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ownership of marital home

(12 Posts)
readsalotgirl63 Fri 02-Sep-16 22:09:03

Have discovered that DSIL is thinking of leaving her husband - apparently has been unhappy for a long time. SIL and BIL have been married 20 years. The house they live in is mortgaged with both their names on mortgage but the only name on the title deeds is BIL. DH and I are horrified at this but are unsure how to advise SIL - what is her legal position and what should she do to protect herself ?

SIL has always been major breadwinner and major contributor to their finances but they have separate bank accounts with a joint account for household expenses but I don't think she has any real idea of his income.

We would like to find out as much as possible before she makes any move as she fears he will be very difficult should she say she is leaving.

madasamarchhare Fri 02-Sep-16 22:33:48

Does she know she definitely is not named on the title deeds? I always thought the mortgage had to match the name on the title deeds. The lender would need this for their protection too. Not sure how a solicitor would have completed a purchase in this way.

WatchingFromTheWings Fri 02-Sep-16 22:41:00

Her name doesn't need to be on the deeds. She's lived there, contributed, they're married. She's entitled to half.

My exH tried the 'your names not on the deeds you get nothing' trick. His own solicitor put him straight. My name wasn't on the mortgage either.

readsalotgirl63 Fri 02-Sep-16 22:41:46

SIL is definitely not on deeds - we have checked with Land Registry but the bank do have a charge on the property. The house was owned by BILs mother and they bought it from her.

MrsBertBibby Fri 02-Sep-16 22:49:28

Is she in England/Wales?

readsalotgirl63 Fri 02-Sep-16 23:04:00

SIL is in England - dh and I are not. That's interesting Watching - would she need to prove she'd contributed ?

I am concerned that if he thinks she is planning to leave that he will transfer the house to someone else - he has a brother and a sister neither of whom he gets on with but he'd do something like that out of spite. SIL has said he can be unpleasant and I have always thought he is a twat.

WatchingFromTheWings Fri 02-Sep-16 23:46:34

I didn't need to prove a thing. We were married so I automatically got half. I'm in Wales but don't know if that makes a difference?!

With regards to him transferring the deeds to avoid your SIL taking her share....when I was going through my divorce a friend advised me that I should register an interest in the property via Land Registry. It means he can't sell or transfer the deeds. I didn't do it myself but the friend (in England) did when she went through her divorce. Been NC with that friend for sometime now so can't check. But worth enquiring.

MrsBertBibby Fri 02-Sep-16 23:50:22

She can register her rights by sending HR1 to the Land Registry. That will stop him dealing with the property.

He will be notified by the Land Reg though. A decree Absolute will enable him to remove her notice.

As regards entitlement on divorce legal ownership is irrelevant, after a 20 year marriage there is a very strong presumption of an equal split of assets. She must see a family lawyer for proper advice.

readsalotgirl63 Sat 03-Sep-16 00:57:58

Thanks MrsBert - that is very useful to know as it might be worth her doing this just before she files. We have and will continue to advise her to get legal advice but she is under a lot of pressure at the moment as FIL is very ill.
Could BIL transfer the property to someone else to make it look like there are no assets or would there be a presumption that there is a marital home and SIL could prove her financial contribution ?

WatchingFromTheWings Sat 03-Sep-16 01:04:51

He could very easily transfer it if he wanted to then there is nothing for your SIL to claim. She defiantly needs to register her interest in the property.

As a side note; I knew of someone who's husband transfered his house to his boss to stop his wife getting the house. When the divorce was all finalised he asked his boss for the house back. Boss told him to bog off. Nothing he could do about it. grin

MrsBertBibby Sat 03-Sep-16 07:48:41

If he transferred the title then either it would be for full value (so the money would be available) or at an undervalue : ultimately your sil would probably get the transfer set aside but with a massive increase in costs, complexity, delay and stress. So I really wouldn't risk it! Get her in to see a decent lawyer, please! It may actually reduce her stress if she feels she knows she has protected herself and got some advice.

prh47bridge Sat 03-Sep-16 08:39:25

He could very easily transfer it if he wanted to then there is nothing for your SIL to claim

That's wrong. As MrsBertBibby says, if he disposes of the property to reduce the settlement his wife would get the courts can set aside the sale so that the house still forms part of the assets to be split between them.

Several people have talked about the OP's SIL being entitled to half the house. That is not true. It forms part of the pot to be split between her and her husband. That does not mean each of them gets 50% of the pot or of the individual assets within the pot. The SIL may be entitled to more or less than 50%.

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