Apr-18 @ 10:50 PM
Hi my husband and I are separating we are selling house and I am going to have to rent as I cannot afford a mortgage alone. I have 2 children who will be living with me does the equity of house get split 50/50 or can I go for 60/40 as I have the children Thanks
Faye - 23-Apr-18 @ 12:30 PM
Sally - Your Question:
Hi my morgage is paid of my husband is not on the deeds or land registry is he entitled to half of my house even though I’ve paid the morgage for fifteen years

Our Response:
Much depends upon the length of the marriage, whether the house was bought by you prior to the marriage and whether you have children or not. The information you have given regarding your circumstances is too sparse to give an accurate answer. You may wish to seek legal advice.
DivorceResource - 20-Apr-18 @ 2:32 PM
Dee - Your Question:
My ex and I split up in 2014 he moved out and stopped paying towards the mortgage quite a while ago it’s a joint mortgage. I remained in the property and have kept up the mortgage payments. I’ve tried to get a remortgage in my name but I’ve been getting declined even though have a good salary etc. Problem is there is no equity in flat and in fact it’s likely to be in negative equity. I can’t afford to buy him out either. I’ve since gone through a bad breakup with a new partner and not been well ran up debts personal debts and now I’m in a Scottish trust deed. This definitely means I can’t get a remortgage. Problem is my ex who I still have a mortgage with jointly wants to get his name off the mortgage. NRAM won’t allow this as they would rather have two people on mortgage than just me even though I’m making the payments and never missed one in the ten years since having the mortgage. They also don’t know about the deed. I feel completely trapped and don’t know if there is anything I can do at all. NRAM have said I can only swap someone else onto the mortgage but I don’t want to do that as that’s just leaving me in same boat. Besides the person has to live her with me and has to have good credit and of a certain age too. Please offer any guidance at all that I can do to make some sort of movement on this. Feel like I’m going out my mind

Our Response:
There are no other options if you cannot afford to buy your ex out of the property. It is understandable that your ex may also wish to have his name taken off the mortage as it is presumably stopping him moving on with his life. Your only remaining option is to sell or continue the arrangement you currently have (unless your ex wishes to try to force the sale). If the matter goes to court, it will bump the expense/costs up even further.
DivorceResource - 20-Apr-18 @ 12:44 PM
GPM - Your Question:
I split from my ex 3 years ago and at the time we owned two properties. She now lives in the three bedroom house with our two children (nine and four) and I live in the two bedroom flat with my new partner and baby. We are both named on both mortgages and I am now looking to sell the flat as it's too small for the three of us who live there plus two visiting children twice a week. I need to remove myself from her mortgage as I cannot borrow enough to get a new mortgage once the flat is sold. There is around £50k equity in her house that I want nothing to do with as it's the childrens' home and I don't want her to have to sell. I have told her this. There is around £15k equity in the flat which she wants nothing to do with and that deposit would hopefully buy me a new property that will be large enough for the three kids and two adults. It is worth pointing out at this point that we both pay our own mortgage and have done for three years without missing a payment both of which are around £650 pcm and I pay her child maintenance for both children. My question lies around the issue of her getting a mortgage on the house where she lives and the outcome surrounding the possibility that she might not get one. I don't want her to sell but while I'm liable for half the mortgage on her property, my borrowing power is greatly reduced.- Can I be removed of financial liability or gain from the property to allow further borrowing?- Will we have to sell if she cannot get a mortgage alone? What about the children?- If I need to sell to move on, does my responsibility lie with making sure she has a home or the children? At the end of the day, the children have a home with me if needed? But I'd rather not go down that route, obviously.Thanks for your time.

