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Housing for Separated Fathers

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 6 Feb 2021 | 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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My ex wife left me to live with someone else two years ago and claim child tax credits and works,also council helps pay for her rent. She also lives with new partner and he works on and off for agency work but when not working claims separately. but when i asked for help with child tax credits from HMRC they said if my ex wife does not want to let me have any they can't force her even though I have my children with me four to five days a week. On top of that because I work on and off for agency work and then live on universal credit I have fallen behind on my mortgage the mortgage company are now threatening to take my home from me but can't seem to get help from anyone council can't helptax credits can't help and soon I could be homeless because my ex is down as sole custody of the children trying to explain to authorities that they stay with me more they told me that did not matter to them and it's upto me to sort it out myself. For men like me and millions of other men like me the Goverment and councils just don't care. Just would like to know if anyone out there could give me some advice please as the Goverment and other authorities just don't care unless your a woman or druggie or alcoholic.
Neddy - 6-Feb-21 @ 9:49 PM
I am a farther of 4 I live at my mothers house and there is no room to have them over to stay , I’ve tried to rent but got refused because of a cc’j from years ago, not only that were I live the cheapest house to rent with room for my kids is too much money
Gaz - 7-Jan-21 @ 1:19 AM
This is suzi .(stop posting) I dont want your (daughter or yourself )move on for God sake .this will be my last post I am done .second thought keep posting I find it (entertaining) I see now how desperate you really are same as the guys you see ..if really want men and a baby daddy for your offspringgo to Gordon he would kill to be with you .
Christopher - 5-Jan-21 @ 8:09 PM
Hi all I am a single father who has my 9 year old son Tuesday's Thursdays for evening and every other weekend for overnight stays. Since I split from the ex I have lived at my parents on the sofa. This is very difficult when son comes over to stay. Can I ask would I get help with a place of my own as work full time hours a week and Still can't see how I can afford to rent a place with rates these days.The ex is loving life in a 3 bed house and I'm Struggling to find a good night's kip each night. Really beginning to take its toll on me. Any help or advice would be muchly appreciated ??
Mitch - 5-Jan-21 @ 5:52 PM
Hi, been in an unhappy relationship for some time now and I have a 3 year old and a 4 month old. I’ve tried so hard to stick it out for the benefit of the kids but I just don’t think it’s fair on the kids anymore to see their mum and dad arguing, I work full time but if I leave the home I will have nowhere to go. I’d ideally like to get another place so I can have the kids my fair share of the week but can’t seem to find any information about if I’d be eligible for help via the council?
Ash - 11-Dec-20 @ 10:12 PM
I am with my partner just for the kids and it’s now getting too much I have a son 3 years old and a baby step son 8 years , I need to move out I will have the kids more than 3 nights a week living in Scotland , I’ve always been privet rent would the council house me ??
Redbullalldaylong - 10-Dec-20 @ 7:43 AM
Hi there , I've just be asked to move out of the family home but both me and my ex are on the mortgage,she will continue to pay it but does having my name on it cause any issues
shirt - 3-Dec-20 @ 2:34 PM
Hi I am self employed and I have my son 3to4 nights a week and rent with a private landlord is it possible to get help with rent and council tax
S1 - 15-Nov-20 @ 1:41 PM
Hi, I'm a father of 4 children aged 18-8.my current situation is that my ex partner cannot afford to buy me out. But I'm now with a new partner who id like to get a mortgage with.only problem is I am still on the old mortgage. And cannot get another due to our credit rating any advice would be great. Dave
Bart - 27-Oct-20 @ 8:44 PM
Hi, I’ve split up with my parter last October, we have 11 years old daughter together. As a PhD student and part-time employee I’m renting 2 rooms (one for myself and one for my daughter when she coming over for a weekends) in a shared house (3 friends leaving with me). I’ve tenancy until June 2021, and I’ll be able to look for the place on my own after that date. Yet, my ex after sever bad decisions, lack in communication and neglect, make me worry about wellbeing of our child. Is it possible to have full custody for a child when leaving in shared house? Thanks, Luke
Luke - 23-Aug-20 @ 4:57 PM
Hi all I'm a single dad and I have a 9 year old son who I get to have 3 to 4 days a week.one whole day and 2 to 3 overnight only...I live in a studio flat which is nice but not much room did house share before for 5 years but my son could not get on well with the person I was living with things just are getting worse with this living situation.i just want to know what my chances are of getting a place with the council for a single dad
Lee - 21-Aug-20 @ 9:00 AM
I have been married 17 years. We split 3 years ago and I have been awarded sole custody of the 2 boys aged 17 and 13. The mother is not allowed to see them due to her behaviour as stated by the court. I am going through financials in divorce and her solicitor is asking for a 50 / 50 split if equity even though she has not paid a penny to the mortgage since she left. She has not brought any birthday or Xmas presents and is paying £29 month maintenance. She is a self employed barber and has been under declaring for 17 years and I have informed HMRC and given them paperwork. I need help as I don’t believe she should have a 50% share if the house.
