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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33817
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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My wife & I divorced in January 2014. The marital home, which

Resolved Question:

My wife & I divorced in January 2014. The marital home, which was owned by me solely for 12 years before our marriage, is mortgaged now in joint names and was registered as joint tenants. My wife has died before we were due to attend court in June for a Financial Settlement hearing. Her son said she transferred the land registry to tenants in common in December 2013, but I am unaware of this change. I have since checked the land registry and he is right. How can she do this without my knowledge and can I do anything to retain what was originally my house in full?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Has she also made a Will?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare


Yes, she made a Will at the time of changing the Registry Title, leaving her 3 children, aged 17, 18 & 23 as beneficiaries.


As an aside, my ex wife began to make false allegations about me to the police and I was twice arrested and questioned regarding these, having been held in custody cell for 19 hours. The allegations were distributing and using for my own sexual gratification, pictures of a minor (her eldest daughter, then 15) on the family computer; harassment & theft in August 2013 and finally criminal damage (the front downstairs window was smashed) and harassment again. As I had a firm alibi for the criminal damage allegation, the police investigated further and a DC questioned her only last week and has passed a case to the CPS for perverting the course of justice & wasting police time. Obviously, this case is now academic. Needless to say, she has been very malicious and devious throughout the separation & divorce, even though I have endeavored to remain fair. I have continued to pay the mortgage from my own bank account whilst she remained in the marital home as she refused to contribute. The house was originally purchased by me alone in 1993 and I added her as my partner on the mortgage & land registry as joint owner in 2005.


Many thanks


Bevan

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
How much is the house worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage
What other assets are there?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare


House is worth approx £100k with outstanding mortgage of £33k.


I have an Endowment policy in my name only, taken out in 1993 and originally due to pay the full mortgage amount of £33k borrowed at that time. In 2005, my wife wanted additional work on the house to provide individual rooms for her children (attic & cellar conversion). It was then that she was added to the mortgage, we increased the mortgage by £25k, and after speaking to the mortgage adviser, decided to base only £17k of the new mortgage on my endowments. Therefore, £16k of the outstanding mortgage is on a Repayment basis.


My wife had 3 pensions, all frozen. I have none.


I have a car worth approx £1300


Only other assets were belongings in the home which my ex-wife removed when she left the property only last week.


Bevan

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Has the Will made any provision for you (unlikely but I have to ask)
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Not aware at this stage Clare, but I strongly doubt it


Bevan

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
By how much did the work on the property increase the value - and how much did it cost?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The house wasn't valued before or after the work but it added two rooms to the property. Total cost of work was £23,000

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Could you estimate what the increase in value dues to the work is.?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi


I would estimate approximately £40-50k increase


Bevan

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Is the hearing in June the First hearing: the Financial Dispute Resolution hearing: or the final hearing?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi


It would have been the First Hearing but has obviously been cancelled with the court further to her death. We had both completed 'total disclosure' with our respective solicitors and I was hoping we could reach agreement on the house and the assets. I had offered her £15k, 75% of the contents of the house, and a guarantee not to claim any of her pensions. My solicitor gave her a deadline to reply which she failed to meet. That was when I paid for the case to be heard at court. 2 months later, I received a counter offer that she would accept no less then £40k & wanted additional items from the house. I did not respond to this & decided to follow the court route.


Bevan

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
How long were you living together?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

We lived together from July 2000 & she was added to the mortgage in December 2005.


Bevan

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Sorry did i miss something?
there is equity of £65,000 and her solicitors were asking for £40,000?
Based on a 13 year relationship?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes, that's correct Clare. You haven't missed anything. I originally offered her £15k and a guarantee not to claim any part of her 3 pensions.


Bevan

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Nice try.
Just on last question (sorry it has only just arisen in my mind my bad) - when was the Decree Absolute?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

15th January 2014


Bevan

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Although the divorce proceedings will now end all is not lost.
Instead you will make a Claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents Act.
In fact this may well get you a better deal than you would have done within the Divorce proceedings
You can read more here
http://www.marilynstowe.co.uk/2008/10/22/death-and-divorce-%E2%80%93-where-does-the-money-go/
Realistically you are going to have to give them something - but maybe less than you originally offered
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33817
Experience: I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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