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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35037
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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I am on disabled benefits and am getting divorced. I want to

Customer Question

I am on disabled benefits and am getting divorced.
I want to keep my portion of the house sale for my children for mortgage deposits.
I am prepared to give my portion of the house to my husband so that he can set up the accounts.
Do I need to do this with a financial settlement or can we just go to a solicitor and have the house gifted to him before the house sale.
I do not want the money but need advice on the best way I can keep the money for my children for when they need it
At the moment they receive benefits and cannot have the money put into their name.
Our house has sold for £180,000 but I have not agreed to the sale as yet as I want to get the finances sorted out.
I dont know what percentage of the house I should ask for because of my long term disability. I am housed in social housing because of domestic abuse both verbal, psychological and physical.
Can you please advise if signing over the house is the best way to protect the money for my children. I don't want to commit benefit fraud.
If this is not the best way can you please advice another way to make this happen
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 4 months ago.

Hello for clarification which house are you selling as you say you are in social housing? thanks

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Our family home that my husband has been living in. He has now decided it is too big for him but he is actually living with his girlfriend
Expert:  F E Smith replied 4 months ago.

I’m going to opt out of this one for another expert. Kind regards

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I have paid for a response within 30 minutes
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I have not received a response
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I paid for a 30 minute response and I am not receiving what I have paid for
Expert:  Clare replied 4 months ago.

My name is ***** ***** I shall do my best to help you but I need some further information first

For clarity - you wish to find a way of dealing with the house which avoids you losing your benefits - is that correct?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
if possible, without moving
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
You are the expert I complained about before. I have now paid for 30 minute answers so I expect a better service. I have asked for detailed information quickly.
If you cannot provide the service I have paid for then you need to transfer me to another expert
Expert:  Clare replied 4 months ago.

I am sorry - just as I could not give you the answer that you wished last time I cannot do so this time either.

I do not get notification that you have asked for a "time limited answer" - and as a working lawyer I cannot always be online

You are entitled to 50% of the equity - more if you are giving up your claim for spouse maintenance (which I recall you wished to do ) - In which case 60/40 in your favour is possible

If you transfer the property to your husband without payment then you will, in fact, be committing benefit fraud - albeit be omission IF you are receiving any means tested benefits (not all disability benefits are means tested)

If you remain determined to do this then the only option is to ask your husband to sign a Declaration of Trust confirming that he holds the property on trust for himself and the children - although this will also impact on their benefit position

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I do not wish to commit benefit fraud and intend to sign the house over to my husband as part of the financial settlement.
Would this still be benefit fraud
Expert:  Clare replied 4 months ago.

You are entitled to half of the equity.

If you are giving that to him what are you getting in return.

If the answer is nothing then yes it could amount to deliberate deprivation of assets - which amounts to fraud

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I dont want it. I don't need it. My brother is the CEO of British Gas earning £4 million a year. I have a hefty inheritance.
My husband has said he will set up trust funds for the children with it.
How can I give away my share without committing fraud
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Please also advise what would be a reasonable amount of spousal maintenance as you have mentioned it. And is it possible to receive this whilst receiving ESA and PIP
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
i have also been advised by another solicitor that i can get a financial consent order to present to a judge. Why haven't you suggested this option
Expert:  Clare replied 4 months ago.

Two reasons.

The first is that you are asking what the approach of the benefits agency would take and the second is that the Court does not have to seal any order that is submitted.

The fact that you do not need the money would not change the position when it comes to deprivation of assets.

Your brother's income is not relevant and if you have substantial other assets then these could impact on your benefit position - which is confusing in the context of the question you are asking

Spouse maintenance is needs based so I would need full details of your reasonable needs to advise on spouse maintenance

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Any other assets I have are in trust in my brothers name and I have no access to them until his death therefore they do affect my benefits.
I live apart from my husband but is this a legal separation?
We have never been to see a solicitor or been to court about living apart.
If we decided to cancel the divorce and reconcile would I then be able to gift my husband my portion of the house