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Do I have to pay mortgage and child maintenance payments?

When you’re going through a divorce, money can be tight. Not only do you have to pay for the divorce itself, but the money which only previously needed to pay for one family home, now needs to pay for separate accommodation for both parties, as well as all of the extra bills that this entails. You may trying to cut costs and asking yourself, ‘do I have to pay mortgage and child maintenance payments’?

We explain how mortgage and child maintenance payments work following the breakdown of a relationship.


Do I have to pay the mortgage?

If you have a joint mortgage with your spouse, you may be wondering if you still need to keep paying the mortgage, even if you’ve moved out of the family home.

The simple answer is, that even if you no longer live in the house and you’re getting a divorce, you still need to pay the mortgage. If you don’t, this could damage yours and your spouse’s credit history.

Worse, if you do not pay the mortgage, you could lose the property altogether.


Paying the mortgage and divorce: talk to your lender

As soon as you have made the decision to end your relationship, it is important to let your mortgage provider know.

mortgage and child maintenance payments


Do I have to pay the mortgage after divorce?

What will happen to the family home – and its mortgage – will be decided as part of your financial settlement.

For example, the home could be sold and the mortgage paid off. Alternatively, one party may decide that they want to pay the mortgage themselves. In this instance. it may be possible to change a joint mortgage into just one person’s name. Whether this is possible or not will depend on the couple’s financial situation.

If you are unable to reach an agreement on any issue, including who will pay the mortgage, you could try mediation.

Asking the courts to decide your financial settlement should normally be viewed only as a last resort.

If you and your spouse are able to come to an agreement about how to divide your finances when you divorce, it’s important to speak to a solicitor about getting your arrangement turned into a court order.


Do I have to pay child maintenance?

Child maintenance goes towards the living costs of a child. The parent who no longer lives with the child will have to pay child maintenance.

If you and the other parent agree, you can arrange to pay child maintenance without involving anyone else. It can still be helpful to check the agreed amount against how much you would be expected to pay, if you applied through the Child Maintenance Service.

If no agreement can be reached, the resident parent can apply for child maintenance through the Child Maintenance Service. In this instance, you will be told how much you will have to pay in child maintenance.

If you earn below £7 in gross weekly income, you would not be expected to pay child maintenance.


Do I have to pay mortgage and child maintenance payments?

While money can be tight when you are going through the divorce process and beginning to build a separate life from your spouse, it is important not to neglect paying the mortgage.

Equally, paying child maintenance is important in order to ensure that your child’s living costs are met.

It’s always best to get legal advice regarding how to deal with your finances when you divorce, both to inform discussions with your spouse, as well as to ensure your financial settlement is fair.


Other articles that may be of interest to you?

How long does a divorce take?

What is the divorce process?

When is decree absolute granted in a divorce?

Decree Nisi – What does this mean in a divorce?

What are the first steps to divorce?

Is a cheap divorce really possible?


How can our expert divorce solicitors help you with your divorce

Our expert family law solicitors can help you with a range of legal issues relating to divorce, including:


Contact our expert divorce solicitors for advice on your divorce divorce

For more information call our divorce solicitors on 0845 862 5001 or email

Our expert family law solicitors offer a nationwide service. We have client meeting office facilities available, in order to have face-to-face client meetings / conferences as and when required in:

Leeds Office: St Andrew House, The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 5JW

Wakefield Office: Market Walk, Wakefield, WF1 1QR

Halifax Office: Old Lane, Halifax, HX3 5WP

Huddersfield Office: Northumberland Street Huddersfield, HD1 1RL

Coventry Office: Warwick Road, Coventry, CV1 2DY

Canary Wharf Office: 25 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5LB

Please contact us for more details.

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31st January 2020

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