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4 months seperation, we have ended but what next?
#1
I'll try to keep this as simple as possible. I wont get into the personal details and bore you all.

My situation is this: Married to wife July 2015, there are two children, one from her previous marriage and one of mine. We own a house in joint names with £152k (house worth around £350k) / 25ish years left on the mortgage. For the last 5 years I have paid the mortgage and every bill, she hasn't contributed a penny towards it. There is no joint debt or other shared assets or savings.

I moved back to my mothers house 4 months ago after the situation with my wife became intolerable and we were in danger of something silly happening, especially when you have children in the house. I thought this was the right thing to do at the time. Soon after I went to the doctors and was diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety. Luckily for me I have a wonderful mother who would do anything for me, even now at the age of 31, and was able to move into her spare room where I still remain.

This week, wife and I mutually decided enough was enough and the seperation will be made permenant which is where I am now.

So the past 4 months, I have basically existed to pay the bills for the house i'm not living in (approximately £8k), whilst being at my mums but now things are final this can not go on for even a month longer as it's crippled me. She has her own business and works full time. She will also recieve tax credits, child benefit and £300 a month from first childs dad so i'm 99% sure she can afford to take on the bills. As a newly self employed business owner, I very much doubt the bank will let her take on the mortgage alone so I will need to remain on it. There will be no consideration of selling the house, it's in joint names so that's that.

I will have my child on average once a week, first weekend I just have her during the day on the Saturday and the second week she will come to me on the Friday and spend two nights here and then dropped off on the Sunday. And then that will carry on in that pattern.

What do I do now? Financially what am I expected to pay to her taking into account the above? I earn around £35k a year gross (£2200ish net a month) and I know I am financially liable for my child but what about the mortgage (£761 a month) that will remain in my name even though I don't live there? Taking a chunk out of that net figure will leave very few if any options of independance in the area I live (London) so will need to stay with my mum for the time being. Is that what is expected? I don't really see myself having any sort of future at the moment (or at least another 14 years when my child is 18!) and I am so confused as to what I am supposed to pay given the above?

I have had advice from a couple of sources that claim that I am liable for half the mortgage plus child maintenance on top? So around £800 a month? Is that reasonable and what is expected to by me even though it restricts me for having any sort of life until im 45? If it is then fair enough, il pay it - there's noone to blame here.

Thanks in advance. Any advice appreciated as I really am out of my depth here and am about to sink.
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#2
Hi FB, and welcome.

Firstly, there are always ways through most problems, yours is no exception, but I fully understand how raw it all feels. A lot of us have already gone through it.


You can work out how much child support you should pay using the link below.

https://www.gov.uk/calculate-your-child-maintenance

This will generate a figure which is the minimum you need to pay in terms of child finances. What your ex earns or gets in benefits makes no difference to the sum you have to pay. Child maintenance isn't included in benefit calculations so your ex would still get the same wether you gave her £20 or £100 a week.

The mortgage is a different thing entirely. Child maintenance is set down by government, but the mortgage is a commercial transaction between you and your mortgage lender. As you are both named on the paperwork you and your ex are jointly and severally liable for it. That is they can come after either of you if you fall behind on payments. Mortgage doesn't work on a 50/50 split in terms of who pays.

As to what to do next, financially, first port of call would be your mortgage provider, explain the situation. They won't bite ?

Two bits worth remembering.....1, look after yourself, you can't be the best dad you can unless you feel your best. 2, try to remain on good terms with your ex. It'll be less stressful for all, especially your child. Things might be strained but having to go through the courts because you can't agree on contact is never easy on either of you, not to mention the costs. The level of contact you are currently having isn't far off the "usual" amount awarded to NRP's in court. Don't forget holidays with you as well.

Chin up chap, realising there is a problem in the first place means you're already part way to sorting it out.
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#3
Thanks for your reply.

Financially i'm stuffed. If everything is based on lasts years earnings then she would be around the £0 mark re: being self employed and not paying tax. In fact i'm surprised i'm not paying the full mortgage plus child maintenance on top of that. The actual reality considering the mass of different incomes from two ex's, full wack benefits and a full time business is that after all her outgoings in a months time she willl have at least £2000 disposable a month but there is literally nothing I can do about it as it can't be proved. Next year maybe different because of the new business. Half the reason this can't go to court but she agrees with me their as you could imagine.

We have agreed that I will just pay the mortgage (£761) and this will be inclusive of my child maintenance. I am going to get this in writing via a solicitor (especially the child maintenance inclusion part) with a cavaet that if interest rates rise or something changes then it can be reviewed. At least when it comes to selling the property then it maybe in my favour that I have paid 100% of the mortgage?

It makes me think, what would I do if I didn't have a mum who would take me in like she has? What on earth would I do?

I'ts difficult to think about things like looking after yourself in a situation like this, in fact it's difficult to even motivate yourself out of bed in the morning but i'm not looking for sympathy, I made my bed now i'm laying in it, I was just as much to blame for the relationship breaking down. I do plan on visiting the GP next week though in regards to my anxiety. Luckily work have been very sympathetic with me over what has been a very turbulent few months so I have a lot to be thankful for. And of course above all I still get to spend the weekends with my daughter and that is priceless.
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#4
(06-03-2016, 08:28 PM)Frank Butcher Wrote: Thanks for your reply.

