two years ago my husband left me and three children. We had been married for 13 years. I carried on paying all the bills including the mortgage which I had always done. We had owned the house for just 2 years previous to him leaving and our mortgage was a 100% mortgage.My ex has not contributed at all in his absence. I have now received divorce papers and he says he is entitled to half the house. I earn 2000 more than him a year but have a house and three children to support. Will I have to buy him out?
My first thought would be that the Court's first priority would be the welfare of the children and the need to ensure they have a roof over their head. I would say there is a strong possibility that you would be allowed to remain in the house while your children are still dependent. After that there is a good chance that the property would be sold and the proceeds divided - and I think your share might well be more than 50%, more likely nearer 60% and possibly even a little higher.
A buyout might be possible if the equity is not great, but I do not think a Court would enforce a sale where there are children, as in your case. Against that background, many men have to wait ten years or more before they can realise their interest in the marital home. So he might be tempted by the offer of a buy out if you can afford it, on the basis that 20% of the equity now might be preferable to 40% later, if you see what I mean. I merely quote these figures to make a point - the house then becomes yours outright and you don't have the problem of having to move ten years or so down the line. But I don't think a buyout would be forced on you. As always, it is worth confirming this advice with your lawyers but I don't think I am too far wide of the mark.