Mortgage options when separating

Posted on 27 September 2011 by Kevin

I'm looking for some advice in potentially arranging a new mortage for myself. I currently have a joint mortage with my wife on our property, unfortunately we have decided to separate and I will be seeking new accommodation.  Due to current circumstances we would not be looking to sell this property for a least a year so I will have no equity or cash available for a until then. We have not had the property valued and there may not be enough equity for us both to afford new homes based on current house prices.  We have discussed the possibility of my wife buying me out of the mortgage, but this would not be a viable option as my wife would not be able to get a mortgage for herself on the current property and afford the upkeep and bills by herself.

Due to the fact that I will still be named on our current mortgage and will have to keep up the repayments my options at the moment are probably very limited in terms of any new mortgage I may be able to get.  I would prefer to buy a property but have not ruled out the possibility of renting and then waiting until we can sell.  I am looking for some advice to see what options there may be available to me. Thanks


I think your first step should be to get your house valued by at least 3 independent estate agents so that you have a complete picture of your current situation.  Once you have this information you will be able to work out how much equity you have between you and be able to start forming an idea of the price range of new properties you will be able to afford.  It will be necessary to involve solicitors at some point, either in the sale of the existing property or to transfer it's title to your wife's sole name and I also suggest that you get quotes for this.  Whilst the separation may be amicable, your wife will probably find it less difficult to obtain a new mortgage if there is a court order in place for the maintenance payments and a record of the payments being made in full and on time.

Reading between the lines, I sense that it is likely you will have to rent for at least 6 months whilst you build up a track record of meeting mortgage and rental payments.  At the same time you will need to maintain your current levels of unsecured credit.  This will also give you time to ensure that your wife is able to support herself and the children in the current property and that you are able to afford the arrangement.  Having built up a track record it is far more likely that a lender will be able to take a pragmatic approach which will perhaps allow your wife to stay were she is and for you to get a second mortgage on a new home.

I believe we can help you and that you would benefit from speaking to one of our independent mortgage advisers.  Please call 0344 346 3672 and tell the consultant the date and title of your question, they will then be able to obtain a copy of your original enquiry before helping you further.


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.

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