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Buying Your Ex Out of the Family Home

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 22 Mar 2020 | 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.


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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Been married for 7.5 years, I purchased my property in 2007 and we’ve been living a abroad together for 6 years. We moved into my property in jan 2018 so been living together in my house for just over 2 years. We have split up and she said that as she hasn’t paid anything towards the family home she does not want anything from it as she understand that I worked hard for it in the past.I need to get this non interest in writing just so we can be clear which she said ok. Does anyone have an example of non interest in property I can use?
Charlie - 22-Mar-20 @ 5:15 AM
Hello. I divorced my ex husband in 2005. The judge ruled 30/70% split. I own 70% and he has 30%. We have two children who are now 18 and 20 years old. I have gained andmanaged to raise a remortgage as I have been paying interest only whilst raising the children.He is taking me to court for his 30% share. I have a solicitor Iplace. I want to buy him out and mid negotiations I have had court papers for court. Can he do this? I simply just want to buy him out. I have a medical I am partially sighted. My children still live with me. Can he force sale and what are my options. Thd marriage was based on DV. I dont want to sell and simply buy him out. I have gone along with all his demands and requests with regards to valuations on the property. Please help
Zen - 26-Jan-20 @ 12:02 PM
Me and my wife separated after 15 years of marriage 5 months ago, I am divorcing her under adultery directly with the courts, but we are still quite amicable. She is buying me out of the house (50% share) with her new partner and has struggled to borrow enough to pay me my 50% share. She has said that she has now managed to get the mortgage sorted but is being very secretive on how much she pay me for my share. She has said that she has paperwork ready for me to sign to transfer the mortgage over but nothing else about my share. I'm worried if I sign the paperwork removing me off the mortgage she will deny anything about my share and then not pay me anything and I will be left high and dry! Thinking of getting a solicitor to get a consent order produced to protect me but not sure if I need to. Any advice would be great. Thanks
Gpp - 4-Dec-19 @ 10:15 PM
Hi, Need some advice please. I'm divorced and had a joint mortgage with my ex.We agreed that I continue to live in the marital house with our 10 years old son and won't sell the house until he turns 18.I'm now in the position to remortgage in my sole name and buy out my ex.I've asked my ex verbally for his name to be removed from the mortgage and he agreed.I've arranged all the paperwork with my solicitor but now my ex refused to sign the TR1 and said we've never had such agreement.I've no intention to sell the house, I just want his name off the mortgage because he hasn't contribute anything towards it for the last 5 years and he doesn't live in the house anymore and I've agreed to buy him out. I know I'm stupid for believing him.Is there any way to ask the court to force him to sign it?If yes, what are my chances winning the case? Many thanks.
jlee - 6-Nov-19 @ 8:31 AM
After 19 years of marriage i am getting a divorce. My wife is buying me out of our home to the sum of £19,000. I have signed over the deeds and also signed to say i agree to the sum offered after valuation but it has been nearly 2 weeks and i haven't received anything. How long should i wait and should i have had my money after signing. Adrian Burns
Ady - 30-Oct-19 @ 3:10 PM
Me & my husband have decided to separate and are having a valuation of our home with a view to selling it & splitting the profit. Im am now to ill to work and claim ESA & a small empmoyers pension, with 9 yrs to wait for state pension now. We have a small mortgage of £9250 and our house is worth around £180000. I will struggle to buy a house after fees etc and wonder if I could stay, transfer the house into my name & pay my husband out using some equity?
Lynne Prentice - 22-Oct-19 @ 1:24 PM
Hello my wife has asked to separate. We have been together 17 years and married just over 11. We have 3 children 6,4 &2. She has made me move out of the family home I have gone back to my parents. It has come as a total shock to me to be honest I don't know what to do. I still love her and have feelings for her. My main concern is for the children now. I don't want to sell the house because I want the children to live there and have some sort of stability and continuity. Child support payments are not enough to cover the mortgage or the childcare bills as my wife works fulltime also. Child support payments are to cover food clothing maintenance and housing. My wife has asked for more what to I do help
Johnnybravo - 22-Oct-19 @ 11:59 AM
Hello been married to my wife for 25 yes have 6 kids youngest is 10..the first 3 are over 18.. she kicked me out 4 yrs ago I already bought and paid morgege she never worked.. then she dicided to buy me off out..she promised to give me 72k I've signed the RLT form and waited for the 72k to get to my account..they said in few days..now is 3 yrs no penny in my account and she's removed my name in everything in my house since I'm no longer there.. I'm renting just a room elsewhere..all this was before divorce..now I want to move on and divorce her..do I stand a chance of taking this to court for assets share or I have given her my house..when I called the solicitor who we signed the transfer of property with they said noo you are not getting any money the deal has been cancelled..pls what do I do from here? And my wife is acting so big this days that we can't have a conversation when I want to know what's going on.. thanks for your advice..
