Those who follow my blog will know that I rarely get overly political and normally try to inject some humour but occasionally even I have to get serious.
I have just started the process that is required to resolve the last steps of my divorce and it reminds me of the plight of men in these situations. Before you stop reading let me make two things clear; this is not a rant against women and I was not the party responsible for my divorce, my partner had an affair.
So with that straightened out let me explain what happened to my ‘marital home’. To set the picture, I had a mortgage before I met my wife and the various properties that we resided in were entirely in my name, she was never added to a mortgage. So we split up and we have children, she cannot afford to make a home so the court orders that she shall remain in the house and make ‘best efforts’ to remove me from the mortgage.
Herein lies an issue that the legal system has not caught up with. No ‘best efforts’ will convince a mortgage company to remove a wage earner in favour of a welfare case, in their defence it would make no financial sense. So the ex stays in the house for 15 years and the fella has to make his own way, I have no particular objection to this it makes sense in terms of easing the burden on the state.
But, because he remains a mortgagor, the fella cannot move on in any real terms. The days of simply obtaining a buy to let mortgage are gone and you now have to provide evidence of your primary address, the one that you don’t live in anymore. Simply put, for 15 years you are prevented from owning your own home and have to suffer at the hands of the rental market. And when these 15 years are done? you are probably too old to take on a mortgage for the standard term.
So whilst the party who remains in the house moves on and enjoys a home that she will eventually be able to purchase at a bargain basement price the fella sees his capital eroded and spends his time renting rather than purchasing. This seems to me to be an unfair penalty on the fella and it is one that the courts are complicit in since they make no provision for the exiting partners accommodation.
Surely if she has not removed your name from the mortgage then she has not complied with the courts instructions I hear you say. Well firstly the instruction is a vague ‘best efforts’ and secondly what can the court do? Whilst the bank are a party to your life (and will be for at least another 15 years) they are not a party to the divorce and therefore the court can do nothing to compel them to do anything. I am not saying for one minute that I have the answer to this but isn’t time somebody asked the question? why are we condemning men to back street lending or high cost commercial lending simply because their marriage has failed?
I would like to say that this is the last political post but feel the subject may continue to irk for some time yet.