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ukfamilysolicitor, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1431
Experience:  Divorce, Finances, Children, Domestic Violence, Care Proceedings
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My partner and I have lived together past thirty

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My partner and I have lived together for the past thirty years and own our own house. She is still married and on good terms with her husband, to whom she has been married for forty five years. We have no children. My partner and her husband have a grown up son. Her husband has remained living in their marital home (MH). My partner, her husband and her son own the MH (outright, there is no mortgage) as joint tenants. She is now in the process of divorcing her husband (on the grounds of five years' separation) so we can, at last, get married. It's a DIY divorce as both my partner and her husband are friendly toward each other and financially independent. However, her husband is now getting nervous about his long term future in the MH. My partner and I are both happy for him to continue living in the MH for the remainder of his life. He trusts my partner, but (understandably, perhaps) isn't so enamoured with me. He is aware that my partner could unilaterally severe the joint tenancy. She wouldn't do this, but he is worried I might persuade her to do so. After consulting a solicitor, he is suggesting that my partner signs a consent order transferring her share of the MH to her son. Neither my partner nor I think this is a good idea. Q1 - Although I have no intention of doing so, need her husband be nervous that in some way I could "winkle" him out of the MH? Q2 - What are my partner's options for legally guaranteeing that her soon to be ex-husband can remain living in the MH for the rest of his life (without her giving up her share of the property)?

We all live in England and are UK citizens.

Welcome to Just Answer
Thank you for your question.
I am a Solicitor and will assist you.
In relation to your specific questions:-
1) if your partner wanted to realise her share in the matrimonial home - then she could ask the court for an order for sale if her husband wont buy her out. I know that this is not what you want to do but your partner could. If your partner doesn't sever the joint tenancy and she was to predecease her husband then the right of survivorship would apply - thus her husband would automatically get her share. If he doesnt remarry and then dies - then the share will go to whoever he leaves if too (hopefully the son - but it could be anyone). If the joint tenancy was severed and your wife died without a will then you, if you were then married, would inherit her share.
2) Your partner and her husband could submit a consent order to the court when applying for decree nisi , confirming that your partners share would not be realised until her husband had died and that he could spend the rest of his days in the MH. This is often referred to as a Mesher / Martin order.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hello Caroline

Thank you for your answer. Did you see in my question that my partner, her husband and their son own the MH (outright, there is no mortgage) as joint tenants? How does that situation affect your answer to my Q1? The son is close to both of his parents and would never do anything detrimental to either of their interests. Both are happy for my partner's husband to remain in the MH for the rest of his lifetime. Regarding your answer to my Q2, does the consent order have to be submitted when applying for decree nisi or can that wait until later in the divorce process?

Thank you for your response.
My sincere apologies. I did misread that.
In relation to Question 1 - the advice does however remain the same. The right of survivorship still applies to all 3 of them. Your partner could still ask for an order for sale - if she wanted to realise her interest.
Kind Regards
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My second paragraph disappeared!
In relation to Question 2 - you can't obtain a financial order until after decree nisi has been obtained. It is normal course to submit an order for judicial approval when applying for decree absolute. Court fee is £50.