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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34885
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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I am planning on buying a new house with my wife. I am contributing

Customer Question

I am planning on buying a new house with my wife. I am contributing significantly more equity into the property. Due to recent issues in the marriage I have been advised by a friend to consider a deed of trust setting out our shares rather than owning it as joint tenants. However, I am not sure whether this would protect me in any event if the marriage were to break down? We are married and have a child after all. In the sad event of divorce I would expect the divorce court to factor in everything in the break up, primarily what's best of the child of course, but also historic factors like who put the equity into the family home? They would then divide assets on this basis. I am also keen to avoid mentioning a deed of trust to my wife at this time as it would upset her.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

Law Denning :

Thank you for your question here on Just answer. It is my pleasure to try and assist you with this today. Please bear with me if I need to ask for any further information from you in order for me to be able to advise you fully. My name is Law Denning and I am a practising solicitor. I have been an expert on this website in UK law since 2008. During that time, as you appreciate, I have answered thousands of questions from satisfied users on a variety of subjects. Because we are all in practice with clients and court and other users, I might not always respond in minutes, particularly evenings and weekends. Please bear with me in that case. I will be online and off-line all day most weekdays and weekends.

Law Denning :

Do you have a specific question?

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare and I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
You are right to be doubtful. A Declaration of Trust would only assist if you were not married - and you have an excellent grasp of the factors that the Court will take into account when looking at how the assets should be divided - including that the priority will be the housing needs of the child
If you did wish to have a document drawn up is should be a Post Nuptial Settlement which sets out what woudl happen if you separate.
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks Clare


So to be absolutely clear, if god forbid, my wife and I were to divorce, the court would consider the significantly greater equity that I put into the property purchase when seeking an equitable settlement between us. This would be regardless of the absence of a deed of trust, whether we held the property as joint tenants, tenants in common etc.. Its just that it

would be just one factor of many that they would consider?



Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
In the early years of a childless marriage the contribution of each party is a substantial consideration.
The fact that you already have a child has already changed that and the longer a marriage lasts the less the original contributions matter.
A Declaration of Trust doe snot effect that in any way