Do I have to Pay Mortgage and Child Maintenance Payments?
Do I have to Pay Mortgage and Child Maintenance Payments? and Does my ex have to pay half the mortgage are two questions our family solicitors get asked frequently.
We understand that spending money unnecessarily in the middle of a divorce is one thing that nobody wants. At this time, you need to shoulder only the necessary expenses such as the divorce fees and other emergent essential payments.
For instance, you were previously paying for one home. Now you and your ex partner might be compelled to pay for two separate accommodations. Also, other separate bills will arise out of this arrangement. As you wrestle with saving every penny, you are probably wondering, ‘do I have to pay mortgage and child maintenance payments?’
If you are wrestling with such a query, we are here to assist you. We will lay down the key conditions under which you must pay for your mortgage together with child maintenance.
Critical Questions on Child Maintenance and Mortgage Payments
Before our family solicitors can direct you, they will ask you several questions to determine if you should pay these expenses. Among the questions that you should expect are the following:
- Do you solely own your family home, or is it in joint ownership with your partner?
- Are you married to your partner, cohabiting with them, or in a civil partnership?
- Are the children in contention biologically related to you?
- Do you appear on the mortgage deed as an owner or guarantor?
- Is there anyone in your family who is a guarantor to the mortgage?
- Do you and your partner have a prenuptial agreement that outlines who should shoulder the mortgage costs after separation?
- Are you still living in the home, or is your partner living there? How much rent do you pay?
- What kind of mortgage do you have? Is it on a repayment or interest-only basis?
- Have you started paying for child maintenance?
- Are you presently paying spousal maintenance to your estranged partner? If yes, are you paying under a court order from a UK family court or voluntarily?
- How much do you contribute towards the mortgage?
- Is your mortgage company willing to offer you a mortgage holiday without downgrading your credit score?
- How much does your estranged partner earn? How much do you make? Moreover, if you do end up having to pay, how much are you willing to pay for mortgage payments?
As you might have probably seen, determining whether to pay child maintenance is not a straightforward thing. Our family solicitors will need to analyse your case critically before advising you on the best move to undertake. They will consider key issues such as your relationship status, the condition of your homeownership, and your financial situation.
Does My Ex Have to Pay Half the Mortgage?
If you have joint mortgage ownership with your estranged partner, your ex will still be required to pay a portion, if not half. This is irrespective of whether they live in the house or not. Also, even if you are preparing for a divorce, your ex will still need to contribute to the mortgage payment if you have joint ownership.
Failure of your ex to honour your mortgage obligations will result in the loss of your credit history. Your credit history will also be undoubtedly affected if they default in making payments.
If you or or ex ultimately do not pay the mortgage, you are running the risk of losing your home.
Paying the Mortgage and Handling Divorce: Communicate with your Lender
Immediately you decide to end the relationship; it is essential to talk to your lender. It will enable the lender to advise you on the appropriate course of action on the mortgage repayment. This is especially important if you entered into the mortgage on joint terms.
Do I Have to Pay the Mortgage After Divorce?
The fate of your family home will depend on the final settlement arrangement. For instance, it could be agreed that the house should be sold to facilitate the mortgage repayment, and you could buy a smaller property. Or your lender may agree to transfer the mortgage in your sole name if the property is to be transferred to you as part of the financial settlement on divorce.
Much will depend on your finances, and your lender must be confident you can meet the monthly repayments. You must give your lender notice of the transfer of the matrimonial home or the home where you have been cohabiting if it is in joint names.
So one of you may want to own the home and thus commit to continue paying the mortgage. In such an arrangement, the ownership will be changed from joint to sole. The key determinant, in this case, will be your financial situation. You can only commit to continue paying if your financial standing allows it.
Suppose you fail to have consensus on the issues at hand, you can try mediation. Do not rush to seek the court’s intervention as this could be potentially expensive.
Also, after you have agreed on the appropriate settlement, it is advisable to involve a solicitor. This will be key to turning your agreement into a court order.
Do I have to Pay Child Maintenance?
Paying child maintenance is a necessary obligation as it facilitates meeting the fundamental needs of the child. Thus, a parent who does live with the child must contribute to their upbringing by paying child maintenance.
You do not have to engage a mediator to set child maintenance terms. Nonetheless, it is advisable to check your expected contribution if you are to involve the Child Maintenance Service.
At times, parents may not agree on the maintenance terms. In such a case, involvement of Child Maintenance Service is inevitable. Through this, you will be told the amount that you need to pay towards maintenance. The service is very slow, therefore to reach an agreement with your partner is preferable.
Do I have to Pay Mortgage and Child Maintenance Payments?
You could undoubtedly be going through a dark patch financially as you try to formulate new life without your partner’s input. Nonetheless, it is good not to default on your mortgage obligations. This is especially important if you set to benefit from the family home. Also, even if you are not a direct beneficiary, it is prudent to fulfil your mortgage commitment to protect your credit rating.
You also need to honour your child maintenance obligations. It will enable your child to access the basic needs without straining your estranged partner.
To have more clarity on your specific case, you can discuss it with our expert family lawyers who will guide you on the fundamental obligations you need to fulfil after divorce. We have extensive experience in divorce settlements, mortgages, and child maintenance. Our solicitors will therefore guide you through all you need to meet to ensure a seamless divorce process. Also, if you consider engaging Child Maintenance Service, we will assist you through this process.
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At Gulbenkian Andonian, we pride ourselves on “Excellence, Experience and Efficiency”. With over 35 years of experience on your side, our team of London based lawyers and solicitors have a wealth of experience advising individuals, families and businesses of all sizes to find clarity on UK law.
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Armen Andonian is the CEO of Solicitors Marketing, a London-based legal marketing agency. He is a legal content marketing expert who writes on UK individual immigration, business immigration, family law, finance, employment law and intellectual property. He has a passion for researching and communicating complex legal concepts and ideas in a clear and engaging manner and has developed a reputation as a highly skilled and versatile author on UK law-related issues. He has written for numerous publications, both online and offline, and his work has been featured in a variety of high-profile media outlets.