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Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33281
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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Hi,I have a query regarding a pre martimonal property which

Customer Question

Hi,

I have a query regarding a pre martimonal property which is an issue because of a divorce.

My house was purchased by my Father initially, and I subsequently got married a few years later. I am now going through a divorce and the split of the assets is becoming an issue.


When my Father purchased the property, I subsequently paid partially back. I have it in writing and signed by a witness that I owe him the remainder of the balance at that date upon me selling the property. In respect of the divorce I am unsure where I stand on the matter.


Many thanks in advance
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare a
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How long have you been married and are there any children involved?
How much is the house worth and how much is due to your father?
What other assets and debts are there and what income do you each have/
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare,


 


 


I have been married for 15 years.


 


I have three children. Two of them who are now not living in the house anymore as they are working elsewhere and are over 18. My youngest child lives with me and is 12.


 


The house was worth 225k when it was due to my Father.


 


The house also has 69k outstanding mortgage.


 


My income is 22k, and his is well over 40k.


 


 


 


I'm not sure whether the following information is of use, however I will provide it just in case:


 


 


The reason for the divorce was that I was suffering from domestic violence and my husband was actually arrested under a number of serious allegations.


 


I have paid for the majority of the household bills, including the mortgage, water, gas, telephone, holidays and insurance. He did not contribute much at all.


 


I just don't feel that it is fair that he is the substantial earner, has not contributed to the household costs for all these years, and that the house was originally bought for me from my Father.


 


If you need any further information then please let me know.


 


Many thanks


 

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
How much is the house worth now and how much is owed to your father?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The property is worth 420k now, and at the date of transfer, the house was worth 225k, so I owe him 225k when I am to sell the property.


 


Thanks

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
What is the position with regard to pensions?
What maintenance does he currently pay?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I have a very small pension with work, however I know he has a pension with work and that he contributes well over £100 a month to it.


 


He currently pays £320 child maintenance


 


 


Thanks


 

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
How far has the divorce reached and what offer has been made so far?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The notice of proceedings has been sent through and is just being processed.

He made an offer which stated that he wanted me to sell the house and subsequently 'pay him his share'. His logic was that there is enough money to split the property and still find suitable accommodation, which I disagree with and I don't want to sell the house
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
How much would a two bedroom property in the same school area cost to buy?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi

In the region of 250-350k

Regards

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Just to check - whose name is on the Title deeds and mortgage?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi, originally they were in my name, but I can't remember the details but he put his name on the mortgage and deeds a few years ago
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
When was the letter confirming the debt to your father signed?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Before I was married
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Do you need any further information?


 


Thanks

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
My apologies for the delay
The starting point for the division of the assets is 50/50 but the courts have the power to depart from this if they consider it fair and just to do so.
In your case the fact that the asset came from your father to start with will be of importance but since in fact this was by way of an interest free loan rather than an outright gift this does not wipe out his claims.
However your claim on his pension can be traded for part of the equity making an 80/20 division of the equity in your favour a realistic hope
However the priority for the court is the safe and secure housing of the child until the child is 18 and there is only £120,000 equity it is highly unlikely that a sale will be ordered in the next six years unless you cohabit in the meantime
Please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your reply.


 


Could you please explain 'this does not wipe out his claims', I do not fully understand this comment.


 


Also if the loan was not interest free, and the consideration was paid in cash, where would I stand?


 


Thank you again

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
The fact that the money to purchase the property all came from your father does not mean that your husband will not be given a share of the equity in the property - it will reduce that share but not wipe it out completely
Had it been a cash gift kept in a separate account in your sole name then it is possible that you would have kept that
The interest issue is not relevant
Clare

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