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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 12065
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I have a bit of a predicament that I'd like some advice

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Hello. I have a bit of a predicament that I'd like some advice about please.
I bought a flat with my then girlfirend who I went on to marry in 1993. I believe we were tenants in common. The marriage ended after around six months from when we bought the property as a result of her having an affair. At the time, we each saw lawyers and letters went back and forth as to who would buy the others half share but neither of us took that forward. I did a DIY divorce some years ago but the property issue hasn't ever been resolved. I remain in the property and having paid the mortgage payments and upkeep throughout the mortgage period without contribution form her. The mortgage term will end in 2018 so I need to resolve this issue at minimal outlay going to my ex. Can you tell me if she'll still be entiltled to a full half share, bearing in ind that she hasn't contributed at all and the property has had significant investment by way of a new kitchen and bathroom, floors etc? Any assistance or advice would be appreciated

As you divorced her, the family law no longer applies to this situation. You are joint owners of a property and on first examination you are each entitled to a half share of the proceeds of sale. Your only remedy against this general rule would be the doctrine of unjust enrichment, that is to say, it would be inequitable for her to profit from your contributions to the property over the years. However unjust enrichment is subject to a five year prescriptive period. That means no claim for unjust enrichment could be made after the point at which it could be said that there was no intention that she benefit from the property. That date is likely to be your separation date, so you should have dealt with this issue at or about that time. I'm afraid that time having passed you may have a difficulty with this given that more than five years have passed and the property remains in joint title. I hope that helps. Please leave a positive rating so that I am credited for my time.

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