My husband and I are splitting up. We own our house outright and have no mortgage on it. I haven't the finances to buy him out of it. He earns £3500 a month and I earn £840 a month. I raised his kids for 12 years while he kept the child allowance. At the time we equally shared all the bills. Can he make me sell the house to give him his share of the equity?
(A.C, 10 July 2009)
When you are going through a break up from a long term partner there is always much more than the emotional turmoil to deal with. The practical issues can really weigh on your mind and trying to split assets and money is never a pleasant experience.
The Marital Home
If both of your names are on the papers then your husband cannot make you sell the house without your agreement at this time. The courts can give an order forcing you to sell up if your husband goes down this route or as part of a divorce settlement. However, if you are living there with your children then he will have to be able to show good reason why you should do this.
If all his money is tied up in the house for example, then he may be able to convince a court that he needs to sell the house in order to live.
You mention that he earns more than you and that you shared the bills throughout your marriage. How you managed your money within your marriage bares no relevance to your legal standing and you have as much right to the homes as he does.
If your children are still of school age then your husband will need to pay you child support to help you be able to afford to raise them and the courts will take their welfare into account when deciding on the home.
Have you sat down and talked your husband about this? It won’t be an easy conversation to have as there will no doubt be a lot of emotion and resentment on both sides. However, if you can discuss the situation in a mature manner you may find that you can come to an agreement that you are both happy with.
As there is no mortgage on the property you do not need to worry about splitting the payments so the arrangement may be simpler. Another thing you need to do is to consult a lawyer so that you are clear of exactly where you stand legally and are able to talk to your husband in an informed way about what your options are.
Married for10 years, have 3 kids & suddenly fell in to this deep hole. A few months ago I had an argument with my wife which ended up badly by me slapping her(please don't draw me as a T-rex for the description is of a lizard ). Got locked in a cell for that(DV) and now currently released on bail with conditions not allowing me to make contact with my wife nor going near my home nor contact with kid unless through social service. Got charged and my court hearing is 2 months away & im stuck in limbo . I feel like im being stitched up hear & suddenly not sure who my wife is for she could have dropped the charges by now & got me back home.
Anyway if worst comes to worst following the court hearing we may end up taking the divorce route , I am the sole owner of the family home & it has no mortgage since my Father lend me all the money to purchase it in full before we got married. I payed for every singe thing in the house and every single bill up to now & still paying . how will the house situation be sorted since i owe all the money to my father .
Mr.Lost - 9-Jul-20 @ 9:18 PM
Hi, I have lived with my husband for 18 years but married him just 6 years ago. I wish I hadn’t. Initially he put £50,00 deposit down for a mortgage and invested a further £30,000 in building a room in the roof. By the time he’d finished it both my sons had left home. Our mortgage was £179,00 but I have now (with a £40,000 gift from my mother) paid it all off.
He has never worked and so our income has solely been what I have earned. I have paid the mortgage, bills and everything for 20 years. I have always put a monthly payment in his account so he has his own cash and have always bought anything that we need. I am so relieved that I never gave into having a joint account with him as he is so controlling. It has now got to a stage where I can no longer bear it and I want to start afresh. Can I retain the house if I can pay him off or will I have to sell? I’m also really worried that he’ll have half my pension - I’m a teacher and it’s not great. Any advice would be great.
Sylvia - 23-Oct-19 @ 3:40 PM
My husband left our home almost 4 and a half years ago. He did not attend the counselling sessions we agreed to and one month later, said he did not wish to try reconciliation.I tried to get him to attend mediation to sort out our home, which I am still living in, several times in the past but he refused.
He has now said he wants to start divorce proceedings in a couple of weeks and I should consider my options regarding the marital home, which is in both names. Two of our grown up sons still live at home, as well as my youngest son’s fiancée. Both my youngest son and myself have health issues which prevent/hinder our working and I am in dire financial difficulties, including having an IVA.
He has paid nothing at all since leaving, including nothing towards the mortgage payments. If I am forced to sell, I will not have enough money from the sale to buy anywhere for me to live, let alone my sons. I am sick with worry over this. Please tell me what rights I have, if any. Thanks
Meeps - 24-Aug-19 @ 12:37 AM
i been married for 23 yrs im 70 my husband 42 he had an affair 2years ago iv serious health conditionssevere disabilty dwp have told themi took him to court for a financial order cause he keep harrasing me to come up with 40000 or house has to go i dont have the income to buy him out hes good healthi dont agree with judges reply i said my son would try to raise the cash so unfair judge summing said cant force the sale of the house cause my age health on other issues under sec 25 matrimonial 73 then in next breath said i have 4 months to come up with 30000 or house would have to be sold can this be allowedjudge order 40% of the house to him the above 16000 on charge on home this is so unfare says i can stay in my home but 4 months on if no £30000 i gotta sell it that cant be right
babs - 31-Jul-19 @ 4:44 PM
Hi can my ex make me drop myprice for our house court has said it is 50/50 each ?
