My wife and I have separated after 8 years of marriage. We have a daughter who is 7 and she has a son who is 11.
I am currently in the marital home (on the sofa) and do not intend to move out until I get things sorted.
The house was mine before we got together and I have been the sole name on and paying for the mortgage. I also pay all of the household bills and some towards the shopping. I know that this means nothing these days.
The house is worth £200,000 and we have a £95,000 morgage which costs me £711 per month!
I earn about £1,360 per month (after tax and CSA from my first marriage) and she gets £700 - £800 per month in allowances. DLA for her (Agropheobic), DLA and Maintenance for her son, ICA for her mother and Tax credits.
She wants the house and keep it until our daughter is older but she is now saying that she is entitled to 80% of the house!
Anyone out there know what a fair settlement could be? I am happy to be fair but am afraid I am going to be left high and dry as I would like to buy another place instead of wasting my money on rent...
I know she is looking at getting the DSS to pay for any housing costs in the future. If we were to sell the house before they got invloved would they need to know where the money has gone?
There will be others on here Bagpuss far more knowledgeable than me so I will leave the advising to them but one thing I do know about and would really advise you most strongly on is this:
No matter how difficult it becomes do not and I will say it a bit louder DO NOT leave the home! Don't do the gentlemanly thing and move out and carry on with the mortgage etc thinking that will win you brownie points in court because trust me it will go against you. If you end up putting a seperate roof over your head then it will come down to the fact that your needs are met.
I did the gentlemanly thing 7 years ago and left because the situation was unbearable I have paid the mortgage all that time since leaving until it was paid off 3 months ago. I am now in the process of losing everything. I am 61 imagine what a bitter pill that will be to swallow! I should have stayed put and sorted it out whilst under the same roof that way if it goes to court they have to think about re-housing both of you. This has happened to a friend just recently. I warned him that his wife would get everything if he moved to his NP's so he stayed put and has put up with all sorts of rubbish from the mrs. and she has smashed all his collectable china but he hung on in. He has managed to come out 50/50 and he self repped. I will get 100% of nothing well unless you consider my very meagre pension not worth the paper it is written on. I spend more in Tesco's each month!! Then on top of that I will have a nice fat legal fee to pay and I still haven't worked out what I got for that money cos most of the time I seem to take my own advice and that of others from this site! If it was a faulty product I could take it back and ask for a refund!!!!
SO!!! DON'T LEAVE HOME NO MATTER WHAT! Also try try try to settle amicably without going legal read lots on here and you will understand why! Nip it in the bud now if you can.
There wellbeing is alright, at the moment. They love having me around and the x2b and I only discuss things when they are in bed. They have been kept up-to-date with what is going on and will continue to be told.
I am not sure what to do with the house... I cannot move on without some of the equity from it as I need to rent a place that will be suitable for the children to visit. I will also need to furnish it as well but I cannot do this on the salary that I have.
I have to balance this out with the fact that I want to do right by my kids. My answer would be to sell so that we could both rent as we would have £100,000 of equity to do so.
All the recent publicity about high profile awards for the mega rich tend to obscure the fact that John and Beverley Charman, to give but one example, are not exactly going to starve. Whatever the Court did, they would both be left with wealth that ordinary mortals like us can only look at with our nose pressed against the window pane. They have access to advice which is horrendously expensive, they can and do afford the best.
But it is in the lower income cases - like yours - where there really isn't enough to go round, that people need really skilled advice as to how to stretch and maximise available resources to support two households where previously there was one - the skilled advice isn't affordable anyway and barristers at the top end of the range probably don't know much about benefits, since their clients will never need them.
I am basically a practical soul, and sometimes a little bit of plain and robust common sense is better than any number of law books. So may I give you a few thoughts of mine - they are not an answer to your problem, and they do not offer solutions. But perhaps they may offer you some pointers in the right direction, and from a site like wikivorce, perhaps that is all you can expect.
Let us first of all get back to basics. Fiona is right when she says that the Court's first priority is to make sure that your children are securely housed. That means that the parent with care has an inbuilt advantage. But that does not mean that the needs of the other parent can be neglected either.
In this type of case ( ie parents with children split up and there is a family home and the question is what is to be done with it ) it is a very common ' solution ' for the parent with care to be given the right to live in the former marital home while the children are still dependent. When they grow up the house may be sold, or maybe the PWC will be given the right to remain there even longer, but usually the other former spouse will have some interest in the house, even though it may not be worth much in practice.
But in your case the obvious question is - could your wife afford that kind of a mortgage on her income with whatever maintenance she may be able to get from you ? Could the mortgage be re-scheduled to make the payments manageable ? My inclination is to doubt it ; I do not think she can get any help with the mortgage from the DSS. You could easily check this with a CAB but I don't think I am wrong. There is help with mortgages under income support but it is largely restricted to people with mortgages who fall on hard times,
So let's have a look at a secondary option ; supposing the property were sold. You then are relieved of a substantial mortgage payment. So how are the proceeds divided ? Could there be enough left to buy your wife somewhere to live and possibly give you a small deposit towards a place of your own ? I don't know ; it depends on where you live, I suppose. However, from your point of view, the fact that you initially provided the house is, I think, of some relevance. You would have had it virtually confiscated. You are also helping to provide your kids with a roof over their head - not
by way of maintenance payments, but a capital sum. So any spousal maintenance payments should be much less than what they otherwise might be. I think you might still have SM payments to make, however, even if at a low level.
The third option is that your wife should find somewhere to rent. As a personal view, I don't think that buying and mortgages are normally a good idea for long term benefit claimants. She would have a kinda sorta problem getting a mortgage anyway. There is a lot of disability in your wife's family and I would have thought that there is a lot to be said for your wife getting a public sector secure tenancy if she can. The reason is that her rent can be covered by housing benefit. I would certainly suggest that your wife might speak to the local council and see what help they can offer.
In reply to your question as to whether the DSS would want to know if your wife had a large injection of capital. The answer is almost certainly a very big Yes. If she is getting means tested benefits ( DLA is not means tested )capital can easily affect the benefits or even cancel them out entirely. She can spend the money to some degree without affecting benefit ; she could, for example, buy necessary furniture or bedding for a new home. But if she is thinking of three weeks at the Acapulco Hilton, try it and see !
If you can try and get your wife into problem solving mode and get your heads together to work out a practical solution, you will probably save yourselves a lot of money and a lot of stress into the bargain. I think you would be well advised to get some general legal advice from a solicitor.