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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 10480
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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I co-own a property with my ex. We split up a time ago

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Hi, I co-own a property with my ex. We split up a long time ago (divorce still pending) and he hasn’t contributed to the mortgage of any house maintenance for 10+ years. I’ve changed the ownership to tenants in common rather than joint tenants and I know that I need to get a declaration of trust from him to show that the split is 100% to me and 0% to him (he has agreed to this). The problem is, he is an absolute nightmare to get hold of and I just can’t ever get him to sign anything, let alone in front of witnesses. This isn’t necessarily because he is refusing to do so, he’s just bad with admin (hence the long divorce!).
Assistant: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in family court?
Customer: so I wanted to check, is there another way that I can evidence that he is on the deeds in name only and that he has no financial stake in the property? He is also still on the mortgage as I am unable to get one on my own.
Assistant: Family Court normally sits in a local County and Magistrates' Court. Do you know the location of the court? If not, what county do you live in?
Customer: do I need to file with a family court for a dispute over property ownership??
Assistant: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: i don’t think so?

Hello, this is Jim and I am a dual-qualified lawyer (UK and Republic of Ireland) and happy to help you today.

It would be too late to have a declaration of trust prepared and signed. The fact you are married means that potentially the property is going to be shared, but the court would have regard to a number of factors under Section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 - including your contributions (and his lack of payments), your ages, earning capacity, any children, and many more. If he agreed to no claim on the house then if you have something from him in writing, this would help. Finances are not severed between you both until that either a clean break order or a consent order is signed and approved by the court. If he agrees to no split then a clean break order can be done - and filed with the court once decree nisi is pronounced. This company can do the order for you and they file it too:

https://www.divorce-online.co.uk/blog/clean-break-orders-and-why-you-must-have-one

Just to be clear, even if he signed a separation agreement or some other contract now, it is not binding in the family court. The only binding document is a clean break order (if no assets to split) or a consent order (if there are).

I hope this helps – if you can please give a positive rating by clicking 5 stars (at the top of your screen), I can answer any follow up questions at no extra charge and I will be credited for helping you today.

Many thanks,

Jim

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