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Housing for Separated Fathers

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 16 May 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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Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
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
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??
Rich - 6-Apr-17 @ 8:58 AM
The courts are so biased against men in Britain that my advice to any man there going through a divorce and destined to lose all is to learn Russian and go to Russia. The maritial laws are much fairer there for sure. Britain talks about rights and what you should be entitled to but actually getting it is another matter. I know men that have paid £30,000 in legal fees fighting for what they are entitled to and still not getting their entitlement. The only people who benefit from their divorce are solicitors and courts. Litigation costs big money in the UK and can take years too. In Russia you can still draw your pension just like in the UK and it is worth more there too. I hope this advice is helpful and good luck.
Chernoburka - 22-Mar-17 @ 8:14 PM
Anney - Your Question:
I was married and lived in the same council property with my wife and five children for more than 20 years. (youngest of the children is now 18). Our divorce was made absolute this year and the wife wanted me to move out because the rent book is in her name. She was initially asking me to move out immediately but after a court hearing the Judge gave me until the 31st of July to move. I am currently studying, full-time for a master degree in Accounting so I couldn't afford to rent privately. I tried moving away from London for affordability but I couldn't pass the private agencies credit check. I am wasting so much money travelling and paying the agencies' non-refundable checking fees. Can you please give me an advise on where to seek help for accommodation, we currently live in Chingford, borough of waltham forest. Could the council be compelled to re-house me because I also have some health issues.

Our Response:
You can find more via the Shelter link here. Also, you can rent a room privately in a shared house via the likes of Spareroom here. I hope these help.
SeparatedDads - 9-Feb-17 @ 10:32 AM
I was married and lived in the same council property with my wife and five children for more than 20 years. (youngest of the children is now 18). Our divorce was made absolute this year and the wife wanted me to move out because the rent book is in her name. She was initially asking me to move out immediately but after a court hearing the Judge gave me until the 31st of July to move. I am currently studying, full-time for a master degree in Accounting so i couldn't afford to rent privately. I tried moving away from London for affordability but i couldn't pass the private agencies credit check. I am wasting so much money travelling and paying the agencies' non-refundable checking fees. Can you please give me an advise on where to seek help for accommodation, we currently live in Chingford, borough of waltham forest. Could the council be compelled to re-house me because i also have some health issues.
Anney - 8-Feb-17 @ 3:44 AM
David - Your Question:
Me and my girlfriend of 5 years have finally broken up, we have two very young boys and I have moved back into my fathers living on a blow up bed for the time being. I pay and still pay slightly more than half the rent until she is back on her feet, the child benefit is in her name and my local housing have told me I'm not eligible for a house because of this. Housing benefit have told me I'm also entitled to nothing as I'm working full time and mum gets the benefits. I've basically been told that renting privately is my only option. After looking around and calculating bills which includes my car which I will need to see the kids and work I will be left with nothing. Does this seem right? Is there any more support for me anywhere? I've never claimed any benefits in my life.

Our Response:
I'm afraid it is a tricky situation and why many people cannot afford to split up these days, especially if you are living in an area where housing rents are high. You can see whether you are entitled to any benefits via the EntitledTo link here. If you are on a low income, you may be able to claim some housing benefit if you rent privately. However, please keep in mind that you are also legally obliged to pay child maintenance if your ex requests it. It is a situation that many non-resident parents find themselves in and many end up living in shared homes were the rent is all-inclusive. I hope you manage to sort these issues out.
SeparatedDads - 7-Feb-17 @ 11:40 AM
Me and my girlfriend of 5 years have finally broken up, we have two very young boys and I have moved back into my fathers living on a blow up bed for the time being. I pay and still pay slightly more than half the rent until she is back on her feet, the child benefit is in her name and my local housing have told me I'm not eligible for a house because of this. Housing benefit have told me I'm also entitled to nothing as I'm working full time and mum gets the benefits. I've basically been told that renting privately is my only option. After looking around and calculating bills which includes my car which I will need to see the kids and work I will be left with nothing. Does this seem right? Is there any more support for me anywhere? I've never claimed any benefits in my life.
David - 6-Feb-17 @ 2:57 PM
Daves- Your Question:
I have been living in my partners house for 7 years. In which time I have helped pay the mortgage and bills etc. We are now splitting up and she is selling the house? Am I entitled to any money from the sale, to cover my investment??

Our Response:
If you're not married or in a civil partnership and you don't own the family home, you may still have some rights to it if you've made some form of contribution. This is known as establishing a beneficial interest, please see CAB link here. However, much will depend upon when the house was bought, your ex's own investment in to the property, whether you have children together and whether you have made a significant contribution above and beyond day-to-day living expenses etc such as renovation work etc. Therefore, you would also need to seek legal advice to establish whether you have a case.
SeparatedDads - 9-Dec-16 @ 10:37 AM
I have been living in my partners house for 7 years. In which time I have helped pay the mortgage and bills etc. We are now splitting up and she is selling the house? Am I entitled to any money from the sale, to cover my investment??
Daves - 8-Dec-16 @ 6:21 PM
None - Your Question:
Hi the wife wants me to move out of the house but I am on esa due to heart condition and have no money in bank basically am skint how / who do I see about getting a house /flat

