Keeping the house – bad idea?!

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  • #35999 Report


    Hi! First post from me!  I think I need lots of advice…not really sure where to start but I’ll give it a go. My husband and I have agreed to call it a day, it’s been a long time coming, way too long. We’ve just been brushing along since we agreed this before Xmas, as I think we’re both just taking a breather from fighting and blame, but need to move forward and stop living in limbo. We live in a relatively expensive area and jointly own a small semi detached house. Although we both work, neither of us would be approved to take on the mortgage alone as it’s still too high with 25ish+ years left on the loan. If we sold, neither of us could really afford to buy anything more than a one bedroom flat where we are and we have two children, one of each. The rent around here is also high and with some equity and my salary I certainly couldn’t afford much more than a small flat. So we have tentatively agreed that we should probably keep the house together for the time being as in addition to the mortgage being cheaper than rent, the kids also get stability. We discussed that I would stay here with the children and my husband will move out and rent somewhere big enough to have the kids a couple of nights a week- we haven’t agreed child arrangements yet but I anticipate I would have them the majority of the time as I work part-time and him full time. For him to rent will cost a significant amount more than our current mortgage plus all the bills etc. I have looked and think I might be entitled to some universal credit based on my income and I think with this I could make it work to cover the mortgage and bills etc. Despite the fact that I would have the kids the majority of the time, I wouldn’t expect maintenance (though we have agreed that he would take on the extra curricular fees like swimming lessons and dance classes) because it does me a favour to be able to stay in the house paying a lower rent/mortgage than if we sold and he will be paying more to rent. <span style=”color: #000000; font-size: 17px;”>It’s not a forever solution, we agreed that we would review in a couple of years once we and the children have got used to the idea of the split but can’t financially work out how either of us would afford to do anything else?! At the point we come to sell we’d still receive an equal amount of money from the sale/equity as although he wouldn’t have paid the mortgage in my eyes he will have been contributing by paying rent elsewhere to enable me and the children to stay put somewhere more affordable. It feels like a potential workable solution but keen to hear opinions if it’s a bad idea to stay in a joint mortgage together?! </span>I can’t even think how to get started with any of this. Neither of us have any savings at all and if I can’t get some universal credit it doesn’t work anyway… would really appreciate any advice that can be offered.  So desperate to protect our children and find the best pathway for them in this mess. Thank you in advance!

    #36001 Report


    It sounds like you’ve given this a lot of thought and understandably want the best for your children.
    I’m in a similar situation. The professional advice I’ve been given is to stay put in the house until our daughter leaves full time education or a trigger event happens as it gives her stability. My ex’s name can stay on the mortgage even if he doesn’t pay.

    Have you heard about Meshers Order?

    #36002 Report


    Thanks for replying. Sorry to hear that you’re in a similar situation. It feels quite tough! Thats helpful to hear about keeping his name on the mortgage etc. Have you been given advice about life insurance etc eg if something happened to your ex, what then happens to the house? This is what worries me (I mean my head goes to some crazy places so please don’t judge me but  I couldn’t sleep thinking about if my husband died and then couldn’t be on the mortgage would we have to sell on top of the kids being devastated..)
    I’ve just briefly googled mesher orders, and reading the disadvantages was helpful to think about. I hadn’t considered about challenges of getting a mortgage later in life when the equity isn’t enough to cover a new place. I think I will look into this further as I might be naive but want to avoid going to court if we can, so need to work out if it’s something we could just agree?

    I can’t actually think about an actual divorce or anything at the moment as I can’t get past the worries about paying for somewhere for the children to live and also having somewhere for them to stay safely and comfortably with their dad too.



    #36004 Report


    Hi there, first, sorry that you’re going through this situation.


    I do think your idea is reasonable. You’re staying in the home And not causing upheaval for the children in regard to their living arrangements.  its one less issue/adjustment for them (and you) to deal with.

