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Severance of joint tenancy

(6 Posts)
mumof3boy Sun 11-Mar-18 20:13:02

My husband and I are in the midst of divorce proceedings. We have had decree nisi granted and absolute is due mid April.

We have been separated a year next month and are still (!!) living in the family home. We have 3 children aged 9, 7 and 4. The home was jointly owned and has no mortgage on it. I have received paperwork from his solicitor saying that he has severed the joint tenancy and changed the ownership to tenants in common where we share the equity in equal values.

Added complication to your regular divorce is that he has cancer, is still undergoing treatment and the prognosis and life expectancy is all up in the air. We are not very amicable and talk only about what we have to in the house, mainly the children.

I'm concerned that the change to the ownership of the house is going to affect my entitlements in the divorce settlement. From the beginning he has wanted to sell the house go 50/50 and for us both to go into private rented accomodation which to me is absurd with 3 small children and an unknown future for them!!

Does anyone have any experience or thoughts they can put my way around this matter?

MrsBertBibby Sun 11-Mar-18 20:18:05

No, it just means that if either of you die, their share passes under their will or intestacy.

No impact in divorce settlement.

BubblesBuddy Sun 11-Mar-18 20:22:30

You need to see a solicitor because he cannot just announce it’s 50/50. If it went to Court, a judge may not agree that your children should be turfed out. You should take advice on what to do to secure a home for your children considering you have equity in a house. The children’s needs are paramount. That includes going to the same school and continuity of family life as far as possible, if possible.

I would also be concerned about a will. Who would he leave his money to? Your children? If so, who would be the trustees? Hope it doesn’t come to that, but I would ask the solicitor about provision for your children should the worst happen.

prh47bridge Sun 11-Mar-18 20:44:01

You need to see a solicitor because he cannot just announce it’s 50/50

Yes he can. He can sever the joint tenancy at any time. He does not need the OP's consent. As he has severed the joint tenancy, he and the OP currently own 50% of the house each. However, as MrsBertBibby says, that does not affect the divorce settlement. It also does not mean he can turf the OP and her children out. The OP may well be awarded more than 50% of the equity and may be entitled to stay in the family home until the children are grown up.

MrsBertBibby Sun 11-Mar-18 21:00:38

If his will doesn't make adequate provision for OP and children she can claim against his estate on her own and the children's behalf.

There is nothing OP or her lawyer can do about what he says in his will. Until he dies.

mumblechum0 Tue 13-Mar-18 16:05:44

As prh47bridge and Mrs BertBibby say, unilateral severance of a joint tenancy is a perfectly sensible thing to do.

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