Our Response:
You can find out all you need to know via the Shelter link here. I hope this helps.
SeparatedDads - 18-Nov-16 @ 2:46 PM
Hi the wife wants me to move out of the house but I am on esa due to heart condition and have no money in bank basically am skint how / who do I see about getting a house /flat
None - 18-Nov-16 @ 9:28 AM
Rolyat - Your Question:
Hi, I split up with my partner of 10 years 9 months ago and moved out of the family home thst we jointly own, and bsck to my parents. We hsve a 3 year old son together who lives with his mum, along with her son from a previous relationship. I have been paying the mortgage in full as a loose arrangement to ensure my son is not disrupted following our break up but financially cannot continue to pay in full. Our mortgage deal ends in January and I'm considering approaching her to pay half of the mortgage along with me as she has made it clear she will not sell. I need to understand what my legal rights are as a homeowner and father. I've read that I need to pay the mortgage until my son leaves home but if that's the case then does the father of my ex's son need to do the same? In struggling to get clarification without paying for a solicitor. I don't want to sign a new deal in January as this keeps a link between us and commits me for another period of time. Any advice would be apprecisted

Our Response:
Your best option would be to seek legal advice here. Much depends upon your ex's financial circumstances regarding whether she should help pay the mortgage. Theoretically, she should pay half. However, because you have a child with her, then this may change the dynamic slightly. The other father isn't responsible for paying towards your mortgage as it's not his house, but he will be eligible to pay your ex child maintenance for his son.
SeparatedDads - 14-Sep-16 @ 11:58 AM
Hi,I split up with my partner of 10 years 9 months ago and moved out of the family home thst we jointly own,and bsck to my parents. We hsve a 3 year old son together who lives with his mum,along with her son from a previous relationship. I have been paying the mortgage in full as a loose arrangement to ensure my son is not disrupted following our break up but financially cannot continue to pay in full. Our mortgage deal ends in January and I'm considering approaching her to pay half of the mortgage along with me as she has made it clear she will not sell. I need to understand what my legal rights are as a homeowner and father. I've read that I need to pay the mortgage until my son leaves home but if that's the case then does the father of my ex's son need to do the same? In struggling to get clarification without payingfor a solicitor. I don't want to sign a new deal in January as this keeps a link between us and commits me for another period of time. Any advice would be apprecisted
Rolyat - 13-Sep-16 @ 4:15 PM
James - Your Question:
I have separated from my wife in January 2016. I had paid the bills and the mortgage prior to leaving we agreed that she would transfer all bills into her name except the mortgage. I have paid half the mortgage and the house insurance under the agreement she utilised the property solely for herself. That agreement has broken down. The mortgage is in both names but she is benefiting from the whole property. The question I have do I still need to pay for the mortgage or can I expect her to pay a reasonable about for living in the whole property that I am paying half towards?

Our Response:
The only reason you should be obligated to continue paying towards the house is if a) there are children involved (which may mean a court would allow your ex and your children to live in the house until your children leave full-time education), or b) your ex is waiting for an opportunity to buy you out and/or you cannot come to an agreement regarding the sale of your house, which would invariably free you from the mortgage payments. However, if there are children involved (which I assume so because of the page you are on), then you are in more of a tricky situation and I suggest you seek legal advice to explore your options. Much depends on how financially independent your ex is and what her views are in relation to yours.
SeparatedDads - 11-Aug-16 @ 1:52 PM
I have separated from my wife in January 2016. I had paid the bills and the mortgage prior to leaving we agreed that she would transfer all bills into her name except the mortgage. I have paid half the mortgage and the house insurance under the agreement she utilised the property solely for herself. That agreement has broken down. The mortgage is in both names but she is benefiting from the whole property. The question I have do I still need to pay for the mortgage or can I expect her to pay a reasonable about for living in the whole property that I am paying half towards?
James - 10-Aug-16 @ 3:31 PM
Vinvoltage - Your Question:
Hello there,I am living in my property as isolated life from my wife since we took mortgage she did contributed very less and last four years totally stopped and I had been working many hours.last year she place charges on me to punished me after used bad wards 1st time in 13 years of marriage after financial abuse as she put very little deposit under 10K and I put £60K at in 2009. now she earns more than me and I discovered she is keeping over £100K in her account separably.once I discovered that I asked her and she refused to pay any payments for family home.Since I been charged or reported and I did sacrifice at that time as it was happen in sec and I had no clue how to fight while I am self- employed trader I looked all factor my son , my earning and saving in my family home and thought my wife re grate for her action I compromised my statement.Last few months she behaving badly and isolated me from my son , threaten me verbally , and not willing to pay anything in joint.and now with very small noticed period she is taking my son out of UK and she have over £110 in her capacity.Her income over 5000 per month and not willing to pay any thing. I have all the bank statement from the bank in relation to my mortgage.I felt like left alone in very poor condition as if I file for divorce I will loose over 70% of my saving as we have under 8 years old son and my recent income gone very low and have no saving on hand.Please can anyone put some light on this please.PS. I been separated in my own home by her and forced me to sleep separately.Sorry for long and real life suffering story. Many thanks in advance.

Our Response:
I'm afraid I can only suggest you seek legal advice in this matter as we can only advise on general/non-specific matters.
SeparatedDads - 4-Aug-16 @ 2:13 PM
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