Mortgage payments to ex wife

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  • #45741
    Ninaw
    Participant

    I would very much appreciate some help regarding a scenario I have come across, and how to treat the income.

    My customer receives Council tax benefit only.

    She and her ex-husband have a joint mortgage on the property she lives in. This is the former marital home. She lives there with their children. He pays her �400 per month into her bank account towards the mortgage of �500. She then pays it to the mortgage company.

    How should I treat this income?

    In the first instance he did pay it directly to the mortgage company from his account but subsequently changed this. Does it make any difference.

    They maintain that this is child maintenance and should be disregarded, but I do not consider this to be the case.

    Your guidance would be welcome.

    #128754
    petedavies
    Participant

    I don’t think who it is paid to makes any difference. What is more important is the circumstances in which it is paid. There is probably a Court Order or, at least, a signed agreement floating about somewhere and you should probably think about making this your starting point – the terms in which it is laid out may well be more impiortant than the form in which payment is made.

    #128757
    Ninaw
    Participant

    Thank you for your response. Unfortunately, but even more surprisingly, is that there does not appear to be anything!

    #128765
    John Boxall
    Participant

    If there is a joint mortgage, the bottom line is that they are jointly & severally liable so if he doesnt pay it, the mortgage lenders can chase him as well as her

    Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery. The blossom is blighted, the leaf is withered, the god of day goes down upon the dreary scene, and—and in short you are for ever floored.

    Wilkins Micawber, Ch12 David Copperfield

    #128766
    Ninaw
    Participant

    Thank you but I’m still not sure whether this “income” should be treated as a disregard on her claim as child maintenance, or as payment to her.

    #128769
    petedavies
    Participant

    I think you are trying to make a decision in an information vacuum although I must confess a little scepticism.

    There are countless permutations but I do not think it is as simple as the payments being child maintenance – If, for example, P has a beneficial interest in the property he is not just paying over £400 pcm he is also forgoing either his share of either the proceeds of sale or the potential rental income from the property.

    On the other hand if, as John suggested, it is a joint mortgage then P was merely discharging a debt when he paid the mortgage direct and it may well be the case that he is continuing to do so with your claimant effectively being a trustee of the funds and may be paying nothing.

    I’m not actually convinced that it would be disregarded even if the payments were maintenance and were made ‘voluntarily’ – P arguably gets something our of it – savings regarding legal costs, the avoidance of the uncertainties associated with litigation etc. I would be reluctant to consider such a payment as being voluntary unless it was made in addition to the requirements of some other agreement/order without compelling evidence to suggest I should act otherwise.

    #128775
    walmslm
    Participant

    It’s a pretty easy one for the customer to get round either way. If she just paid the mortgage herself and then said the payments where child maintainance, you’d have to disregard it.

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