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Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 33318
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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Barristers specialist civil/property advice required as I

Customer Question

Barristers specialist civil/property advice required as I have a solicitor already.
I really hope you can help?
In 1996 I met my now ex partner and we lived together in my rented property until 1998, my partner did not work when I met her and I supported her and her 7 year old son.
We have never been married.
In 1998 I decided to buy a property as my partner was pregnant. I paid the £6000 deposit and solicitors fees for the property and my partner did not contribute to this. My partner did not want to buy or have her name on a mortgage or deeds and therefore I purchased the property in my sole name in November 1998. We moved into the property in December 1998 and my daughter was born in April 1999.
In July 1999 I was made redundant and we survived on a combination of a mortgage payment protection plan and benefits entitlements. I retrained for new employment and started work again approx 1.5 years later. In this time my partner did not work either.
In late 2000, I started a new job and continued to pay the mortgage and all bills.
In 2006 the relationship ended and my partner moved out with my daughter and her son.
My ex partner did not work throughout our entire relationship or contribute financially other than child benefits.
In 2008 my ex made me sign a piece of paper that she printed off (typed by her) which said that she was entitled to half the value of the property. Initially I refused to sign and there was a period where she stopped me seeing my daughter. I eventually signed the piece of paper as she threatened to take my daughter abroad and that if I did not sign I would never see my daughter again. This piece of paper was not witnessed, or a legal document or looked at by a legal representative or under any legal guidance, and signed under extreme duress.
I was then allowed to see my daughter and had an amicable relationship with my ex partner until 2013.
In 2013 my ex suddenly stopped me seeing my daughter and said that she wanted half the value of the house, which I refused. My ex partner stopped me seeing my daughter instantly and I have not seen my daughter since.
We have been to 2 different mediation services since this regarding 'finances', however each time this has not progressed past the first meeting when my ex refused to continue with mediation.
Recently (12 months ago) my ex partner placed a land registry order on my house, registering a 'financial interest' on the property, the document she provided to them was the one she made me sign (mentioned previously). I now cannot sell my own property!
My ex also provided the land registry with a copy of a joint life insurance policy and a joint bank account, stating that this proves we were " jointly responsible for the property", and that in combination with the document she made me sign under duress, " proves that she is entitled to half the property as it proves an intent to include her", even though I paid and continue to pay this policy!
All the time we were in the relationship my ex partner did not work and did not contribute to the mortgage or bills, other than a small contribution when she had a student grant while at university. Apart from the time mentioned when I was not working and retraining, it has been my sole work earnings which have paid for the mortgage and continues to do so.
I have already tried to have the land registry order lifted without success as they say it is a civil matter.
I have spend thousands on solicitors fees for advice and they have said that I require more specialist advice from a barrister, which is why I hope you can help.
The solicitor says that my ex will either get nothing, a percentage or potentially half the house plus her costs! There is approximately £100,000 equity in the property, so in the worse scenario I could lose £70,000 (half the house plus mine and her court fees), if this goes to court and she wins. The other option they have advised is to make her a financial offer out of court 'without prejudice'.
I do not want to lose any of my house and really need your specialist advice to resolve this. I want to resolve this asap and without financial losses.
Please help. Thank you.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Clare replied 7 months ago.
HiThank you for your questionMy name is ***** ***** do my best to help yo but I need some further information first.Have you resolved the contact issues?Is your mortgage a repayment or interest only one?Have you made any offers to settle?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Contact issues remain. Not seem daughter who is not 17 for 3 years.
Mortgage is a repayment mortgage and in my sole name.
No have made no offers to settle.
Expert:  Clare replied 7 months ago.
How much have you paid off the mortgage?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
The mortgage remains at £40,000 leaving approx £100,000 equity. There is about 7 years to run on it.
It is over 9 years ago since my ex left the property.
Expert:  Clare replied 7 months ago.
I appreciate that - I am just trying to find out how much you have paid off the mortgage
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Original mortgage was £70,000 it was originally on an endowment but when we separated I changed it to a repayment mortgage. Oh and I gave my ex partner approximately £3000 from the endowment policy.
I already have a solicitor who had advised that I need the knowledge of a barrister to know the possible outcome of this. My solicitor has told me the possible outcones however said that a barristers advice would tell me what the outcome would more than likely to be as they look at probability of the case etc. Hence me contacting yourselves and requesting a barrister. I desperately need the help and thank you for your advice.
Expert:  Clare replied 7 months ago.
The kind of advice that he means is one where all the paperwork is sent t the barrister and you then have a meeting.This allows for an in depth consideration of the strength of the paperwork and also of your presentation as a witness.This will allow the barrister to give you some idea of the most likely outcomes - and an idea of costs.None of this can be done in an overview of the type this site can manage.However I can say that this matter will not be resolved without either your making an offer that your accepts OR there is a Court Order.That being the case there seems little point in not issuing the Court application sooner rather than later as otherwise matters will simply drag on endlessly.Realistically you are going to have to pay her something - the only issue is how much. On her side there is the clear evidence that the property was purchased as a family home - and of course the document that you signed; on your side is the fact that the document was not signed until well after the separation - which bears out your evidence of coercion, and that she has never quite had the courage to try and force a sale - which suggests that she is aware of the flaws in her evidence.Your next step is to offer her a lump sum and get the pre-proceedings letter sent.Then issue the proceedings and once her defence is in THEN spend the money on a barrister - a more efficient use of your fundsPlease ask if you need further detailsClare
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Could you explain what a pre proceedings letter is? And what issuing preceedings means and entails.
Do you think there is a way of this being resolved without it having to go to court, other than having to offer a lump sum? So are we saying that this HAS to go to court?
Expert:  Clare replied 7 months ago.
The pre proceedings letter is basically a letter that says - this is the position as I see it and what needs to be done, and if you do not agree then we will go to courtIssuing proceedings mean making a Court application.Yes - if your ex will not agree to lift the restriction then either you never sell OR you go to court to resolve itClare

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