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Housing for Separated Fathers

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 16 Oct 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Separated Dads Housing Rent Buy Mortgage

With separation, housing becomes an urgent and thorny issue. You might well own your current house with your partner, but what happens to that when you split up, and especially the money you have tied up in it? Even if you’re renting, there are issues that need to be faced. As for where you go, what’s the best path to take, renting or buying another property?

Your Current House

If you’ve been renting the house in your name and you’re moving out, both you and your ex should be aware that there’s no automatic transfer of lease to her. You’ll need to talk to the landlord and make new arrangements. You’ll also want your deposit back, since the amount will be very useful when renting a new place.

If you own the home, the two of you will need to make arrangements for your property. If it’s owned jointly, as most are, you have two choices. If one of you intends to remain in the house, that person will have to buy out the other. You can also decide to sell the house and split the money. If your partner is buying you out, make sure the arrangements aren’t just private, but registered through the building society, so you’re formally released from the mortgage. If not, then legally the property will still be classed as partly yours, and if your ex defaults on the mortgage, it can adversely ruin your credit rating.

To Buy or Rent?

When you leave, you can either buy a new house or rent. Rental has many attractions in the short term, as you decide what you want to do and where you want to live. Be aware that most rentals are on renewable short-term six month leases. You’ll initially pay the first month’s rent plus a deposit (usually equal to a month’s rent) which can be refunded when you leave, as long as the property is in good condition.

You might consider renting with a friend, but make sure both your names are on the lease, otherwise, if the other person is named as the renter and moves out, you might find yourself homeless.

If you decide to buy, you’ll almost certainly have to downsize, since you’ll be relying on just your income rather than that of a couple. But with most homebuyers needing at least a 20% deposit, this may not be an option for you unless you have a large lump sum.

Before you look at any property, make a checklist of what you need. Apart from the basics, each of your children should have their own bedroom (budget and the number of children might not make this possible), and there should be a garden where your kids can play. (See our article What You Need in the House for Your Child on this site.) If you buy, even if it’s just a small property, it puts you back on the property ladder, and if you can make a good down payment, your monthly mortgage might be less than rent.

Choosing your Location

The other question is where you should live. There are distinct advantages in staying close to your former home, since it makes contact with your children much easier. However, some separated fathers prefer to move away. This can be due to a job, the desire to make a clean break, or cheaper housing prices in another part of the country. There are pluses and minuses to both that you need to weight for yourself.

When You Move

Regardless of where you move, when you do switch addresses there are some things you need to do. Before you transport everything to your new place, go through items – do you need or even want them? Moving is always a good opportunity for a clearout.

You’ll also need to inform people about your change of address. That’s not only friends but organisations such as banks, building societies, the Inland Revenue, credit card companies, DVLA, insurance companies and your GP etc. This will ensure that important items of mail follow you to your new home.

Check out the Separated Dads Forum... It's a great resource where you can ask for advice on topics including Child Access, Maintenance, CAFCASS, Fathers Rights, Court, Behaviour or simply to have a chat with other dads.

