How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35219
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Clare is online now

Living in the UK. My sister wants to leave her family home

This answer was rated:

Hi, Living in the UK. My sister wants to leave her family home (both names on the mortgage) after 25 years of marriage. No dependant children but after years of issues and with her children having grown up and left she feels now is the time to get a divorce and leave the home. Will her legal rights be affected if she leaves the shared home now, before a divorce? She can't remain there any longer. Are there any laws about 'abandoning' the home which will affect her rights to any future sale?
Thank you for your time
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
She is concerned that her partner will attempt to sell the house when she's not living there and claim that she abandoned the family home. Would she still have all legal rights even if she left voluntarily?

Thank you for your question

My name is Clare

I shall do my best to help you but I need some further information first

is your sister intending to issue divorce proceedings in the near future?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Hi Clare,Thank you for your response.Now that her children have left it is just her and her husband and this is just not working anymore and living together has got pretty ugly. She is intending to issue divorce proceedings but after she has moved out. She is just concerned that if she moves out it will give all the power and rights to the home to her husband.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Sorry - Plus. If she does move out can he then claim that she abandoned the home? Thus, somehow strengthening his position when it comes to the legal rights on the home...

There is no reason for your sister to remain there if she does not feel able to do so

She will retain rights of entry and will not in anyway lose any of her rights.

The only potential problem is that without her there it could be harder to ensure that the sale is prompt - but there are plenty of ways around it should it become necessary.

Do encourage her not to procrastinate and to move on with dealing with ending the marriage and sorting out the house as soon as she feels able

I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** she backed up by law in this case? Is it as clear as; as long as her name is ***** ***** mortgage, she'll retain all legal rights to the property?I don't think they would be looking for a prompt sale as the house was purchased many years ago as a 'project'. If they sold now it wouldn't achieve its maximum sale value. Both parties want to get as much £ as possible.Can I run this scenerio by you please. If she moved out (lets say this week, as an example) then in the next 6 months her husband remains and gets all the work done on the house in her absence. So basically she's been away from the house for 6 months, he still can't sell it without her agreement, can he?To put it into context, the husband is a clever and slippery guy. She's is so vary of moving out because she believes he'll somehow work a way where she ends up with nothing and the share of the house is her financial future.As a family we just want her to leave him and that house because she is so depressed living alone with him. However, this concern for her financial future is stopping her from leaving.Her latest theory is that if she moves out, her husband will suddenly get everything finished on the house and sell it (for its full worth) behind her back and take all the money. She keeps mentioning the words "dissertion" and "abandoning". Is that even a possibility that the husband could claim that she's done that?Sorry for the length of this reply. We just want some absolute clarity on her rights to put her mind and our minds at ease.Thank you.

He cannot sell it with out her knowledge agreement and co-operation

She retains her interest in the property if she moves out - indeed she would do so even if the house was in his sole name

Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you