Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

when couples arent married, why should the house be in both of their names...

(74 Posts)
woahthere Wed 24-Oct-12 14:40:31

My sister is in a long term relationship with her boyfriend who is the Father of their child. He has 2 children from a previous marriage.
The house is his, he bought it before they got together, however, she has lived in it with him for 7 years and paid equally for 5. The past 2 he has paid more because she had baby and was then on maternity leave, however, she buys all shopping, looks after the house, arranges trips out with the children and does all the cooking etc. It didnt used to matter to much to her, but only because she never thought about it before...but she now feels entitled to be equal in every aspect of the relationship and would like to have her name on the deeds to the house.
She has asked him but he went completely ballisitic at her and said that she was planning on leaving him. She has of course said shes not and tried to explain why it was important, but he wasnt having it, he thinks its all some big conspiracy. The way i see it is that its really disrespectful of him to feel like this about her and not think that she is worth the same. He thinks that because he is the one going and working, that he shouldnt have to share. He also mentioned to her that it wasnt fair because he put 20,000 deposit down to which she replied that she didnt mind agreeing that he could keep that if anything happened. He also thinks that because they have a baby together that is all the commitment they need because if anything happened it would all go to her anyway, but I dont think this is necessarily true.

I think he is being an ass about it and my sister is so upset with him that she really is starting to leave him. How can she put it to him that it is important, and why without him getting defensive. Can someone tell me all really valid reasons why it is important in a way that wont get his back up. Legal information would be helpful. All I know is that when I had to leave my ex, we werent married, we had 2 children and I was entitled to diddly squat and literally had to start again whilst he lived it up...I would hate for her to have to go through the same if anything happened.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 24-Oct-12 14:48:19

If he dies, then she will not be considered his next of kin. If he has made no will and the house is not in her name too, then she and her (and his!) children will be turfed out to make way for whoever inherits - probably his parents, or possibly siblings, or possibly his existing children depending on ages etc.

This is why no woman should ever give up her financial independence to have children with a man who won't marry her.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 24-Oct-12 15:01:22

This is one of the more compelling reasons for either retaining financial independence, marriage before kids or both. If he's worried about her running off with his £20k deposit or whatever there could always be some kind of contract drawn up to determine what would be a fair share based on the everyone's contribution. But he sounds very, very selfish and I'm really not surprised she's thinking of leaving.

cestlavielife Wed 24-Oct-12 15:10:09

then she should jsut ask him to marry her quietly so they are equal.

right now she has no rights at all should he die. nothing.

has he she wirtten wills?

she is in very precarious position.

sassy34264 Wed 24-Oct-12 15:12:15

His next of kin are his children- not her. The rules are that if he dies the house will go to them, and this results in the house being sold and the proceeds are then put into a trust fund for them until they are usually 18.

This would result in her and the kids being homeless. I saw it happen to someone once.

So unless the law has changed (im not aware it has) he needs to write a will to say the house and all his assets and belongings should go to your sister.

My dp did this for us, as i am in the same position. We just went to the post office and paid about £1.50 for a form.

The house is in my dp's name only, and i am a sahm. I have told him that i will not be contributed to the house if when i eventually return to work, if my name is not on it. I'm looking forward to having a lot of disposable income if he doesnt do it.

woahthere Wed 24-Oct-12 15:14:41

sorry that should have read 'my sister is so upset with him that she really is starting to think about leaving him'

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 24-Oct-12 15:15:21

"How can she put it to him that it is important, and why without him getting defensive"

Unfortunately, all the financial reasons why this is important are to do with protecting and providing for your sister and their child in the event of death or separation. From the way you describe him, however she phrases that, he will simply see that as gold-digging... his loss, her gain. She is currently not his next of kin as stated above. With no will, no insurance in her favour, no name on deeds or mortgage etc., she's effectively no better than a lodger.

If she has to beg a man to place the security peace of mind of his partner and child above keeping hold of his property and cash, I think that's pretty poor.

woahthere Wed 24-Oct-12 15:19:21

Thank you, I think he is utterly selfish, and in my opinion, if they are in a loving relationship, there is no reason why he would refuse. He needs to know what will happen if he were to die, and she has told him but the idiot wont believe her. She knows she is in a precarious situation, but doesnt know what to do about it as she cant force him, and its making them argue.

