My situation is this
Been married 11 years and co-habiting for a year before that, have 3 small children.
My Husband left last year after our marriage had been unhappy for a while. Since then he's always had his key and full access to the house and the children.
He now wants to divorce, he's seen a solicitor and has told me that he intends to put the house up for sale and I can have 2/3 of the equity from this (about £60,000).
He earns around £39,000 a year. I gave up work when I was pregnant 7 years ago. After he left in December I went back to work, he has still being paying the mortgage and bills but I have basically been supporting us in other ways.
so, my question is, can he make me sell the house?
£60,000 is not enough for me to set up again and because of my work situation I wouldnt get a mortgage. Obviuosly after 7 years of not working I have ended up at the bottom again and with the children to look after too my earning potential isnt great.
I appeciate that he needs to start again too and I will help in any way I can when it comes to bringing up the children but I'm worried about what I would do if I have to sell.
I'm assuming the house is in joint names, in which case he cannot simply force you to sell.
It may be that if you cannot afford to take over the mortgage that you need to sell the house in the end due to financial reasons - but you should not allow yourself to be steamrollered into it.
With three small kids your work prospects will be pretty limited for a few years. On the basis of this plus the reasonably long marriage, and limited equity, it is likely that he will have to pay you spousal maintenance.
The child maintenance for 3 kids is 25% salary and spousal maintenance could take this up to 40% or 50% of salary.
So you might reasonably get 70% or more of the equity and 50% of his salary for at least a few years.
If you have a strong preference to stay in the house and the 50% salary award would be enough for you to pay the mortgage then it may be possible to keep the house.
You would also have a claim on his pension. But it is quite common for the stay at home mum to take a larger share of the house and a smaller share of the pension - perhaps 25 or 30%.