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familylawexpert
familylawexpert, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 311
Experience:  Substantial experience (14yrs +) in divorce, financial cases, cohabitation, pre-nuptial agreements and civil partnerships.
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My daughter and husband divorced three years ago. In a friendly

Customer Question

My daughter and husband divorced three years ago. In a friendly agreement he received half the then value of the property but still has his name on the title deeds and refuses to remove it as he wants more money despite having contributed nothing towards the property's upkeep (there is no mortgage). Can my daughter get his name removed from the deeds without his agreement?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  familylawexpert replied 3 years ago.
Hello,

My name is Mac. I can help you with your question. First I need a bit more information:

1. when did they marry?
2. if earlier than the above, when did they start living together?
3. can you confirm that they have had no financial order made on the divorce?
5. are there any children? (If so, how old?)
6. what is the value of the house (and any mortgage)?
7. what is the total value of the other assets they hold (roughly)?
8. how much did she pay him at the time of their original informal agreement?

.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

They married in 2004, having previously lived together for approximately three years. No financial order has been made on the divorce. There are no children. The value of the house is £160,000, it would normally be higher but it is suffering from subsidence. There is no mortgage. He was given £80,000 two years ago. There are no other assets.

Expert:  familylawexpert replied 3 years ago.

Your daughter and her ex-husband's financial claims remain open against each other until dismissed/dealt with by court order. They are therefore still open.

However, I expect that a court would have a great deal of sympathy with your daughter, her having already paid out to her ex.

I recommend that she starts her financial application on divorce at court - by filing a form A (available on the internet or at court), and asks for an order transferring the house into her sole name, and dismissing all the rest of her and his claims. At some point during that process I would expect him to come to his senses and cooperate, failing which I would expect a court to make an order in those terms at the end of the proceedings.

She definitely needs to get her financial application done, otherwise he will always potentially have a financial claim hanging over her.

I hope that is helpful. If you would like me to clarify anything, please ask. If not, I would be grateful if you could rate my answer.

Regards,
Mac.
familylawexpert and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your advice. Will my daughter need a solicitor to file the Form A in court? So far, I have been unable to find the Form A on various legal websites, let alone download it! Presumably, there will not be any difficulty in obtaining one from our local court?

Expert:  familylawexpert replied 3 years ago.
Try this link for the form A:
http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/HMCTS/GetForm.do?court_forms_id=2655

No, your daughter can file the form A in her own right.

Mac.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

My daughter's house is suffering from subsidence (which started just as her ex left) and she is in dispute with the insurers as to amount of compensation they will pay. The ex thinks he should get more money when the house is restored to its original condition. Do you think the court will look upon this favourably for my daughter and more likely to dismiss his claim? When he received £80,000 from my husband and me, he signed a receipt in which I had said "further payment to be made on completion of the property", and which I also signed. My daughter had no knowledge of this and did not sign it. Does it have any legal bearing?

Expert:  familylawexpert replied 3 years ago.

I think that is a grey area with no obvious single outcome. He could seemingly genuinely claim that he expected more than just the original £80k. Equally your daughter apparently had no idea that it wasn't all over and done with.

What did you have in mind that he would receive at the time that you and he signed the receipt?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The house, suffering with subsidence, was valued at £160,000. By the time of the valuation, the ex had divorced my daughter (within a few months) and £80,000 was a fair division of the value of the property. In order that my husband and I had evidence of him having received this money, I typed a receipt for him to sign, which included this phrase. The house, were it not suffering subsidence, would probably be worth say £230,000 and this is what he considers he should have half of. However, three years on with the house blighted, even when repaired, this figure would never be achieved. We were very fond of our son-in-law and wanted him fairly treated despite his breaking up the marriage by his infidelity. I do not see how he can expect to have any more money, three years on, without any input into its upkeep. It could be years before it is sorted with my daughter in dispute with the insurers. In the meantime, the condition of the house gets worse and its value decreases. About a year ago, he said he'd had enough and would remove his name from the deeds, but did not.


 


All we want is to get rid of him!

Expert:  familylawexpert replied 3 years ago.
Okay.

It's unfortunate for your daughter that the receipt contained those extra words, but my advice remains the same: she needs to get her application started, and either he will come to his senses and cooperate or, at least, she will get the court to bring this uncertainty to an end.

She has a reasonable chance of successfully terminating his interest with little or no payment, but obviously that is lessened by the wording on the receipt, and therefore his understanding at the time of the agreement. However, I still rate her chances as good. That said, if the negotiations progress and he only wants a modest further payment, then it would be worth paying rather than going to Court.

.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you. Can you tell me to which Court the application is made and presumably this is where I can get form A? I am still unable to find the form, with forms only going up to something like 399 not 2655 on the website you gave me. Presumably, it is a costly process as you think it would be worth paying him a modest further payment? Thank you for your help.


 


 

Expert:  familylawexpert replied 3 years ago.
You can search for a family court using the following link:
https://courttribunalfinder.service.gov.uk/

I have suggested it might be worth paying him a further modest amount, because the alternative might be to go through court proceedings to the end (which can be expensive, depending on how much legal advice you pay for) - and the Court may well award him a share at the end of the day anyway.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you. What if my daughter did nothing, could she, say after seven years, get his name removed from the deeds then? I have read in newspapers where people have disappeared and after a number of years their assets are disposed of. My daughter has no intention of leaving the property, and it is highly unlikely that its value will increase with the subsidence blight on it. It has been valued by estate agents who say it's unsellable in its present state.

Expert:  familylawexpert replied 3 years ago.
I'm not sure of the reference to people disappearing - is the ex-husband missing?

If the house currently has very little value, then now is the time to take action. In my experience, leaving these things for years rarely improves the situation. Indeed I'm currently advising a lady in similar circumstances but who has left it for twenty years, and I can assure you that it's not a happy situation.

I would wholly recommend that your daughter grasps the nettle and gets on with it.

M.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you, Mac. Just one last thing (I think!). Will my daughter be dealing with Magistrates' Court or County Court?

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