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Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 34105
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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My husband and I separated 10 years ago and sold the marital

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My husband and I separated 10 years ago and sold the marital home, splitting the proceeds and assets 50/50. We agreed that he would pay me 50% of his pension on maturity and I am joint owner of his house to provide a widow's pension. We are now considering divorce and I am concerned that he can change the house ownership to tenants in common without my consent. Is this the case? What can I do to protect myself?

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question
My name is Clare
I shall do my best to help you but I need some further information first
For clarity - you are a joint owner of the property in which he lives and the agreement is that if he dies the house will be yours is that correct?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes. Nothing in writing. All I have is the official copy of register of title which has me named second in the title absolute. I presume, therefore, we are joint tenants as there is no A restriction.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Other.
I instantly replied to her question. Despite the website saying I had to wait 7 seconds, I was kept waiting over 40 minutes ...
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
I think your expert is probably offline at the moment. I will send her a message about this.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

she wasn't offline when she asked the question. I am beginning to get concerned ...

Expert:  Remus2004 replied 2 years ago.
I am sure she will be back soon.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I replied an hour ago. I am stuck sitting on the computer waiting ...

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
My apologies for the delay - we are all working lawyers and sometimes it is not possible to stay on line.
You are correct - your estranged husband can serve notice on you severing the joint tenancy at any time - and there is nothing that you can do to prevent you.
HOWEVER since this is as I understand it a way of ensuring that you get your share of the Pension then within the divorce proceedings you can apply for a Pension Sharing Order which will mean that your share of his pension will be transferred into YOUR name.
Alternatively within the divorce proceedings you can obtain an Order which will ensure that your ex cannot sever the Joint Tenancy.
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details - and again my apologies
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

If he severs the joint tenancy, does he have to state what percentage I get as tenant in common? Surely, as joint owner, I can prevent him selling (if I want to), so he can't make me a zero% tenant in common? Or can he?

My worry is that, if he gets wind of my fears by my applying for a court order, he will move fast to block me before the order is made.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
He cannot block anything so please do not worry.
If he severs the Joint Tenancy then it reverts to 50/50 ownership unless you agree otherwise
It would be utterly appropriate and in the interests of you both for there to be a Financial Order setting out the financial arrangements - and this is something you should discuss using Family mediation
www.familymediationhelpline.co.uk
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

What I meant by blocking was, if he found out I had applied for a court order to (say) stop him severing the joint tenancy, he could move fast and sever it before the court order is made.

Unfortunately mediation is a problem - we live 300 miles apart!

Thanks for the reassurance that the worst he can do is change it to a 50/50 split. Looks like a trip to a solicitor is in order! Or would I be better starting off with a financial advisor to sort out the pension details? (Currently he gets the "family" pension in his name only, but sends me 50% every month. This agreement has never been put in writing)

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
It makes no difference to the powers of the court to determine ownership.
A pension Sharing Order could be the best way forward for you
Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 34105
Experience: I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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