ChunkyPickle Wed 24-Oct-12 15:37:17

I am the only one on the deeds of my house, and I'm desparately trying to get my DP to do the paperwork for us to marry (he's not against marrying me - he just doesn't want all the song and dance/hassle around a marriage, and we haven't got round to organizing the registry office thing)

I worry that if I die, he'll be in a world of administrative hell proving that he should keep DS, that he should have the house (and I believe that if we're not married, but it's willed to him, he'll be liable for inheritance tax, rather than it just being his as it would be if we were married).

I can't imagine why I wouldn't share, why it would matter that I bought the house originally etc.

You have convinced me that we will be married by Christmas though. These things shouldn't be put off.

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Wed 24-Oct-12 15:41:02

well, I was going to pop onto to this thread to advise you to tell your sister to marry him

then I changed my mind

I think she should leave him, sort out collaborative parenting and child care, and get a job

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 24-Oct-12 15:41:30

She can't force him, that's true. The only bargaining chip she's got is herself and the baby. Bit drastic to threaten, but that's probably where she'll have to end up before he takes her seriously. Even then, if he chooses to share, it'll be something of a Pyrrhic victory... who would want to stay with someone who only does the right thing when threatened?

woahthere Wed 24-Oct-12 15:51:00

she has got a job, she looks after the baby all day, then at 6 goes to work until 10...thats all she can realistically do at the moment. I think his problem is he doesnt 'get it'.... I hope they can come to an agreement and then move on and be happy together again. They are having other problems, he can be a bit of a misery, but hes obviously not always like that, his best friend recently comitted suicide so I'll try and give him the benefit of the doubt for now....

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 24-Oct-12 15:57:59

". I think his problem is he doesnt 'get it'"

You're being far too charitable. He gets it all right. Some men - the selfish, grasping type - are very, very suspicious of marriage because they think every woman is simply waiting to fleece them the minute they sign on the dotted line. No thought that the woman in question is contributing financially to 'their' property or sacrificing her earnings raising children. No.... they see all women as some kind of Heather Mills wannabee, as his statement about 'planning on leaving' suggests. If he's been married before, did his ex take him to the cleaners?

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 24-Oct-12 16:17:24

Also if wills are drawn up they need to be done properly, its too important to potentially mess it up and a DIY will can go too easily wrong. If the will is wrongly done it could be declared invalid, solicitors deal with poorly made out and wrong wills all the time.

Unfortunately your sister is in a very poor position legally speaking and could face the same legal problems as you did upon separation. She could leave with just her things. It does not matter that she has paid into the house for the past x number of years, she still has no legal claim on it as the house belongs to him. In law, they are regarded as two completely separate individuals; what is his is his and what is hers is hers. She is also not his next of kin and he has no legal responsibility to her whatsoever.

BTW if he died she would not be able to open Letters of Administration for him nor even choose a headstone.

skyebluezombie Wed 24-Oct-12 20:51:13

Talking from recent experience.....

I bought a third of my house outright with money from old house but put deeds in 50/50 as solicitor said best thing to do.... This meant that when STBXH walked out he was entitled to half the equity despite it being my money. Luckily for me he did the right moral thing and signed the house over to me but if he hadn't I would have list thousands when DD turned 18 and I had to pay him...

If I ever remarry or remortgage with somebody, I will be protecting the equity at that point. Not going to get caught again....,

So I can see where he is coming from. But your sister needs security. Also, she should not be paying half the mortgage if it's not in her name. He is taking advantage of her. He could put her on the deeds and the mortgage , for a percentage that gives him the equity as it was four years ago and then split it from then on.

If he dies then she will get nothing if she is not married to him. she is not his next of kin, his children are.

AThingInYourLife Wed 24-Oct-12 21:05:14

This is complicated by the fact that he owned the house before they got together and the fact that he has other children.

He would be doing his older children out of their inheritance if he just gave your sister half his house.

I can't believe they didn't sort this out earlier in their relationship.

If I were to be widowed there is no way I would ever put a future partner onto the deeds of my home.

But I would not allow them to pay any money towards a house they were being left with no stake in.

She's very vulnerable as things are arranged at the moment and her parter's response is not encouraging, although given his equity and older children I can see why he wasn't happy to agree to her demand.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 25-Oct-12 09:24:23

"He also mentioned to her that it wasnt fair because he put 20,000 deposit down to which she replied that she didnt mind agreeing that he could keep that if anything happened."

I agree with the point about the older children's inheritance but the OP's sister sounds fairly flexible if the above is anything to go by. When there are blended families there often have to be separate provisions to make sure everyone is fairly treated in the event of death. Leaving what happens in the event of separation to one side for a second, it doesn't sound as though he's even made a will.

venusandmars Thu 25-Oct-12 14:22:35

It's clearly not simple. Her dp has children (and presumably an ex-wife) and he has to consider them too. It's more than just the initial capital in the house, or a will leaving money/property to OP's sister. It may also be about long-term provision for all his children.

