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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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Hi, Before my wife and i got married she was in a relationship

Customer Question

Hi,
Before my wife and i got married she was in a relationship and her partner put £20,000 into the house. They split up 4 years later and a few months later after we got together her ex partner wanted his money bad that he put into the house. We have now been married for nearly 3 years and have had various things done to the house and as a result we have re mortgaged. When we re mortgaged we decided to give my wife's ex partner (not husband) £10k. but he is still asking for more. He is threatening legal action if we don't give him the rest of the money. Are we legally bound to give him the rest of the money or should he put it done to experience and move on (like i would). He was never on the mortgage and there was never any written agreement. Now, i am now co owner of the house and am on the mortgage as so. Do i still have to give hime the money he walked away from
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.

Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

Could you kindly confirm there were no children involved from that prior relationship please?

Joshua :

From what you say the house has at some stage been transferred to you and your wife from her ex partner. Did this happen at the same time as paying him £10K or at another time?

Customer:

they didn't have any together. My wife had 2 from a previous

Customer:

No, the house was always in my wife's name. her ex partner was never on the mortgage. It was always her house. When he moved in she already owned it

Joshua :

I see thanks. When he gave your wife the £20K was this expressed to be a gift - I do not think this is the case from what you say. If not was anything agreed as to his expectations in terms of his investment - e.g. was it a loan or investment in the property or was simply nothing discussed?

Customer:

my wife did say that she discussed it with him at the time he put the money in that if anything happened in their relationship she would would try a repay but that was all

Joshua :

Thanks. If your wife's ex was not a joint owner of the property then the starting point is that he has no interest in the property however if he can demonstrate that he made a contribution towards the property this can be shifted if he can show by reference to financial evidence that he has contributed to the same and there was no intention on his part to make a gift of such contributions to your wife or vice versa.

Joshua :

If they are unable to agree as to how to divide the property then ultimately he or she have a a right to apply to the courts for an order for sale under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Actand to determine their respective shares in the property. The courts have the power to impose a settlement based on what they believe is fair based on the evidence they can both bring. This would not be done lightly as typical costs for a TLATA claim will be £1-2K and can be more but the option is there for him potentially

Joshua :

If you could show that the £10K you have already paid was accepted in full and final settlement by her ex then he would have no further potential claim available against the property however if no such agreement was reached then the above option remains open to him potentially.

Customer:

ok thats basically what i thought. what i really need to do is offer a little bit more and hope he takes it.

Joshua :

If you consider that he may pursue a TLATA claim - this is not straightforward as above like a small claims matter then you may at that stage or before as you prefer consider a further offer given "without liability and as a gesture of goodwill" under cover of a letter headed "WITHOUT PREJUDICE SAVE AS TO COSTS" for a further sum you consider fair. You could as a matter of negotiation consider factoring in the potential costs of bring a claim and reduce your offer accordingly calculating that he will not bring a claim if you are offering a couple of few thousand less than he could potentially get in court.

Joshua :

If he accepts an offer on the above basis he will not be able to claim ahy more if he banks a cheque from you and later changes his mind.

Joshua :

Is there anything above I can clarify for you any further?

Customer:

no you have been really helpful. Thankyou

Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience: LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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