Mich - 8-May-19 @ 5:48 PM
My mum of 76 has had a message from her estranged husband that he wants a later from her agreeing to a divorce and sale of the house. He left her in a house they bought 5 years ago but he never lived there. She is disabled and very distraught that he can make her sell the house. He is only 56 and still works. Can he force her to sell. Thanks
Angua1973 - 23-Apr-19 @ 11:00 AM
My husband and I are tenants in common for our house for which I paid £140,00 deposit and he £30,000. I have left with my 12 year old daughter(he is not the father) and want to sell due to a breakdown in our relationship. we have only been there 1 and a half years. can I force him to sell as I need to rent/buy somewhere else for me and my daughter as he wouldn't move out, and now says he wont sell. the tenancy is two thirds to one third in my favour.
TERRY - 2-Apr-19 @ 7:48 AM
My husband of thirty years wants to divorce and sell the house and split it 50/50.
It is in joint names, he is living elsewhere and has a good job earning decent money. My daughter, her fiancée and four month old daughter have been living with me since October so can he force me to sell the house?
Erimar - 22-Feb-19 @ 11:36 AM
My partner and his ex own a property worth in excess of £500k. There is no mortgage on the property. He’s currently paying full rent on another property and maintenance for their 16 year old son, while his ex is living housing cost free in a house which is much too big for 2 people, both her and the son have said the house is a miserable lonely place to live now. He did cheat on her with me for a few months before they split up which she knows about.
She’s refusing to sell the house saying it’s the family home and she wants to stay there until the 16 year old leaves school even thought both say it’s not a nice place to live. The son has expressed a desire to sell and move on to his Dad. Wether that’s the same as he’s telling his Mum we don’t know. He needs to sell the property in order to buy a new house. Can he force her to sell? She’s going to see a soliciter, will a soliciter tell her she has to downsize or tell her to fight him?
CA - 11-Jan-19 @ 7:10 AM
hi my husband left our home 10 years agodue to adulltery we are now divorced he's 're married we both paid half morgage each my one daughter still lives with me also get daughter age 4 my daughter is having her end child in March but now my husband wants to sell house can he just sell house and we're do I stand please I'm so worried he has house with new wife please help
lulu - 10-Jan-19 @ 7:32 PM
Hi my partner and I have split up after 20 years. We have 3 children 14, 12 and 4. We have a mortgage together but she refuses to sell. She says she doesn't have to as she has the kids more than me but i cant afford my own place ie rent and child maintenance its too much. I could afford a mortgage and maintenance but rent is just no option as i need the equity from the house.
My argument is that I also need a place with the children when i have them but she doesn't care about that bit.
In a nutshell can i make her sell.
Deano - 16-Dec-18 @ 2:34 PM
Hi. Me and my wife separated nearly four years ago. I moved out of our jointly owned home and we continued to pay half of the mortgage each. I also pay the standard rate of child maintenance for our daughter and she has one 13 year old and one 19 year old(with a full time job) living with her. I have rented since our split but now want to buy a property with my new partner but obviously cannot get a mortgage as I already have one with the ex and the mortgage companies won't let me have another. What are the chances of me being successful in forcing the sale of the house with children still living there? I have asked her to look into taking over the mortgage which to be fair she has but was refused as she doesn't earn enough. Any advice would be really appreciated.
Ian - 22-Oct-18 @ 3:06 PM
Hi, My wife made false allegations of DV and had a non mol put in place. Police dropped case but I no longer am allowed in the property as I took an undertaking. We have been married 12 years and have 2 children 6 and 7. I want to now divorce and want to force the sale of the house. We have 450k equity in the home, which is enough for both of us to split 60/40 in her favour and get our own places to live. My ex gave up work 4 years ago do to work grievance and never returned back but she can work and earn. Can I force a sale as there is enough equity?
Strongbolt - 1-Oct-18 @ 6:29 AM
Hi, I'm a pensioner and my husband is a few years older than me. The problem is my husband would like to sell the house and move overseas.
I have a small pension which he has kept from me and has not returned and I would like to know what my options are. Can he really sell the house when the deeds are in both our names?
Our son also lives with us. He is a middle-aged managing his bi-polar condition via the GP and works in a local hospital.He regularly contributes 1/3 of all the bills in the house but I am concerned that with my husband deciding to sell, he has been threatening this for a long time, it might trigger his mental health problems again.
My son can look after himself but with his Banding in the hospital he cannot afford to move out as it is. The job is really good for him and I don't want all these things to complicate his progress. What do you suggest?