When I split with exh and invested hard-won money in a home for the future of me and my dc, there was no way that I would get into a situation where that was threatened.

The first relationship I had post-split was with a lovely man who was hopeless with money. No-way Hose!

Next relationship was with lovely trustworthy secure man. Already with his own home, and with a will which left his assets to his family members (no kids). It took 14 years before we decided to get married, but before that (and now) we had/have very complicated legal arrangements and wills to make sure that if we split up or when one of us dies, we each know how our individual and combined assets will be split.

I'm a bit surprised on here that people on here seem to be ignoring the impact on his ex-wife if he marries your sister and if she has equal rights to the house and all his assets.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 25-Oct-12 14:42:55

I don't think we're ignoring the impact on the ex-wife. The man is ignoring the impact on everyone at the moment. If he dies intestate his new partner is potentially homeless, reliant on the goodwill of others and the children may lose out if someone else can show they are next of kin. The ex-wife could easily have a place of her own or a new partner (we don't know this obviously) but, if she's reliant on maintenance, she would also suffer if he dies intestate. If he separates from the OP's sister, everything she's paid into the property is lost. There's a lot going on here which needs to be formalised

Apocalypto Thu 25-Oct-12 14:48:08

If you transfer a share of a house to a third party, there is a tax implication for sure (you can't just gift someone £1000s tax free) and there may even be a stamp duty implication. I.e if you give some a half share of a £500k house I've a feeling you need to pay stamp duty on £250k, and of course the tax people may claim it was a £600k house so the tax should be on £300k, etc...

His house is presumably the intended inheritance for his 3 children. If he marries your sister, or gifts any of it to her, then his two previous children lose out. there are plenty of instances where someone has kids, divorces, remarries, dies, and the new spouse gets everything instead of the children. As things stand this cannot happen to his children.

I would strongly counsel your sister against issuing threats of ending the relationship if he doesn't give her large sums of money. If she will threaten him like that from a position of weakness, he will reason, what will she do from a STBXW's much stronger position? Chances aree he'll call her bluff and if mshe follows through consider it a lucky escape.

allthatglittersisnotgold Thu 25-Oct-12 14:48:11

By the by, perhaps get her to speak to a solicitor anyway? DP and I are not married and put unequal deposits on the flat we live in, but we do pay equal mortgage. We had a deed of trust drawn up so that if we split up it's acknoweledged that we split deposit as per input but share 50/50 the rest, capital and profit. Perhaps somethign similar could be drawn up?

I am reluctant to get married, but would be worried about what would happen if one/he died. My parents would make sure he was ok, but his parents woudl take what they could and turf me out for sure. I sympathise.

woahthere Thu 25-Oct-12 19:37:40

The ex wife is remarried with another child, they split up (about ) 10 years ago, she has a very well paid job, he pays a really generous maintenance amount and has the children at the weekends (when I say he has, I actually mean my sister has, but never mind). My sister is happy to make sure its all fair, but he just put her down about it. Agree probably not the best thing to do to say 'well i might as well leave then' as it will put him at a negative stand point, but she must be so frustrated, and, at the end of the day hurt that he doesnt see her as equal. Thanks so much for all this information, I had an idea about it all, but can help her put it eloquently and factually now. I think it is best for them to see a solicitor really. (I hope he will).

ScarePhyllis Thu 25-Oct-12 20:02:21

She needs to see a family law solicitor.

If she can show that she has contributed towards the mortgage then she may be in a stronger position than she thinks - she may be able to establish a share in the property. You could ask in Legal about this - I'm not a solicitor! Is she back to sharing the mortgage fully?

To be honest if he is not prepared to make arrangements for her in the event of his death then she is better off leaving him now. So I'd recommend she go to the solicitor by herself.

I do not understand why people have children with someone when they are in such a precarious position as this.

Feckbox Thu 25-Oct-12 20:29:51

Is your sister worried about if he dies?
Or of they split up?

If it's the second I can totally see why he is not keen on the idea. In his shoes I wouldn't be either.

sheeesh Thu 25-Oct-12 21:37:09

She needs a declaration of trust. You can use that document to specify how the house will be spli. E.g. Can specify that the £20k deposit would go back to the BF before any further capital is split.

So she can protect any further contributions she makes while reassuring him that his investment is safe.

That's asking she decides she wants to stay with him wink

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now