Seeking advice for my Partner,
Background, we have been together around 18 months, he has been separated from Soon to be Ex Wife (stbxw) coming up to 2 years.
As yet neither has started divorce proceedings, however My Partner wants to get the ball rolling.
Currently stbxw is living in joint family home with the children. My partner is paying the full mortgage every month but does not pay Child Maintenance
Partner has his Children Every Other weekend and they stay over in my property.
Filing the papers on 2 year [url=Resources/Library/Cohabitation-and-Separation_s33_m1852.html ]separation[/url] is easily enough it's just the financial element he is struggling with. I was hoping someone could offer some advice I could pass on to help things.
Stbxw works min (just 16 hrs per week and claims in work benefits as a single parent)
and the children are full time primary school school age.
There is no reason why she can't increase her working hours but this is not something she is prepared to do.
On her current income/benefits she can't afford to take over the mortgage alone and/ Or buy him out.
My Partner can't afford to finance this home and purchase/rent another at the same time.
Stbx believes my DP has to continue to pay the mortgage and that she will keep the property in the long term.
There is not much equity in the house (around 10k total) and a court battle would eat this up in fees.
My Partner doesn't currently live with me, you could say he's no fixed abode as lives in hotels in the week whilst working away (nationally moving from one place to another) and he stays with me every weekend.
My property isn't big enough to house all of us permanently (I also have 2 dc) and the only way for him/us to provide stability for all DC is to either move to a bigger property together, or for My Partner to get a place of his own.
Obviously this isn't possible under the current circumstances.
The only way this would be possible is for stbxw and my partner to sell the family home, split the small amount of equity with a clean break and start again.
However as stbxw can not buy another property in this instance and would have to rent, doesn't want this to happen and will not agree.
Where does He stand legally in this situation?
He could stop paying mortgage but then she would not /could not pay and would fall into arrears and risk repossession and both losing everything in the property.
At the moment things are very unfairly balanced in Sbxw favour.
Obviously she will not want to rock the boat and would want to keep things as they are as it works for her.
However as far as I was aware my Partner is equally entitled/expected to provide a standard of living for his children that they are accustomed to, as is she. At present his children sleeping on my sofa bed with none of there personal belongings here or space of their own which obviously doesn't equate to that standard of living.
As far as i can see, the only fair and sustainable solution is to sell the family property and split the very small amount of equity, which wouldn't equate to a deposit on another house for either party but would assist with moving costs etc.
However on discussion she will not agree to this.
If it goes to court there will be no equity for either party once court and legal fees are taken into account.
In addition my partner invested a sum as deposit from a property he owned prior to his relationship/marriage and he obviously will lose a substantial amount but would like to minimise his losses as much as possible.
If he did just stop paying the mortgage it wouldn't get paid, and likely that the house would be repossessed and both walk away with nothing.
As it stands at the moment he continues to pay to try and protect his investment And is pretty much stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Needs are the first consideration when sorting out the finances. There is also an expectation that both parties will maximise their earning capacity.
So the question will be whether she and the children could reasonably be rehoused in a cheaper property. If they cannot, the options are for the property to be sold and her go into rented accommodation or for her to stay put and for him to get his share of the equity at some point in the future.
She would have to pay the mortgage and indemnify him against arrears. There may be a clause to say she should take the mortgage on when she is in a position to do so. He will have to pay child maintenance
at the statutory minimum and, depending on the detail of the finances, may need to pay some short term additional maintenance while she finds a better paid job.
Without more information about the finances it is not possible to advise in any more than general terms.