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I live with my wife and 4 children in a housing assocaition flat want to seprate now , i have sever depression unable to work for many years and on sick notes , was in support group and esa benefit for many years, i dont know where to go as we can not live together , please advice , will the housing option rehouse me?
John - 16-Oct-18 @ 10:09 PM
Hi all,I'm in a bit of an anxious mess at the moment and could really do with some solid advice. My wife and I have been married for 11 years and we have twins aged 7.We own our own home that has around 250k equity.I work full time and my wife works part time (she's earns 10k per annum through the bank and around 10k cash per annum)so on paper she only earns 10k per year.We do not have any significant savings (nothing above 1k).She now wants to split with me. She has been coming up with loads of bullsh*t saying that I'm physically and verbally abusive. its simply not true. im pretty sure she is having an affair but I cannot prove anything. We have not had sex since May this year.I still live in the family home and I really don't want to leave as I love my kids so so much. I'm really worried about what will happen with regards to my housing?my wife does not have the financial means to buy me out. She has said that she wants to remain in the house until the children are 18 and that she would be able to afford to do this with tax credits. where would this leave me? if this happened - I wouldn't be able to remove my name from the mortgage and therefore not be able to get my own place? This whole things seems very 1 sided. It seems like, if you are in are married with children and your wife either does not work or works on a low income. She has all the power?! the woman can effectively pull the plug on the husband at any point! It's crazy.I would like our house to be sold and the proceeds split somehow.I've put blood, sweat and tears into that house and I came from a poor upbringing and I just wanted better for my whole family. it now looks like, it can all be taken away from me because my wife wants to. She gets to live in MY house with MY children whereas I have to move into a bedsit somewhere and to top it off, the inevitable new man moving in and sleeping in my bed!! it's absolutely crazy.Please someone tell me that I have other options!
stu - 26-Sep-18 @ 9:49 AM
@lyd.no he is not responsible for keeping a roof over there head once they have broken up .thats where child support comes in to help with the day to day up keep of the child .my x had a affair I got all bills out of my name on rental property to she left then I just cleaned it up and payed out the remaining rent owning on the contract.and moved out and started over a fresh and when I mean starting over I mean starting over I never had it in my mind about going legal for my daughter in reality i didn’t want her .i just wanted to make my life good do what I wanted and still live that way today I have no interest in my daughter .
Chris laurie - 24-Sep-18 @ 9:33 PM
My son lived in a private rented property with his wife and two children. The contract is up in two months time and his name is solely on the contract.She has had an affair and he has left the property. He no longer wants to renew the contract. Is he responsible to kee a roof over their heads.
Lyd - 24-Sep-18 @ 7:49 PM
Matt - Your Question:
Morning, me and my wife of 10yrs have recently decided to part ways. We have three boys together 8, 6 and 5. My wife also has a son from a previous relationship he is 12. We are living in council accommodation, we will have 50/50 share of custody with the boys.Everything is moving so fast. Not really sure what needs doing. The housing situation is very stressful as I am the sole earner in the household so a lot of the burden falls on my shoulders. I don't see how I can support two houses. My priority is supporting my children, but I do not think I can afford to find my own place.Would the council help with accommodation? I need somewhere that I can look after my children, and have them stay over etc. Any help would be much appreciated.

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. You can apply to the council, although if you are not the primary carer of your children you will not be allocated extra bedrooms for them. Your only option is to rent privately if you want extra rooms for your children to stay with you.
SeparatedDads - 6-Sep-18 @ 3:35 PM
Morning,me and my wife of 10yrs have recently decided to part ways.We have three boys together 8, 6 and 5.My wife also has a son from a previous relationship he is 12.We are living in council accommodation, we will have 50/50 share of custody with the boys. Everything is moving so fast.Not really sure what needs doing.The housing situation is very stressful as I am the sole earner in the household so a lot of the burden falls on my shoulders.I don't see how I can support two houses.My priority is supporting my children, but I do not think I can afford to find my own place. Would the council help with accommodation? I need somewhere that I can look after my children, and have them stay over etc. Any help would be much appreciated.
Matt - 5-Sep-18 @ 10:35 AM
Newly single dad - Your Question:
Hello. I'm currently going through a divorce. I'm hoping I can buy my ex wife out of the home. I'm confident that I will be able to raise the extra funds by remortgaging the home or lending additional money from my current lender.However, although currently she seems keen on moving out of the matrimonial home. And renting instead, I know that no lenders will give her a mortgage due to her earnings. however if she changes her mind and do want to stay in our home is there anyway in which she could legally force me to remain on the mortgage?A little facts about us married April 2017. I filled for divorce april 2018(would have done this sooner if I could.) Brought the home in 2014 and our only child was born 2015.Thanks

