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PLEASE HELP. HUSBAND SEVERING JOINT TENANCY AGAINST MY WISHES

(28 Posts)
katiekin2012 Thu 15-Nov-12 08:21:10

My hands are shaking and I am distraught. at 07.30 this morning I received a solicitors letter which I signed for from royal mail. It was a solicitors letter for me to sign to make our jointly owned home into a tenancy in common. (currently joint tenants)

After a long marriage to a controlling and abusive H which has become tolerable to me since our children left home a few years ago simply because he has nothing to hold over me anymore. Any nastiness washes over me and I can enjoy my friends and my daughters family on my terms.

My H has been asking for this so he can will his half of the house to whoever he likes but I have refused because it would be a gun to my head permanently, something I thought I had escaped at last. Any step out of line and his half goes to his brother etc. Its just another form of control.

I dont want a divorce, my half of the house would not be enough to house me anywhere except some very dodgy areas. I was happy for him to go his way and me mine. I have just retired and have a small pension.

I did not sign the letter and will not, but he says signing to accept the letter counts in law and it can be done now against my wishes..

Please help. Is he right. Are we now tenants in common?

fengirl1 Thu 15-Nov-12 08:51:34

You only signed to say you received the letter. The letter itself is the legal document, not the thing you signed for the delivery person.

AndBingoWasHisNameOh Thu 15-Nov-12 08:58:56

He doesn't necessarily need your consent I'm afraid. See here
http://www.landregistry.gov.uk/public/guides/public-guide-18

Does your H still live in the property?

digerd Thu 15-Nov-12 09:10:36

My SIL who is married to my very stubborn DB, is anxious as he refuses to make a Will. His reason is that their 4 bed house is registered as tennants in common and that if he dies before her, the house will automatically go to her. I said I had not heard of this.

Collaborate Thu 15-Nov-12 09:38:39

Tenants in common means it passes as per the will or intestacy rules. Joint tenants means that the remaining owner will become the sole owner, whether or not there is a will.

All that is needed is that it is served on you, as per the other very recent thread on this subject. Your objection to the severance is irrelevant, as is the severing of the joint tenancy in relation to the concerns you have identified in your OP.

katiekin2012 Thu 15-Nov-12 10:08:42

Thanks, its what I thought. It was a solicitors letter and now I have a gun to my head for another 20 years sad

Yes we live here together but have separate lives.

Collaborate Thu 15-Nov-12 11:00:17

"now I have a gun to my head for another 20 years"

I really don't know what you mean. It changes nothing. The only difference it makes is that you can now each, in your wills, leave your interest in the property to whoever you wish. He's not saying he wants to sell up.

Sneezecakesmama Thu 15-Nov-12 12:34:59

Sounds as though he can leave his half to the dogs home just to cause you grief. I would see a solicitor to see where you stand and if he can sell up against your wishes. Sounds an awful thing to do to someone.

katiekin2012 Thu 15-Nov-12 13:02:10

He says I will have security of tenure so if he leaves it to his latest OW she can't make me sell up to release her share of the house. Frankly I don't believe him about anything and I can't afford a solicitor.

I don't think I can downsize to release capital after his death without any future will coming into play. He says he will be writing a will as soon as the land registry is changed and it won't be to my advantage unless I am nicer to him!

MOSagain Thu 15-Nov-12 16:24:22

I'm sorry but you want to remain married to him why? Surely it makes sense if things have been that bad to just get on and divorce? Yes, things will be hard for a while but at least you will know where you stand financially. <or kill the bastard before he makes a new will>

katiekin2012 Thu 15-Nov-12 18:58:19

Thanks MOS. I dont want to be married to him but the house is only worth about £140,000 dropped from 180,000 with the credit crunch. I dont think I can get anywhere decent to live on half that and with a pension of less than £800 pcm I'm well and truly stuffed. No jobs available locally even if I could get employment.

Have spoken to a solicitor and in the event of his death the person he leaves his half to will have to take me to court and a judge will decide the matter. If I try to sell up to downsize and release capital after his death the interested party registered with the land registry are in an even better position to realise their share. They can even move in with me as they own half!

unbecoming of an older lady I know but ....fuckfuckfuck....feel a bit better now!

Dont think 'I was advised by MN to kill my H' would get me far as a legal defence, though I think insanity is not far behind confused

titchy Thu 15-Nov-12 19:31:35

Works two ways though - tell him your half will be going to the local homeless hostel grin

RedHelenB Fri 16-Nov-12 08:12:43

I would still be looking at divorce - if he has better prospects than you you may be awarded the house anyway - it isn't automatically 50/50.

mumblechum1 Fri 16-Nov-12 09:24:41

OP, as others have said, you dont have to acknowledge the Notice for your husband to go ahead and register the severance at the Land Reg, so shortly, you'll own the property as Tenants in Common. You could see this as a good thing, because otherwise, your half share would have gone to your husband which clearly you wouldn't want.

I understand that you don't want a divorce, but you seem to presume that you'd only get half of the equity if you split. You may get considerably more, depending on your circumstances, or you could consider a Martin order, which is an order whereby you are able to remain living in the property and your husband moves out, then when you die, or if you remarry, the house is sold and a proportion of the net proceeds of sale are paid to your husband.

