I have been separated from my wife for 2 years, we have one 8yr old child together. I have been paying half the joint mortgage for two years (I have not lived in the property for 2 years) since I left. I have a new partner and have a 6 month old child together. I have advised my wife I can no longer afford to pay the full half and have offered her £40 towards it. We are going through a divorce, we have our decree nisi, my wife can't afford to obtain the decree absolute at the moment.
I have 2 questions - can she take me to court to make me pay the full amount and how do I get myself off the mortgage? We have a fixed term until November 2013.
Firstly, it is important to maintain the mortgage, as any missed payments will damage both yours and your wife's credit profile, and restrict your ability to obtain further credit. As a joint borrower on the mortgage, you are still "jointly and severally responsible" for the mortgage payment. That is to say, both you and your wife are equally liable for the mortgage payment. I would recommend that you speak to the lender, to see whether there's anything that can be done to lower the payment, by either extending the term or changing to interest only. You would need to speak to your solicitor regarding the legal side, and whether your wife has any legal redress on the payment.
Secondly unless your current lender agrees to the transfer of equity to your wife's sole name, then selling the marital home and your wife downsizing would be the only alternative.
However, it may be possible to move the mortgage into your wife's sole name, depending on the situation regarding regarding the financial settlement in the divorce, and your wife's income, if she's working.
I would suggest that it's worth talking to one of our consultants to see what the options are regarding a Transfer of Equity. If you'd like to do so, then please let me know.
More than mortgages, talk to me about: Financial Protection | Investments | Personal and Corporate Pensions | Home Insurance General Insurance | Valuations | Conveyancing | Wills | Home finders
Answers provided in response to Ask the experts are based on the information provided and do not constitute advice under the Financial Services & Markets Act. They reflect the personal views of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views, positions, strategies or opinions of John Charcol. All comments are made in good faith, and John Charcol will not accept liability for them.
We recommend you seek professional advice with regard to any of these topics where appropriate.
YOUR PROPERTY MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON A MORTGAGE OR ANY DEBT SECURED ON IT.
John Charcol is a trading name of John Charcol Limited and its Appointed Representatives. John Charcol Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. The Financial Services Register number is 665649. Registered in England No. 9157892. Registered office address for John Charcol Limited is 5th Floor, Cutlers Exchange, 123 Houndsditch, London, EC3A 7BU. The FCA does not regulate some investment mortgage contracts. Calls may be recorded for training and monitoring.