Our Response:
If you have a child between you and a) your ex is the primary carer of your child, b) she chooses to remain in the house and c) cannot afford to buy you out, then it could be tricky to have your name removed from the mortgage. First and foremost your agreement is with the mortgage lender. You may wish to seek legal advice.
SeparatedDads - 4-Sep-18 @ 3:36 PM
Hello. I'm currently going through a divorce. I'm hoping i can buy my ex wife out of the home. I'm confident that i will be able to raise the extra funds by remortgaging the home or lending additional money from my current lender. However, although currently she seems keen on moving out of the matrimonial home. And renting instead, i know that no lenders will give her a mortgage due to her earnings. however if she changes her mind and do want to stay in our home is there anyway in which she could legally force me to remain on the mortgage? A little facts about us married April 2017. I filled for divorce april 2018(would have done this sooner if i could.) Brought the home in 2014 and our only child was born 2015. Thanks
Newly single dad - 4-Sep-18 @ 12:47 PM
@Dave - have you got kids? As why would she get so much - unless she put more into the marriage? If you have kids, you've no chance mate. The courts aren't going to deprive her of money where there are kids involved.
GraHam - 27-Jul-18 @ 2:20 PM
Hi I got divorced last year and my ex was awarded 82.5% of the assets (£153k cash & £40k lump sum pension) which criplpled me financially & left me with £23k after paying solicitors fees. A couple of months after the divorce she moved in to a 3 bed town house which was £60k more than she said she could afford in court only weeks before. This money was obviously gifted by her Nan but I believe she knew she had access to this money at the court date. I queried how she could afford such a property and she told me Help to Buy, which I have since found to be a lie. I am not in a position to purchase my own place and believe the original court decision to be invalid based on misleading information and want to contest the consent order. It has been just over a year but I have only recently found out that she didn’t purchase the property by Help to Buy so that’s why I didn’t challenge sooner. Can I still challenge it now?
Dave - 24-Jul-18 @ 9:25 AM
Steve - Your Question:
I split with my ex 5 months ago then she found out she was pregnant we remain good friends and have agreed that I will take on the baby full time as my ex wants to go back to work not long after the baby is born, she already has two children that are grown up and in school. I'm currently in a house share with one room not far from her and would need a bigger place. What should my options be?

Our Response:
In order to be granted another room (from the council), you would have to be the person who is in receipt of child benefit and/or other benefits if applicable.
SeparatedDads - 23-Jul-18 @ 12:39 PM
I split with my ex 5 months ago then she found out she was pregnant we remain good friends and have agreed that I will take on the baby full time as my ex wants to go back to work not long after the baby is born, she already has two children that are grown up and in school. I'm currently in a house share with one room not far from her and would need a bigger place. What should my options be?
Steve - 22-Jul-18 @ 2:39 PM
Micky - Your Question:
I have a council house im the only one on the tenancy we have 2 boys I have sepersted from my wife my ex is taken me to court to get the house if I loose will the council rehouse me as im worried ill b honeless

Our Response:
If your ex is the primary carer of your children - it is likely she will be awarded the house if she has no alternative accommodation (the court will always ensure the children first and foremost have a roof over their heads). If you do not have a home, dependent upon your financial circumstances you would have the option to rent privately of request to be rehomed by the council. You can speak directly to Shelter via the link here to find out more.
SeparatedDads - 25-Jun-18 @ 2:15 PM
I have a council house im the only one on the tenancy we have 2 boys i have sepersted from my wife my ex is taken me to court to get the house if i loose will the council rehouse me as im worried ill b honeless
Micky - 23-Jun-18 @ 6:18 PM
My son (not married) shares a mortgage with his ex partner. 2 years ago he discovered she had been in a long term affair with a work colleague. He has 2 children now in primary school, one child at the time of the separation left with my son to reside with us (parents) whilst he dealt with the situation the younger child stayed in the (mortgaged) home and they sought mediation. His partner agreed to nothing but accepted her oldest child was too distressed to remain with her and he could (reluctantly) remain with the father. She stated during mediation (not documented) that she would seek to take over the mortgate in a few months time when she was due a pay rise which she believed would allow her to get a mortgage, she informally agreed with my son that if she was unable to get a mortgage then the home would have to be sold. Now 2 yrs later after being declined by several lenders she is now seeking to demand the return of her older child and for my son to continue to cover half the mortgage until they 'are of age'. Although my son pays £500 per month rent to us he will be unable to afford to rent a property and maintain his half of the mortgage which additionally means he can never get another mortgage until he is clear of his current joint mortgage (at his age that means never) Has anyone had a similar experience and can they give me some advice, unfortunately we have to sell our home and my son will be looking for other local affordable accomodation by the end of the year.
Jack - 28-May-18 @ 8:13 PM
Hi,I am separated dad, we weren't married. We are separated for 3 years, have 3 children. I live in 3 bedroom consil house since she left and rent privately. As she doesn't want the consil house could I keep it for myself as place for acssess to the children? If I amn't allowed to have 3 bedrooms how many bedrooms I am allowed? How can I swap it to different location? Saul
Saul - 16-May-18 @ 11:14 PM
Proud dad of 4 - Your Question:
Hi guys. I’m in need of some advice. My ex and I split about a year ago and I have three children with her. I also have my Eldest who lives with me full time at my parents house. My ex partner is saying I can only see the children if I have them at her house. However unfortunately due to the amount I pay out each month I cannot afford to drive so getting there and back puts a strain on everyone. I pay child maintanence at an agreed price but I’m only allowed to see them at her house? Can I have them at my house? Am I right to question her about this? Thanks in advance.

