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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 16790
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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Scots Law - We bought a flat prior to our marriage in her

Customer Question

Scots Law -We bought a flat prior to our marriage in her name. I paid the deposit but she pays the mortgage. I know that this flat is hers and I have no stake in it, but could I argue the case to get the value of the deposit back?The same flat was later set up as an Air BnB (during our marriage). The Air BnB is in my wife’s name, but I paid for the renovations etc required to start the business. I also helped her to run and manage it. Do I have a case to argue here that I have a stake in the business?The Air BnB received Covid grants which were paid into a joint bank account. My wife has transferred the full balance of the joint account into her own personal account and closed the account without telling me. The bank informs me that she hasn't done anything wrong from their point of view, but can she legally empty a joint account keeping all the money to herself?I owned another flat which I bought before we were married. I sold this flat, as well as our joint previous marital home and invested all of the proceeds into our current marital home. I understand that my wife has an equal stake in our current marital home despite contributing very little financially, but can I argue to get back the money that I invested from my old flat before the remaining value is split equally?
Submitted: 12 days ago.
Category: Scots Law
Expert:  JGM replied 12 days ago.

Thanks for your question. I am a solicitor in Scotland with 35 years of experience in private practice and I hope that I can help you with your question today. Let me have a quick look at your question and I will either give you an initial answer or ask you for further information. I aim to respond as quickly as I can but sometimes I may want to take a little time to consider your question so as to give you the best possible answer.

Expert:  JGM replied 12 days ago.

There are a number of arguments you can use here. The flat and indeed your flat are not as you say matrimonial property but you have made contributions to both the flat and the family home. The Family Law (Scotland) Act 1985 allows a court to take into account “special circumstances” when considering the division of matrimonial property and you would have an argument for a greater share to reflect your contributions generally. As far as the joint account is concerned because the funds went into a joint account they can be argued as being matrimonial and the fact that she emptied the joint account would also be taken into account in any division. You should see a local family law solicitor to look at the detail of this for you but that is my general view.

Expert:  JGM replied 12 days ago.

I hope this helped you today. Please do let me know if I can clarify anything. I am always happy to help. You are always welcome to ask a follow up question if it will help you further.

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Thanks. And what do you think about the air bnb? It was started during our marriage with my support and financial help. It is potentially a source of great income which I am reluctant to just walk away from without any compensation
Expert:  JGM replied 12 days ago.

You have to decide if what you put into it was a loan to the business or whether you were a partner in the business and putting in capital to a partnership for example. Perhaps the accounts would disclose that?