How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Max Lowry Your Own Question

Max Lowry
Max Lowry, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1457
Experience:  LLB, 10 years post qualification experience
51031577
Type Your Law Question Here...
Max Lowry is online now

My ex partner of 14yrs that I have a 9yr old daughter with

Customer Question

My ex partner of 14yrs that I have a 9yr old daughter with has sent me a letter from her solicitors saying that she wants half of the profits from the sale of my house.
The house was mine before the relationship started but I added my ex partners name to the papers as security for my daughter about 4yrs ago. Since splitting last year she said that she wants nothing to do with it and has moved in with her mum.
She has only paid a few yrs of council tax before splitting but all other bills and mortgage have always been paid by me.
Since I am struggling to pay the bills on my own I have decided to sell the house which she initially agreed to and signed the appropriate papers for the estate agents to give permission but I have now received a letter from her solicitor saying that she wants half of the profits from the sale of the house and restricting access for seeing my daughter to just 3hrs every Sunday. Due to my heavy work commitments to pay bills this is the only regular time that I can usually see her but not sure where I stand now about the house. I wanted to relocate to smaller property but am now having problems getting a mortgage due to us having combined debt after using a debt management company. I have checked credit score online with Experian which is poor as it looks as though the debts aren't being paid on time either. Not sure where to start really but not sure what to do about my home.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Max Lowry replied 3 years ago.

Max Lowry :

Hi, welcome to Just Answer. I will help you with your question.

Max Lowry :

Is there no way you can keep up payments on your mortgage?

Max Lowry :

You've rated bad service - why?

Max Lowry :

I haven't had chance to chat with you yet!

JACUSTOMER-2lix17x1- :

I said that I'm working long hours to pay the mortgage and bills so that's fine, I need help and advice in whether she is entitled to half of the profits of the house if I sell as her name is on the deeds or whether I have a case to fight it.

Max Lowry :

OKay. Did you agree who would be entitled to what when/if you ever split?

Max Lowry :

Did you agree anything like that when you bought the house together?

JACUSTOMER-2lix17x1- :

We didn't buy the house together, she moved into mine. I bought in 1996 and she moved into the house in 2000/2001.

Max Lowry :

I should have used the word "acquired" - it's the same in this context as you added her name to it.

Max Lowry :

When she moved in - and you put her name on the legal title - did you agree anything about who owned what percentage of the property?

Max Lowry :

You see, you've added her as owner, which on the face of it, means she owns the same as you.

JACUSTOMER-2lix17x1- :

Verbally it was agreed that it was still my house and that's why I paid all the bills. I only put her name on the deeds just in case anything happened to me. I realise now that I should have just done a will instead of that.

Max Lowry :

Okay. Fair enough. And she agreed to that, right? That she effectively owned nothing unless and until death?

JACUSTOMER-2lix17x1- :

Yes

Max Lowry :

OKay. Then what you're saying is that there was an express agreement she would hold the property on trust exclusively for you, unless you died, she would then get the property. So, you are saying she doesn't own anything, she is just a paper owner for your benefit whilst you're alive.

Max Lowry :

As such, she would not be entitled to anything when the property is sold - as you'd agreed that she had no interest in the property save for being a paper owner in case of death.

Max Lowry :

So no, she wouldn't be entitled to anything on sale.

Max Lowry :

Does this answer your question?

JACUSTOMER-2lix17x1- :

how can I prove that we had a verbal agreement as she can easily deny it. do I get charged extra for this ?

Max Lowry :

No - you dont.

Max Lowry :

Basically, it's your word against hers.

Max Lowry :

It comes down to who the court believes.

Max Lowry :

However, if you've agreed to own as joint tenants when you put her name on the title, this is going to go against you and will be the starting point for a court - half each.

JACUSTOMER-2lix17x1- :

ok but I don't want to end up paying a solicitor thousands of pounds when at the end of the day she gets half the house.

Max Lowry :

No I don't blame you. At the end of the day though, it's down to whether you intend to fight her or not.

Max Lowry :

It's always a difficult one when its verbal agreements as you can imagine, a lot comes down to how you come across when examined at trial.

JACUSTOMER-2lix17x1- :

is there anything extra that will help my case please

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Actually the position is even more complicated by the fact that you have a child with your ex which means that she is entitled to make a claim against you for assistance in housing the child using Schedule 1 of the Children Act
You have also identified the major issue - which is how much are we actually talking about and what will be the costs of perusing this.
The major problem that you face is that at the time you transferred the property into joint names you will have signed a TR1 which contained a section which would have allowed you to indicate that you did not own the property in equal shares - but you did not do this nor did you sign a Declaration of Trust protecting your investment
Against this your claim that there was a verbal agreement that she would have no claim on the house is likely to look flimsy
Having said that it is not a lost cause - but it could be more cost effective to offer a smaller lump sum in settlement
Claire
Expert:  Max Lowry replied 3 years ago.
Please do not let the other experts post confuse the issue for you. I'm sorry that she may be confusing like this.

Whether a Court accepts your version of events is, of course, a matter of evidence and I don't accept that it necessarily looks flimsy. It's unfair to judge your evidence or the strength of it based on this exchange. Please do not work on that basis.

The reference to the declaration of trust in the TR1 is the conveyancing document, which is what I mentioned to you about as holding the property as joint tenants. If you did this, then the starting position is you own half each, but if you agreed otherwise, that agreement trumps anything else.

Hope this helps.

Max

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
< Previous | Next >
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Jo C.

    Jo C.

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    30316
    Over 5 years in practice
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/EM/emus/2015-7-7_192327_bigstockportraitofconfidentfemale.64x64.jpg Jo C.'s Avatar

    Jo C.

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    30316
    Over 5 years in practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BE/benjones/2015-12-1_0437_ennew.64x64.jpg Ben Jones's Avatar

    Ben Jones

    UK Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    11553
    Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BU/Buachaill/2012-5-25_211156_barrister5.64x64.jpg Buachaill's Avatar

    Buachaill

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    1754
    Barrister 17 years experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JO/jojobi/2013-3-19_0265_maxlowryphoto.64x64.jpg Max Lowry's Avatar

    Max Lowry

    Advocate

    Satisfied Customers:

    894
    LLB, 10 years post qualification experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/UK/UKLawyer/2012-4-12_9849_F2.64x64.jpg UK_Lawyer's Avatar

    UK_Lawyer

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    750
    I am a qualified solicitor and an expert in UK law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KA/Kasare/kasare.64x64.jpg Kasare's Avatar

    Kasare

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    402
    Solicitor, 10 yrs plus experience in civil litigation, employment and family law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/OS/osh/2015-7-7_19268_gettyimagesb.64x64.jpg Joshua's Avatar

    Joshua

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8199
    LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice