14 February 2013
Family Law Solicitor Kirsten Grotte on the risks of separating couples who are forced to live together
I have recently come across an article in the Daily Mail about the effect of today’s economic climate on separating couples who have to stay living together for financial reasons:
The article refers to a report being carried out by the housing charity, Shelter and says that 3.6million people have felt forced to continue living together after they have separated because neither person can afford to buy or rent elsewhere. In cases that I have dealt with, this has appeared to be the case where people don’t have family members they can live with as a stop-gap between trying to resolve the financial issues in a Relationship Breakdown or marriage.
For example, they have simply been unable to afford to pay rent and bills elsewhere, whilst remaining jointly liable for a mortgage on the former family home where there ex still resides. If there are Children involved they have also had to pay child maintenance which adds further to the depletion in their disposable income. Most couples rely on the benefit of having two income sources to pay one set of outgoings on their home and so when they separate, they can find it difficult to revert to having just one source of income paying potentially the same level of outgoings elsewhere.
This can put a lot of pressure on a couple within an already hostile environment if they are separating and can increase the risk of Domestic Abuse or violence. All options need to be explored in these types of situations and advice can be sought from Family Law Solicitors, citizens advice and housing charities.