Eugene - 27-Sep-18 @ 4:10 PM
I left my husband around 8yeasrs ago. We have 3 kids together. We have a house in both off our names. Which I keep for my kids. My husband had the house rent private to his girlfriend kids. Just wondering if I can still get my share of the house if we sell it
Shell - 25-Sep-18 @ 9:34 AM
Hi I left my wife after 19 years we have 4 children together youngest is 10 she sold my car when we split up £6 k now she is sitting in my house with £80 k equity and refusing to sell until my son is 18 I give her £600 pm csa she as never contributed to any bills in whole time we was together which is part reason why I left her now she refuses to get full time job as she says she gets more this way she goes out every weekend until 4 am leaving children on their own ,is their anyway I can force this horrible human being to give me half of my £80 k? I have £6 k of loans and my new partner is expecting any advise please?
Shafted - 11-Sep-18 @ 2:33 PM
MHC - Your Question:
My husband has left me after 38 years of marriage. He is still working (his own building business) and also plays in a band several times a month earning him additional income. I have no income other than the Government Pension. He has paid no support at all since he left and he shut down all utilities etc which I have had to now have put in my name and pay myself. We have always paid 50/50 through our marriage until I retired in 2015 - but still I had to contribute as much as I could from my pension. That is my only income. He now wants to sell the property - can he force me? I have no means of purchasing another (my half of the property will be insufficient, but too much to be able to obtain any financial help or a council property. Many thanks
You can refuse to sell. Where no agreement can be reached between you, only a court can then decide (if your ex wishes to take the matter to court). The fact you have been married for 38 years also means you have a claim to the business and any savings etc you both have. I suggest you seek legal advice.
RelationshipExpert - 17-Aug-18 @ 12:02 PM
my husband has left me after 38 years of marriage.He is still working (his own building business) and also plays in a band several times a month earning him additional income.I have no income other than the Government Pension.He has paid no support at all since he left and he shut down all utilities etc which I have had to now have put in my name and pay myself.We have always paid 50/50 through our marriage until I retired in 2015 - but still I had to contribute as much as I could from my pension.That is my only income.He now wants to sell the property - can he force me?I have no means of purchasing another (my half of the property will be insufficient, but too much to be able to obtain any financial help or a council property.Many thanks
MHC - 17-Aug-18 @ 9:00 AM
Kat - Your Question:
Hello, my husband wants to break up and sell our house, we have a 6 year old boy, my husband still lives in the house and will not move out, he is adiment I sell or I have to pay him the equity of the house, where do I stand? I don’t want to sell, as the house is a great location and our home. I’ve applied for a part time job with the hours of 34.5 a week which I’m hopefully going to get. I currently already work 30 hours a week, I’ve worked out I will just be able to afford all the bills on the money I earn now. Plus I’ve been offered a lot of support off family.
To clarify the information in the article, if you are married, both spouses have an equal right to remain in the house. If you can’t agree how to split it on separation, then you will need to either suggest mediation as a way of coming to an agreement or refer the matter to court if you still cannot agree. If you have a child, the court will always put the child's interests first. Where finances allow, a court can allow the primary carer of the child to remain in the house with the child until the child leaves full-time education. Please also see the link here which offers further information.
RelationshipExpert - 14-Aug-18 @ 9:55 AM
Hello, my husband wants to break up and sell our house, we have a 6 year old boy, my husband still lives in the house and will not move out, he is adiment I sell or I have to pay him the equity of the house, where do I stand? I don’t want to sell,as the house is a great location and our home. I’ve applied for a part time job with the hours of 34.5 a week which I’m hopefully going to get . I currently already work 30 hours a week, I’ve worked out I will just be able to afford all the bills on the money I earn now. Plus I’ve been offered a lot of support off family.
Kat - 13-Aug-18 @ 4:22 AM
@missy - Unless your ex-husband can buy you out so that you can pay off/reduce the mortgage, then he would not be able to transfer the house. Someone has to pay the lender.
Jo - 13-Jul-18 @ 11:02 AM
Hi, Me and my husband divorced in the early 90s, we had 3 children all under 4ys old when he had an affair and moved out to live with his new partner, the courts decided to award him 30% of the house because of the child support agency! He never paid a penny child support or had the children overnight! I paid all the bills including the mortgage for 25 years, i never asked him for anything and i didnt even go after a percentage of his pension, which i was entitled to, but 3 years ago my youngest child left home and he asked if he could come back to help me kerp the house for the children, he was living on his own in a flat at this time, so i agreed as i was only working part time and couldnt afford to pay all the bills, aldo i couldnt sell the house as there was a charge on the property for my legal bills that i couldnt afford to pay off...so i was in a catch 22 position. He said that he was going to transfer his share over to mebut says he cant until the mortgage has been paid off, is this right or can it be signed over before that happens?
