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Mortgages and marriage
Good evening, thank you for taking the time to read.

I split with my ex partner approximately 2 and a half years ago.  We have two young children together.  We also had a joint mortgage on the family home.

When I initially separated I intended to sell the home, split any equity and arrange childcare, maintenance payments between the two of us.  My ex partner did not share this view and I was contacted by her solicitor who proposed the following:

- I move out of the house
- ex partner lives in the house with children and sells when the youngest turns 18 or she decides to sell.
- ex partner is responsible for all bills and mortgage of house
- I pay maintenance payments and see my children on weekends and weekdays when i am not working (to be arranged between ourselves), 

Due to financial reasons, I have had to stay on the mortgage and basically act as guarantor to my ex partner.  Furthermore, due to still being on the mortgage I am unable to get a new place of my own.  I am having to live at my mothers house.  (I am grateful to her but i am nearly 30, and my children have to sleep in my bed while i sleep on an air bed when I care for them which is not ideal)

My solicitor advised that due to their being children at the house, I would never get the house sold and fighting against her would be very costly with very little chance of success.  Now, obviously I do not want to see my children made homeless, but there were options of renting/buying a smaller home available to my ex partner at the time which she would not consider.  So based on this a deed of separation to the effect above was drawn. 

Now two and a half years has passed with everyone holding up their share of the deed of separation.  But now my ex partner is engaged.  I am interested to know if i have a stronger case for either forcing the sale, being brought out etc. now that my ex has/will have new financial support.  I do not want to have to be guarantor for a mortgage for the soon to be married couple, all the while not being able to change my housing situation.  I also fear that if the longer I am on the mortgage and not paying money towards it, I will loose claim to my 50% of any equity. 

I would be extremely grateful for any advise that can be offered.
Did your solicitor not add terms to the agreement (mine advised that if I was to go down this path then "triggers" would be incorporated to force the sale of the house sooner under certain events)?

Terms such as, moving a new partner in, remarrying (not that we're married anyway) remortgaging etc would mean the house gets sold if any of those were to happen.
Thanks for the reply

No my solicitor didnt suggest anything like this. Only advised that I wouldn’t get any result if I tried to fight through court.
That seems very harsh and very one sided from your solicitors as you are now basically stopped from being able to get a mortgage !! Yet another case of women being treated differently and getting the better end of the deal.

I would say you will need to seek advice from a solicitor as your ex will have no intention of selling the house. Also what happens if she defaults on the mortgage or gets reposted then you are liable !

Sounds like your solicitor is no good and perhaps get a different on this time
Now that the deed of separation has been drawn, I’m not sure it can simply be changed to be more favourable to me, not that I think the ex would agree to it. I’d have to agree about the solicitor, the longer this goes on the more I wish I’d seen a didferent one.
I think I also need to find out if the new man is living in the house. Would you know how I can check this?
I’d ask the ex but I never feel I get a straight answer.
It should change the situation but again you need proper legal advice.
The key thing is to get off the mortgage and hopefully get some of the equity from house when it is sold.

I know I go on about this but this is classic example of why you shouldn't leave the house until you have this sorted.
You’re are right, I do regret leaving the house so early on. But at the time it was not a nice environment for the children to be in so didnt feel I had a choice.
I don't think your solicitor is really trying.

My situation is/was similar (we're unmarried though) in that we live in a jointly owned property with a joint mortgage. Have 2 children, I earn nearly 3 times as much as she does & without my salary the mortgage would not have been achievable. With me out of the way though, what she'd then get in tax credits would enable her to afford to maintain the household expenses & cover the mortgage repayments (for now, anyway).

When she decided she wanted to break up, she expected that I would just leave, go rent somewhere & she'd just stay in the house until our youngest child was at least 18. She also thought that she'd name a figure now which would remain the figure I'd receive when the house was sold in the future (she really didn't think it through).

I saw a solicitor & initially he went down a similar route to yours, although he wasn't quite as blunt as to say there's no way that I'd get anything from the house & if I'd wanted to go down the route of an Order of Sale then he'd fight my corner in court. That was at the beginning when we simply looked at the equity split, our salaries, mortgage capabilities & whether we'd be able to both rehome ourselves if it were sold now. The answer was basically me yes, her no. At that stage he did suggest the Chargeback\Mesher agreement which seems what you have. He did say that we'd include "trigger events" in the agreement though as I'm screwed all the time I'm on that mortgage & with no money from the house I couldn't afford the deposit on a new place regardless. The triggers were things like, her remortgaging, her cohabiting, any of those would result in the sale of the house & an equity split.

Things changed slightly when she announced that she'd taken financial advice & that with her salary, tax credits & my CMS payments, she'd be able to get a mortgage big enough to cover our current one. That set alarm bells ringing to me as if she can get a mortgage of that size then there's no reason why we can't sell the house, she gets a big chunk of equity & with that she can get the mortgage to buy another place (there's around £200k equity in our house).

My solicitor agreed, she sulked but suffice to say she's now agreed to sell & I've offered her a slightly higher percentage of the equity to give her & my children a head start in buying a new home. We're both still living there at the moment which is awkward but the first thing my solicitor said to me when I first made contact was "do not move out". I'm staying firmly put until that house is sold & the money is either in my bank or in my next property.

I guess that's too late for you now but I'd definitely seek advice from an alternative solicitor as if she's remarrying, I can only assume she's planning on moving him in (if she hasn't already) so surely that will move the goalposts when it comes to your legal ownership of that house & you being on the mortgage.
Thanks for this info, how long has your situation been going on for?
I certainly do not have that kind of equity built up but there is definately enough for a deposit each, and as you have mentioned she receives benefits to up her mortgageable amount. So hopefully this will help persuade her.
Not that long really, all kicked off in mid-June this year.

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