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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.


Deed of Trust

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28 May 12 #333404 by paraclete
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Hi,

Brief summary of the situation for those that have not seen my previous posts.

My wife and I have been living together for 10 years, married for 5 of those years.

We have one child from the relationship, she has two from a previous marriage that live with us.

We lived in rented accommodation for all of that time, up until last December, when we bought a property together.

At the time of purchase, we agreed verbally that equity would be split 65%/35% in my favour, to reflect our respective contributions. It was not appreciated at the time (certainly not by myself) that this equity split would not be reflected on the transfer of deeds on the property, so as yet we have no signed the transfer.

The solicitor handling the purchase has said that he will draw up a Deed of Trust, reflecting the split that we want, for a fairly nominal sum. However, before this has been done, the marriage has hit the rocks, and my wife has been insisting that she is staying in the house.

We have since started counselling, and it is hoped that the marriage may be saved. She has said though that she is now willing to sign the Deed of Trust.

My question is: Will the Deed of Trust carry any weight whatsoever, or is it a waste of time and resource?

Look forward to gentle advice.

Thanks in advance.

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28 May 12 #333406 by cookie2
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If she signs this deed of trust then she needs to have her head read. But, that is a matter for her, not you!

Deeds of trust can be upheld or set aside depending on the circumstances. If she wants it set aside then she should show reasons why it should be set aside. For example, having 3 children to support.

In your circumstances I don''t think a deed of trust is particularly useful. Probably not worth much. If she has proper independent legal advice before signing then it will improve its usefulness a little, but, if she gets proper independent legal advice they will probably tell her not to sign!!

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28 May 12 #333408 by paraclete
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Thanks Cookie.

Very frustrating, as I never would have agreed to the house purchase without the equity being split according to the contributions.

I want the counselling to work, but it will only work if there is trust, and for her to renege on the agreement made at the time of purchase would indicate a fundamental breach of trust. I believe she can see this, and that is why she has agreed to sign.

To be honest, if it were to breakdown after that, I appreciate that I would need to contribute more than the 35%, but I would feel happier starting from that position (and would feel it fairer too), rather than the position of a fortnight ago where she wanted the entire house.

Thanks again.

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28 May 12 #333413 by cookie2
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Yeah, if you''re using this deed as some kind of proof of her intentions then I don''t think it is worth anywhere near as much as you think. I would forget about it, and seek your proof by other means.

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28 May 12 #333416 by paraclete
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Thanks Cookie. I thought as much, but it does leave me in a bit of a quandary though, and I feel that I have been horribly misled in this house purchase.

Like I said, I still haven’t signed the transfer deed for the purchase, so it remains registered to the previous owner. Have been holding out to finalise this equity split before doing so, and there is correspondence with the solicitor on the subject from before all of this blew up.

Don’t feel in the least bit inclined to sign the transfer, as I feel that it would compromise my position. Solicitor has advised this not the case, as they have correspondence on file, relating to the equity split. They do have an interest in putting the purchase to bed though, so I have to take their advice with a pinch of salt.

What a horrible mess.

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28 May 12 #333442 by cookie2
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She didn''t necessarily mislead you intentionally. Very few people know about this kind of thing (equity splits on divorce) until they are thrown into the situation. It''s quite possible that (originally at least) she genuinely believed the deed of trust would be binding. Maybe she still does. I guess you''re in a better position to know this than us.

I don''t think it will make much difference whether the transfer is completed or not. It is a marital asset and the marital home. Even if it was put 100% into your name, that would be overruled by the needs of the children.

Unfortunately the only way to protect against this kind of thing is to not get married.

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28 May 12 #333469 by paraclete
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Very true Cookie, but at times like this it is difficult to assume that people act with the best of intentions.

Would be nice to think though that she would sign it, not knowing that it was almost worthless, because the relationship meant something to her.

I seem to be at the point now where everything that I have worked for is gone; all of the equity that I had saved prior to meeting my wife is now invested in a house that she may well get to live in; while I need to find new accommodation for myself, and no longer have anything to use to put my older two through university (they start in September).

This counselling had better work!

Sorry, not having a moan, am just thoroughly depressed by this situation. I do appreciate the advice that you have given though, thankyou.

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