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UKfamsol, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 560
Experience:  Very experienced specialist family law solicitor, qualifed in 1994
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My husband and I have been living separately in the same house

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My husband and I have been living separately in the same house for the last 6 years or so. He is hardly ever home. Although I am not really pushing for a legal separation I am keen to get the house into my name for the sake of the children. Can this be done easily . The house is currrently in both our names.
Hello and thanks for your question.

If you and your husband agree, then it's very simply a conveyancing transfer which can be carried out by any conveyancing solicitor or licensed convayancer, who will then regiister the change of ownership at the Land Registry.

However, if there is a mortgage on the property which is also in joint names, you might have more difficulty getting the mortgage into your sole name, even if your husbvand agrees, because you will need the consent of the buidling society. You will need to be earning at least 1/3 of the total mortgage outstanding to get them to agree to release your husband from his liabilities under the mortgage. If you earn less than this, but you are able to show that it was you and not your husband who made the mortgage payments over say the last year, then you may still be able to convince them. If the building society won't agree then go to an independent financial adviser or independent mortgage broker to find another building society who may agree to give you a mortgage in your sole name.

I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck.

Thanks and best wishes...

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

My husband has agreed to let me have the house but the mortgage might be a problem. If we went through a legal separation would I still have the same problem if he wanted to sign over the house to me.

Hello again

Contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as a legal separation. You are either married or divorced . (Judicial separation is the same process as a divorce ie taking about 6 months and is only appropriate for people with a religious objection to divorce. If you later decided to divorce, you would then have to repeat the process only this time with a petition for divrorce rather than a petition of judicial spearation.)

But as far as the buikding soicety is concerned, they have no interest in whether you are married or divorced or living apart. Their only concern is to avoid risk to themselves. Obviously, with 2 names on the mortgage deed, the building society has less risk than if only one person is named, because both people are jointly and severally lible for the whole of the nortgage, rather than just one.

It is possible to transfer ownership of a property into one person's sole name even while the mortgage remains in joint names, so if your husband was agreeable, you could do that - but his own solicitor might advise him not to agree, on the basis of why should he keep the risk of being named on the mortgage deed, without also the benefit of being a joint owner.

In a divorce case, the house would not be considered in isolation, but the court court would look at a fair dvision of all the matrimonial assets ie everything in your name, everything in his name (including savings and pensions) and everything owned jointly. So, depending on the financial circumstances of both of you, the court could order a lump sum payment from your husband to you, to reduce the mortgage to a level you could afford, and the transfer of the house into your sole name. In return, you might agree not to make a cliam aginst his pension.

I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck.


Thanks and best wishes...

UKfamsol and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you very much for that....I'll sign off now.

If you would kindly accept my answer, I'd be most grateful, so that I can be credited for my time - thanks.