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Can my husband take half my house?

(17 Posts)
floppops Thu 13-Feb-14 07:44:28

My husband and I have only been married a year and are just about to have a second child. We've been together 8 years and have being having a very difficult time relationship wise for many years.
I'm just suddenly worried that if we divorce which it may have to come to would he be able to keep half my house. He's lived here a year, I bought the house 3 years ago with my own assets. He pays some money into my account each month for housekeeping-bills, food but there are no mortgage payments.

MothratheMighty Thu 13-Feb-14 07:45:37

Whose names are on the deeds?

LunchLadyWannabe Thu 13-Feb-14 07:48:28

Yes i think he would be entitled to it.

It might be less than 50% if its an asset before marriage and you can prove he hasnt contributed to the mortgage of the house

floppops Thu 13-Feb-14 07:51:39

Only my name on the deeds. I bought the house before we married. I bought the house cash no mortgage.

bamboobutton Thu 13-Feb-14 07:55:25

Im pretty sure ive read on here that it doesnt matter who owns it, its now a marital asset. It being such a short marriage i doubt it would be 50/50 but he will entitled to some of it. I think.

JeanSeberg Thu 13-Feb-14 08:05:07

It's a complicated area of law, I would get legal advice asap. In the meantime, read this:

wannaBe Thu 13-Feb-14 08:08:47

who owned it prior to the marriage is irrelevant - once you marry it becomes a joint asset of the marriage.

My cousin was told that his ex would be entitled to 50% of his house even though she left him after only eleven weeks of marriage.

Blu Thu 13-Feb-14 08:11:41

Sorry you are having a miserable time, floppops.

Your situation is exactly why people on MN should not be so sure when they talk of the 'protection' women get out of being married as opposed to co habiting.

Seek legal advice. Personally if you think it is not going to work out, I would split and divorce asap. I may be wrong, but if there is any justice the brevity of the marriage and the fact that you will have 2 children to house should work a long way on your favour.

Did he own a property or was he renting?

KayleeFrye Thu 13-Feb-14 08:20:48

Unless you took steps to have your property treated differently via a pre-nup or other legal agreement, then not only your house but everything you each own would generally be divided 50:50 in the event of a split. That's what the "everything I have I share with you" line in the marriage vows means (and it still applies even if your wording didn't include this specific reference).

However, as there are children, in most cases this would not be enforced until the youngest child reached 18 - assuming you would be the resident parent, you would probably have the right to live in the house in any case until then - which would give you time to make arrangements to buy him out.

floppops Thu 13-Feb-14 08:32:30

He was renting, no savings and a bit of debt. He didn't bring any assets to the marriage. I spoke to a lawyer friend years ago and she said pre nups aren't worth much in the UK?

Blu Thu 13-Feb-14 08:35:22

I would take legal advice and then financial advice.

The problem, if you would need to buy him out, is that the longer you leave it the more the house prices rise and you end up buying someone out of a share of a house that is now worth way way more than you can afford a mortgage on. This has happened to lots of people in London, for example.

Do you work or are you a sahm? If so, Do you have high earning potential once the kids are at school? Does your H have a high salary or just enough to get by? What assets does he have - in a divorce a pension fund, savings etc all count as assets.

Blu Thu 13-Feb-14 08:36:40

Oh, sorry, cross posted.

Your solicitor friend is right, pre-nups are a grey area.

floppops Thu 13-Feb-14 08:49:42

I've been working part time but don't earn much due to looking after our daughter but even full time I didn't earn a huge amount. He has been earning more (average wage) but is freelance so not consistently. He has no assets-no pension, no savings, no car etc.

LaurieFairyCake Thu 13-Feb-14 08:52:09

Has he actually said he won't leave or expects any of the house?

Are you amicably breaking up?

Blu Thu 13-Feb-14 08:53:45

Morally, do you think he would feel comfortable making you sell your house to give him 40% (or whatever additional % you would get to house the children)?

I would do lots of legal and financial research before talking to him about this.

If it is about need, the need for the children to hav a house should supercede his claim on half the house. If you couldn't buy anywhere big enough on a smaller share of the house, or couldn't afford the mortgage on buying hi out or having to buy a new place, then I would have thought that would be taken into account. But I don't know any more than what I have picked up anecdotally form friends who have divorced.

floppops Thu 13-Feb-14 09:02:39

We're not breaking up just yet...I am just considering what my options would be. If I asked for a divorce I know he would object.

wannaBe Thu 13-Feb-14 09:05:49

"However, as there are children, in most cases this would not be enforced until the youngest child reached 18 - assuming you would be the resident parent, you would probably have the right to live in the house in any case until then - which would give you time to make arrangements to buy him out." That's not strictly true either - in fact mesher orders are increasingly more difficult to obtain now and generally solicitors are reluctant to go down that route.

It is also bearing in mind that:

A mesher order will tie you financially to each other for a considerably longer time (child maintanence aside) than you would necessarily desire)

If the rp is reliant on the ex for financial contribution to the mortgage it means that it puts him in a position where he potentially cannot move on and potentially even in a position where he has to live in accommodation which may not be as suitable for his children than otherwise would have been the case. While people might argue that he should be financially responsible for his children's home, everyone does have the right to move on after a divorce, and it is not fair that one party should have to pay the penalty just because the other feels they should have a right to live in that particular house.

Finally you need to bear in mind that the financial settlement on the sale will be dependent on the house price at the time of the sale, not at the time the order is granted. So if your house is currently worth £300k with £50k of equity and house prices increase by 200K in the next eighteen years he will be getting £150k as opposed to 25, or if you decide to buy him out you will need to raise significantly more in order to be able to do so iyswim. Similarly if prices drop you will take the financial hit for that as well.

And if you are the lower earner you need to be careful not to take on a house that you potentially can't afford. MPeople told me I should push to stay in our house when we got divorced but I opted not to and my xh bought me out. Since then he has had no end of structural and internal problems with the house which could never have been foreseen, and which I could never have afforded to rectify if I'd ended up staying there.

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