Splitting up; what will the Evil Bitch Queen of Hades get?

#1
Situation; not married, two daughters aged 16 and 13 for whom I do not have parental responsibility. I am their father and we have all lived together for some years. Their mother and I have simply shared a roof and have not been a "couple" per se for many years.

Our property is in joint names as is the mortgage ( which was in my name alone until she insisted on her right to take on the liability. Smart move. ) Equity a £k couple of hundred.

I own a Buy to Let which is in my sole name and she has not contributed financially to this although she has on about two / three ocassions dealt with Tenant handover. Income from this after expenses £4-500 pm, quity estomated at £45-50k.

Other income; I'm self-employed and right now have very little coming in, although this looks certain to change quite markedly over the next few months. I also have my TA pay, £3-500 per month.

Should she somehow be able to force a split ( and can I be made to sell either the main house or my Buy to Let? ) what will the evil cow be entitled to?
 
#2
If you're not married, she gets to take her own property with her, end of. Cue arguments about who owns what, in re which talk to a solicitor, if only to have a general tidy-up and prune of your business affairs. Go before you have a problem, clients who waited until it had all gone wahoonie-shaped were the reason I retired in disgust from that profession.
 
#4
in ref the Law speak to a solicitor in ref your business speak to someone who actually knows about business, and tax planning. Oh and by the way Hide everything, admit nothing. Put all paper work in locked draws or filing cabinets. Precedent was set recently, basically if its not on your desk or in open view she can't take it and use it against you unless you give it to her.

Sue the solicitor who put your home into joint names for negligence. You should have been advised to use "Tenants in common" and as up until that point it was your asset I certainly wouldn't have expected a 50/50 split.

On the bad news front. She's going to set the CSA on you. Count on it. However as your earnings are low they won't be able to get that much. They will however bother the fcuk out of you. Don't suppose your a war pensioner are you?
 
#5
Thanks for the replies so far.

I cannot recall if the property is joint tenancy or tenants in common, but I wanted to do what was fair and splitting the ownership 50:50 seemed to be the equitable ( no pun ) route. She has been paying some £300 pm towards general living expenses but at the mo the mortgage alone costs >£700 pm in interest, let alone poll tax, food, electricity bills etc.

My understandiong of ther CPA is that they may look for 15%-20% of my income, and I know that eg. pensuion contributions are excluded. So, I'm showing very little income and we've been living on savings for a while. She does not earn a lot £11k at the moment, new job maybe £15k ) so how she expects to support three of them on that plus my CSA payments does somewhat amuse me ( and she refuses to acknowledge that minor inconvenience. ) I think she fully expects me to move out, get a small flat or similar and keep paying for her and the kids to live in the current property.
 
#7
Always remember to keep on amicable terms, even if the sound of her breathing induces homicidal thoughts, if you wish to keep seeing your kids.
 
#8
I think she fully expects me to move out, get a small flat or similar and keep paying for her and the kids to live in the current property.

Well dont move out, and CSA cant do anything unless, you do absolutly nothing with your other half ie. only care/cook/launder/shop for myself and not your daughters, also dont share rooms and don't sleep together.


The Law on Living Together and Cohabititation

Unlike married couples, unmarried couples have no basic rights to their partner's property or to maintenance if they split up. Basically what is his is his, what is hers is hers, and what is jointly-owned needs to be divided.

This applies to the home as well. Therefore if a house is bought in joint names (either as beneficial joint tenants, or as tenants-in-common - click here for more info on these terms) then it should be split accordingly on separation, and either party can force a sale of the property to realise their share. If the parties are contributing unequally to the purchase price, or to payments on the property, then this should be reflected by being designated as tenants-in-common and holding unequal shareholdings (say 70% and 30%), rather than the equal shareholdings of beneficial joint tenants.

Unmarried Couples and Children
If the parents of a child are unmarried, then only the mother has any automatic rights in respect of the child. She alone will have parental responsibility for the child, which covers all aspects of his/her welfare and upbringing. However since 1 December 2003 (s111 of the Adoption & Children Act 2002) it is now easier for an unmarried father to acquire similar rights. All he needs to do is to register the birth of the child with the mother.

An unmarried father can also acquire joint parental responsibility or (in extreme circumstances) sole parental responsibility, if the parents have entered into a Parental Responsibility Agreement (more on this here at a later date), or if he applies to the court and they grant him an order in his favour.

Therefore if an unmarried couple split up the mother will automatically have the right to look after her child in a manner and place as she sees fit, and the father could not challenge her unless they have entered into a Parental Responsibility Agreement or he has a court order in his favour.
The father can apply to the court for joint parental responsibility, a residence order (ie that the child live with him rather than his/her mother), or for a contact order (ie that he should be entitled to see his child on a regular basis).

 
#9
This is getting really useful;, thanks.

"Well dont move out, and CSA cant do anything unless, you do absolutly nothing with your other half ie. only care/cook/launder/shop for myself and not your daughters, also dont share rooms and don't sleep together."

Not sure if this is an instruction or a question; I do some shopping, laundry etc for all four of us, I have not slept in a room with their mother for many years, nor have we slept together ( euphemism. ).

