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Instructed my solicitor finally – What to expect next?
Take photos of anything you send her before you send it. Then one day you can show her what you sent her - if she didn't get them. It;s something else for your Child Arrangements application too. ie saying you have sent cards and messages but your daughter said she hadn't received them.
Hi dad's,

The ex has now not responded to my solicitors last couple of letters so has missed the deadline we set to let me know if she intends to release me. Remember, back in January she already had approval from the mortgage company, she just won't pay me the money.

I guess the only thing to do now is to force a sale? The bizarre thing is my solicitor has warned me that it's a risk. She says if I'm unsuccessful the cost could be devestating to me due to court fees, solicitor fees and the chance I would again have to pay the exs costs.

I really can't believe that I have documentary evidence that I've said all along pay me the 50% and I'd have left. It's been a year and 3 months of her putting it off and I have evidence that she messed up the flat after I left to create another obsticle so she wouldnt have to pay.

To be told its risky to try and simply retrieve what I am entitled to makes me so angry. I'm homeless for gods sake, sleeping in a sleeping bag on the street and haven't been allowed to see or speak to my daughter in amongst a year now... in what situation would it not be deemed risky?... I'd love to know.
I wouldn't rush into forcing the sale then. Your ex has maybe been advised to do this as a kind of leverage - think it through a bit - if you did force a sale, surely it would eat into her share of the equity as well? ie make her mortgage payments higher? Also you may not win with force of sale as she has an occupation order and she'll argue she needs a home for the kids.

Can't remember but are you actually divorced or just separated? Assume you're not divorced yet. This kind of financial thing is usually something decided within the divorce financials I believe. Not sure on that.

The other thing is - you might be entitled to legal aid - you don't have any money - it is tied up in the house. Although maybe that is what your solicitor meant - I believe there is a clause in legal aid whereby if you gain any money from the outcome you have to repay some or all of the legal costs that were covered by legal aid.

Take time to think this one through - is there anything that could be dealt with directly with the mortgage company? ie if your name is taken off the mortgage and it is remortgaged in her name, that the share of equity is paid directly to you as part of the remortgage - but the building society would need legal authority to do that if your ex didn't agree. And that usually comes from a divorce court order.
We were never married.

I had been advised that if I'm forcing a sale the judge would look at it from a standpoint where the children aren't considered because she could easily afford elsewhere. Is this not true?

So I'm seemingly in a position where the ex doesn't have to pay me a penny and to get anything I have to spend a sum pretty much equal to the equity anyway.

Why the hell do they even make you sign a mortgage, a signature clearly means nothing.

Edit: If I had enough money to rent I'd seriously consider just keeping the property in my name. I know she is desperate to sell the place because my children share a room and the girl is 10. Wish she had found a new home and I could block the sale.

Also, its been 6 months or so since we had the chartered surveyor come in - the property was criminally undervalued. Do you think its reasonable to make a request that because of her unwillingness to payout, now that so much time has passed by, it needs revaluing? It could likely force her to payout while she has a decent quote.
She is witholding the money as a blackmail tactic to get you to agree the extortionate sum she wanted for redecorating. Ok so you weren't married. So - you and she are two separate people with a joint mortgage. I am just wondering if you can deal with this directly with the building society. Meanwhile your Solicitor should chase it up - send a letter saying - our client has increased his offer for redecoration, as a sign of goodwill, to £1,000, but only on the basis that the attached form is signed in order to release our client from the mortgage, with the monies being released to him by x date. And attach a form for her to sign saying she is taking over the mortgage in her own name and releasing 50% of the equity to you, out of which £1,000 will be repaid by you". If she signs it then you can show it to the building society and it's evidence if it does go to court.

Is she paying the whole mortgage at the moment? If so then yes, if you could afford to rent elsewhere, then you could sit tight on your investment. I think I would go to the CAB again and say you urgently need housing. Also contact Shelter. Find a way to get housing without needing the money from the house. Anything - I am sure Shelter will help - and CAB - they have all kinds of contacts and lawyers.

This might sound a bit last resort - but don't dismiss it - the Salvation Army are outside all of this legal stuff. One of the things they do is help rehouse people in your situation and they provide support as well. Don't let pride stop you - take any help you can get. I read an article recently where a man was homeless through no fault of his own, after divorce, and they helped get him set up again.
Thank you. This is useful advice.

Yes, she is paying all costs for the home now that she's living there. Another reason I'd like to be released is that previously she wasn't making payments on time. That's another thing about all this... I can't get released, I've been chucked out of my own home, yet I get bad credit everytime she misses a payment. And there's nothing I can do about it. So ridiculous... The court basically made my credit rating dependent on someone who hates me!
Not good. But in time that will get written off. Do you have any income at all? CAB could help with all benefits you'd be entitled to. I still can't believe the council won't house you because you're name is on the mortgage, even though there is a clear court order saying you can't live there. That' why I mentioned CAB again - they have lawyers specialised in this kind of thing.

Have a look at this. You are legally homeless because the court made an occupation order which gave a date by which you must leave your home. Therefore the council has to:

assess your situation
agree a plan to help you find somewhere else to live
arrange emergency housing if you qualify for it

They have arranged emergency housing, but not for long. If they have decided you're not legally homeless then you need to challenge that, because you are, due to the possession order.

"After a possession hearing

You're legally homeless if the court makes an outright possession order which sets a date for you to leave your home. You still have the right to stay in your home until an eviction takes place.

You're not legally homeless if the court makes a suspended possession order which allows you to stay in your home and clear your arrears in instalments. You'll be threatened with homelessness again if you don't make the payments ordered."

It's on this page here with other info

The CAB could deal with the council for you.
I've been to CAB about 6 times now.