    I guess, when the children are older you can sell the house and the proceeds split accordingly (Btwn you and husband) and possibly buy something else.

    its seems that you have been amicable in deciding how to handle the Living arrangements, which is great. The children come first and that’s how the courts decide which order to give when you divorce too.


    im currently going through a similar situation (but I’m not married).


    i work and have been paying for the house mortgage  over the past couple of years by myself (while he’s still living in it and not working)  and tried desperately to keep the house for me and my child. I can’t afford private rent unless it’s a 1 bed place. The father just wants all his money from the house  (ie I buy him out, which I cannot afford to do) without giving a damn where we’re going to live.


    in the early separation, i suggested  that we both live in the same house keep the asset and roof over our heads and better for child too (but he said no and it’s definitely not going to work now as he’s got a new girlfriend).

    I relented to sell the house, but friends tell me to stay and try and keep the house for me and child. For the past two years I have had many sleepless nights worrying/thinking where am I going to live.  The father is definitely not thinking about it.

    im going to see solicitors to discuss my options.  I want to fight and also at times want to give up.




    #36013 Report


    We’re currently managing to amicably discuss what’s best for the children and to be honest it’s a surprise to me! Although we agreed before Xmas, it’s actually been over a year me trying to broach the subject that our relationship is causing the kids more harm than good if you know what I mean. My husband also has somewhat a selfish streak and I’ve really had to tread carefully. He has repeatedly suggested we just stay living together but it’s clear it won’t work and the arguments are awful.
    I can empathise with your feelings of sometimes not wanting to battle. I’ve spent much time just thinking I’d hand everything to him just to be free but ultimately our only choice then would be for the three of us to be squeezed into one room at my mums with no real way forward.
    It sounds like you should definitely seek some advice about if there’s any protections or ways that you could seek a similar agreement to the Mesher order suggested above in order to stay put with your child for the time being. I’m so sorry it sounds so stressful.

    Take care x

    #36049 Report


    Thank you for your thoughts.

    its good that the discussions are amicable makes a huge difference.  I understand that you’re going to review the living  situation in a couple of years. Is that to see how it works out financially?
    would you get your divorce sorted during the 2 year period ?



    #36094 Report


    For what its worth – try and consult a solicitor as most offer a free half hour.  You may be (pleasantly) surprised about what they say.  From what I gather the length of the marriage is relevant.  Also go through the CMS calculator to see what he needs to pay in terms of supporting his children; this is especially important given that you are taking on most of the childcare, living costs etc on a part-time wage.  Keep talking to him as solicitors are expensive, but get some advice first before you agree to anything

    #36137 Report


    Definitely keen to see if it works out financially in the short term.

    I’m not sure about divorce. Obviously that needs to happen but I don’t know anything about it like how/when/how much etc, as my priority has been thinking about living arrangements, but yeah that’s something I need to consider.


    Will definitely look at getting some quick free advice if I can too! Thanks

    #36140 Report


    Hi, my husband and I seperated last year and because we want the least disruption to the kids lives ( 3 under 10yrs) its agreed amicably that I stay in the house as the mortgage is far cheaper then me having to rent a property (and not enough equity or salary on my own to afford to buy) and he will rent a flat nearby. I saw a solicitor. We were advised to get a financial agreement in place but have actually decided to just get the divorce underway. Its agreed that in future when I’m stable enough to take on whole mortgage I will and if I move on or the kids turn 18, we sell and the split will be 60/40 as he has far greater earning potential compared to me.

    Hes also paying me child maintenance as per calculator.

    If you can both survive and the kids are happy and settled in the house with you that’s important! Def see a solicitor. I got 30 mins free!


    #36184 Report


    Saw the solicitor today. My choices are pretty dim.

    Schedule 1, which is a similar type of  order to the mesher order or sell. If I sell, definitely can’t buy anywhere in the area.

    I can’t live with this individual much longer bringing his girlfriend to my home, which I think is tactical and bullying me to make a decision on which estate agent to go with.  if I decide the Schedule 1 route, it  take up to 18 months.


    He’s going to walk away with a lump sum from the sale and won’t have to pay me any maintenance!!!

    just getting my head around letting go of my home and not being able to look at the moon and stars from my bathroom window when I need to clear my mind.


    my mum said there are people worse off than you in this world. That’s how I’m trying to view my life

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