Financially i'm stuffed. If everything is based on lasts years earnings then she would be around the £0 mark re: being self employed and not paying tax. In fact i'm surprised i'm not paying the full mortgage plus child maintenance on top of that. The actual reality considering the mass of different incomes from two ex's, full wack benefits and a full time business is that after all her outgoings in a months time she willl have at least £2000 disposable a month but there is literally nothing I can do about it as it can't be proved. Next year maybe different because of the new business. Half the reason this can't go to court but she agrees with me their as you could imagine.

We have agreed that I will just pay the mortgage (£761) and this will be inclusive of my child maintenance. I am going to get this in writing via a solicitor (especially the child maintenance inclusion part) with a cavaet that if interest rates rise or something changes then it can be reviewed. At least when it comes to selling the property then it maybe in my favour that I have paid 100% of the mortgage?

It makes me think, what would I do if I didn't have a mum who would take me in like she has? What on earth would I do?

I'ts difficult to think about things like looking after yourself in a situation like this, in fact it's difficult to even motivate yourself out of bed in the morning but i'm not looking for sympathy, I made my bed now i'm laying in it, I was just as much to blame for the relationship breaking down. I do plan on visiting the GP next week though in regards to my anxiety. Luckily work have been very sympathetic with me over what has been a very turbulent few months so I have a lot to be thankful for. And of course above all I still get to spend the weekends with my daughter and that is priceless.
Most of this Norfolk has covered, but I can add a bit more detail on it.

House.

Between you and your ex, the Mortgage needs to be paid. However, only a court can stop you living in it still, and that would only happen if your ex managed to get a None Molestation Order, so you remaining and keeping the peace is no issue (except for working out between you about utility's etc). If she did get an order making it so you can not live their, this would not stop your obligations under the contact with the Mortgage Lender.

As things stand, up to now, unless either party can prove otherwise "family money" has paid it, so its deemed to be half each. Therefore, what ever the current percentage of the loan term has passed till now is your current stake in the house.

If the Lender will let either party take the Mortgage over on their own and settlement would be that percentage of the current value (minus costs). This would have to be handed over (as its a buy out), or you could agree to a change on the house, so you get your agreed amount on sale of it.

The same principle could be done if the current loan agreement carries on where if you both agree to pay a set amount, but one of you is paying less, so therefore their considered stake in the house would be less. This would need a Solicitor to draw up a contract between you both, but it could get messy if every payments are missed or if the house value fell below the amount owed.

Selling could be an option, as while you still own a House you can not get some means tested benefits (for example Housing Benefit). There are some company's that buy at about 65% of the current value (as they complete the sale in under 3 weeks) and then rent it back on a long term lease.

A court could order a sale, but they will not normally do this until the youngest child is out of Full Time Education.

Do not put anything in writing saying your paying the Mortgage, as that forms a legal contract between you and your ex, enforceable under civil law. If anything, make your payment for the Mortgage direct to them, and your Child Support to your ex in a way you can prove (bank transfer is best).

You should arrange to get all utility's out of your name (unless you move back in) but tell your ex, so she can either become their customer or pick her own company to take it over.

You need to inform Council Tax, and make sure you get the final bill, and ensure its paid.

In terms of your ex being Self Employed (I am so I know all the systems on this). Assuming she gets the child benefit, she can claim for working tax credit. She has to be engaged in business related activity for either 16, 24 or 30 hours (the more hours, the more you get). Its just her income in the last tax year considered, unless this years is expected to raise by £5000 or be lower. Either way they will amend the payments once they know or at renew time. By law you should tell them in under 30 days of knowing of a change, but often will not know until the accounts are done at end of year.

For benefits, its the business net profit, not drawings or amount you pay yourself.

In terms of child support, your ex is deemed to have what the law says she needs by accessing the benefits system, and the system looks at your income, any children you get child benefit for and then a reduction is made for staying contact, as your supporting the child at a time the state might be helping your ex support them, as she gets benefits for 365 days of the year.

http://www.entitledto.co.uk will give you an idea on what she will get, if you know her income amounts.

Based on Current Contact, its about £69 per week you should be paying by direct arrangement, a bit more if your ex instructs CMS to also collect payments.

Its my view you should be getting more contact than you are, and depending on if you wanted to push for this, you might end up in the next bracket up when considering number of nights staying contact.

I am assuming your child is about 4 given the comment you made on the thread, and therefore in a situation where your ex is the Resident Parent for Child Benefit (as its over 50% of time with her), then if its a girl until the child is 10, or if a boy 16, then them having there own bed in the same room as you is not as issue in a "contact" situation. I am not seeing anything on here what would prevent a close to 50/50 arrangement. Your ex might make a case about the half sister, but while in the eyes of the law she is nothing to do with you, with both party's consent there is nothing wrong with her bringing her for a sleep over (or days out) from time to time. (as she is not considered to be a blood relative, she would be best in  another room in her own bed, but a living room would be OK if no gas fire is in it).

Even if a none shared case, you would expect to get staying contact every 2 weeks Friday till Sunday and Half School Holidays.

When working things out, do not forget that your Child Support amount should be reviewed at any point a relevant change happens. Currently this relates to your income, if your (or any new partner) have dependent children (who either of you gets child benefit for) and the staying contact time, and if you deal with this informally, you need to have a review clause in it to cover this.
Posts made by me are my opinion and any factual information should be checked out. If you do not have a Solicitor, often your local CAB can get you some initial advice.
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