Our Response:
In a situation such as this mediation is the best way forward in order to see if a solution can be reached. You can only be removed from the mortgage on your previous home if your ex can afford to buy you out or your mortgage lender will allow her to take on the full mortgage and thereby release the equity to you. If you both cannot agree between you, then your only other option would be to apply to court to force the sale. However, because you have two children living in the house, the court may refuse to force your ex to sell, as the court will put the needs of your children first when making any decision. It is unlikely the court would rule to move the children from your ex to you without good reason - so there isn't much point in pursuing this. Therefore, I can only suggest that you and your ex attempt to come to a resolution via mediation.
DivorceResource - 19-Apr-18 @ 2:53 PM
My ex and I split up in 2014 he moved out and stopped paying towards the mortgage quite a while ago it’s a joint mortgage. I remained in the property and have kept up the mortgage payments. I’ve tried to get a remortgage in my name but I’ve been getting declined even though have a good salary etc. Problem is there is no equity in flat and in fact it’s likely to be in negative equity. I can’t afford to buy him out either. I’ve since gone through a bad breakup with a new partner and not been well ran up debts personal debts and now I’m in a Scottish trust deed. This definitely means I can’t get a remortgage. Problem is my ex who I still have a mortgage with jointly wants to get his name off the mortgage. NRAM won’t allow this as they would rather have two people on mortgage than just me even though I’m making the payments and never missed one in the ten years since having the mortgage. They also don’t know about the deed. I feel completely trapped and don’t know if there is anything I can do at all. NRAM have said I can only swap someone else onto the mortgage but I don’t want to do that as that’s just leaving me in same boat. Besides the person has to live her with me and has to have good credit and of a certain age too. Please offer any guidance at all that I can do to make some sort of movement on this. Feel like I’m going out my mind
Dee - 17-Apr-18 @ 10:42 PM
Torbs - Your Question:
My wife and I be be getting divorce , we are mortgage free and my name is on the deeds.I am keen to sell but I am happy for her to stay. How can she buy me out?

Our Response:
She can buy you out by remortgaging for your part of the equity. If she cannot afford to remortgage or buy you out with savings, then you would have to sell in order to release your half of the equity. However, if you have children and your wife is the primary carer, then she can apply to court to stay in the home with your kids until they leave full-time education.
DivorceResource - 17-Apr-18 @ 3:14 PM
I split from my ex 3 years ago and at the time we owned two properties. She now lives in the three bedroom house with our two children (nine and four) and I live in the two bedroom flat with my new partner and baby. We are both named on both mortgages and I am now looking to sell the flat as it's too small for the three of us who live there plus two visiting children twice a week. I need to remove myself from her mortgage as I cannot borrow enough to get a new mortgage once the flat is sold. There is around £50k equity in her house that I want nothing to do with as it's the childrens' home and I don't want her to have to sell. I have told her this. There is around £15k equity in the flat which she wants nothing to do with and that deposit would hopefully buy me a new property that will be large enough for the three kids and two adults. It is worth pointing out at this point that we both pay our own mortgage and have done for three years without missing a payment both of which are around £650 pcm and I pay her child maintenance for both children. My question lies around the issue of her getting a mortgage on the house where she lives and the outcome surrounding the possibility that she might not get one. I don't want her to sell but while I'm liable for half the mortgage on her property, my borrowing power is greatly reduced. - Can I be removed of financial liability or gain from the property to allow further borrowing? - Will we have to sell if she cannot get a mortgage alone? What about the children? - If I need to sell to move on, does my responsibility lie with making sure she has a home or the children? At the end of the day, the children have a home with me if needed? But I'd rather not go down that route, obviously. Thanks for your time.
GPM - 17-Apr-18 @ 2:47 PM
My wife and I be be getting divorce , we are mortgage free and my name is on the deeds ... I am keen to sell but I am happy for her to stay . How can she buy me out?
Torbs - 17-Apr-18 @ 5:24 AM
Sally - Your Question:
Hi my house is paid for my husband is not on the deeds or land registry as he got any rights to my house he’s left the property thanks