Our Response:
There is no official rule either way. If you cannot agree between yourselves, then you would have to suggest mediation. If you cannot agree through mediation, then you would have to apply to court, please see link here. As in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the child in question. The court will always put the child’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order.
SeparatedDads - 26-Mar-18 @ 3:08 PM
Hi guys. I’m in need of some advice. My ex and I split about a year ago and I have three children with her. I also have my Eldest who lives with me full time at my parents house. My ex partner is saying I can only see the children if I have them at her house. However unfortunately due to the amount I pay out each month I cannot afford to drive so getting there and back puts a strain on everyone. I pay child maintanence at an agreed price but I’m only allowed to see them at her house? Can I have them at my house? Am I right to question her about this? Thanks in advance.
Proud dad of 4 - 25-Mar-18 @ 10:19 PM
Daniel - Your Question:
Thanks very much - really appreciate it.

Our Response:
You're welcome. In addition, if your ex is working, earning and paying tax via HMRC, then you would also be entitled to claim child maintenance from her towards the day-to-day upkeep of your daughter. Speak to CMS directly regarding this.
SeparatedDads - 19-Mar-18 @ 12:04 PM
Thanks very much - really appreciate it.
Daniel - 17-Mar-18 @ 1:49 PM
Daniel - Your Question:
Thanks very much. Do you know if I might be entitled to child tax credits and child benefit. At present, from one source, I was told I am not. I have two jobs (both low paid), live with my elderly parents, having left my family in 2014. My daughter came to live with me in January and does not want to have contact with her mother. I need to find an affordable flat but can't do do on the salary I receive. I really would like to know what financial aid I might be entitled to as the situation at home is a strain for my parents. Many thanks for any advice in advance.

Our Response:
You would have to speak to CMS regarding the matter of child maintenance. Your ex should not be allowed to continue claiming for your daughter if your daughter is living with you. You would also be allowed to claim child benefit for your daughter (if she is in full-time education). Once child benefit is registered in your name, then you will be entitled to claim benefits such as working tax credits, as you will be classed as the registered primary carer of your daughter. Also, if your daughter is living with you, you may be entitled to apply for council housing. Please see more via the Turn2Us link here . I hope this helps.
SeparatedDads - 16-Mar-18 @ 3:11 PM
Thanks very much. Do you know if I might be entitled to child tax credits and child benefit. At present, from one source, I was told I am not. I have two jobs (both low paid), live with my elderly parents, having left my family in 2014. My daughter came to live with me in January and does not want to have contact with her mother. I need to find an affordable flat but can't do do on the salary I receive. I really would like to know what financial aid I might be entitled to as the situation at home is a strain for my parents. Many thanks for any advice in advance.
Daniel - 16-Mar-18 @ 8:15 AM
@Daniel - if your ex doesn't work, then she can still claim child maintenance from you, for your son.
Greg67 - 15-Mar-18 @ 1:00 PM
Hi, My daughter is now living with me. My son lives with my ex wife. I was and still currentky am paying child maintenance for both children. I work, my ex wife doesn't, we have barest minimal contact. Is it possible for me to stop paying child maintenance entirely since custody is divided, i.e. one parent lives with one child, the other with the other. Thanks for any advice, Daniel
Daniel - 13-Mar-18 @ 10:43 PM
Anthony - Your Question:
Hi,I am separated, never married but I got a little girl with my ex. She is 8 now and she would like to stay overnight at mine. Unfortunately I have 1 bed social flat and no space for her. I tried to apply for a two bed but council said “ as her mum has a house (not council) I have not right to have a two beds in order to have my daughter overnight. Is this right?

