Ooh, no don't sign it over to him until you have all the money. I think HE should pay for a solicitor to handle this and, speaking as someone whose dh was swindled by his ex over his home, I would strongly advise you do get this done legally.
You can get advice from the Land Registry at landreg.gov.uk. YOu can find the number to call for advice on this site. But I still think (for the third time!!) that you should get your ex to pay for your legal costs on this one. They will be a few hundred pounds and he can clearly afford it.
I presume we are talking about many thousands of pounds? He is having a laugh if he thinks you will sign over maybe tens of thousands of pounds until you have received your share (how much of a share are you getting btw? Was it agreed legally or informally?). He wouldn't do it! It is in his interest to have this done legally - after all, it would protect him too.
No, no, no way sign over your property without receiving all the money. I note that he was your partner not your husband, which makes your position even more difficult.
If you did agree to sign over the property:
You can put a caution on the property which would notify any potential purchaser that there was a dispute. This would stop him selling but would not give you the right to force him to pay up.
You could put a charge on the property
It would need his permission and the mortgagors permission. Assuming they agreed the mortgagors would have priority and there debt would be paid off first. Your rights would be limited - you could not force him to sell the property, so if he stayed put then you would not have anyway to force him to pay up.
I assume you are presently Joint Tenants, this means that you do have the right to force him to sell the property to access your equity. This is your bargaining position AND YOU MUST NOT GIVE IT UP.
Explain calmly that you have taken legal advice and your solicitor has advised that your name on the deeds is your only security. The fact that he has paid some of the equity first does not weaken his position as there is no way that you could collect for the same money twice - ie: if he sold the property then the payment that he has already made would be deducted from the balance of the equity.
Judge Flounce disclaimer
I am a qualified solicitor specialised in commercial property though presently not practising. However, registration laws have recently changed - I don't think that this would make any difference to your position however. I have to advise you to take proper legal advice.
However, your ex-p is trying it on and probably knows it so be tough.
Personally, I would advise that an agreement was drawn up with two payments. The agreement will agree the amount you will be getting, don't forget interest !! However, I would advise a client that there is no way they should sign over the house until they receive all the money.
The question is what would happen if you signed over the house, entered into a contract and then six months later he refused to pay. You could sue however you have to incur legal costs and if he has no money then you aint getting nothing. You have lost your right to force the sale of the property.
Its good that you are getting legal advice and no doubt they will protect your position, but if anyone suggests that you should sign over the house PLEASE post and let me know.
There is another variable, I assume that you are Joint Tenants - most people in relationships who own property are. However, you could be Tenants in common - which means that the percentage of the property that you own was decided when you purchased the property.
Just seen your latest post, yes your debt to the mortgage company is a joint one and you would be liable the whole debt if he doesn't pay.
However if that happens you get in touch with the mortgage company IMMEDIATELY explain, ask them what sort of deal they can do ie: interest added on to the mortgage. Then you contact solicitors and go for an order of sale, ie: property is sold and you get your equity.
It is quite a lot of money to raise at once, and surely it is not suprising that he can't pay it. Why doesn't he tie in a remortgage to pay off all your equity at once and pay off his other debts at the same time ? That would be the sensible thing to do, if he wants to remortgage why does he need to wait six months ?
So in 6 months he is going to apply for an unsecured loan to buy you out, not sounding good - doesn't sound like you are ever going to get this money.
Well, your choice as to the next move. You did have the right to get him to sell. Never done it so no idea what it entails, the kids are with you I assume in which case I can't imagine he would have any defence to the sale - but take advice as to what it entails.
It would certainly concentrate his mind and it may be the only way to get your money.
I think Kaz's advice sounds fantastic and from a purely non-legal position I have to say I agree with her that it sounds extremely unlikely you will EVER get your money - and certainly not if you sign over the house to him. It sounds like time to push for a sale, I'm afraid. I know more hassle is the last thing you need but your whole future security is at risk here, and you really, really can't afford to miss out on thousands of pounds.
From a purely personal point of view, my instinct would be that if he having that much trouble raising the cash, being that ugly towards you (and also his behaviour sounds a little intimidating) that I would not be giving an inch that I wasn't legally obliged to.
This is your security, you have the power while your name remains on the deeds as far as I see it.
Good luck, I hope you win through xx