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Looking after ourselves

Senior Contributor

How is this fair?

6 months ago I left an emotionally abusive relationship, on the urging of my therapist.


Since then I have been "homeless" - sleeping at an aunts place and on a few occasions in the car. The reason being is that my partner and I have a mortgage and I am still contractually obligated to pay my share. I do not have enough money left over to also pay rent. When interest rates went up and up and up this did not help either. 


I am lucky in that I do own a small unit that I paid off a long time ago, myself. This is currently rented out and it would not be fair to ask the tenants to leave before their lease expires.


I would like to sell the home my expartner and I have a mortgage in, so that I can afford someone to live. I have made my expartner a generous offer in which she will gain money and I will lose it, however she has rejected it.

I was speaking to a lawyer today who said my expartner would also be able to claim my unit. This blew my mind.


 * My expartner has never contributed anything towards paying for my unit. Her name was never on the deed or home loan. The home loan was paid off before we moved in together.

 * When we lived at my unit briefly I never asked her to pay any rent or board (she was able to save a lot of money).

 * When we moved into and lived in the home we bought together I paid about 55% of the mortgage repayments to her 45%.

 * When I rented out my apartment, almost 100% of the rental income from that unit went into our joint mortgage, raising my contributions above 55%.

 * Despite me no longer living at our home for 6 months I have continued to pay my share of the mortgage. She has, infact, decreased her contributions. I am now paying 40% more towards the mortgage than she is, or 63% of the monthly repayments to her 37%.

* Despite not living there I have continued to pay 50% of the water, gas, internet and electric bills.

* We have no children, are not married, and for most of our relationship she has earned slightly more money than me.


I made an offer where we would sell and split the home 50/50 (after paying off the remainder of the mortgage, of course). I thought, technically, I could ask for a 45/55 split (plus the extra amounts I've put in from the rent generated by my unit), but I wanted to keep it simple and give as few reasons for friction and arguments as possible. My plan was to use the amount from selling the home to find somewhere to rent until my unit becomes available.


Instead, what I am being told by the lawyer is not only is she entitled to 50% of the home we both owned but also 50% of my unit.


How is this fair? She has had nothing to do with the ownership or payment towards this unit. All those years I worked hard to pay off the mortgage myself. She has only directly benefited from it by living there for free and having the rental income contribute to our joint mortgage. And yet, I have to sell it and she gets half of it?


Re: How is this fair?

Hi @Jlol, I am Lavenderhaze, a peer worker.

Firstly, thank you for reaching out. I am truly sorry to hear that things have been difficult. It sounds like you've been through a lot, and it's understandable that you're feeling overwhelmed and frustrated by the legal complexities of your situation.

I can empathise with how stressful all of this can be to manage and how unfair it must feel. It's a tough market out there, and you must have worked incredibly hard to buy your house. I wish I had a solution to offer, but all I can offer is my support. I hope you are able to figure a way out of this. Sitting with you. 💜

Re: How is this fair?

Simple to say it's not.. you were in a de facto marriage in the eyes of the law..


Be honest with yourself and don't try to be nice.. get what's yours and let the lawyers fight it out!! 


Sorry to hear about your misfortune and it sux sometimes but hopefully you find the better side of life when you move on!! 



Re: How is this fair?

Hey @Jlol,


That does sound like a really rough go and understandably wouldn't feel fair at all. However good on you for getting out of the emotionally abusive situation, even though it's clearly not been easy for you. It can take a really long time to recover from a bad relationship, the emotional toll, mentally financially etc, and you are well on your way, that's awesome!


Hopefully settlements and things don't drag out too long

Re: How is this fair?

@Jlol I'm sorry to hear of the turmoil you've gone through.

I am however glad you've left such an emotionally abusive situation. It takes tremendous courage and strength to do this, especially when you are not certain of your future.

Your housing situation sounds difficult to bear. Not having a place to call 'home' is terribly damaging for emotional wellbeing. It's great to hear you're considerate of the wellbeing of the tenants, especially given they are contributing towards your mortgage which you already feel uneasy about.

I hope that the feelings of resentment and injustice you are experiencing do not consume you currently, and that your living conditions improve ❤️

Re: How is this fair?

Hey there @Jlol 🙂

Im so sorry. This situation is extremely difficult emotionally let alone the precarious financial and asset circumstances that are involved. 
Unfortunately, I know this situation all too well…sadly what you have described was almost exactly the situation I found myself in when leaving my ex husband due to it being an unbearably toxic situation for me in a multitude of ways (but where he benefited greatly). 
I also moved out because it was not a healthy/safe place for me to be, and also spoke to a lawyer who said I stood to lose everything including what I paid for 100% (which he has not contributed 1 cent, and moreover he benefited from). 
My reaction was to inform the lawyer that he (former husband) can try, but I’ll fight with everything I have and lose it all in costs before I see him take it from me (this was after I had already paid him a substantial amount of cash and signed over two new vehicles I owned outright to him, as well as paid out a substantial amount of his personal and failed business debt). 
I was also ‘homeless’, and I had had very recent spinal surgery so I could not walk sit or stand properly. 
I ended up unable to buy food, pay any bills, or afford rego, get any follow up medical/surgical/physio care, etc. because of the tricky financial situation that arose, and having lost my job due to being unable to walk or lift anything. 
It wasn’t easy, and things did get much worse in my case before they got better, however I just wanted to let you know you’re not alone, and I recommend seeking help from a better lawyer that has your best interests at heart instead of what you’ve been told so far. 
There are other things that were helpful, however I am hesitant to mention them via the forum. 
All I can say is, take care of you. Put you first. I was used to placing my life very much last in line, and as soon as I started putting myself first, things started to improve🙂

wishing you all the very best, and holding much space for you 🌺

PinkFlamingo 🦩

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