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Category: Family Law
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Experience:  Moderator
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i have been seperaterd from my wife for 6 months . i today

Customer Question

i have been seperaterd from my wife for 6 months . i today recieved a letter fom her solicitto r asking me to sign a document to transfer her  sole name and the transfer is not for money or any monetary value . the house is worth between . 110.000 and 120.000 the outstanding mortgage is 30.000 . we have been married for 15 years . what are my legal rights thankyou tony XXXXXX

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  UKfamsol replied 3 years ago.
Hello and thanks for your question.

You are not under any obligation to transfer the house to your wife UNLESS there is a court order ordering you to do so - but you would have had full notice of any court proceedings and the court would have listened to your side of the story as well as your wife's. So from you you say, there is no court order.

In a matrimonial case, the court has no power to make orders in relation to property or finance until a divorce petition has been filed at court. Once either party has issued divorce proceedings, then either side can ask the court to decide how the matrimonial assets should be divided,if the couple cannot agree between themselves.

The court starts from the position that the matrimonial assets should be divided equally, and then looks at reasons why that should not happen eg if there are dependent children, then the main carer who will need to provide a home for the children can argue for a larger share of the assets eg 60%, or 65% or sometimes more. If one party has a significantly lower income tha the other, then that is another argument for a greater than 50% share.

However, the house will not be considered on its own. The matrimonial assets are everything on your name, everything in your wife's name, and everything you own jointly. So the first task is to make a full list of everything, with who owns what and its current value, and then see whether or not you can agree between you how things should be shared out.

If you have dependent children and if your income is greater than your wife's, it is likely that she would be entitled to a greater share of all the assets added together than you - so it may end up that the house is transferred to her - but that could be in return for her not making a claim against your pension, or endowment policies or savings, for example. So don't make any decisions until you have a full list of ALL the assets, and you have discussed your situation in detail either with a solicitor or a mediator or both.

I would strongly advise you to try mediation if you and your wife cannot agree things between you. Mediation is a round-the-table discussion with a trained and neutral mediator. Here's where to find a local family mediation service:-

You can self-refer, or you can ask your local specialist family law solicitor to refer you. Here's where to find a good family solicitor:-

Face-to-face legal advice would probably help you as well, and most family law solicitors will give a free first interview.

I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck.

I hate to specify - but please rate my answer ok, good or excellent - or I get nothing for my time!!! (so the website keeps all).)

Thanks and best wishes...

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 3 years ago.

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