MOSagain Fri 16-Nov-12 15:37:29

I was obviously not serious about killing him.
Mumblechum is right, it is not automatically 50/50 and there are various options open to you. Surely it is better to know where you stand now, rather than in years to come?

katiekin2012 Fri 16-Nov-12 19:31:05

Thanks for the input.

Pretty sure it would be 50/50 as we are similar ages and similar input to the house. Similar amount of savings. If we divorce the pension division would give us equal incomes I think, so probably better off there. Today he asked me to sign over his life insurance so his brother is the benificiary - only around £7K so funeral type money. Not bothered so I did it.

I don't think a court would allow me to stay in a 3 bed property and him renting if we divorced, so I am stuck with him.

I will get a will done and make sure he doesnt get as much as a pair of socks of mine, and he will be banned from my funeral.

Pretty depressing eh? (Note to younger self if it were possible - Any man that tells you to get an abortion or he's off to the other side of the world is NOT the man to marry! ffs what was I thinking sad )

MOSagain Sat 17-Nov-12 08:18:30

sad

CagneyNLacey Sat 17-Nov-12 08:35:45

God, divorce the arsehole and move on with your life. You could be writing a letter to your younger self in another 20 years- 'Dear younger self, sometimes you need to cut your losses and walk away. Divorce husband, you only live once. Enjoy the rest of your life'.

He sounds vile. Hope you are able to be happy and free of him soon.

Xenia Sat 17-Nov-12 09:18:16

My father did because he didn't want our mother to leave the house to the cat's home rather than we children. They were silly not to trust each other as both had the same intention - that ultimately the children would inherit if there were anything to inherit but there is nothing wrong with severing it particularly. It obviously indicates you don't get on but he may be concerned after he dies you may remarry and give all the house to your new lover rather than the children you had together so does it really matter?

Much more important is that you don't get on.

As people have said if you divorce it doesn't matter whose name assets are in.

You can now make a will leaving your half to yours and his children which is probably a good idea as can save inheritance tax later. Actually you say the house is worth £140,000 so probably no IHT unless you have savings.

If you don't get on why stay together? Do you have life insurance or pension in trust for him and want to change that?

Do you and he think that when the first of you dies the children will let the other remain in the house or make you sell it so they get their half? It sounds ilke either now you divorce and get £70k lump sum to rehouse and perhaps you could get a better paid job and a mortgage of course as plenty of women do even as old as I am or you wait until yo both die probably not for 30 years and then have the issue of the children or a lover or a charity getting 50% of the value.

titchy Sat 17-Nov-12 11:15:47

Xenia the OP is of retirement age ....

jojane Sat 17-Nov-12 11:23:27

Why is he now getting you to sign things over etc? Sounds like HE is gearing up to serve you with a divorce but getting things financially in place so you have no claim on them in a divorce- especially if as you mentioned he has an OW. I would be getting some advice pronto as it sounds like he's going to screw you over

Welovecouscous Sat 17-Nov-12 11:31:29

Dearest op you can start again - my dm's friend had a DH just like yours. They recently split and she is do much happier.

I think you should consider it seriously - surely living in a very small flat would be better than living like this?

Xenia Sat 17-Nov-12 11:41:23

Retirement age does not have to mean you have to stick with how things are. Also it does not mean you cannot work these days. Plenty of people work into their 702. I agree it looks like he is plotting to divorce or split up
Putting the house half into his name does not make any different in divorce however so that will not advantage him although it does mean you can each leave your half to whoever you want. It might be sensib le to get some legal advice.

B1ueberryS0rbet Sat 17-Nov-12 11:45:11

Divorce him!

I'd rather take what you can get and start again in a 'dodgy' area. It can't possibly be worth it, no matter how lovely your house is you can make another lovely home, smaller, but 100% yours and you'd be free there. How can you stand it? My x was a controlling bully as well.

katiekin2012 Sat 17-Nov-12 13:15:04

Thanks for the advice. Never thought about him divorcing me! tbh if he does it will be a huge relief as I don't think I've got the energy to take that step. Just feeling depressed at the moment.

I have accepted the change in the tenancy and will make a will and leave my half to my children. I'll also put in my will that if i'm run over by a bus I don't want him at my funeral angry

Maybe now he's got his own way he will leave me in peace, so its probably for the best. The silver lining is that even though I feel more insecure, the OW can't end up owning my home and my children getting nothing so I'm happy with that.

mumblechum1 Sat 17-Nov-12 13:50:06

Just in case you need any guidance on the will front, OP, I have an advert over on Small Business (Classified) as I'm a will writer (recently retired as a divorce lawyer).

If you just want a bit of info, no pressure whatsoever to do a will with me, you can PM me or email me through the website on the advert.

katiekin2012 Sat 17-Nov-12 14:03:29

Many thanks mumblechum1. I'll see what H has put in his (he offered to show me to 'reassure' me) but I'm not holding my breath as the solicitor will be keeping it.

I will get it done properly though as I know there are pitfalls.

katiekin2012 Sat 17-Nov-12 14:07:22

He says he will leave it to our children but wills can be changed quite easily. Think this is the moment I just do the 'stick the bad thoughts in a cupboard and ignore them' and forget it all. (apart from my own will!)

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