Our Response:
Being married automatically means the property is considered a joint asset. How much of a joint asset depends upon how long you have been married and whether he has contributed financially to the house. If you have had a long marriage, then your husband would understandably have more of a claim on it than if the marriage was short-lived. You would have to seek legal advice if you wish to know for sure.
DivorceResource - 12-Apr-18 @ 3:08 PM
Hi my morgage is paid of my husband is not on the deeds or land registry is he entitled to half of my house even though I’ve paid the morgage for fifteen years
Sally - 11-Apr-18 @ 8:32 PM
Hi my house is paid for my husband is not on the deeds or land registry as he got any rights to my house he’s left the property thanks
Sally - 11-Apr-18 @ 8:24 PM
Cal - Your Question:
The court awarded my ex 50% of my equity tennant in common and costs as he won the case. I have spent £14,000 on repairs and improvements and £14,200 on capital payments post separation. The property extension he left undone is still undone and without a certificate. Our potential shares are around £46,000 each. I want to keep my property so will be trying to buy him out but he is being very awkward. I was thinking I'm able to apply for compensation that being the full £14,200 capital payments and half the £14,000 so £21,200 from his £46,000 ?

Our Response:
Any variation request to the original order would need to be referred back to court to decided by the court. If your ex is being awkward and trying to stall you buying him out, then you may have a case to reduce his 50% equity by the capital repayments and/or home improvements. You would have to seek legal advice to see whether you have a case. It may also may cost you more than you would gain to refer the matter back to court.
DivorceResource - 10-Apr-18 @ 12:00 PM
The court awarded my ex 50% of my equity tennant in common and costs as he won the case. I have spent £14,000 on repairs and improvements and £14,200 on capital payments post separation. The property extension he left undone is still undone and without a certificate. Our potential shares are around £46,000 each. I want to keep my property so will be trying to buy him out but he is being very awkward. I was thinking I'm able to apply for compensation that being the full £14,200 capital payments and half the £14,000 so £21,200 from his £46,000 ?
Cal - 9-Apr-18 @ 8:30 PM
Miley - Your Question:
I’ve split with my ex in 2016 and we’re just sorting house out I’ve neen told he’s entitled to 50% equity we brought it for 350 and just had it survey saying it’s 365 I understand he needs his money so if the value has gone up to 365 and he gets 7500 and I get the same how do I get this if the house is not being sold but me and my new partner are buying it together ????

Our Response:
You and your new partner would have to remortage for £150K or thereabouts. Once you have completed this transaction you can release the equity you owe to your ex.
DivorceResource - 9-Apr-18 @ 2:31 PM
Suetwo - Your Question:
My husband and I divorced 12 years ago. We have continued to share the marital home as friends – the mortgage (now paid off) and household bills are shared equally.He wants to sign the house over to me, and I am planning to get a mortgage on my own to buy him out. We do not need to have the house valued as we have a reasonable figure in mind that we both agree on. Can I get a mortgage stating that it is for the buyout, or are we best to arrange the equity transfer first, and then I apply for the mortgage when I own the house 100%. I am working full time and am 56. We think we have a sound plan – we just don’t know which order to do things.

Our Response:
In this case, the best option you have is to do your research and speak directly to mortgage lenders. You would only be able to transfer the equity from the house to your husband once a new mortgage was in place which would allow for the release of the funds.
DivorceResource - 9-Apr-18 @ 12:45 PM
I’ve split with my ex in 2016 and we’re just sorting house out I’ve neen told he’s entitled to 50% equity we brought it for 350 and just had it survey saying it’s 365 I understand he needs his money so if the value has gone up to 365 and he gets 7500 and I get the same how do I get this if the house is not being sold but me and my new partner are buying it together ????
Miley - 8-Apr-18 @ 11:04 PM
My husband and I divorced 12 years ago. We have continued to share the marital home as friends – the mortgage (now paid off) and household bills are shared equally.He wants to sign the house over to me, and I am planning to get a mortgage on my own to buy him out. We do not need to have the house valued as we have a reasonable figure in mind that we both agree on. Can I get a mortgage stating that it is for the buyout, or are we best to arrange the equity transfer first, and then I apply for the mortgage when I own the house 100%. I am working full time and am 56.We think we have a sound plan – we just don’t know which order to do things.
Suetwo - 7-Apr-18 @ 10:00 PM
Dal - Your Question:
I had a joint mortgage with my ex on a shared ownership property back in 2003 I was the higher earner but we split in 2004 I tried to get my name off the mortgage but at the time she couldn’t afford it on her own. I’ve not been in contact since and she has been paying the mortgage ever since. I don’t know what her circumstances are now if she can afford or not but I’ve looked at the house prices in the area and I’m sure the equity would more than cover the mortgage. I don’t want nothing out of the house just my name off the mortgage and deeds as I’m still on them. Any advice would be much appreciated.