BB
 
#10
If you can keep on friendly terms do as the only people who gain in a relationship split are the lawyers, I should know I am one but not a family/divorce one so was lead through my divorce by the senior partner. I gave my ex more than she would have got if it had lead to a shooting match but it was worth it to be shot of her, move on without any hassle and saving a small fortune in time if not legal fees if I had had to pay them.

The only down side to my divorce was the kids wanted to and do live with me, well the elder when he is on leave anyway. God she must have been a bad mother!!! Seriously keep it amicable if you can and just think of double tapping her with a smile on your face.
 
#13
Might be worth mentioning that I have genuine concerns about her mental health; clearly living with me is enough to drive anyobne over the edge but she ( a Woman of A Certain Age ) is hugely argumentative and has to contradict just about *anything* I say; she constantly tries to control what I'm doing and be abusive when I either do not do enough housework or do the wrong kind of jobs. It also transpires that I'm the only bloke in the world who falls asleep some evenings.

The most worrying aspect of her behaviour is twofold: first, she sees no problem with ( constantly ) castigating and haranguing me in front of the children, giving them the impression that its OK to treat their father in this way. Secondly, and sadly, my eldest daughter, now aged 16 has on a few occasions physically attacked me, leaving bite marks and drawing blood with scratches. I've not retaliated but have used restraint techniques ( armlock so she was an arms length facing away ) to prevent further injury to me. She refuses to intervene or chastise the daughter and says that I'm the one carrying out the assault.

To me this clearly gives the impression to the eldest child that its an acceptable way to behave. I did once grab the mother by the lapel and tell her ( as I was being attacked by the daughter ) that she had to get involved. This was reported by her to the Police but they did not attend.
 
#14
Then I'd be very very careful if it has got to this stage, speak to CSA now, and to a solicitor about everything, least get it in writing and be very careful not to let her know what your doing.
 
#15
There used to be a "payment calculator" on the CSA website. Although not binding it does give a rough idea of what your payments to her MIGHT be. It has been some years since i last checked.

Good luck!
 
#16
BB your partner sounds like my soon to be ex wife currently living the life of luxury on benefits and maintenance payments. She would not progress disclosure after decree nisi so I ended up taking out a court order against her stipulating a timetable for disclosure of financial affairs etc. Best £200 spent ever.
As your not married you will be liable for some child maintenance if you move out, and the mortgage debt if in both names which means that you are joint and severally liable if one of you defaults on payments. The CSA only tend to get involved if the ex partner starts claiming benefits. If you can demonstrate to them that you are paying adequate child maintenance ie 15-20 percent of income they may not get involved.
No need for an amicable split just move out and go and live in the TA centre!
 
#18
Point number one. See a family lawyer. Take their advice. All the well meaning people on here: (a) may not be legally qualified, and may be talking through their arses, and (b) will only give you their own opinion based on incomplete facts.

Children: They are 16 and 13. They will vote with their feet. They are old enough to understand what is going on and to make their own choices. Parental Responsibility would entitle you to information about important aspects of their lives (e.g. school reports, medical stuff) and to be consulted about important decisions (increasingly few at their ages, especially as they become mature enough to make their own decisions. The 16 year old is almost certainly already there; the 13 year old may be). You should have sorted it out years ago, but hey ho, you can't turn the clock back. Will she enter a PR agreement (no cost), or do you (and she) want to spend a couple of thousand getting an order from the court? Or do you think it ain't worth it (and it may not be).

Property: Jointly owned - it matters not whether joint tenants or tenants in common - if you have not specified on the transfer document when you bought it then the chances are the courts will start with the presumption that it is held 50/50, it being property held pursuant to a trust created by the two of you (impliedly if not expressly). HOWEVER: the court may determine that the purpose of the trust was (at least in part) to serve as a home for the children, therefore there is a risk that you might not get your mitts on the proceeds of sale till they are both adult/independent.

Property: Your own buy to let place. Held in your sole name. She's got a hell of a job trying to establish any claim against it.

So yes, the court can force you to sell the jointly owned place, but it may not (yet) if it concludes that the purposes for which it was bought (the trust was established) have not yet come to an end.

Unlikely it can force the sale of your own buy to let place (unless she can establish a trust on that, which appears unlikely on the information you have given)

Your income: she is not entitled to maintenance for herself (that would be "spousal" maintenance, and you're not married) but she can always go to the CSA for child support. She may also have an avenue under the Children Act 1989 (Schedule One) for further provision for the children.

She has options to try to "force a split". If you can't agree for one of you to go and one to stay, she might try:

An occupation order (section 33 Family Law Act 1996);
A sale of the property (section 14 Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1998);
A transfer of property (Children Act 1989, Schedule One).

As I think I may have said, consult a specialist (family law) lawyer.
 
#19
SITREP; she tells me that she has seen a Solicitor ( I'm not entirely convinced that she has, given that we arrived back in the UK monday which was a Bank Holiday and a same-day appointment seems a bit unlikely, but I'll assume she has. )

1. She is demanding a note of my income and assets - am I required to provide this? Comment above indicated that I might not have to do so voluntarily.

2. She tells me that she has contacted the Police about my behaviour, with the implication that she has reported my "attack" on my eldest child, possibly her. Any such allegation is totally false. She has said that they are keeping some kind of record of my behaviour. I presume that if the Police *had* been told I'd assaulted them, I'd have been arrested? Would the Police simply keep a note of my alledged behaviour or is this a bluff?

TIA

BB
 

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