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Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33279
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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I am in the process of getting a divorce and the family home

Customer Question

Hi
I am in the process of getting a divorce and the family home is owned by my father in law and we have always paid the morgage and kept the house in good repair. When we moved into the house he gifted us the deposit off 100,000 but he took the morgage out in his name. Am i entitled to any of the deposit money.
Regards Sylvie
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 4 months ago.

Thank you for your question

My name is Clare

I shall do my best to help you but I need some further information first

How much is the property worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage?

How long have you lived together and are there any children involved?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
The property is worth about 350,000 and i should think there is about 120,000 left on the mortgage i think and yes there are children and i want to invest into another property and i have left my ex husband with the house and all furniture. We have had the house for 11 years
Expert:  Clare replied 4 months ago.

Why did your father in law retain ownership

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
He got a better rate of mortgage and done a buy to let. We were spose to buy the house off of him but he kept changing his mind to be awkward i think
Expert:  Clare replied 4 months ago.

What was the purchase price?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
We got it for 250,000 to keep the stamp duty down
Expert:  Clare replied 4 months ago.

What income do you and your ex each have?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
My ex was self employed and never made a profit as he always spent more on tools than he earnt and is now working for a electrical company as he is a sparky. I work in the care industry and earn about 12000 a year depending on overtime
Expert:  Clare replied 4 months ago.

What settlement have you been offered?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I havent been offered anything but i dont want to start divorce proceedings until i know i am entitled to some money out of the house as we were gifted the money and my father in law is possible terminal ill and i need to start asking for the money if need be
Expert:  Clare replied 4 months ago.

What documentation do you have about the "gift" given that in fact what he did was purchase the house in his own name

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Dont have anything unfortunately it was verbal as he wanted to get us out of.rented accommodation as he said it was a waste of money so he sold his house in Chiswick and gave us the deposit as a gift and said we could eventually buy the house off of him
Expert:  Clare replied 4 months ago.

What is your ex likely to say?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
He has said good luck to me if i can get some money out of the father in law
Expert:  Clare replied 4 months ago.

Will he confirm that the agreement was that the house would be yours if you paid the mortgage

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
He might say that the deposit was gifted but i can only try. We have paid the morgage for over 10 years and i think we are entitled to the deposit money as it was gifted plus interest
Expert:  Clare replied 4 months ago.

How much will you need to rehouse yourself and the children?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Well im with another partner now and we are looking at getting a house together and im thinking at least 50,000 more if tax has to be paid on it as part of the house will be left to them in my will
Expert:  Clare replied 4 months ago.

The fact that you and your husband have paid the mortgage all these years on the promise that the house would be yours does raise the possibility of a claim of

"proprietary estoppel" regarding your interest in the property.

This means that you and your husband could well have a good claim in respect of the increase in equity that has accrued since you moved in.

Your claim on the "gift" it more tenuous since there is actually no evidence that it was a gift - given that he kept the property in his own name.

However there is certainly enough in what you can prove to make some sort of settlement possible - and £50,000 may well be achievable.

I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details

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