Our Response:
Your only option would be to speak to your ex directly. Regardless of the amount of perceived equity in the house, a mortgage would still be dependent upon her earnings. You would have to get in contact with her directly to enquire whether her situation has changed to make it possible for her to remove her name. Mediation may also be something you may wish to consider suggestion in order to try to resolve the situation.
DivorceResource - 3-Apr-18 @ 9:31 AM
I had a joint mortgage with my ex on a shared ownership property back in 2003 I was the higher earner but we split in 2004 I tried to get my name off the mortgage but at the time she couldn’t afford it on her own. I’ve not been in contact since and she has been paying the mortgage ever since. I don’t know what her circumstances are now if she can afford or not but I’ve looked at the house prices in the area and I’m sure the equity would more than cover the mortgage. I don’t want nothing out of the house just my name off the mortgage and deeds as I’m still on them. Any advice would be much appreciated.
Dal - 2-Apr-18 @ 2:16 PM
Chriscross05 - Your Question:
Me and my ex bought a DIY shared ownership house in the mid 90's, with 50% endowment mortgage and endowment policy, as well as pay rent on the other 50%.I got divorced about 19 years ago. I had moved out with the children, but my son was unhappy as a toddler and I moved back in, still divorced and separated rooms. My ex got violent after a few months and was removed. During his 8 months on his own, he stopped paying the endowment mortgage and it fell into arrears. He didn't pay the endowment policy, and the policy lapsed and was shut down.I slowly paid off the arrears to the mortgage. He then solely benefitted from the shares, when my lender changed to a bank.Because I have paid the mortgage on my own, for years, I have a court order that says that when I sell my house, the ex husband doesn't get a penny, but the lender won't remove his name, as I am now disabled. In three years, it is coming up to the end of the term, and capital has to be paid. I am also in a new relationship, and wish to live together someday. I can not change my mortgage to a repayment, without my ex signing off on it. He definitely won't, as he's tried to sell the house from under my feet before, with his own children living here.Is there something I can do?

Our Response:
You would have to speak to your mortgage lender directly regarding this. You would also have to take professional legal advice. As this is beyond our remit to advise, due to the complexity of the issue.
DivorceResource - 29-Mar-18 @ 10:45 AM
Me and my ex bought a DIY shared ownership house in the mid 90's, with 50% endowment mortgage and endowment policy, as well as pay rent on the other 50%. I got divorced about 19 years ago. I had moved out with the children, but my son was unhappy as a toddler and I moved back in, still divorced and separated rooms. My ex got violent after a few months and was removed. During his 8 months on his own, he stopped paying the endowment mortgage and it fell into arrears. He didn't pay the endowment policy, and the policy lapsed and was shut down. I slowly paid off the arrears to the mortgage. He then solely benefitted from the shares, when my lender changed to a bank. Because I have paid the mortgage on my own, for years, I have a court order that says that when I sell my house, the ex husband doesn't get a penny, but the lender won't remove his name, as I am now disabled. In three years, it is coming up to the end of the term, and capital has to be paid. I am also in a new relationship, and wish to live together someday. I can not change my mortgage to a repayment,without my ex signing off on it. He definitely won't,as he's tried to sell the house from under my feet before, with his own children living here. Is there something I can do?
Chriscross05 - 28-Mar-18 @ 12:53 PM
strider - Your Question:
I am in a situation similar to this article where I would like to stay in my home with the children, but cannot afford to pay out my ex-husband the £35k. I have calculated that his future child maintenance payments are £30k, so I proposed to offset that and pay him £5k, but my solicitor says that the court will not accept that solution as I could go to the CMS after 12 months and get my ex to pay CM.Therefore, do you have any case law where CM has been offset?I propose a provision whereby any CM obligation placed on my ex by CMS would be offset by me paying him, pond for pound, the same amount.Thanks for your help

