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Housing for Separated Fathers

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 11 Mar 2020 | 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'm also currently unemployed and trying to find something from Monday to Wednesday as I have my daughter for the rest of the week . I've been told that there are procedures to be followed via citizens advice in order to get help with housing from the council z
Bennyboy - 11-Mar-20 @ 5:25 PM
Hi I've recently split with my gf who I stayed with and we have a 3 year old daughter . Since moving from hers I'm on the sofa at my parents as there is no room I also have my little girl every week from Thursday to Sunday . Will the council help home me as I need some where safe to have my daughter ?
Bennyboy - 11-Mar-20 @ 5:23 PM
Hi there I have recently separated from my wife and I need to have my son 2 nights aweek. I currently rent a room but am not allowed to bring my son as is the case in most rented bedrooms. I just cant afford a flat by myself.just wanted to know what other options there are or if any one had some good advise.
Matt - 8-Mar-20 @ 8:27 PM
@jean.i have solution for you move in to my hostel your child will feel very welcome .and you my friend will have a blast the things that go on in hostels are (absolutely awesome) you will say to yourself men I am Never leaving you will say to yourself I have finally found my home .(problem solved).
Billy ray - 12-Jan-20 @ 12:40 AM
@jean.i live in a hostel with my daughter we love it .we share a room with 8 others it’s fantastic it’s really good for my daughter she meets people from all over the world she is coming very cultured.her mother moved to America to live a “slab city“.she has mental health issues she will be with her kind at slab city .
Billy ray - 12-Jan-20 @ 12:04 AM
In the caseof separation my ex partner me and my kid. If my ex wants me to leave the council flat. 2 Senarios 1: I leave with my kid can the mum be rehomed or will she be able to keep the council flat? Can I apply fora council flat? 2 I leave withoutmy kid to one place where I can't welcome my kid because it is too small and others live there. I call Council, But I am not considered as homeless, what can I do... my kid sad, I am depressed any solution?
Jean - 11-Jan-20 @ 10:43 PM
@scott.if they think the way I live now is bad .well I will set the record straight there was a time in my twenties and early thirties where I had (no house) I lived in back off Ute and picked onions and melons and sheared sheep and shagged pack packers and climbed mountains .so I think I am living pretty good to back then .i have settle down now i only climb mountains now I do miss shagging pack packers I don’t miss the back off the Ute .
C.laurie - 3-Nov-19 @ 10:20 PM
@scott.i live with my brothers I have for (years) and enjoy it and I don’t want to move out (gods truth ).people think I am (disabled) because off the way I live everyone has a right to a (opinion )if I am (disabled it’s not my fault)and I will always be in financially stuck I have a grade 8 education well I only did three terms off grade 8 but I did graduate from primary school .and I do have teenage daughter she doesn’t want anything to do with me .but I am social media maybe one day she will get (curious )and want to meet me who knows it’s been over 10 years off no contact so maybe she will or maybe she won’t it depends how (brainwashed )she is about me .So for me I will keep living with my brothers .
C.laurie - 3-Nov-19 @ 9:32 PM
Hi guys, I’ve been back at my parents for a year now after split with my ex.. trying to get back on my feet, financially stuck.. desperate to move out but private rent is impossible.. will I get any joy going to the council with my parents kicking me out? I’ve got a 5yr old son Appreciate any advice!!
Scott - 3-Nov-19 @ 5:53 PM
My ex partner use to have children twice a week at his moms. The council have now housed him in shared accommodation and it doesn’t look safe for my children. Should he not of been given a studio or something where the children are safe to stay???
Dobbo - 5-Oct-19 @ 4:50 PM
I've recently split with my partner of 7 years. We have two children 4 and 1. We get on fine and can talk and communicate well. I'm currently living with family but pay the mortgage on the house for my ex and kids. I help pay child care also so my ex can work. She pays the bills for the property. Is there any help she can get and I can get so I may be able to have a place of my own for my kids to stay. We want me to have them at least 3 days a week. Any advice would great on where to look. I live in Cornwall
Strudy - 16-Sep-19 @ 9:13 AM
Hi, I've had full custody of my 6 year old daughter nearly 3 years now. Me and my current partner arent getting on i need to find somewhere to live for me and my daughter as her biological mother is in prison I'm not getting jack s**t from her. I work full time 5 days a week, income ranges around 1400 a month, I cant afford deposit and 1 month upfront rent. Being afull time dad and working full time what am I suppose to do?
Kie - 14-Sep-19 @ 4:37 PM
Me and my partner of 13 years have split. We are not married, have two children and were renting. At the moment I'm sofa surfing due to the fact I have no savings for a bond or months rent in advance. I've got a full time job but this sofa surfing is really taking its toll as I have nowhere to have my kids over night. Is there any help out there??
Jack-army - 2-Sep-19 @ 7:55 PM
I've been unhappy in my relationship for years now. I have a step daughter (I'm not married) and I have a son. But I'm leaving my partner because it used to be best for my family, my children for me to put up with being unhappy, for the sake of my kids. But we are arguing so much in front of them that it isnt best anymore and I need to leave. I want to leave her but not them. And I'm still paying the mortgage and all the Bill's which takes 90% of my wages, the other 10% is basically getting by. I cant afford to go anywhere but I have to try and start again. I've searched and searched and I cant seem to find any advise for people who need to leave the family home but still ay for it. And start from scratch too. I cant take my kids home from them just because I cant put up with my partner anymore. Shes a good mother, just an awful partner. Is there any advice? Honestly right now, I'm thinking of investing in a campervan and parking it on my drive (it's a long drive), so that when I'm there I can be with my kids as much as they need and go when I dont need to be there.
