My wife and I have been separated for 4 weeks now. As much as she would like me to move out (and as much as we need to be apart) most of my income is spent on mortgage, bills and food so it would be impossible for me to rent even the smallest of flats!
The separation is actually quite amicable at the moment. My wife has decided that it is financially impossible for me to leave. We have 3 children, 11, 9 and 6 and she would remain the main care giver. We are both 41 years old.
So, she is going to move out in to rented accomodation with the children. My question is what is she entitled to? We know she can get my CM and working tax credits as she has a small part time job. What would still be needed is some sort of housing benefit for her to afford her rental.
Unfortunately I have heard rumours about something like ''making yourself deliberately homeless'' being a problem in these cases. I''m really worried that she''s going to get herself in to financial problems. Regardless of what has happened I still care about her (and obviously the children when they''re with her).
Definitely not an expert but, generally, in cases like yours, the needs of the children take priority regards care & housing, with the primary care provider.
It would be likely that she would remain in the marital home with the children, with you making a contribution towards the upkeep of the children and an access agreement sorted out. You have already said she will be the primary parent with care & there is no danger to her or the children if they remain where they are.
If your wife is on the deeds of the marital property she is classed as having capitol and would not be entitled to housing benefits.
If I am wrong, someone more in the know will pop along soon.
'' Making yourself deliberately homeless '' or, to use the technical term, intentional homelessness, is quite separate from the issue of housing benefit.
Intentional homelessness comes into play only if your wife applies to the Council as homeless. It doesn''t matter if she rents privately.
What does matter is how much of the rent your wife may have to pay would be covered by housing benefit.
The issue of capital does need looking at . But the first question is how much equity there is ; the second is, whether the house is in joint names.
Capital tied up in a house does not count against you if you live there. If a house is to be sold then the owner is given a reasonable time to sell before the capital starts to be considered.
The other issue, as I said, is knowing how much of the rent will be covered by benefit. I have not done this for a long time, but it used to be possible to apply for a '' pre-tenancy determination '' which would give you this information. I don''t know if this is still the case and a visit to a CAB would be advisable to get the latest information. But I assume it is ; you need to know how much benefit you will get before you can safely sign up.
@mez - it''s certainly not my intention to throw her out to keep the marital home, but we cannot see a way of me leaving and paying rent ( no benefits for me as an earner) and her finding the money for the MH. It just doesn''t add up unfortunately - by a long way. And that''s the kids out of a home either way which I cannot allow.
Any other ideas what people do in this situation? I have no family near so no choice of cheap/free accommodation for me to sort the immediate issues. Is sale of the house the only choice? I don''t see that being a quick affair...
I can''t see how her leaving with the children into private rent will help financially to be honest.
You will still be legally obliged to provide for the children''s needs & upkeep until they become non-dependent adults.
She will likely be advised to apply for spousal maintenance as well.
You may find yourself in the situation where you need to sell & downsize to do this.
Littlemrmike is right, you need to talk to CAB & also look on directgov.uk for rough guides.
Each situation is different. Good luck.
I would suggest that her renting a flat big enough for her and three kids is more expensive on your joint pocket than you moving into a room or one bedroomed flat. Would you expect her to fund furnishing it? Could she move all the children''s belongings? beds? where would they sleep when they stay with you? I think you both need to take a step back and really think this through.
You need to move away from "I" can''t afford to what can "WE" afford.
She would be entitled to the child tax credit and working tax credit, but then you both get that at the moment any way, I assume. the only increase in that would be the lone parent element which is roughly £1,500 ish (depends on age of children I think) a year.
She will not be able to claim housing benefit as she has a place she could live and IF you both have capital/equity/savings of more than £32k (16k each)then again she wouldn''t be entitled if you have assets more than £16 as a single person you cannot get housing benefit.
Maybe with claiming all the tax credits, her salary, your CM and SM she would be able to afford the mortgage?
Housing the children in a stable environment will be the courts first thought. Not what is cheapest for YOUR personal pocket. - i think a dim view would be held too of a single person staying in a FMH whilst the children were forced to move out into rented accommodation. sorry