The council did carry out an assessment but they can't offer housing. Here's part of the assessment I received...

Having taken account of your medical condition and personal circumstances and characteristics both singularly and/or together whilst homeless, I am not satisfied that you
have a priority need for accommodation under section 189 of the Housing Act 1996 (as amended). It is your responsibility to secure your own accommodation. In reaching this decision, I have had regard to all relevant matters that relate to the facts of
your case and have given these appropriate weight and consideration. I have ignored all facts and matters that are not relevant. I am satisfied that the facts of your case support the
decision I have reached and have applied the correct legal test for making decisions in homelessness cases. In reaching a decision, I have carried out this exercise in substance,
with rigour and with an open mind.

Given the information I have received from you and from my enquiries which I have set out earlier in this letter I do not believe that you have a protected characteristic under the
Equality Act 2010. Given the medical information received from you and from my enquiries I have considered whether you have a disability under the Equality Act 2010. A disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long term adverse effect on your ability to carry out normal day to day activities. Whilst I note that you do have some medical conditions which are long term, from the information in your vulnerability assessment form and the enquiries I made, these medical conditions do not have an adverse effect on your ability to carry out normal day to day activities. As a result you are not classified as having a disability and you do not have a
protected characteristic.

I have compared you to an ordinary person generally, if made homeless. I have compared you to an ordinary person who is robust and healthy. I have asked the question, are you
“significantly more vulnerable than ordinarily vulnerable” as a result of being rendered homeless. All people are at risk of harm (therefore vulnerable) when made homeless,
however, are you significantly (something more than insignificant) more vulnerable.
It is my determination that you are not significantly more vulnerable than ordinarily vulnerable. Being homeless will cause you some harm but that harm is not more significant
than would be caused to an ordinary person who becomes homeless. I note that you have not provided details of what income you receive and from where.
However, you are aware that you can claim benefits should you choose to do so. The fact that you are able to look after yourself without claiming benefits and whilst you are not in
employment does suggest a degree of self sufficiency that would not normally be seen in an ordinary homeless person. However, I have not allowed this to detract me from applying the
relevant tests. There is no characteristics set out in section 189(1)© of the Housing Act 1996 that you fulfil that would make you suffer or be at risk of suffering harm or detriment which the ordinary.

Taking into account all the information and evidence at my disposal, including considering your particular medical problems, your characteristics and circumstances singularly and/or as a whole and having applied the statutory test above, I am not satisfied that you will be significantly more vulnerable than ordinarily vulnerable when homeless.
I have considered the vulnerability you will face if made homeless.
I have considered all your circumstances as set out in the vulnerability assessment you
completed. I note that you are xx years old and there is nothing in respect of your age that makes you vulnerable.
You confirm that you suffer from Depression & Generalised Anxiety Disorder and you take the following medication: xxxxxxxxx (you have advised that this has recently been increased to 400 mg). You are currently seeing a specialist at xxxxxxx and psychiatric reports describe your mental state as stable.
You do not have any learning difficulties. You can use a phone, read and write English. You are able to wash, dress, prepare meals, carry out laundry and food shopping by yourself.
You do not suffer from a drug or alcohol addiction.
You are able to travel by public transport. You do not need a walking aid to get about and do not have any problem with the distance that you can walk.
I have looked at all of the above in the round and have disregarded the resources of the Council in making a decision.
I do kind of agree with the decision because I can look after myself. The sickening part of it is that I can't see my children because of my so called 'mental health' (only a decision of my ex - not the authorities who state otherwise), yet am deemed healthy by the council and doctors, of whom I am not even under a mental health team any longer having been discharged. She has accused me of having an alcohol problem too, yet all my doctors letters and even this report state otherwise.

So stuck right now. It's a no from the council for housing, a no from the ex for equity and the courts gift my ex whatever she requests. I can't get a job walking around with holes in my trainers and a sleeping bag under my arm. All this and I've never raised a so much as a finger to anyone! Just imagine if this were the other way round...I'd be in prison by now!
That is so typical of bureaucracy especially regarding health issues. With "disability" issues you're expected to "play it up" for some people and "play it down" for other reasons (eg getting a job) -it's a big issue with attitudes towards health issues.

That letter is horrible! So basically they accept that you are legally homeless but don't meet enough criteria to qualify for housing help - that is just keeping people homeless.

According to the above article though from Shelter, if you are legally homeless, they are obliged, at least to "agree a plan to help you find somewhere to live". Although that does sound a bit woolly.

At least it's an argument against the ex if she brings up mental health issues - ie Doctor has signed you off and council don't class you as having them or needing help with housing (although realise you don't want her to know you are so maybe that isn't an argument after all).

I cannot believe how nasty your ex is - whatever has gone on before, most people want to at least know that the their ex is ok and has somewhere to live! She could have waited at her parents until you had got somewhere else sorted.

Anyway. So no help from the Council. That leaves housing associations and private renting. Could you afford to rent a room in a shared house? I had to do that for a while - and you can have the kids to stay with you. I had to take extra precautions - I had son sleeping in my room with me and he was never left alone without me there. Even then my ex insisted on seeing gas safety certificates.

I am sure you would meet the criteria with a housing association - they have long term properties and low rents, so a 2 bed flat would cost about the same as renting a room I think. Although obviously you'd need income to pay the rent. So it may be a benefits issue - and I know that is highly complex these days with the new Universal credit - but I would try and get whatever you can. Did CAB not advise on that? They are very good at helping people with benefits claims.

Sometimes you get caught in a financial trap and it sounds like you are. You could really do with some help from someone who isn't going to charge you money though.
Hope you get sorted mate. I'm just going through a similar situation as you.

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