Keeping the family home

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  • #14118 Report


    My marriage has broken down through my husband’s choosing. He move out for a month over Christmas and then decided we should try again so I let him move back in.

    It is now 6 months on and he has decided he is no longer in love with me. He has moved into a downstairs room in our house.  We have 2 children together age 13 and 8.   I think he would like the current arrangement to continue,  but I feel that I need him to move out so I can start to rebuild my life.  I would not be able to stay in house without considerable financial help from him and this would make it difficult for him to afford a place for himself.

    Can anyone help me with what my rights are. Should we be going to some sort if mediation to sort out our finances. I have heard this can be costly.

    Feeling completely devastated and like an empty shell at the moment, but I know I have to move on for the sake of my children.

    #14125 Report


    Hi Hannahlucy

    I am so sorry to hear of your heartache. Most of us on here have been there in one way or another, and it really is true that time is a great healer. When my ex and I separated he lived with us for a further year or so, and although this sort of worked well for us (financially, as well as for our child’s benefit) it wasn’t sustainable. Like you I still has strong feelings for him, so the emotional journey that I’ve been on since he moved out has been a rollercoaster of a ride. He definitely needs to move out for you to start rebuilding your life. Whilst he’s there you are going to be stuck in limbo

    My best advice would be to see a solicitor, also give the Gingerbread helpline a call. Most solicitors offer a free 30 minute consultation, and as long as you go in armed with your questions, you can get a lot of value from that 30 minutes! I used both avenues when my ex and I separated, and both were very helpful

    Also, assuming your house is mortgaged, then it might be worth seeing if you can swap to interest only. Even if it’s just to get you over the next couple of years. Going to court would be costly, but might enable you to stay in the family home until your children are older/out of full time education. You can represent yourself in court, which would save money, and there are charities around who can help you with preparing for the court hearing. Have a look online for such support in your local area

    Good luck, and do feel free to message me if you ever need to chat x



    #14126 Report


    Also look online for a benefits calculator. Plus your ex has to pay maintenance, so this will help finically – although I must say that it’s nowhere near enough to cover the expenses us single parents incur (in my opinion anyway! especially by the time you work out bills, housing costs, food, clothes, school trips etc)

    #14151 Report


    Hi HannahLucy

    I too found myself in this situation, but with a toddler and an 8 month old baby. You will not be able to move on with your life until your husband moves out and your emotional health will suffer.

    I think a lot will depend upon your financial situation. As littlemonkey says, can you change your mortgage to reduce payments, can the other party afford to rent something?

    Most single mothers I know manage to remain in the family home but ‘with a charge’ ie a percentage of the property remaining in the husbands name. Generally this seems to mean that you either sell the home when the youngest child reaches 18 and divide the proceeds accordingly, or buy the other party out.

    I was fortunate that my ex had enough funds to rent whilst the children and I remained in the family home. I initially offered him a 20% interest in the property which he declined preferring to take the matter to court which was very costly and exhausting. However I looked into taking over the mortgage myself and was able to do this, the court therefore decided that I would keep the house in it’s entirety and my ex would receive the majority of our savings.This worked well for me as it was the cleanest break possible, and it gave me security.  However I still have a mortgage to pay and two children to support so it is financially quite difficult.

    You really do need some professional financial advice, as any options will depend on your individual financial circumstances. Get all your paperwork together. Mortgage documents, savings documents, earnings, benefits, and any other assets, endowment policy and so on. Take this to a solicitor when you book a free 30 minutes and ask what your realistic options are.

    It would be best if you and the other party could agree a solution or as much of a solution as possible together and get this drawn up by a solicitor, to be approved by the courts. My ex would not agree to anything so I had no choice but to be dragged through the court process, this ended up with both of us having to appoint barristers and the whole process was expensive and destructive. This is something you need to try and avoid if at all possible. Any money is best used to provide for your children.

    The consequences of divorce are costly – there are two separate households to maintain after all, and sadly it is often mothers who bear the brunt of this.

    I however was advised that the 50/50 splits that most primary earners assume will be the outcome is not reality. It may be the starting point, but unless you are incredibly wealthy, settlements are usually considered on a needs basis, with the needs of the children and their primary career coming first.

    I hope this re-assures, you or helps. I remember how difficult and devasting that time was for me – my head was spinning, and I felt like I couldn’t think my way out of a paper bag! I survived and have since supported quite a few friends through the process, and I think all of them now have ownership of their own home. We’re still all poor though as there isn’t much left over once you pay off the mortgage! There again find the best mortgage deal you can…

    Feel free to message if you wish to chat more.

    Wishing you all the best



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