A non-owning spouse needs to immediately register a Matrimonial Home Right Notice against the property.
It will stop the other spouse spouse selling or remortgaging the property.
The form to send to the land registry is here:
the owning spouse spouse will get notice of the application but cannot do anything about it if this is the matrimonial home.
The application is free.
It is the matrimonial home and it doesn’t matter whether it’s in one sole name or the other sole name or joint names, each spouse has the same financial interest in it.
The name on the deeds is irrelevant if the couple are married. It may not necessarily be 50-50 because that depends on a whole variety of different facts such is the needs of the parties, the length of the marriage, needs of children et cetera.
However you cannot put a Matrimonial Home Right Notice in a property which is not the marital home. Assuming that it was not the marital home but it was simply just another property somewhere, your husband could actually force a sale of the property.
No one can be compelled to continue to own/have money in a property which they no longer wish to own ( or in which they have a financial interest but not named on the deeds) and they are able to force a sale through the courts if necessary.
The remedy is to make an application to court for an order for sale under section 14 of the Trusts of Land Appointment of Trustees Act (the Act).
Anyone wishing to sell may find that a strongly worded letter from a solicitor threatening a court application and an application for costs, may focus the mind without actually having the need to get to court.
Check house insurance to see if there is legal expenses cover that would pay for the legal cost of taking the matter to court.
The wording of the application is along the following lines:
Therefore the claimant makes a claim pursuant to s.14 Trusts and Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1966 (TOLATA) pursuant to Part 8, for the following
i A declaration that the Claimant and Defendant are 50:50 beneficial owners of the property, (or whatever percentage a claimant is looking at depending on whether there is a declaration of trust, it’s tenants in common in different shares or depending on any financial input into the property if the property is only one name.)
ii That the property be sold:
iii That there be an adjustment of the financial shares to account for the additional money spent by the Claimant in respect of (for example) repairs, improvements, the council tax, electricity and occupation rent for the period of time the Defendant has enjoyed sole use of the Property.
If I were advising anyone who has received a letter threatening an application to court under the Act and an application for legal costs, I would tell them to get the agents sign up immediately and cooperate with the sale because if they make the court application, they are likely to get it and they are likely to get costs awarded against them.
It is often the case that a robustly worded letter from a/your solicitor threatening a court application and an application for costs, may resolve the issue without the need to go as far as court.
On your house insurance you may have legal expenses cover that would pay for the legal cost so it’s worthwhile checking. Some do and some don't.
With regard to your financial interest, he may think he is being cute by having it in his name and his sisters name but it’s not, your financial interest, in the event you split up, is exactly the same.
Indeed, even if he transferred his shirted sister, and you are getting divorced, you could apply to court to have that transfer set aside on the basis that he only did that to disadvantage you and to put the marital assets beyond reach because after all however you dress it up, this year of the property, after 12 years, is a matrimonial asset.
What will happen with regard to the division of marital finances is that everything will be lumped in together including pensions. With regard to pensions you will need a Cash Equivalent Transfer Value (CETV) which converts the pension to a lump sum for the mathematical calculation. You cannot get hold of that money but it converts it to a theoretical cash equivalent.
All the value of the assets are then lumped together and there is a division which starts off at 50-50 and it would then be adjusted in favour of one spouse or the other spouse depending on the needs of the parties, how long they have been married, where the money came from, et cetera et cetera.
Not just the length of the marriage would be taken into account but also any length of time together before marriage because it would be unfair if the couple were together for 29 years and only married for one year before splitting up (not uncommon) to be treated in the same way as a couple who had a whirlwind romance got married, were married for 12 months, and then split up. So the whole length of the relationship would be taken into account.
It’s largely a mathematical thing but does look at needs after divorce.
Even if everything is being divided down the middle, it’s not really a case of dividing it down the middle, all the assets wouldn’t be split 50-50 but, for example one person may keep the house and the other for example could have the savings and the pensions.
Thank you for letting me assist you with your legal question. I am glad that I was able to help.
I am not certain whether that answers the question for you or not, but I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.
It will be my pleasure to help you again either further with this or any future questions you have