As part of divorce arrangements, my partner's wife has requested that the joint tenancies of property be severed, as she wishes to ensure that her half of the property does not automatically pass to him.
Does my partner also have to do this? He does not wish to change anything, and would still like the property to pass to his wife in the event of his death. Is it best for him simply to agree to sever the joint tenancy, merely to re-state separately that he wishes it to go to her?
If he does agree to sever the joint tenancies, does this have any ongoing effect after the property has been sold, or does that conclude matters?
They are joint owners of a small property which they have let out locally, through an estate agent. As part of their separation, he agreed to move into this property to renovate it in order to sell, once the current tenant had vacated the house. It was in need of extensive work as the tenant had not treated it well and the letting agent had not kept an eye on it. Five months has expired since their official sepapation, but the property will not be ready to inhabit until the end of June.
His wife is threatening to claim for loss of rent during the time the house has been empty and having work done on it. Can she do this? My partner has also had to pay rent for his own separate accommodation during this time whilst also keeping up his payments on these properties (matrimonial home and the house being renovated). Is he entitled to claim any of this rent back?
We are very confused, and bumping along the bottom financially, and would be really grateful for your advice.
PS a small matter, but he has still not removed his name from the utility bills at the former matrimonial home, as he fears it may affest his rights of ownership/occupation if he does. I am certain it does not, but would be glad of confirmation.
Im afraid i am not an expert on the joint tenancy agreement issue so i cannot offer advice on that.
The questions about her 'claiming for loss of rent' or him 'claiming for rent' I can deal with...
Neither of them can make any such claim - who are they trying to claim this money from - each other i guess?
At some point they need to agree (or have the judge decide for them) on a financial settlement.
Between now and them - unless 1 of them does something radical like take out a 50k mortgage on the house and blow the money on a 4 week cruise - then nothing they do with regard to day to day expenses will impact the financial settlement.
The settlement is based on fair split of the joint assets and maintenance if applicable from the higher to the lower earner. The relevant factors are their assets value, their debts, the marriage length, any kids under 19 and their respective earning capacities.
If one party is being denied money (e.g. earner runs off and leaves housewife destitute) then the financially hard up party makes a claim for interim spousal maintenance. Otherwise each just manages their own finances between now and final agreement.
1. I'm pretty sure that either of them can sever the joint tenancy without the other's consent. This is often done for a different reason - to minimise inheritance tax.
2. If your partner's wife severs the tenancy, he can still leave his share to her in his will.
3. Once the property is sold you no longer own it and therefore questions of joint tenancy are no longer relevant. Of course, you have to decide how to split the proceeds following a sale.