Abena Acheamponmaah - 16-Sep-19 @ 3:49 AM
Hi, Myself and my wife decided to buy a property before marriage three years ago. At the time I had a default on my credit file so it was in our interest for her to get the mortgage herself. Three months ago, we decided to buy a second home together as a married couple. Now closer to work and friends with career progression in sight she has asked for divorce. She has seen a solicitor who has said I’ll be lucky to cover a 15k loan I took to pay stamp duty for our current property and have zero vested interest in the previous property as it was bought in her name prior to marriage. Essentially I have been asked to leave with a zero balance while she has our 2 properties and 2 children. Any help would be much appreciated on where I stand.
Mike - 9-Sep-19 @ 3:05 PM
Me and my ex wife married in 1999. 2001/2002 we started renting council property. Bought property from the council in 2008. The property is in both our names. I payed the interest she left 6 months after in 2008. Our divorce was finalized a year and a half later. Over the years she got married as did I. I continued to stay and make payments towards the bills and maintenance of the house in addition to looking after our 2 kids daughter. I had custody. She did have irregular contact with the kids but paid no child care neither did she contribute towards anything for the kids. However, this year on several occasions she has been telling me she wants a share in the property. 2019. I want to take her to court but am not aware of the procedure or how to make contact with the court or what evidence I need to provide or even whether I can represent my self in court and whether her claim is valid or will hold any weight in court. I would appreciate it if you could give me some advice on my situation. I am aware of mediation but we have already tried to speak but the situation never gets resolved. I would really appreciate some guidance on this matter.
Shah - 1-Jun-19 @ 6:28 PM
I left the family home seven weeks ago, after thirty years of marriage. I continue to pay all the bills and give her £300 a month for her expenses. She is not able to work due to a medical condition and has our 22yr old son at home. I would like to buy her out of her share of the house, but she has said she will make things very difficult. How do I go about selling the house if she won’t cooperate and as she is medically ill will I be expected to pay maintenance costs to her after a divorce. At the moment she is entitled to very little benefits as she has just inherited £15000
Bt - 1-Jun-19 @ 9:34 AM
Hi, my husband has asked to separate and we have 4 kids (11 through 3).I work less hours than him and he earns approx £20k more gross income per year.I have been the primary carer for the kids, working fewer hours and having over 4 years mat leave.I can’t afford to buy out my husband.What are my options? Can I keep the house with his name on the mortgage, as could pay the mortgage and bills without it him but not buy him out.
Susie - 30-May-19 @ 9:53 PM
I have received my Decree absolute and signed an agreed consent order. The court ordered on the 17th of April 2019 that my ex would pay me a sum 14 days after and he emailed me saying that he would only send me 50% of the total. In spite of declaring with his solicitors that he had 3 times the funds available he insisted that he will pay me the reminder after I sign the property deeds to remove my name. I don't trust this. Can we advise?
Célia - 30-May-19 @ 7:45 PM
I was married to my husband for 17 years after Almost 2 years of separation he has filed for divorce. We have shared ownership property that I pay both rent and mortgage for. I have all 4 of our children residing with me. There is about £33k in equity on our share. I can not afford to buy somewhere of the same size or the same costs nor can I rent somewhere for the same costs. I want to but him out but I don’t think I can get a mortgage. Will he have to remain on the mortgage and will I get a bigger share of the equity as I’m the main responsible parent for the children? Any advice would be happily welcomed right now. ??x
Heidi - 19-May-19 @ 11:44 AM
Discovered my wife was having an affair for four years, I am divorcing her. I want to stay in the family home and buy her out - I had a valuation done by a qualified surveyor and she is refusing to use this. She then got estate agents round who came up with some suggetsed asking prices that are a lot more and more than I could afford. I have suggested we jointly appoint a Surveyor and her Solicitor just ignores me and sends letters saying it needs to be sold. If this goes to court what would/ can a judge do to decide on a value? Even the 3 sugested asking prices she got had a 75k variance in them! Help!
