How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 34887
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 with a wide general experience.
Type Your Property Law Question Here...
Clare is online now

My wife and I separated 12 month ago, we have since divorced

This answer was rated:

My wife and I separated 12 month ago, we have since divorced but no financial agreement is in place. She is still living in the matrimonial home with her new partner and our son (8). I have continued to pay 50% of the mortgage since I left. My wife wants my name off the deeds and the mortgage and wants to sell the house to her new partner in a private sale due to her own financial problems. (she wants to go bankrupt and needs to get her name off any assets before she does this) I am currently in IVA and there is a restriction on the deeds from the IVA company. I have told her that I cannot agree to the sale until my IVA is completed (another 4 years) because I would lose the equity (circa 30k) to the IVA should the sale proceed. She suggested I offer a full and final to end the IVA early which I did but it was rejected. My wife has now said she is going ahead with the sale now even though I have told I do not wish the house to be sold. We are tenants in common but there is no deed of trust in place, I am right in assuming this still makes us 50/50 owners and can you tell me are there any circumstances where she is allowed to sell the house without my agreement?

Thank you for your question

My name is Clare

I shall do my best to help you but I need some further information first.

How much is the house worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage?

What income do you each have - and what pensions

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Clare, thank you for assisting me. The house is worth approx £212,000 and there is approx £118,000 outstanding on the mortgage. No pensions on either side I earn £12,000 and I'm not sure what Amanda earns, she was self employed but that business has now closed so I'm assuming she is now unemployed and claiming benefits.

Is she actually going bankrupt?

How much does she owe?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Im not sure clare, we dont really speak anymore. I just received a recorded delivery letter today stating that she has had advice from an 'Insolvency specialist' and she is selling the house and there is nothing I can do to stop her. So whether she plans to go into IVA or go bankrupt I dont know. l know is that there was substantial debt from the closure of our business (we owned a gym as a 50/50 partnership) I am liable for half of this but with the debts being joint and several and I am in IVA so currently unable to accept anymore debt under the IVA agreement the debtors are just chasing Amanda for it all. The debts from the gym are around £20k.

How much do you owe under the IVA?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
60k. The vast majority of this was credit card debt that Amanda accumulated that I transferred to my name and then I went into IVA not her (long story) I still have all the credit card statements that show the movement of debt from her to me. (approx 55k of it)

I am afraid that your ex can apply to the court for an order for the sale of the house and there is no doubt that this will be granted.

It will have to be sold for the going rate - and unless she uses her share of the proceeds of sale to pay her debts it will be of no assistance to her in her Bankruptcy.

I am sorry - I know that this is not good news, please ask if you need further details

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Clare, it just doesnt seem right or fair. Im going to lose all my equity if it is sold. When it goes to the courts what (in this particular case) makes her case so strong and mine so weak? All I did was love her and trust her, I took her debt, she then (2 weeks after I went into IVA) told me to leave and that she has been having an affair. I did as she asked, Im in a 1 bwd flat now. I also have concerns over her willingness to sell the house to her new partner who already has 2 children and how this will effect my sons inheritance in the future. Is there nothing at all I can do to stop this? Do you know how long the court process takes roughly from application to decision being granted?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also, would you have an idea at what point in the process the IVA company become aware that the house is to be sold? Is it at the start of the court process or just before a sale is agreed?

Can I just check - are you paying child maintenance as well as half of the mortgage?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I pay £225 child maintenance to her for my son. (alot more than the legal minimum based on my earnings) Seems like this means nothing in eyes of the law but at least my conscious is clear.

May ask then why you are also paying the mortgage?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I thought I had a legal obligation to pay 50% as Its a joint mortgage in both our names so I paid it from the day I left the house. I also wanted to protect my % share of the equity so I didn't really see it as a cost but more of an investment into something that will eventually pay a dividend. Looks like I've been well and truly stitched up, what a fool.

Given that they were living there and you were not no you did not have to pay the mortgage as well as child maintenance.

The IVA will become aware of the sale when it is Registered at the Land Registry - although you will find that one of the requirements is that you notify them beforehand.

The average application takes between three and nine months.

The reason her case is strong is that all property owned by more than one person is held on a "trust for sale" that can be called in at any time and a sale forced.

Since you are not living there with your child then you have no grounds to prevent it I am afraid

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for all your advice Clare, even though its not what I wanted to hear you've been excellent.

You are welcome - I am sorry that the news wasnt better

I am sorry to have to ask but could you please rate my answer as without a positive rating I do not get paid for my time

Clare and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you