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What are we each entitled to in our divorce settlement?

What does the law say about how to split the house, how to share pensions and other assets, and how much maintenance is payable.

What steps can we take to reach a fair agreement?

The four basic steps to reaching an agreement on divorce finances are: disclosure, getting advice, negotiating and implementing a Consent Order.

What is a Consent Order and why do we need one?

A Consent Order is a legally binding document that finalises a divorcing couple's agreement on property, pensions and other assets.


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Can my husband charge me rent on the marital home

  • 112233
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27 Jul 12 #345744 by 112233
Topic started by 112233
Hi, I''ve just had my first mediation meeting with my stbx. We have three children, aged 8, 10 and 13. He moved out 3 months ago after I discovered that he has been having an affair for 3 years. I am living in the marital home with the three children. He is paying the mortgage but not child maintenance, which I am quite happy about as long as the mortgage is being paid. We had discussed earlier, that as long as he is paying the mortgage, when the house is eventually sold, (probably when the youngest leaves full time education) we would split any equity 50/50. However, I suggested that if he does not pay the mortgage or reduces his contribution quite significantly, then when the house is eventually sold, he would get half the equity as it stands today (as long as this has not gone down) and then we work out a far split of the remaining equity when the house is later sold.
He threw a bit of a curve ball into the meeting and said that if I am occupying the house (with the kids or course) then he can charge me rent on his share. Is this correct. I pay everything else, all bills, absolutely everything. All he pays is the mortgage. I am actually paying out more a month, than he is.
Is there anyone out there that can put my mind at rest or at least give me some advice.
Many thanks.

  • sexysadie
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27 Jul 12 #345750 by sexysadie
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The way it usually works is that the person occupying the marital home pays the mortgage, but no rent to the other person. If he were paying child support, would you be able to afford the mortgage from this? It would be simpler.

You need to get whatever you agree written up in a Consent Order and sealed at court. Then neither of you can back out of it further along the line. It is possible for his share of the house to be paid to him when the children leave home but usually it''s a share of the equity at the time, not as it is now.

Best wishes,
Sadie

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27 Jul 12 #345751 by Tets
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as Sadie says the person occupying the house would pay all the mortgage and any other bills associated with living there. The other partner retains a 50% interest in the property so the occupier is paying the mortgage in lieu of paying rent for occupying the other parties half of the house. He would be entitled to half the proceeds at time of sale so would benefit from any increase in value. It would be appropriate to expect a contribution towards maintenance of the property as well.

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27 Jul 12 #345763 by 112233
Reply from 112233
Thanks Tets and SexySadie.

This is getting so complicated. At the moment he pays all the mortgage which is a couple of hundred over what he would have to pay in child maintenance. I don''t think he will be able to maintain making these payments and so I am going to have to speak to the bldg society to see if we can change to an interest only mortgage. If they agree, the mortgage will be reduced by a couple of hundred pounds which will probably equate to what he should be paying in maintenance. Therefore I will be paying 100% mortgage and he will be paying child maintenance only. I''m going to insist that he pays me maintenance and I will pay the mortgage from that.
If the bldg society say no to interest only I will still insist on the maintenance and we will have to work out the difference in the mortgage between us. It would probably work out that I would be paying 65% of the mortgage.
This seems an Absolute minfield. Any advice greatly received.
Thanks.

  • LittleMrMike
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27 Jul 12 #345764 by LittleMrMike
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Your husband has a legal obligation to pay child support. I don''t know how much this is, or how it compares with what he pays under the mortgage. If the mortgage exceeds the child maintenance then that seems OK to me - he is keeping a roof over his family''s head.
But either way - whether you are a joint owner, or just entitled to live there under the general law, then you have the right to live there so in my view he can''t charge you rent.
First of all, you asked if your husband can charge you rent.
If you are a joint owner you have the right to live there, because this is one of the rights that goes with ownership.
If he is a sole owner, then you have the right to live there while you remain married. If you are not an owner of the property, it is important that you '' register matrimonial home rights ''. If this applies to you let me know and I, or someone else, will explain why this matters.
LMM

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27 Jul 12 #345769 by 112233
Reply from 112233
Thank you LMM.

That is very helpful.
I am a joint owner of the property with my husband, but I have been advised that I need to get this changed to tenants in common. I understand this is something that my solicitor will do. I''m going to instruct my solicitor on Monday.
Thanks.

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27 Jul 12 #345779 by LittleMrMike
Reply from LittleMrMike
Where property is jointly owned, the joint owners may be ‘ joint tenants ‘ or ‘ tenants in common ‘. The chances are that, if you are married, it will be the former.
With a joint tenancy, if one joint owner dies, the survivor becomes the sole owner automatically, by operation of law, and independently of the provisions in a will.
Tenancies in common are more often used for business partnerships. Each joint owner ( assuming there are two ) owns one half share which can be disposed of by will.
Solicitors sometimes advise joint owners who are joint tenants to convert it into a tenancy in common by a process known technically as severance. The reason it is done is to cover the risk that one party may die and the other inherits the lot. ( Of course it can work the other way too ! ).
In most cases it makes little difference to the financial settlement if the parties are joint tenants or tenants in common ,in view of the Court’s wide power to redistribute between spouses. Of course it can matter quite a lot if one spouse is terminally ill ! – but in most cases it is really up to you to decide whether the potential benefits justify the expense. Not that the expense should be considerable – it’s a pretty straightforward process.

LMM

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