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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34905
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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A man purchases a property (he is sole owner) and lives in

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A man purchases a property (he is sole owner) and lives in it for a year with his girlfriend who becomes his wife. They marry for 1 year. He moves out. She moves out and then he moves back it to the said property. He tries to sell the property and his then his wife stops him by issuing the family act law 1976 which she instigating during the period where the man moved out. What are his rights and can he sell the house and what is her legal right to a share of the property? Thanks.
Thank you for your question.
My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How much is the house worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage?
What other assets and debts are there and what income do they each have?
Are there any children involved?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Clare


The house is worth £265,000. There is £181,000 left outstanding. He has a pension but has been on sick leave for 7-8 months due to a bowel disorder and is about to leave after advice from his doctor. He has £60,000 in debts and unsecured loans. She has a serious health condition and is in receipt of benefits She has a 19 year old Autistic son. The man has a 3 month old baby, a son of 15 (who does not live with him) and an Adult daughter of 22. He lives with his new partner and baby and her two sons aged 13 and 16. The older boy is Autistic.

What is his ex's housing position and what income do they each have?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

She (wife) left their shared home nearly two years ago. He does not know exactly where she lives but she has moved back to her home town. He speaks very occasionally to her father (business man) and her sister (solicitor) who appears to be acting on her behalf. She (wife) is not working as she has recently had a serious illness. He (husband) is receiving statutory sick pay from his work. The husband wants to sell. He received the following conditions this week from the wife's father via email:


We can agree to the sale of the house on the following conditions:

(a) We commission three independent valuations from agents or surveyors (cost to be borne by yourself).

(b) Any offer can only be accepted with our express consent.

(c) We handle the conveyancing.

(d) Sale proceeds will be used to repay the mortgage and fees, and the remainder will be kept in a trust account for distribution once the financials of the divorce are agreed.

Please advise us whether this is acceptable.

He has not responded to this email as he wants to know what his legal position is. His mortgage is also in arrears due to his sickness.




How far has the divorce reached?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

They are not in the process of divorce. They have separated.


Were the debts and loans taken out during the marriage?
What assets and debts does the wife have?
Is the husband willing to start divorce proceedings?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The man had no debts at beginning of the relationship but took out a loan to pay for refurbishment of his old home in order to sell it, so that is effectively his debt. He then paid for their wedding and she used his credit cards and paypal excessively. He is not aware of any assets that she has. He has no further assets. The husband has no money to start divorce procedings.


He estimates that £15,000 is her debt (from her personal spending).

No their proposal is not acceptable
Yes she does have a claim on the house - but the short length of the relationship means that it is a small one and the conditions they are requesting are out of proportion
As a starting point he needs to start the divorce proceedings as soon as possible based on her Unreasonable Behaviour - he can do the form himself and he may well be eligible for fee remission on the Petition Fee - details here
He should reply to her solicitor saying
" In view of the relatively small equity available after the payment of the debts and the fact that the short length of the relationship means that xxx's claim is small the conditions offered are not acceptable.
I enclose a mortgage statement and statements relating to all the matrimonial debts.
I enclose the names of three estate agents and will market the property with the one of your choice.
My solicitor will deal with the conveyancing and I agree that the balance after payment of the mortgage the fees and the debts can be held to order pending the Decree Absolute or a Financial order"
I hope that this is of assistance
Clare and 2 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you