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Financial Issues This forum is for discussing any of the financial issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 05-10-2007, 09:07 AM
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Default Sharing costs of matrimonial home

My spouse left me 7 months ago with the house and two small children. I have had to bear the burden of the costs and work maintaining the house, mortgage, property taxes, insurance etc myself and he justifies this by saying that he is paying his own expenses ie. rent somewhere else. It was his choice to leave and rent elsewhere with no consent or consultation on my part.

He is not paying me any support at the moment until we get a separation agreement in place which has taken 5 months and further delays because he has not given full financial disclosure. I don't work and am strapped for cash.

In addition, he now wants to buy a house and wants me to pay his mortgage in addition to the mortgages and expenses on the mat home. He is also asking for occupany rent for his rent backdated to the time of our separation. His reasoning is because we both agreed not to uproot the kids from their home until we can put it on the market next spring, he will have to take out a mortgage until he can get his share of the mat home.

I feel this is entirely unreasonable. I am cash strapped and he is squeezing me in order to get me to agree to his demands. Does he have any legal rights to what he has asked for? I have argued that I cannot continue to maintain the mat home cost alone and it will result in my having to sell the house now. He is refusing to alowe me to do this because he wants the kids to remain until spring as we agreed. I want that too but can't afford it if he doesn't help out. I also argue that our home is increasing in equity and when we sell it, he wants to walk away with half the increase in equity without having contributed to the cost or maintenance for the year and a half prior to the sale in any way.

What are my rights here?
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Old 05-10-2007, 09:31 AM
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I am not exactly sure how the split of equity since the separation will be handled, given that there is no agreement or legal separation in place he is still part owner. You’d have to consult a lawyer on that particular issue. Although he is not in the home, he may be able to claim some form of unjust enrichment on your part because of the increasing equity even though he is not physically residing in the home but still part owner.

As for the costs to maintain, although he may not be obligated to pay spousal support without an agreement or court order he is obligated to begin child support, as that is a given with or without an order. It will not look good on him if he were to postpone CS payments until ordered by a court. I’d consult the Child Support guidelines relative to what you recall his last yearly income to be. Submit a written request to him for child support and back CS from the date he physically left the home. Because that is exactly what the courts would see him as being required to pay, minimum!

I would also include a request for him to buy out his half of the ownership of the house.
EG if the estimated value of the home were $150,000 ask for him to buy out his half $75,000 with a bank loan which he can acquire and he can also roll that into his new mortgage if banks will allow. NB the cost to have an appraisal is minimal, and would substantiate your request. Perhaps you would be able to ask for a personal loan from a family member or an advance from the bank if you didn’t have the money right now. With his “written” agreement to buy you out, you could approach the bank that holds the mortgage on the house and ask for an extension, and/or have them add one or two payments to the end of the amortization so you could miss one or two months of payments. They may request that you pay the interest and the principal could be added to the end of the loan. We’ve done this during a strike situation when we have had no or little income.

I would also seek some form of income assistance, even if it is temporary until you get back on your feet. This is not a time to be thinking pride, but rather the children’s best interests. Financial stresses can be huge in and of themselves, and at this time when you have a lot of other emotional issues to deal with. You need to be able to concentrate on the kids and getting yourself on your feet.
You owe it to yourself; you owe it to the children.
Best of luck.
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Old 05-10-2007, 10:25 AM
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Thank you for your reply and support. I cannot afford to buy him out of the home nor do I have the means to borrow the money.

I really need to know about whether or not I am forced to bear the burden of the house costs which are huge. I would not still live here if I knew I had to do that. He had agreed to share the costs until it was sold, baring my consumable expenses such as heat, phone, hydro etc but is now reneging on that verbal agreement.
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Old 05-10-2007, 11:59 AM
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my suggestion was for him to buy you out, thereby giving you the funds to either completey repay the mortgage balance, or at least reduce it significantly and cover outstanding bills and still allow you to remain in the home to not uproot and move the children.
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