Our Response:
Your solicitor is correct, any court order or mutual agreement regarding child maintenance can be overturned in a year, which means you would be able to reapply for child maintenance.On another note, it is likely a court would allow you to remain living in the home until your children are 18 if you are the primary carer. In which case this may give you time to make other arrangement to buy out your ex. You may wish to sugegst mediation to your ex in order to try to come to a mutual resolution.
DivorceResource - 27-Mar-18 @ 2:46 PM
Zarah Snowman - Your Question:
I've moved out of the house I own with my ex (not married, I contributed a bigger deposit than him. He's dithering on when he can buy me out, biding his time. I'm about to spend a lot of money on a lawyer who's suggested writing to him a 'strongly worded' letter to 'force'? him to buy me out. Will this work? My only hope is that this will push him more to start remortgaging in order to pay me off. (He's made it clear he doesn't want to sell) But how do I know this will help? I don't want it to go to court so the lawyer suggests this is the best way to avoid that, however, if I don't go ahead then would I need to pay a lawyer to force his hand in buying me out anyway? I only work 20 hours a week and am I entitled to any help with these legal fees of £200 per hour that I'm being charged?

Our Response:
There is no guarantee a solicitor's letter will force the hand of your ex. A solicitor's letter is a warning that you will apply to court if he does not comply. Many people ignore solicitor's letters and then there is no other option than to apply to court. Unfortunately, there is no financial help with legal fees and legal fees can rise. If you wish to cut out the cost of legal representation, you can self-litigate in court, please see link here and here . You may also get a reduction in court fees if you are on a low income. In situations such as this, if it does go to court then you should request a time limit from when the sale of the house must be completed. Otherwise, even if the court orders the sale, many other parties do all they can to prevent the sale by putting off potential buyers and/or stalling. Getting as much advice before you take action is the your best course of action, as well as looking into the cheapest ways you can force action. Otherwise, costs can spiral out of control and the only people who benefit financially are the solicitors. Trying to get your ex to see that coming to a mutual agreement is in both your best interests may work. Also, mediation may also be a route to consider. Much really depends on how bloody-minded your ex wishes to be.
DivorceResource - 27-Mar-18 @ 11:27 AM
I've moved out of the house I own with my ex (not married, I contributed a bigger deposit than him. He's dithering on when he can buy me out, biding his time.. I'm about to spend a lot of money on a lawyer who's suggested writing to him a 'strongly worded' letter to 'force'? him to buy me out. Will this work? My only hope is that this will push him more to start remortgaging in order to pay me off.. (He's made it clear he doesn't want to sell) But how do I know this will help? I don't want it to go to court so the lawyer suggests this is the best way to avoid that, however, if I don't go ahead then would I need to pay a lawyer to force his hand in buying me out anyway? I only work 20 hours a week and am I entitled to any help with these legal fees of £200 per hour that I'm being charged?
Zarah Snowman - 26-Mar-18 @ 4:51 PM
I am in a situation similar to this article where I would like to stay in my home with the children, but cannot afford to pay out my ex-husband the £35k.I have calculated that his future child maintenance payments are £30k, so I proposed to offset that and pay him £5k, but my solicitor says that the court will not accept that solution as I could go to the CMS after 12 months and get my ex to pay CM. Therefore, do you have any case law where CM has been offset? I propose a provision whereby any CM obligation placed on my ex by CMS would be offset by me paying him, pond for pound, the same amount. Thanks for your help
strider - 23-Mar-18 @ 7:14 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the DivorceResource website. Please read our Disclaimer.