Missy. - 12-Jul-18 @ 10:55 AM
Ginger - Your Question:
My Husband left the marital home 6 mths ago after I discoverd he was having an affair.He left on his own accord he was not forced to go. He now has not contributed to the mortgage for the last two months. I have filed for divorce and financial settlement to enable me to eventually buy him out of the property.Whilst the mortgage is still in joint names but he doesn't contribute to anything my question is what are my rights to take a lodger to help with the bills and mortgage.
Discussing this with your husband directly might be the way forward here, especially if your ex is refusing to pay. However, if you do not wish to take this approach, then it is up to you whether you take in a lodger (you don't need his consent). But you may need the consent of your mortgage lender and to change your home insurance policy. You can see more via the link here .
RelationshipExpert - 4-Jun-18 @ 10:29 AM
My Husband left the marital home 6 mths ago after i discoverd he was having an affair.
He left on his own accord he was not forced to go. He now has not contributed to the mortgage for the last two months. I have filed for divorce and financial settlement to enable me to eventually buy him out of the property.
Whilst the mortgage is still in joint names but he doesn't contribute to anything my question is what are my rights to take a lodger to help with the bills and mortgage.
Ginger - 3-Jun-18 @ 10:30 AM
Me and my ex split up 13 yrs ago after she cheated on me. We have 3 children, youngest is now 14. We have a joint mortgage. I moved out of the property and she moved her new fella in, since then they had a child together and split up. She hasn't worked since we split claiming benefits. I believe I've done the right thing in letting her stay in the home until my youngest is 18. But I think she's going to make things really awkward when youngest is 18 because I would like my share of the property to fund another home.
Jon - 27-May-18 @ 8:55 AM
@Flower - You can refuse to sell the house. If you refuse, then your husband would have to try to resolve the situation by applying to court. It is unlikely the courts will force the sale.
Gem - 14-May-18 @ 2:06 PM
My husband wants to move to Spain,l don't.he wants to sell the home to get the money to go..l will have to go into rented cos he doesn'twant to buy again.away over the winter to start with then permanent.l don't want any of this but feel like 'll being manipulatedto follow what he wants.we have 3 dogs and a 18year old at home also.l had a stroke in 2016 and d all the stress of this is frighteningme and wearing me out.where do l stand?what do l do?
Flower - 11-May-18 @ 6:44 PM
Sanah - Your Question:
Hi my has left me with 5 kids and one of my child is disabled my husband is forcing me to sell the house so he can have his share and move on ,we have no mortgage and the house is on joint names. I wanted to ask can he force me to sell.my youngest is 4years old and I have a disabled child who is 13 years old ?
It is unlikely a court would force you to sell the house. Usually, a court would rule that the primary carer can stay in the family home with the children until the youngest leaves full-time education. In your situation with five children, a court is unlikely to force you to move. You can see more via the CAB link here.
RelationshipExpert - 13-Apr-18 @ 2:46 PM
Hi my has left me with 5 kids and one of my child is disabled my husband is forcing me to sell the house so he can have his share and move on ,we have no mortgage and the house is on joint names.
I wanted to ask can he force me to sell.
my youngest is 4years old and I have a disabled child who is 13 years old ?
Sanah - 12-Apr-18 @ 11:36 PM
N/A - Your Question:
My husband left me in April 2016 so he could be with another woman. We had been married for almost 27 yrs. I have never worked and I have health problems including Depression, Anxiety and a rare type of Cancer. I share my home with our daughter, who will turn 28yrs old this month, and our son, who will be 24yrs old in September. The home myself and my husband decided to buy from the Council. We still have a joint mortgage which my daughter has recently started to pay because my husband has stopped the payments. My solicitor has informed my husbands solicitor of my health issues and stated that I have a letter from my GP stating it is in my best interest to remain in my home. This is not being accepted by my husbands solicitor because he has told them that I have posted all over Facebook that I have been given the all clear from the Cancer specialist. This is not true. At the beginning of the year I received a letter stating that my husband is willing to sign the house over to me for a £10,000 pound settlement fee. My solicitor informed them that I don't have that kind of money and so they have taken steps for financial relief proceedings to be issued. Can I be forced to sell my home just so he can have some money for walking out on me for another woman
I am sorry to hear of your illnesses. However, a court will not go out to punish your husband financially for leaving your marriage (if he chooses to take the matter to court). If your husband owns half the house and has been paying the mortgage then he is entitled to a financial claim on the house. However, court is always seen as a last resort and if you can try to resolve the issues outside of court then it will be a lot less costly for both of you in legal/court fees etc. As your ex has money locked in the property that he is entitled to claim. Much depends upon whether he makes steps to apply to court to try to claim it and it will be dependent upon what the court decides (which we cannot possibly predict).