Jase - 12-Aug-20 @ 3:50 PM
@den.are you working ?.if you are just keep couch surfing for a bitsave your money up get a flat or house .tell your ex your situation and say I be more then happy to have the child though the day on weekends why I save up for my own place .spending the days at the park with your daughter will motivate you to save more money so you and your daughter have your own place and own yard to play in .
Christopher - 2-Aug-20 @ 4:27 PM
Hi, I’ve recently split with my gf who I’ve been living with for 5 years we have a 2 year old and is demanding I have her overnight ever other weekend problem is that I am sofa surfing and have no where for her to stay. Anyone have any options or advice? Thanks
Den - 2-Aug-20 @ 10:04 AM
I need urgent advice,I'm in an unhappy marriage,I have 6 kids and need to get out and start again for their sake.the arguments are very frequent.and usually contain commands to get out.i need to leave,but need some sort of accommodation.thankyou for any help.
Friendo - 25-Jul-20 @ 12:59 AM
My son lives council flat 2 bed with both his children mother vwalked out 2 years ago since keeps just coming walks back in says can stay coz her name on tenancy what l need to now is my son claims himself 2 kids rent which he doesn't get it all coz she still on tenancy we as family help him out rest of rent can plz some one tell me as a man with 2 kids on his own why can or is she able to just walk in when feels like it if he was a woman think he have more on his side she was man people was damn him for just walking in wen ever feels like walks outparty or mate needs her not that kids need her no my son thinks she take the flat and kids too coz she's a woman anyone now true rules single dad full time single dad 2 and 4 year old thank you
Di - 12-Jul-20 @ 10:29 PM
Split with my girlfriend & my ex is now saying I cant have my kids as now got no where to have them. (We were having them every other wkend) Will I get help with a flat or something as one of my kids wants to live with me
Anon - 29-Jun-20 @ 1:09 PM
Single male living in my Vauxhall Corsa. Have my daughter 3 times a week and stay in hotel when able to to spend time with my daughter. Wanting any available accomodation in eccington or surrounding area close to my daughter who lives at killamarah. I'm finding it hard and depressing and would be so appreciative of any little help what so ever please.
Liam - 19-Jun-20 @ 6:33 PM
I’m asking on behalf of my boyfriend who has an 8 year old son. My boyfriend lives in a house share where he has lived for almost 9 months & he sees his son every weekend. At first the sons mother said she didn’t want their son staying in the house share, as there was strangers there, which at first I understood to some extent. So my boyfriend was having his son at the house during the day & then taking him to his mothers at night, then picking him up again the next day. This is really sad for both my boyfriend and his son as of course he wants to stay with his dad at night. So I wondered what people’s thoughts were? Should his son be allowed to stay with him or not?
Lou - 15-May-20 @ 8:14 PM
Hi everyone. I’ve recently become a single Dad and I have 4 children 3 boys and a baby girl. I was renting with my girlfriend and I was lucky enough that the landlord took me off the tenancy. I can’t possibly afford a 3 bed house minimum to privately rent on my own and I applied online with my local council and they have said I’m no eligible. I’m currently back living with my parents and I can’t accommodate my children to stay there as there is no room. Has anyone got any advice for me please.
Steve - 1-May-20 @ 4:28 AM
Hi, is there any network in place for single dads that are co-parenting? I have separated from my partner whom I share custody of a 2yo. I've managed to find my own place, but as a student, I simply cannot afford it. I've contacted several local estate agents and they have all told me that I can't live in a house share if I was to have my child stay with me. Not seeing her or doing my part is not an option, but I cannot continue to live in the housing situation that I am in now. I am eligible for universal credit, but it's not enough to live on so I have to work, and because I work, they take 63p off me for every £1 that I earn, so in the end, I get nothing from them. I can't physically work more because I am at college or have my daughter. Any suggestions to help me move forward would be much appreciated.
Benjamin - 18-Apr-20 @ 3:01 PM
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
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