Hi there, just registered to this site and wondered if anyone could help....my husband of 3 years wants to seperate. we have t young children together age 4 and 2. we have a joint family home, even though i have been a housewife, he has always paid the mortgage. our house is in negative equity right now. he is asking me to leave the family home and find a rental property for me and our children, and he wants to remain in the house and take on the mortgage, as i wouldnt be able to afford it.....what rights do i have? if any? does he have the right to mae me move out? and to take the children away from their family home? any advice would be gratefully received, thanks
Olivia, the Court's first priority would be to ensure that both you have homes and particularly the children.
As a general rule, it is unlikely that you would have the right to live in the former FMH
unless you could afford to do it with the aid of such resources as you have, which might include :
Your wages, if there are any.
Council tax benefit, if applicable
He's probably thinking that if you rent, you can claim housing benefit. But there he is not necessarily right. He has to meet your needs and if those needs include rent he has to help you with that ; he can't just transfer his responsibilities to the taxpayer.
Only a Court has the right to order you to leave. May I ask if the house is in joint names ?
He certainly cannot force you to move out. He is probably thinking that because he has always paid the mortgage, he has made more contributions and therefore has more rights to the house. But this is completely incorrect. You have made equal if not more contributions to the household by bringing up his children. It is your home just as much as his. Similarly, you can't force him to move out either. You both have equal rights to live there.
As to what will happen after divorce, well that is as Mike says. Whether you can afford to keep the home on your income and his maintenance will depend very much on the figures and the mortgage company.
But in the short term, NO, you should not move out and he cannot make you. Do not be bullied and to not hesitate to call the police if he gets violent.
Cookie is correct - you and he are both entitled to be in the houe, and it is generally unwise to move out until you are cler about your financial position.
Howeverm you don't have an automatic right to stay there with the children, especially if you cannot afford to pay the mortgage - it might be reasonable for him to pay you spousal maitnenace to allow the mortgag to be paid, but only if he can realistically afford this as well as meeting his own housing needs.
I would recommend that you get some advice about your eligibility for benefits
- what will you get if assesed as a single person? In some cases, there may be help avalable to cover some of the mortgage interest, and this might be an option especially if you anticipate returning to work and being able to start to pay the mortgage in the forseeable future.
Also check where you would stand if you were to move out. You would probably not qualify for council housing because you own a property (check with your loal housing office) and if you voluntarily move out or transfer the hoseu to your ex you could be classified as having become intentionally homeless.
If you are thinking about renting privately you would need to make some enquiries about what deposit you would need, and whether you will be entitled to housing benefit.
You need to be clear about the implictions of either staying or going on your benefit position before you decide.
in the long term, if there is no realistic prospect of you being able to pay the mortgage, it may be that you will have to look at mioving out, but you need to make a decision only once you have a clear picture of the options and the effect of any decision.