The separation agreement was signed in better financial times. Because of my public service pension and his nil pension I owed my ex £32,000 so that we would both have a Clean Break. I agreed that my £32k would be paid to him from the house sale so my ex would receive all the equity from the house sale and I would retain my pension. If there was a shortfall I said I would make it up - expecting this to be only a few hundred pounds.
Now the housing market has fallen and my ex wants to reduce the house price which means I would have to owe him potentially another £30,000.
I don't have this money. Surely I cannot be expected to go into debt for years while he gets a lump sum of £60k. I will never be able to afford my own home now or put my children through uni.
I feel my life is over. If I can't get out of this agreement or some way round it I honestly don't see any point in going on.
Please give me some constructive advice as I am now at a loss and in one dark hole.
In Scotland separation agreements are enforceable contracts. Usually the courts has no jurisdiction to alter the terms relating to finances (the courts always retain jurisdiction with regard to arrangements for any children) although the agreement can be challenged and set aside or varied if the agreement wasn't "fair and reasonable" at the time it was made [s16 Family law (Scotland) Act 1985]
A misevaluation of the assets at the time of separation or evidence that someone had been bullied into the agreement may render an agreement unfair and unreasonable but a change of circumstances after the agreement is entered into wouldn't [Clarkson v Clarkson 2008]
Sorry, I wish I could give you better news but it would be misleading to say something different just to make you feel better. It might be worth getting a solicitor to check the agreement was fair and reasonable when it was entered into or if there is any technicality that makes it possible to challenge the agreement although the costs involved are significant.
The danger if no one pays the mortgage is the house will be repossessed, sold for a much lower price than the open market and the £32k plus the short fall would still be owed. The debt can be enforced like any other debt or you can be sequestrated which you want to avoid if at all possible.
On the other hand if the terms of the agreement were not fair and reasonable when they were entered into it might be possible to have the agreement set aside, particularly if the agreement is less than 1 year old, but you need a legal opinion from a lawyer who has sight of all the documentation.