I’ve been separated from husband since July 2016. The children and I moved out of the family home in January 2017.
Family home is joint. There is a mortgage and a secured loan. Husband has been paying these since I left. Children and I are in private rented accommodation.
Note – long story short, I left as he refused to leave and the situation was getting very bad for my emotional wellbeing and that of the children.
He has them after school for dinner alternate weeks and to stay 3 night alternate weekends and the odd week in the holidays.
He disputes I am entitled to half the house. I would agree to a small lump sum to secure the house for the children in the future. If I demanded my share it would force a sale with neither of us being able to afford to buy another property.
He also disputes he should be paying maintenance, as he is paying for the secured loan and my half of that balances it out. I have had one payment of £40 from him.
They should be able to give you some pointers. Also, CAB of course.
I don’t think paying the loan and mortgage mitigates maintenance. You can force a sale, and yes, you would both end up having to downsize. I also think you may have a legal case for you as the main carer having the house (as it’s better for the children) and your husband privately renting, though I don’t know the financial implications of that.