split up with debt and joint mortgage

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awoods | 10:51 Wed 15th Feb 2012 | Civil
7 Answers
hi there new to this but here goes , me and my then partner bought a house in 2002 as a joint mortgage , a year later she briefly left and then returned eventually admitting she was in debt to the tune of 25 grand , we remortgaged and paid the debt off , since then we have remortgaged several times , the last one we paid for the car she now drives 8 grand at the time but that was six years ago , we are now splitting up its very complicated, we have two children , and i have 9 grand owing on credit cards, she wants to rent and dissapear into the sunset leaving me with the house , we owe 106 grand on the mortgage resale value maybe 110 if were lucky, the question is what are her responsibilties to the mortgage? also what do i do about the 31 grand she has put on the mortgage? i cannot afford to stay in the property and pay everything , just to complicate matters we also work together, any answers aremost welcome


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If it is a joint mortgage then her responsibilities are the same as yours. In most cases both partners have equal responsibility for the whole mortgage. If she has put 31 grand onto the joint mortgage I am almost sure you that you have equal resonsibility for this too. Any financial arrangments or cards you have in joint names make you both and individually responsible. e.g. If she should disappear then you are responsible for everything and likewise if you should disappear.

I am sure someone with more knowledge will come on with more information.
If I were you I would go and see a solicitor asap. The fact that you have children makes the issue more complicated. Most solicitors will give you a first appointment for free. At the very least go to the Citizens Advice Bureau.
Go and seek legal advice straight away. We had debts when my ex and I split up, it needs to be done on a formal legal footing, so that after the divorce you are no longer liable for those debts which are identified as hers.
Joint and Severally was the term I couldn't think of when I answered.

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if she leaves , does she have to pay half the mortgage?
Yes, but if she doesn't then the mortgage still has to be paid. If it isn't paid then the consequences are ultimately court orders and repossession.
If you look at my link it will explain. You can't just pay 'your' half of the mortgage because you both have responsibility for the whole amount.

You really need to talk to a legal expert pretty quickly.
Any debts in your sole name are your responsibility and the same applies to your ex-partner, debts she brought to the relationship are not your responsibility if you are not named, any debts where you or your ex-partner are named jointly and severally are the responsibility of the persons named for the full amount not just their proportion and the creditor will often pursue the person they believe offers them the best chance of success. You or your ex-partner will probably also be responsible for any debt where you or your ex-partner have been guarantors if payments are not maintained.

If your mortgage is in your joint names you are both responsible for payment the mortgage provided will not care who pays, but the full amount should be paid not just your proportion. If it is not you will fall into arrears and the mortgage provider will ultimately seek possession of the property. If any of your creditors have had judgement entered against you or your ex-partner they can apply for a charging order which, if granted and they usually are, has the effect of changing an unsecured debt into a secured debt against the property.
As several people have suggested take advice as soon as possible particularly as there are children involved.

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