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Buying Your Ex Out of the Family Home

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 9 May 2021 | 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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I've ben separated from my ex husband for 5 half yrs and divorced for nearly a yr , my ex moved out in 2015 and hasnt payed a penny towards the mortgage, ive payed it all Myself, I am trying to buy him out but he has refused the offer, so now he wants to get a value on the house himself, ive told him that I'm staying in the house and nit going to sell and i have a under 18 child staying with me , what would be my next step
Sh - 9-May-21 @ 9:27 AM
Looking for advice. Husband left the home 2 years ago after 18 yrs of marriage. I am living in the home with our two kids ages 16 and 17. We both pay half the mortgage as mortgage company said both liable. My husband has moved on by moving in with his girlfriend and I am ready to go for a divorce to cut all ties. The actual divorce I would say should be simple as due to kids ages no childcare arrangements needed, Maintenance is being paid without any bother. The only assets I am worried about is the house. I work full time but don’t think I earn enough to buy the ex out. If I was forced to sell the house is not in a good state of repair as my ex hated diy so we would struggle to sell I think? However I don’t want to get a divorce then have the worry of what w8ll happen to the house later down the line so would like to know my options whilst I’m in a good frame of mind to deal with this all any help please
Nat - 6-Apr-21 @ 9:13 PM
Hi, My boyfriend has finally come to an agreement with his ex wife. She is buying him out of his half share of the family home and moving in. He is buying another home. As he does not have enough money I have agreed to sell my home and put in with him. My name will be on the deeds to the house but we do not want his ex to know. When we complete and she moves in she has to give him his share for his new home. Will she see my name on the deeds when we completeor will this not show up?
Jojo - 23-Nov-20 @ 5:07 PM
i have just sold our ex family home, do i have to split the equity with my ex as she has not contributed to the mortgage for the last 5 years
rich - 18-Jul-20 @ 11:47 AM
Hi, Please can you help!? My head is all over the place! I am stuck and don't know what to do. I have fled the family home as my ex-partner was a drunk and broke my nose last year. My ex-partner is offering to but me out with giving me £16000. I am still paying half the mortgage. I am trying to come to a deal with him so I have asked for £17000. I have to start all over again I have to buy a new bed, fridge, sofa, washing machine etc he has all that and equity in the house. I feel like I'm losing out!? Am I do I go for.more? Will I be allowed to go for more. Legal fees and fighting through Solicitors is going to cost me so much. He has said I don't need a solicitor just agree on a price with him and then sign over deeds. Is that right? We have a 2-year-old daughter too who lives with me and sees him twice a week. That arrangement is all settle. I currently talk through his Nan as my social workers wanted a Non-Mol in place! Please can someone help me
H - 2-Jul-20 @ 11:40 PM
Please help. My ex wants to take me to court for his share of the marital home. We were in negotiations however since covid I am now unemployed and the money I had saved up to buy him in (50:50 split) is now needed for my children and I to live on. I solely take care of the mortgage and the ex does not pay any child maintenance. He has also kept 22.5k of my savings and has not given back to me in the last 3 years we have been separated/divorced. What are my options..please help. I can not afford to moved as my daughter has just got a place in her dream secondary school and my youngest is in the primary school next to it which are both a 5 minute walk from our home. I cannot uproot the children..please please help.
Ree - 30-Jun-20 @ 2:08 AM
I was married for 26 years. I worked until I had my two children and then part time when the youngest was four. We moved to france16 years ago. We co own two properties, both renovation projects . For the intervening years I did seasonal work and worked with my husband , but was never salaried.The smaller is now lived in by our children. The other house was our marital home. I left and started divorce by fault. He stayed in the marital home for a year after and then moved away to live with his girlfriend. So the marital home is empty.I am disabled and cannot live in the house due to running costs and lack of transport. So I rent a tiny appartement.The smaller house ,we both wish to gift to our children . The marital home has been valued at around €70-75,000 . My ex has refused to sell through a notaire and is using a private online market place ,but has the property on for €125,000. He recently made an offer to buy me out for €35,000 . I feel I should accept , but in lieu of the fact the judge ordered him to also pay€7,000 compensation to me as well as 50 %of our property, would I be fair to ask him to pay the fees for transfering the small house to our children. He has a small private pension, opted out of the english system and I have minimum right to a tiny UK pension as I left the UK with him. I am not sure if it would be right or fair to ask for half his private pension.i haven't been able to find out about my application for aide juridictionelle because of covid , but know I will pay for the division de biens. He kept the cars and most of the furniture. Just not sure where I stand. My advocat was very little help ,nor my notaire.i l don't feel I can ask my not sure as each consult adds to the costs and I am unable to work. Advice please.
Roo - 26-May-20 @ 12:23 AM
I want to buy my wife out of the house since we divorce on 16 March 2018 I have been paying bond and not staying in that house. She never pay even a cent on the bond .we must I do to claim all the money I have paid for bond since on 16 March 2018 until now .
Robby - 2-May-20 @ 4:32 AM
Me and my ex wife we divorce on 16 March 2018 and she is still staying in the house without paying a bond. I want to buy her out of the house . I am paying bond and she doesn't pay anything in the house.
Robby - 2-May-20 @ 4:07 AM
I’ve been married 23 years to my wife and have a son together who will turn 18 years old in about a year who lives with us. I want to buy her out of the house. She’s never worked or paid anything towards the mortgage or the utility bills or food and has never worked. This is because it was an arranged marriage and did not know it was going to be this way. She has a British passport now and also I made the mistake of putting her name as joint owner of the house. I have not started any proceedings yet as I though I should wait till he turns 18. Also Im not sure if he will continue to be in full time education. This depends on his results as he in sixth form. Also when he is 18 is there anything she can do legally from stopping me seeing him.
MS - 1-May-20 @ 2:29 AM
Hi, I am divorcing my husband and I would like to buy him out. I have already files for divorce but it has not been complete yet. We are due to remortgage in June and I would like to take the mortgage in my own name as he has no job (since 6 months now) and does not contribute to any household utilities and expenses. He still lives with us and does not contribute financially. This is why I would like to have the mortgage to my own name ( I can afford it and would be ok, I have checked and would be approved by lander) however, until the divorce is complete I will not know how much to pay him out and if he will agree to it. He is changing his mind very often and is unpredictable in decisions. Would it be in my favour to pay the mortgage and have mortgage in my sole name on the property we own together? Once we go to court if he doesn't agree to see his share would the payments be considered to my advantage? I have been paying the mortgage from my single income although it is in both our names and would like to avoid paying him out on something I have already paid by my self. Can you please advise?
kate26 - 14-Apr-20 @ 10:11 AM
I am divorcing, my wife due to adultry. I have a mortgage in just my name. I bought the house, two years before we got married. She has applied and add her name to the Title Deed without me knowing, until I got a letter. Can I buy her off? I wanted to sell and share the equity 50:50, as we have two kids. What is my best option, as I want to move asap. Thanks
JJ - 8-Apr-20 @ 4:42 AM
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
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