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Divorce and house ownership

(4 Posts)
Capri1111 Wed 29-Mar-17 16:05:23

I would like to get some advice if anyone has a similar experience to this unusual case.

My dad left my mum when I was a toddler and we don’t have any contact from him since.
My mum initiated divorce proceedings based on domestic violence, but after nisi and court order for maintenance, my dad just disappeared and my mum couldn’t really proceed after that. She had to just get on with life as she had to get a job to make ends meet, pay the mortgage for the marital home, and look after me as my dad didn’t pay any maintenance against court order.

This happened about 30 years ago and my mum managed to pay off the house. However, she is worried that one day my dad (or his ‘other’ family) will turn up and claim half of the house as they own 50:50. The house is really old and my mum and I put a lot of money in to repair things over the years, but it is just a never ending money drainer and it would be best to sell it or do it up majorly if we have a large sum (we don’t have currently).

In this situation, would going through divorce be a solution? Can my mum finally solely own the house?
I guess it could be lengthy and costly if my dad is unresponsive or not cooperating (very likely)?

mrssapphirebright Wed 29-Mar-17 16:22:36

I believe after this time (i think it's 5 years) she can divorce your father on the grounds of dissertion and does not need him to consent so to speak. She will of course have to fund this herself.

Sadly, the house is still a marital asset so he could fight of half of it. As your mum does not have any dependant children now its likely that she would have to sell it to give him his share. She may be entitled to more than 50% based on the fact that she has paid the mortgage on it for years, but its likely she will have to give him a share on divorce yes.

As it stands now, your father is your mothers next of kin too, so if she died then all her assets would go straight to him automatically.

Capri1111 Wed 29-Mar-17 16:37:55

Thanks for the reply.

I do know that my dad owns a house by himself, although we are not sure if he lives there now. Probably bought it using his inheritance and think it was after separation.

In this case, would his property also be in the 'pot' of marital asset?

mrssapphirebright Wed 29-Mar-17 16:57:16

Yes OP it would be. If they are still legally married then all of their assets will be considered as 'joint'.

if he has a new partner that he has been cohabiting though then she may have a stake in that property so to speak.

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