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Split of house proceeds following divorce - URGENT HELP please if you can!!!

(14 Posts)
curiousparent Sat 06-Oct-12 11:44:02

Am hoping someone can help here.

Situation is my Dad is currently going through a divorce with second wife. When he met her, she was going to sell her house as she was on interest only mortgage but could not afford the payments. Things moved quite quickly with them and he moved in, started making the payments and did a lot of home improvements - like about £20k worth. The house remained solely in her name. They married five years later - about 2006 and have 2 children, the youngest is 5 years old. His stbxw met someone else and wanted to split and started divorce proceedings. Before my dad moved out they agreed a split of 65/35% on the house sale after paying mortgage & other debts.

Now the house is being sold because the stbxw wants to sell - I realise she would not HAVE to sell with young children. However she now says she doesn't have to give him any of the proceeds as she owned the house before she met my Dad and it is still in her house.

The sale is due to complete next week, is she correct or would he be entitled to something? He has by his contributions improved the value of the house enormously and is left with absolutely nothing.

I just want to confirm that he is happy for her not to sell for the children to be housed, but she wants to sell.

iheartdusty Sat 06-Oct-12 11:51:35

he should see a solicitor pronto, before she ties up all the sale proceeds in another property or puts them out of reach some other way.

Yes, it's relevant that she owned the house before - but it's not the final answer. The house is matrimonial property. The value of his contributions is not likely to be relevant as a figure, but it demonstrates how it stopped being 'her' house and became 'their' home.

Whether each of them should have a share of the proceeds and how much depends on what they each need, and what other resources they have; eg how much they can earn and how much longer each of them expects to be able to work (if they are working); pensions; other savings; ability to house themselves; etc.

curiousparent Sat 06-Oct-12 13:23:55

Thanks.

He is 65 and drawing state pension so he doesn't have much opportunity for future earning potential.

I think he would see a solicitor but is concerned about the money side and if it will make a difference really.

MOSagain Sat 06-Oct-12 13:26:38

Of course he is entitled to a share in the property. The fact it is her sole name makes no difference, it is a matrimonial asset.

So have they not issued divorce proceedings? One of them needs to issue sooner rather than later and if he has not consulted a Solicitor, he needs to do so immediately.

Also, the solicitor doing the conveyancing needs to know immediately that there is a dispute and that the entire proceeds should not go to her. If he issues quickly and makes an application for ancillary relief (finances) then the conveyancing solicitor should be notified immediately. If there is no agreement ref division of proceeds of sale the monies should be held pending agreement.

As iheartdusty has said, the division of the proceeds of sale will depend on a number of factors but in the meantime, he needs to take action now, before the sale goes through.

curiousparent Sat 06-Oct-12 18:54:50

Yes the divorce proceedings are fairly well advanced, it seems that they have done this themselves with no involvement from solicitors. He doesn't yet have a solicitor, so is going to make some calls Monday morning to see if he can get someone quickly.

I hope he can as everything seems a bit underhand at the moment.

Ginda Sun 07-Oct-12 20:46:57

He really, really must see a solicitor before the wife dissipates the proceeds of sale. If you think about the situation in reverse - him having owned the house which she moved into - then you wouldn't be surprised in this situation for her to end up with a large chunk of it. The fact that it was hers pre-marriage is relevant, but most relevant as the children of the marriage, who will need to be housed and whether it is in that one or another one, the result is likely to be that the wife ends up with more of the house than your dad will. But he will be entitled to a proportion of it in exactly the same way as if the situation was the other way round.

riveroise Mon 08-Oct-12 03:20:54

On other threads I have seen people mention contacting the Land Registry to register interest in the house (or something like that).

Is there still enough time to do this so that his name is on the title?

WhoWhatWhereWhen Mon 08-Oct-12 04:01:08

I think he really needs to go to a solicitor to get the sale stopped at this stage

mumblechum1 Mon 08-Oct-12 07:34:48

He needs to register a caution against dealings at the Land Registry.

They may have changed the name of the form, I'll look it up and post when I get a sec.

mumblechum1 Mon 08-Oct-12 07:40:11

http://www.landregistry.gov.uk/_media/downloads/forms/RX1.pdf

I think his is the form you need but I'm rushing off to work and it's important to get the form and the wording right or it will be rejected.

I strongly recommend he gets an appointment with a solicitor within the ;nexgt few days so he can register a caution/restriction to stop the sale going thru until an agreement is reached regarding his share.

curiousparent Mon 08-Oct-12 08:35:21

Thank you so much, that is so helpful.

He is going to ring around today - I was just trying to see if I could find a legal aid solicitor dealing with family law as he seems to think last week he was told that there are only 3 he can go to as there are none in the town we live in so he will need to go 15 miles to the local city to find one there.

I was amazed that this was the case!

Collaborate Mon 08-Oct-12 09:21:45

He can only apply for a notice protecting his claim against the property if he is the petitioner in the divroce and has ticked the box in the prayer to apply for a property adjustment order. In that case the form to use s this:

www.landregistry.gov.uk/_media/downloads/forms/AN1.pdf

If he can't apply for a notice he can always, up until decree absolute, apply for his marital homes rights to be registered at the land registry by sending this to the LR:

www.landregistry.gov.uk/_media/downloads/forms/HR1.pdf

This homes rights notice will only last until decree absolute, so if wife is the petitioner he should be applying for an order under part 4 of the Family Law Act 1996 for the extension of his homes rights after decree absolute.

Alternatively he could apply for an injunction under s.37 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, but this is the most expensive of the options.

As you can see, he really needs some legal representation. He should look on the resolution.org.uk website for details of solicitors near him.

mumblechum1 Mon 08-Oct-12 10:33:25

tbh he's wasting his time looking for a legal aid lawyer, as he probably won't get an appointment for several weeks. Not many firms do legal aid these days so they're swamped.

He should be prepared to spend a few hundred pounds getting private legal h elp as it's going to be worth it to avoid losing out on presumably several tens of thousands.

curiousparent Mon 08-Oct-12 12:33:35

Thanks to both Collaborate and mumblechum1 - both really useful pieces of info. and much appreciated.

I will phone him in a while and see how he is getting on. I think the money thing may be an issue as he genuinely has no money right now and has left the home and is staying with my grandparents. In the past I have helped him out with so much finances (like thousands) but unfortunately my own situation will not allow that now.

I will see if he can get an initial consultation at a reduced fee or some do a half hour for free, at least then he can evaluate his options.

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