Does anyone know of where I can find specific details of mesher or martin orders?
Basically I would like to know how much stbx can interfere with things like maintenance, improvements or alterations if he has a percentage interest in the property.
Can stbx be limited to a fixed sum of equity in exchange for a fixed capital sum if house is to be sold when youngest is 18?
Would it be possible to have a mesher or martin order and then stipulate that I have the option to move to a similar value property without giving stbx his equity share?
Can I be specific about this in such an order or would I be better off trying for more of a clean break and selling the fmh. There will be barely enough equity for us to buy another house in the area and it will be disruptive for schools and suchlike if we do move. But me and the kids might have more financial flexibility if we do move to a cheaper property.
A Mesher or Martin order will not normally be granted if your housing needs can legitimately be met by moving into a smaller property. This will be the primary consideration in your instance.
To the extent that Mesher-type orders are Settlement Orders rather than Property Transfer orders, your ex's details will still appear in relation to the property, and there is a notional ability to interfere. Practically, it is less obvious how that ability would ever be exercised, since most of the things you are contemplating would not require his signature.
A Martin/Mesher order is typically triggered by the voluntary sale of the house. You would be fighting an uphill battle to suggest that you might move house without triggering the order.
The legitimate purchase of another property would require all the equity and some of the capital assets. From where I am sitting it is very borderline...there is possibly £180,000 equity and realistically about £70/80,000 capital assets.
The 3 children and I are currently in large 5 bed, and would need a 4 bed house. Bearing in mind costs of moving, estate agents fees etc the available amount to rehouse us would be about £250,000 and that is if stbx walks away with just his shirt and a very large salary. Pensions will equal each other out but CM and SM would need to be paid as well.
A reasonable 4 bed in the area would cost between £200 - 250,000. This would cause least disruption to the children re: schooling/friends/activities etc. Second child would be transferring to secondary school next September and has already secured a place. If we moved areas then it would mean another secondary school.
Would the court be likely to expect us to move to a cheaper area or are they more likely to award a mesher as it would be the fairest option for the needs of the children and a suitable property would be expensive in the area we are currently living?
There is, unfortunately, no rule that says that you have to be housed in an area which matches the standards you currently enjoy. Indeed, in this tough economic days, many if not most marriages result in some sort of downsizing for both parties. Mesher Orders come with all sorts of issues and courts will not rush towards such an order unless the full implications are clear.
With the benefit of only the information you have provided, I would be inclined to think that a court might push you into a smaller house rather than head for a Mesher. Ultimately though, Ancillary Relief is a negotiation right up to the end of the final hearing if necessary. Results do vary.
I just want to add to what GG said and in my experience, which was said by the mediator, a little surprised but you are assuming with the number of kids you have they could each have a room, not the case you could be ordered to occupy a 3 bed house that is say you have 1 girl and 2 boys, the 2 boys would share a room.
I thought that the needs of the children were paramount?
I know that it could be argued that they don't need a bedroom of their own but this would be very far removed from their current lifestyle - I have contemplated it, but at the end of the day you can get a small 4 bed as opposed to a large 3 bed for similar prices.
It's going to be a case of how far the money goes and, refreshingly, it will be my sole decision!
M I agree with you and would want same in your position, infact I was told I could cope with a 2 bed place for my 2 kids when I have them every other week, My family live away so they only get to see the kids when they come up to stay when they are with me, so I argued for a 3 bed.