Cold - 7-May-19 @ 1:51 AM
Hi isplit up with my ex husband after10years we oayed 18months morgage together the court said i av 2 give him 5000 iv finished the morgage my selfput he wont sign the deeds over iv offered to give him the money wot can i do thanks he didnt pay any more morgage or maintain our 2 children which r grown up now thanks
Mary - 21-Apr-19 @ 8:20 PM
Hi, I brought my Husband out of our property by £40k and the title deeds transferred solely to me. Once we are divorced, does he have any legal right over the house? Could he fight for more equity? our children live with me.Thank you
Em - 17-Apr-19 @ 1:38 PM
My husband left after 38 years of marrage. He wants to sell the house, but i just want to continue living in the house. We have a small morgage which i can manage om my own but he is not intrested in and just wants half and move on. I need advice on where i could raise the money approx 120.000 to pay him and then continue living there. I was thinking of reliesing equaty in the property until i die and then the remaining would be left to my children. Any advice would be appreciated as i would not be able to get a morgage for this amount due to my age and wages.
Beany - 5-Apr-19 @ 7:49 AM
We are divorcing and I want to buy him out of the home. I have stayed in it with our daughter. I can get the money to buy him out but wont have it until after the divorce is through. Will he have to pay capital gains tax on it?
Jw - 3-Apr-19 @ 7:30 PM
My nieces has 2 young children from living with an ex partner. In an eventual agreement he is to give her a settlementto move out but she cannot afford the extra mortgage to buy another house. He the said he would pay some trust money for the children into the house which was good. However he is now moving the goal posts. He originally stated conditions of return of funds to the trust which was fine. Now he does not want the funds returned until the children are 18 as he wants to be able to say when she can selland move to so that he can exercise his parental rights to say where she can live ostensibly for the children to be close to him and the schooling available. Is that reasonable.
Mrssmudge - 16-Mar-19 @ 8:32 AM
Had a joint mortgage with my ex husband from 1997.I left the property in 2002 & we divorced in 2006 but the property was never included in the divorce. He remained in the house with the children until 2009 when he was ordered out by a judge and myself given occupancy through him being found guilty on findings of abuse towards the children. On return to the property he has debts attached to it but in his name and beneficial share. He makes NO contribution to the household or mortgage & I only pay Interest Only on it. We have no means of contacting him or know where he even lives. Is there a way I can get him off the mortgage so as to keep a roof over our heads so I become the sole owner ?
M.R - 4-Mar-19 @ 10:42 AM
Divorce decree says I can buy him out half share, no amnt stated. We agreed by word of mouth! Ex husband is refusing to sign leaving me with dept as I've been to transfer attorney's.
Maro - 20-Feb-19 @ 4:53 PM
My husband and I have been separated for 5 months.I have filed the divorce petition.I have applied for a mortgage to buy my husband out of the property. Should the transfer go through before the divorce or should I wait for the divorce first.
Jess - 14-Feb-19 @ 7:36 PM
I’m going to second finance court hearing for family home, I have 3 children,age 7,10,11. My 11 year old daughters have saving £5000 and I sell land to my mom 12000. My x want to sell family home. I work part time and don’t have saving
Shuborna - 10-Dec-18 @ 7:01 PM
My husband left 8 years ago no children, left to be with his mistress, i have been paying mortgage bills repairs etc for 7 1/2 years, been tryi g to get him to sign consent order agreed everything at mediation, hes been stalling, changing wording etc on the Consent Order. As house prices have risen hes now wanting half the equity! Is it true that hes only entitled to half the equity, up until the date he left me.
Me me - 26-Oct-18 @ 2:42 PM
My self and my husband are separating and our boys (23 and 17) still live at home. Our 17 yr old is no longef in education. Our daughter(20) is independant. Also, i have worked from home as a childminder for 23 years.Our mortgage is paid off. Mg husband wishes to sell the ptoperty in 6mnths when our youngest turns 17. Can he force me to do this when i run my business from home?
Becky - 26-Oct-18 @ 7:11 AM
My wife and I have recently ended our marriage. We have a mortgage on a house together, which I owned with my father before we married, but once married 3 years ago, we remortgaged and paid my dad off and my wife came onto the mortgage. She has 2 children from a previous relationship and we have 1 child together. She's now refusing to let me buy her out of the house and also to buy me out, stating she wants to stay in the home instead. Am I stuck with the situation of waiting until my 3 year old is 18 before being able to either buy her out or being bought out?
Marco - 9-Oct-18 @ 11:04 AM
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
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