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Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Satisfied Customers: 10955
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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My Mother and her husband hand have been separated for

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Hi, my Mother and her husband hand have been separated for around 20 years and she would like to know what claim her husband would have in the family home. She has a will which leaves the house as a home to all of her 6 children. Her husband is not in the will. Also the house was an ex council house bought on a rent-to-buy scheme a large number of years ago and her husband didn't contribute to the rent or buying of the house ( it is in my Mums name only). Also how easy is it for them to get a legal separation? Thanks, Catherine
1. Catherine, Firstly, as the house is in your Mum's name, it is hers as it stands. Secondly, were your mother to get a legal separation or divorce, the law provides that "proper provision" has to be made for any dependent spouse. So, unless your mother's husband is in some way dependent, it is unlikely that the court will make any order in his favour. Even if he is destitute, proper provision does not necessarily mean that he gets a share in the house, particularly as your Mum has other children. More likely a court would make some form of payment order to your Mum's husband if he was destitute. Courts rarely make property adjustment orders to husbands, particularly in relation to property acquired, as here, after the parties went their separate ways. So the prospects of her husband getting a share in the house are slim whilst she lives.2. However, things are different on death. Her husband has an automatic entitlement to his legal right share in your mother's estate. This applies irrespective of what is in your mother's will. So as your Mum has made a will her husband would be entitled to claim one third of the house and any money or assets she had after she died, if she pre-deceased him. So, if the 6 children want to inherit the house, they should ensure a divorce takes place. Don't get a legal separation as everything could then be revisited upon divorce. Go the whole hog and get a divorce!
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