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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34105
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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HelloI have been separated from my civil partner year

Customer Question

Hello I have been separated from my civil partner for a year now. We have a joint mortgage but I moved out of the house leaving my civil partner in the property. My civil partner drew up a "contract" right at the very start of the separation and got me to sign it. What right did my civil partner have to do this and how legally binding is it? Also can I insist my civil partner buys me out of the mortgage or sells the house and splits the profit? Many thanks JBJ

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.
How long did you live together?
How much is the property worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage?
What other assets are there and what income do you each have?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare

We lived in the property together 13 years.

The mortgage is an interest only mortgage with an endowment policy. The property hasn't been valued recently but we bought it for £46000 although other similar properties in the area are worth around £90,000 - £110,000 now.

There is also a car which is 4 years old and I am still paying for the loan on the car but I signed the car over to my civil partner when I left.

Many thanks

JBJ

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
How was the deposit on the property paid for?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi

The 5% deposit was paid for by money that was given to my civil partner. The monthly mortgage payments and endowment policy and insurances were paid out of my monthly income for 13 years as for most part I was the highest income earner.

Thanks

JBJ

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
What did the "contract" you signed say?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi

There were a number of things on it regarding the house and the car. 1 point was that I would sign the car over and continue paying the loan until the loan was cleared in 5 years time and my civil partner would pay for the mortgage and the upkeep of the house. Once this was paid I would then go back to paying my half of the endowment policies including life cover so as treating the house as an investment.

In the remaining time of the mortgage I would have no right to move back in or make any claim on the house. When the mortgage ended and the endowment covered the shortfalls I would then receive my life insurance of £23000 as this matured with the mortgage.

If anything happened to me in this time then the house would be paid for and my civil partner would be free to reside in the house. If in the mean time anything happened to my civil partner then the house would be sold and profits would go to my civil partners family. I would just get my life insurance which would be surrendered.

If my civil partner decided to sell the house then I would get a share of any profits.

I also ended up having to leave quite a few personal belongings that I couldn't get from the house within the time I was given and have now lost these.

Many thanks

JBJ

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
You have lost nothing - and are entitled to return to your home whenever you wish.
The paper that you signed is not enforceable.
Within any dissolution proceedings you can apply for an Order that the property is sold and the equity divided equally between you - and also negotiate an agreed division of the furniture
You should try and discuss matters with your ex using family mediation (www.familymediationhelpline.co.uk) but make it clear that you understand your rights.
You should also make it clear that if your ex wants to keep the car then they should also keep the loan
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare
Clare and 2 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare

Hope you are well. I have been trying to sort the issue of the house out with my ex. The house has been valued at £150000. My ex has offered me £40000.

Over the 14 years we lived in the house together I paid the mortgage, the endowment policies and a share of other costs towards the upkeep of the house.

I am also still paying the loan for the car which still has 3 years repayments left totalling £7049.00.

The mortgage and the endowment policies alone over the 14 years totals to £48000.

Do you think £40000 is a fair offer from my ex or should I be looking at more? I have asked for £50000. My ex says she can't raise that much and has told me to force her to sell. Would selling damage us both as we would have to pay what is owed on the mortgage and also there would then be the factor of selling fees and solicitors fees.

I look forward to your further advice.

Many Thanks

Rachel

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
What are the up to date values of the property and the outstanding mortgage?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare. The up to date house value is £150000. The outstanding mortgage as it was an interest only mortgage is I believe £46250.

Rachel

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
How much is the endowment worth?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I don't actually know as I haven't seen the latest annual statement but 2 years ago it was on £43000 for the end of the term. Sorry the surrender value is £11000 on each others half.

Rach

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Have you agreed that it will be shared between you separately to the agreement on the property?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi my ex has said that she can raise £40000 and then I can surrender my half of the endowment policy to make it to 50000. But that still leaves me down as she is thinking that half will pay the car loan.

Rach

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Just to check - there are no minor children involved
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi. No there are no children involved.

Rach

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Then there seems no benefit for you in accepting this offer.
Even with the costs of sale yu will still receive more if you get your entitlement of 50% of the equity.
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi.

Thank you Clare this is what I thought. She was saying that I would be worse off if we sold the house and wouldn't even get £40000 after paying solicitors costs and sales fees once the outstanding mortgage was paid.

Many Thanks

Rachel

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
On the figures you have given that is not correct - so ask to see valuations etc
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Great thanks for your help once again Clare.

Rachel

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
You are most welcome
Clare

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