I am hoping for some advice please on a rather complicated situation ahead. Here is as brief as a background as possible.
Ex partner and I met In 2000 and separated early 2017. We have two children, now 12 and 7 years old. We were not married.
I had owned several properties prior to us meeting and living together and I built up equity accordingly.
We purchased a property in 2007 (considered our family home) with the equity from my house sale and she contributed £8k towards it from a loan from her parents we also had a small interest only mortgage for the balance.
Property was put in her name due to capital gains and tax reasons but I continued to pay mortgage etc.
In 2008 I sold a sports car I owned and this cash lump sum paid for an extension to the house which increased it to a 4 bed bungalow. I carried out the majority of the building works myself.
Relationship broke down and we sold the family home in autumn 2016.
The plan was to buy a ‘dooer upper’, with cash (no mortgage) in my name (being that I was the majority equity holder) and once renovated I would raise a mortgage Against the property to buy her share out and enable her to put a deposit down on a new property in her name and we would continue to share custody of children.
New property purchased in my sole name in autumn 2016.
We Had moved into my mothers house for a few weeks, as the new house was uninhabitable, things continued to break down and she moved out, with the kids back to her parents house.
She then registered an ‘interest’ in the house in early 2017 and I have been unable to move forward from that point. I have put considerable funds into refurbishing the property.
I met my new partner in summer 2017 and things went from bad to worse with 100s of false allegations made to police / social services / local authorities all of which went nowhere but caused great distress for myself and my family.
We settled child access via court in early 2018, after months of her trying to stop access, since then the children reside with me at the new house for just over 40% of the time and 50% of all school holidays. She continues to reside at her parents house, with the children during her allocated time with the children. Despite several offers of rental accommodation (paid for) and lump sum payments by myself.
During this order I signed over all child benefit and tax credits to her.
Now she has applied to the courts under schedule 1 of the family act and TOLATA for -Occupation of the house with the children until the youngest child reaches adulthood.
At which point she will consider splitting the equity 50/50.
She wants me to pay backdated rent for the time I have lived here to the tune of £1000pcm (this is 100% of the rent, despite her not owning 100% of the house)
Facts I believe are important to this situation are -
She has never lived at this house. Never stayed one night. The house was never intended to be a family home, it was a ‘means to an end’ as such and a means to pay her a share she was entitled to for her small contribution (plus growth) to the former family home.
The calculation based on evidenced financial contribution from both parties works out at an equivalent of 10% of the former family home.
I have made several generous offers of financial settlement which have all been ignored or refused.
I am now in a position where I am facing anxiety daily about what may happen in court, will I be made homeless and if so where will I go?
Where will I have the kids during my 40% of the time?
We weren’t married - does she still have a financial claim of more than she’s owed?
Can the court order me to pay her a lump sum to finish the house even though I can’t raise a mortgage to do so....
With COVID19 delaying court hearings the not knowing and worry about all of this is really getting to me and so I was hoping someone may read this who has some knowledge or experience and may be able to shed some light whilst I sit waiting.
I have been informed by her solicitor than an application to the court has been made, obviously I will look to get advice from a solicitor but I can’t do this until I revive the actual paperwork from the court (which could take weeks / months)
Thank you for reading this. Jim
Hello, yes we will certainly be doing that. In order to save funds we don’t want to instruct a solicitor until we have court paperwork to see what we’re fully dealing with. Very complicated and a huge worry, thanks again, Jim
TBH, it's too complicated to give advice here in my opinion, certainly anything detailed - I would see your solicitor anyway, even before you receive the paperwork. With the facts you've given, your solicitor can make a start on what she is likely to be entitled to, which could give you your starting point for bargaining, plus giving your solicitor a head start will hopefully speed things along.