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What are we each entitled to in our divorce settlement?

What does the law say about how to split the house, how to share pensions and other assets, and how much maintenance is payable.

What steps can we take to reach a fair agreement?

The four basic steps to reaching an agreement on divorce finances are: disclosure, getting advice, negotiating and implementing a Consent Order.

What is a Consent Order and why do we need one?

A Consent Order is a legally binding document that finalises a divorcing couple's agreement on property, pensions and other assets.


Advice on mortgage and house

  • Down_in_a_hole
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09 Jul 12 #342114 by Down_in_a_hole
Topic started by Down_in_a_hole
Hi Wiki’s

Although I am still trying to work on our relationship I feel that I need some advice on how I stand financially if am forced to create anew life for myself.

Some brief facts from checking documents to hand

1) Our house was bought for approximately £350k about 5 years ago in joint names, don’t know what it is worth in the current climate.

2) I sold my property, owned outright by myself for £200k and put this into the new property, the rest was financed by a joint mortgage.

3) We own a car that was on an HP agreement that was in her name but paid for jointly. The final payment of £5k was paid jointly, don’t know if I can prove this.

4) We have no other viable assets other than the contents of the house and a few debts in each others names, mainly mine, but for household items that we jointly own.

Now the hard part, we are not married but cohabiting, I cannot remember the agreement we reached when we bought the house, although I fear we are joints tenants in kind with a 50/50 share. The questions running through my head are, if we do separate and she leaves me, she will have to as she has friends or family that will put her up and I have no one. She also earns considerably more than me as a legal advisor for the same organisation I work for, given her job I have to be careful as she is legally qualified so will know exactly how to play the situation to her advantage

1) Could she claim 50% of the residual value of the house even though I made a substantial initial investment.

2) Can I contact the mortgage company to get them to claim 50% of the monthly payments from her if she is not living there as there is no way I can afford the payments on my own.

3) Can she take the car, I need this for work as although I own a motorcycle this cannot be used for work or can I ask for some money back to buy a cheap run around.

4) If the relationship ends due to her no longer wanting a relationship with me can I insist the house is sold or can she prevent the sale, or can she keep me in limbo, waiting for property prices to rise. Alternatively can I force a sale.

Difficult questions I know and as I said I really want to work on this relationship but cannot be kept in limbo forever. I don’t have anywhere else to go but if she does leave I do not want to stay in a house that is to big for me, to costly to keep and more importantly surrounded by memories, the house was furnished and decorated to her wishes so everywhere I look I will see something to remind me of her.

Any advice will be very much welcomed, I want to avoid solicitors at this stage as many just wish to extract as much cash as possible, this I will need to rebuild my life.

Love and Respect
DIAH

  • LittleMrMike
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09 Jul 12 #342126 by LittleMrMike
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Well, I don''t know about the love or respect, but earlier this afternoon I advised a poster who was considering moving in with someone to get a written agreement, not exactly a pre-nup but the same sort of thing.

Your case, I''m afraid, is a good example of the reasons why I gave that advice.

I can understand your wanting to avoid solicitors but you may have no choice. Your partner is a lawyer, and that will inevitably put you at a disadvantage.

If you bought a house together, it is considered desirable that the transfer documentation should make it quite clear who owns what, whether it''s 50/50, 60/40 or whatever.

So the first thing a lawyer will do is to have a look at the title deeds and will want to see whether there is any provision which spells out the parties'' shares in the property.

This, by itself, should not be particularly difficult or expensive.

The general principles are as follows :

• Where one party is the sole owner of the property, the starting point is exactly that – the owner has 100% rights;
• Where the property is jointly owned the starting point is that the parties own in equal shares.
• If the deeds say that one party owns, say 75% and the other 25% then that is what their shares will be.
If either party wishes to displace these basic rules the onus is on him/her to demonstrate why.
This is usually achieved by establishing contributions, for example, providing part of the initial deposit, helping with the mortgage, improving the property and so on – but not contributing to household expenses.

So the chances are that, if you bought jointly, then your shares will be equal. But, as I said, your partner is a lawyer.

You asked :

1) Could she claim 50% of the residual value of the house even though I made a substantial initial investment.

The answer to this question is yes, she could certainly claim a 50% share. If you want to argue for more, you will have to show why.

2) Can I contact the mortgage company to get them to claim 50% of the monthly payments from her if she is not living there as there is no way I can afford the payments on my own.

You can contact them but you will get nowhere. Each of you is liable for the mortgage payments.

I don''t want to answer the question about the car, you don''t want a legal argument about that.


4) If the relationship ends due to her no longer wanting a relationship with me can I insist the house is sold or can she prevent the sale, or can she keep me in limbo, waiting for property prices to rise. Alternatively can I force a sale.


Unless there are dependent children involved then yes, it is likely you could force a sale though it might be deferred for a few months to enable you to find other accommodation.

You may be unable to avoid solicitors, but a look at the title deeds is absolutely essential and the cost for getting a solicitor to have a look should be relatively modest.

LMM

LMM

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