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Letter to say won''t touch property/equity binding?

  • parkgate25
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22 Sep 12 #357304 by parkgate25
Topic started by parkgate25
My soon to be ex-husband who officially moved out 1stJume2011 has now decided he wants 45,500K whic he believes is half the equity in the house. His solicitor has no documentation to back this up even though I have requesed it and I know this amount is wrong. Thios house is mine, signed over to me in a previous divorce 12 yrs ago and he moved in shortly after.His name has never been on the mortgage. I have a formal letter dated march 2002 from him stating he will never take any monies from this propery be it from the equity in it or sale from it. The only time he would expect the property to be sold is if we jointly agreed to sell to purchase another property together. It is signed by him - not witnessed. Is this leally bnding does anyone know and what kind of claim could he have after leaving 16 months ago? He has had in excess of £4.5K since the breakup and i ended up paying for his white goods for his flat as it was from my catalogue and he only made 2 payments. His ban closed his account as he ''stole'' i excess o 7.5K frm them (his running away money that didn''t happen) and has several debt agencies chasing him and outstanding court costs from a unfair dismissal case a few yrs ago. This man is devious and a nightmare and I can''t give him what I don''t have I''m struggling as it is and don have the funds for legal advise and not entited to legal aid. Is this document that I have from him binding??

  • soulruler
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22 Sep 12 #357305 by soulruler
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I don''t suppose it is legally binding but it is a letter of trust so maybe you should go to court to get a declaration of Equity before this goes any further - I believe that you can do this in a county court.

There are three basic disiplines in law those being Tort, wrongs not covered under contract, Equity, which is trust and Law which is statute.

You do expect when you enter into a relationship of trust which is partnership or marriage that you can trust the words that they say to you.

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22 Sep 12 #357306 by soulruler
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The Police understand domestice abuse and domestic violence.

They have produced a simple a4 document which explains the different catagories for DV. I was given one by the Police and it includes financial abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse and control (mental abuse).

It is clear that when you agreed to buy him white goods on your catalogue he then financially abused your position and his of trust by then failing to pay you the payments and leaving you with the debt, it is also clear that he has abused your trust and his by writing a letter and then later going back on it and attempting to claim your house because of your marriage.

You do not need to be in the process of divorce to get a declaration of equity from a court so I would start there in district court and if you fail (which hopefully you will not) apply immediately to appeal to a High Court.

The reason being that precedents are set in High Court and it seems to me that you have very good grounds to get a judgment in your favour both on basis of trust in a marriage and on basis of DV - this is a hot subject in the UK and UK Courts right now - find Rubytuesdays post on DV - it is on here somewhere.

  • WYSPECIAL
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22 Sep 12 #357320 by WYSPECIAL
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The letter wont be legally binding.

You need to post more details about your ages, incomes, assets etc for someone to express an opinion but after 12 years together the house wont just be disregarded as being yours.

  • parkgate25
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22 Sep 12 #357321 by parkgate25
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Thank you for this - I''ve been searching all morning to find out how to make an application for a declaration of equity with no luck. There are no forms to complete from the county court on line site - is it just a case of ringing the court and asking would you know?
Thanks again.

  • soulruler
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22 Sep 12 #357330 by soulruler
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I would imagine that it is a D11 which is a general form for applications in family which do not have a specific form.

Yes, ring the court and ask them. I believe that this is also in line with the judgement in family recently of Imerman v Tchnquiz that no decision should be made in family proceedings that would result in another case whether that be Tort, Equity or Law.

At that point the Judges also confirmed that other divisions such as Commercial,Chancery and Queens Bench may be less lenient on litigants and legal teams than the family division.

I think this is very important as it has wide ranging aspects. It does not say that no decision should be made by a court or during divorce process, it says in family proceedings. You may already know that it is not necessary to make your financial decisions or your divorce or separations in court in the same way as you do not make your decisions in court as a rule whilst married or co-habiting (unless maybe you are a victim of significant domestic violence and take an action which is adjudicated in Crown Court against your spouse).

Your husband made the decision to state at the point a long time ago that he would not make a claim against your house and you took him in and got married on that basis.

Recently there was a ruling in Supreme court that pre-nuptuals (which are legal documents) can be binding in UK Law where previously they mainly were not.

The point being if two people go into a pre-nuptual knowing the consequences it should not be thrown out just because a UK Court does not recognise it - I believe in that case the female (who was German I believe) had large recourse to family finance and the male (who was also not poor by any standards) understood what he was going into.

I see no real difference between a pre-nuptual gone into in good faith knowing the circumstance in a large money case to a letter of trust being written and signed in a small money case.

Good luck

  • sexysadie
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22 Sep 12 #357349 by sexysadie
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Even if pre-nups have now been recognised in some English and Welsh divorce cases, I would imagine that the situation would be the same as it is with Separation Agreements - that they don''t count for anything unless you have had legal advice. A document that isn''t even witnessed is unlikely to get you anywhere in court.

I think you would be better arguing that at best he only has a right to a share of the proportion of the equity that arises from his time with you, not the entire value. You might not get anywhere with this as it is a long relationship but you could try. You should also be able to offset the amount you have paid over to him since he left against this. But I suspect you will have to give him something. It might be worth seeing what you can raise by re-mortgaging and offering that as ''go away'' money rather than have a long court battle and the costs of that.

Best wishes,
Sadie

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