Housing the children

  • Posted

Posted 15/01/2015

Mary Pearce 1397334690_MaryPearceCPX.jpg

The end of a relationship is never an easy time.  There is the emotional fall out to deal with – if you have been living together you may have your home to sell and belongings to share before you can start to move on.

If you are not married to each other and have no children this may be all you need to do. But what happens when you are in this situation and have children to think about too? 

These days the Child Support Agency (CSA) will help you calculate of what sum one parent should pay the other for child maintenance. Their website has a helpful online calculator so you can work out how much you should be paying (or receiving) for your children. In arriving at the figure it will take into account the time children spend with each parent. For a fee the CSA will collect the payments for you.

But what about providing a home? Say the person with the prime care of the children does not have enough capital to rehouse themselves and the children. Perhaps your share of the proceeds of the house is not enough for a deposit but you can raise a mortgage. Here the Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989 may be able to help.

Where the other parent has the financial resources you may be able to ask that they provide capital to help buy a home for your children. If they are wealthy, this may be the purchase of a home outright.

However more often than not, the payment is not as significant as that. Often it is a sum of money to put with your own money to provide a sufficient deposit to purchase a suitable property home. This can extend to the deposit for shared ownership or affordable housing schemes. It can also extend to providing top-up funds so the children can remain living in the same area. This can be important if it means children can stay at the same schools and parents maintain their childcare arrangements for them.

The sum provided is best thought of as a loan, and is usually repayable when the children reach 18 or complete full time school but you can agree that the sum is not repaid until the children have completed college or university.

The person providing the capital can protect their investment by having a “charge” (a type of mortgage) secured on the property purchased – they then get a percentage of the value of the property equivalent to their investment when the time comes to be repaid.

The advantages of this type of arrangement is that one is not locked into renting for the foreseeable future and makes sure parents can keep on the housing ladder.

For individual advice, please contact Mary Pearce from our Family law team on 01284 732117 or email mary.pearce@ashtonslegal.co.uk


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