Mike B - 8-Aug-19 @ 5:04 PM
I've been unhappy in my relationship for years now. I have a step daughter (I'm not married) and I have a son. But I'm leaving my partner because it used to be best for my family, my children for me to put up with being unhappy, for the sake of my kids. But we are arguing so much in front of them that it isnt best anymore and I need to leave. I want to leave her but not them. And I'm still paying the mortgage and all the Bill's which takes 90% of my wages, the other 10% is basically getting by. I cant afford to go anywhere but I have to try and start again. I've searched and searched and I cant seem to find any advise for people who need to leave the family home but still ay for it. And start from scratch too. I cant take my kids home from them just because I cant put up with my partner anymore. Shes a good mother, just an awful partner. Is there any advice? Honestly right now, I'm thinking of investing in a campervan and parking it on my drive (it's a long drive), so that when I'm there I can be with my kids as much as they need and go when I dont need to be there.
Mike B - 8-Aug-19 @ 4:39 PM
Me and my partner have recently split. We have a 2 year old son, we have joint 50 50 custody. Ive moved out of the house shared as a family as this is owned by my sons mother. I was wondering if there is any help I can receive with rent. I work full time in the nhs, but on about 1300 after tax. A 2 bedroom flat where I live is about 750 to 850 a month. We also split my sons nursery so 1 day a week which is about 64 a week so that myself and ex can work. I'm currently staying with parents, but moving out on my own with my son would only leave me with less than 60 a week to pay for food and clothes for me and my son. I've searched everywhere for advice. Can anyone here offer anything please
Sunil - 29-Jul-19 @ 3:30 PM
Sorry, just to clarify - I've made a typo on the previous message... The 3 children share a bedroom, they all have individual beds!!
FallyGally - 22-Jul-19 @ 2:42 PM
Hi, Cannot seem to find the answer to this anywhere, so wondering if you could maybe assist. My partner and I have 2 sons (just turned 3 and about to turn 2) and a stepdaughter about to turn 8. The general rule is that she is supposed to stay with us 2 nights per month (every second Saturday) however this is often restricted by her mother for various (I won't say ridiculous, but yeah) reasons. She is now talking about her being unable to stay overnight going forward as our home is overcrowded with 3 children in one bed. Are there actually any actual rules on this? She does have a BED in the room with them, but the 3 of them share. (They seem to like it and it's only 2 nights per month? Are there official rules / guidance?)
FallyGally - 22-Jul-19 @ 2:40 PM
Hi I've splitfrom my partner 4 years ago and now living with my dad in a one bed flat my kids who are 12 boy and 11 girl come to stay with me every other weekend this is proving difficult now because of space. Is there any help out there with housing as i don't have the money to buy or pay the escalated rent in londonany advice would be great.
Mark - 16-Jul-19 @ 9:23 AM
Evening, unfortunately me are in talks of sepration, but we have 2 children together and a son from her previous relationship, would Southend council help me get a council or social housing place to still be able to have my kids etc my wife is willing to have 50/50 custody, and I would like to have them equal amounts, any advice would be greatly appreciated, Thanks Dean.
MR D BRANNON - 8-Jun-19 @ 5:47 PM
I left my ex with everything when we divorced and didnt take a penny, since day one I have always given her maintenance money to support our daughter even though she doesnt live in the home I transferred over into her name, she and my daughter live with her mother 500 yards down the road and the house sits empty. I have now found out she is going to rent the house out and continue living at her mothers with our daughter. So for me as the maintenance money goes towards, Bill'smortgage etc and I have my daughter 3 nights a week am I within my rights to stop paying her maintenance as the previous family home will be rented out so she is not providing a roof for our daughter, all Bill's are covered by her mum at her house? Like I say I have my daughter 3 nights a week and supply for her while she is with me, my ex is at her mums paying for nothing.
Tomo - 24-May-19 @ 10:25 AM
I am separated nearly a year I am self employed 3 day a week and make just enough to keep a roof over me and my sons head the ex had an affair this was the end shes now had a child and is claiming its mine I hadn't got £239 for a CSA DNA test at the minute so there saying ots mine end off how can this be legal I also take my son James Sunday morning to Tuesday night and I'm now being asked to take him from 1200 until 1900 Thursday and the same Saturday will this effect my payments...thanks
Scoobie - 22-Apr-19 @ 12:25 AM
Hello. I'm looking for some advice, our marriage has now run its coarse and is over. We have three boys two early teen and one four year old. We own are home jointly and have equity in the home.. We have not discussed the financial aspects as yet. In an ideal world we would divide the equity and I could set up on my own with the boys visiting very regularly. I could not afford to pay the mortgage to the family home and live at all well if the wife digs her heals in and decides to stay in the home. The wife has no income other than child tax credits. Thanks in advance for any advice
Woody - 15-Apr-19 @ 8:07 PM
Hi, I left my now ex-wife 4 and a half years ago and have been living with my parents since. I have two children, my daughter - 15 and son - 12. Since January this year my daughter has been living with me. She left her mother's home due to ongoing psychological abuse and no longer has any communication with her. I am on a low income which would not cover the cost of renting. The need to move out of my parents' house is very pressing as my daughter sleeps in the back end of the living room and my mother has a chronic lung condition which requires that she rests as much as possible. Obviously with four people in one relatively small house this has become strained. I would greatly appreciate any advice with regards to being eligible for rent being topped up. Is this common practice under similar circumstances in the UK? Many thanks for any information. J
James - 31-Oct-18 @ 10:49 PM
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
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
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