Our Response:
Unfortunately, only the resident parent/primary carer can claim an extra room for their child.
SeparatedDads - 1-Mar-18 @ 2:40 PM
Hi, I am separated, never married but I got a little girl with my ex. She is 8 now and she would like to stay overnight at mine. Unfortunately I have 1 bed social flat and no space for her. I tried to apply for a two bed but council said “ as her mum has a house (not council) I have not right to have a two beds in order to have my daughter overnight. Is this right?
Anthony - 28-Feb-18 @ 3:13 PM
teebone76 - Your Question:
Hello everyone, im new to this site, but given my present situation, I would greatly appreciate any advice. To summarise, I have recently separated from a partner of 11 years, which is upsetting but necessary as its run its course. We have 3 daughters together aged 2, 5 and 8 whom I love dearly and am adored by them too. anyway, ive found myself homeless as the house we lived in was her tenancy so I had no choice but to leave. So, ive found myself at 40 years of age dossing on various sofas and in a dark place mentally. I am not in a position to see much of my girls due to the distance I now live from them. I do hold down a job and am trying to create my own family environment for us, a fresh start. However, im on a fairly low income and along with child maintenance payments, high rent and bills etc, I just cant afford private renting. So I have applied for social housing nearer my girls. I just dont know how much of a priority I will be, if eligible at all. how many bedrooms im entitled to as I have a letter from ex to confirm ill have girls twice a week. I cant seem to find any clear answers on my entitlement as a separated dad so any help, experience or input would help. thanks in advance

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. Unfortunately, because of the bedroom tax, a non-resident parent is seen that their children do not have a home with you and therefore will not award an extra bedroom to your children for visits etc. It means overnight staying can become problematic if the NRP cannot provide suitable accommodation for their children. You may wish to join our Separated Dads forum for moral and other support if you are going through a tricky time.
SeparatedDads - 20-Nov-17 @ 3:29 PM
Hello everyone, im new to this site, but given my present situation, I would greatly appreciate any advice. To summarise, I have recently separated from a partner of 11 years, which is upsetting but necessary as its run its course. We have 3 daughters together aged 2, 5 and 8 whom i love dearly and am adored by them too. anyway, ive found myself homeless as the house we lived in was her tenancy so i had no choice but to leave. So, ive found myself at 40 years of age dossing on various sofas and in a dark place mentally. I am not in a position to see much of my girls due to the distance i now live from them. I do hold down a job and am trying to create my own family environment for us, a fresh start. However, im on a fairly low income and along with child maintenance payments, high rent and bills etc, i just cant afford private renting. So i have applied for social housing nearer my girls. I just dont know how much of a priority i will be, if eligible at all. how many bedrooms im entitled to as i have a letter from ex to confirm ill have girls twice a week. I cant seem to find any clear answers on my entitlement as a separated dad so any help, experience or input would help. thanks in advance
teebone76 - 18-Nov-17 @ 10:23 AM
My son at the moment lives with his wife and twother kids in their council house it was my sons tenancybefore he married so they are both on the tenancy she wants a divorce and her mother keeps telling him to her out how does he stand with the council have they got to rehouse him if sglhe gets to keep thehousenot
Helsbels - 29-Aug-17 @ 9:44 PM
Rich - Your Question:
Good dad, husband and sole earner. Wife wants out with our 3 kids (2,5&8) We have a house with £250k equity + My pension and shares. Less than half equity. For some reason I've been told that I have to provide roof over kids heads and CSA. This basically leaves me homeless with my pension and shares (neither of which I have access to) and what's left of my monthly income. Does that sound right ?!?! She gets a nice 3 bed and 750 a month from me?!! I get to be homeless and have 3/4 of my salary??

Our Response:
It depends upon who has told you, you have to do this. If a court order specifies it, then yes, you will have to adhere to the order. However, if you have to maintain the mortgage as part of the mortgage terms, then you are under an obligation as your house could be otherwise repossessed. Also, with regards to courts it is always the kids who are given priority and a court will always decide what it thinks is in their best interests. In addition, you can see how much you should be paying via the CMS calculator here. Your shares and pension are also considered jointly owned and if you divorce your ex can claim. As you are married, you are legally allowed to remain in the house until you can reach an agreement - have you considered proposing this? However, it is unfortunate that many non-resident parents end up living in a shared house (not being able to afford sole rent on a place). I can only suggest you seek legal advice (but it sounds like you may have already).
SeparatedDads - 6-Apr-17 @ 2:27 PM
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