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To think that the phrase, 'In his name' (or 'her name') is really annoying when it comes to saying who owns a house or other valuable assset?

(34 Posts)
marantha Sun 07-Nov-10 15:05:47

I am sorry but all this phrase means is that the person OWNS the house/car/other asset.
Married, living together, whatever. If the documents relating to an asset ( is in your spouse/partner's 'name' THEY own it and not you.
Just feel that the phrase 'in his/her name' gives people a false sense of security in that they somehow own an asset that is NOT legally theirs.
Is it not misleading?

MillyR Sun 07-Nov-10 15:25:34

Can you explain further?

Obviously there are different legal implications when it comes to division of assets if a couple are not married. Is this what you are getting at?

marantha Sun 07-Nov-10 15:32:21

No, that's not what I mean as such. As far as I am concerned, a MARRIED couple who live in the marital home that was bought by husband/wife is STILL legally owned by the person in who's name it was purchased (although I suppose spouse could have claim on it in event of divorce).
Likewise, if an UNmarried couple buy a house in JOINT names then it belongs to them both.

I just think that the whole,'Oh, the house is in partner's/spouse's name gives people the sense that they are somehow entitled to something which they do not own.
A false sense of security.
Just I think that people shouldn't be fooled by the idea that they get to own something because of marriage/cohabitation and the whole 'in his/her name' thing just perpetuates the myth.

ChasingSquirrels Sun 07-Nov-10 15:35:10

surely is they are married, then the claim they have on the marital assets makes the point irrelevant? (I accept that at this point who brought what to the marriage and the length of the marriage come into play)

wukter Sun 07-Nov-10 15:36:13

I don't think the phrase is misleading. Some people may not understand it, but that's bot the same thing.

MillyR Sun 07-Nov-10 15:46:36

In some senses a person can be entitled to something they do not own. For example, if a SAHM lived in a house owned by her partner, and he wanted to make major changes to the property in such a way that they impacted on the children, the SAHM could take legal action to stop the work, even though she does not own the home.

curlymama Sun 07-Nov-10 15:52:09

I don't think it's misleading either. It just means that whoever owns the house.

I'm not quite sure what you are getting at.

marantha Sun 07-Nov-10 15:53:25

I see where you're coming from, MillyR, similarly, I believe it is within powers of the legal system to order that an UNmarried partner who looks after the children has a right to occupy a property until child comes of age, however, the actual ownership of property will revert back to person who owns it after this 'coming of age'. (or so I've been told by mn).

Ilythia Sun 07-Nov-10 15:53:46

It's not misleading at all, if something is in someone else's name, then they own it. Simples.

If some people don't understand that then it is not the phrases fault.

marantha Sun 07-Nov-10 15:56:54

I suppose what I'm getting at is the common theme on this site that people somehow feel they own something that is in someone else's name because they are married/in a long-term relationship with that person.
Just feel that the phrase, 'In his name' is often used as a way of saying, 'Well of course we both own it really and surely everybody will see it this way and the actual whose name house is in does not matter'-which is an attitude I believe to be incorrect.

Rocketbird Sun 07-Nov-10 15:57:03

Not misleading at all. I remember a friend telling me that their house was in her boyfriend's name and I thought, she's fucked if they split. They split and she was fucked. It's pretty clear cut to me.

MillyR Sun 07-Nov-10 15:58:42

I think the law around property and separation is very complex. In a great many situations the mother and children would not be able to stay in the property - it depends upon the value of the property and how much mortgage is paid off.

There isn't a straightforward answer. It depends on the individual circumstances and neither the person who owns the property or the person who doesn't should make any assumptions about what they are entitled to.

marantha Sun 07-Nov-10 15:59:09

So, yes, Ilythia, it is NOT phrases fault at all- just feel that it is somehow used in a misleading way here.

MillyR Sun 07-Nov-10 16:00:43

A married person who had a property in their name only might find that they do lose the property to the other person.

Ilythia Sun 07-Nov-10 16:02:01

Poor phrase <<pats phrase gently on head>> so misunderstood


marantha Sun 07-Nov-10 16:02:50

OK, MillyR, agree that a married person may lose that property to the other person, but then again, it may NOT happen all the same.

hairytriangle Sun 07-Nov-10 16:21:14

Apparently not so in marriage. My name is in the deeds of my house and on my mortgage but apparently my ex h can claim some ownership

curlymama Sun 07-Nov-10 16:53:42

Ohhh, now I get it!

But tbh, I've never thought that someone thinks they have ownership if an asset is in the partners name. They would have to be quite stupid, especially if they think that marriage will give them some sort of guarantee.

You would think that fact of 'It's in ***'s name would be the clue.

melpomene Sun 07-Nov-10 19:26:41

In law, there is a difference between legal ownership (whose name is an asset registered in?) and beneficial ownership (who should enjoy the benefit of the asset?) It is very common for a person who isn't the legal owner of a house to be found to have a claim on it. For example, if a house is in the husband's sole name but the wife has lived there with him and contributed to the household (especially if she has contributed to home improvements) then she may well have an interest in the house (a share of the beneficial ownership).

So just because an asset is in one person's name it certainly doesn't mean that nobody else has an interest in it or claim on it. Having said that, in a marriage, and even moreso in a cohabiting relationship, a partner will be in a better position if they are the legal owner and have their name on the deeds, as it will be simpler for them to demonstrate a right to a share of the property.

MrsVincentPrice Sun 07-Nov-10 19:32:36

What Melpomene said - if the mortgage and deposit are paid out of a joint ac to which you both contribute equally then the name on the deeds may well be irrelevant.

oneofthosedays Sun 07-Nov-10 19:37:18

It's a funny one because OUR car is in DH's name, it cannot be registered in both names on the logbook but it is still OUR car not DH's.

Houses are a different matter however, I believe that even if a property is only in one person's name if the other person can prove they have contributed the the house via payment of mortgage, bills etc they may be entitled to claim a percentage of that property.

ColdComfortFarm Sun 07-Nov-10 19:37:44

you are wrong. In a marriage it makes no difference at all what 'name' the title is in to the house. Assets can be divided in any way and ownership can, and often is, transferred. Marriage makes two people into one unit. When couples cohabit, this is not the case, and whose 'name' a title is in is absolutely vital. An unmarried partner normally has no claim to property wholly owned by their partner.

JeelyPiece Sun 07-Nov-10 19:40:17

If you're married you both have claims on the house, it doesn't matter if your name's on the deeds or not.

Even if you're not married, if you've been paying the mortgage and/or have children it's not as clear cut as 'my name's on the deeds, you're oot' as far as I know.

From wikivorce

Matrimonial Home Rights.

It is a common misconception that if only one of you has his/her name on the Deed title, or one of you brought the property in to the marriage - that their partner has no rights and no financial right to claim. This is not so, yet many Deed title holders use threats of rights to occupation and ownership and threaten their spouse with that, or threaten them to leave, suggesting it is ‘theirs’ only.

curlymama Sun 07-Nov-10 19:41:01

So does that mean that even though my house was bought and paid for outright before DH and I even met, he could still have a reasonable claim on it should we get divorced? shock

ColdComfortFarm Sun 07-Nov-10 19:42:00

Curlymama, yes it does. That's what marriage means!

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