We explain how mortgage and child maintenance payments work following the breakdown of a relationship.
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.
As soon as you have made the decision to end your relationship, it is important to let your mortgage provider know.
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.
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.
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.
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