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Harris
Harris, Family Law Expert
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2722
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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What is the ownership status of my only home which I

Customer Question

what is the ownership status of my only home which I purchased during marriage, where the funds came only from me?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Hi, thanks for your question. This will depend on a variety of factors: -how long have you been married-is it the matrimonial home-what other assets do you both have-what are your income positions-how old are the children, and with who will they live?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Haris,We have been married 5 years.
It is the matrimonial home.
I have no other assets, wife has a property abroad.
Wife earns more than me.
Decision about children is not made yet, but lets assume they remain with the mother.Thank you!
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. As the home is owned solely by you, you have a legal interest in the property and your wife does not. However, as it is the matrimonial home she has a right to occupy the property arising out of the marriage. In the event of a divorce, a decision has to be made either by agreement between you or by the court which will consider all your assets and her assets, and your children's needs and both of your needs. The court's starting point will be a 50-50 split of the matrimonial assets and then depending on needs this equal split is departed from. If she is the main carer of the children, it would be expected that her needs will be greater and the court's first priority is that the children are suitably housed and the matrimonial home will be the first consideration. Therefore, a court will have the power to transfer the legal interest to her in these circumstances. Although there are a variety of ways to ensure that you do not lose out, such as the property being held on trust for the benefit of the children, and when they reach a certain age (eg. finish education), for it to be sold and equity divided between you.If you have any further questions regarding this please let me know. In the meantime if you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating. I will not be credited for answering your question without a positive rating. Thank you
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you very much in deed for the exhaustive answer!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Haris,What if the home is mortgaged and despite the mortgage, I own a loan to my father for the mortgage deposit? Would it be an option to sell it and split the revenue if any?
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
What is the value of the home, amount of mortgage outstanding and the amount of loan to your father?
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I purchased it under 2 years ago for 195k. The outstanding mortgage is around 135k (don't have the exact figure at the moment), the loan to my father is 50k.
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. In divorce proceeds loans from family members are considered a "soft loan" and are usually difficult to enforce as an actual loan unless there is some sort of formal contract between you, as well as evidence that it is an actual loan, such as evidence of regular repayments. If you cannot prove this a court will likely hold that it is not a loan and will be treated as a matrimonial asset.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We have a signed a formal loan agreement with witnesses that the loan is for the sole purpose of purchasing the flat and is deemed repayable to him or my mother as his heir, upon sale of the flat, break of the marriage, my death or his death. There haven't been any repayments due to the holiday period of 2 years before starting also the 1.5% interest.
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for the further information, in that case it is likely that a court can be persuaded that the £40,000 your father contributed is a loan. However, your wife will be entitled to make a claim to any equity from the property as part of the financial settlement
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you!
I suppose you meant the 50,000 loan.
What other options may I have, except the sale or holding it on trust? Obviously I would like to limit to the maximum my wife's assets gain from this divorce.
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Yes, I meant £50,000.You will not be able to limit what your wife can obtain from the home. The court will consider any concealment, disposal or intentional action to deprive her of a claim as financial misconduct which will impact the split of assets and your a court will compensate your wife for any such action.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you!
What I meant is to get things as straight as possible and preventing her from obtaining extra gain by me overlooking any legal options. I want to be legal to the point but also not diminish any given right I have. Hope this helps.
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
I think what you have should be satisfactory evidence, and you may need to bring your father in as a witness to give evidence if financial relief proceedings are pursued. One other option is to look at putting a charge in favour of your father for the amount, however, this should have been done at the time of purchase and if you do it now it may look as if you are intentionally attempting to deprive her of a claim.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you Haris!
It is much appreciated!!!
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** goes well - if you have any questions in the future you can ask for me directly by starting your question For Harris

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