Question

Hi Jon,

I have a very specific question and situation I hope you can advise me on.

I married my husband 11 years ago and he moved into my home. I bought the house 3 years before we were married and he moved in. I had a 10 year mortgage in just my name. When he moved in we split all the bills 50/50, he paid the gas and electricity, and gave me half for the mortgage. I paid the water rates, and Council Tax.

Over the years we did some renovations to the property, which we both paid for. I paid to have the kitchen redone, and he paid for the conservatory to be added on.

We are now getting a divorce through his infidelity. His solicitor states I owe my husband half the value of the property! My house is worth £200,000, and I am to give my soon to be ex, £100,000.

How can this be? It is my house. The mortgage is paid off, but was only in my name. The property is registered in only my name. Why do I have to give him half of what I own?

I hope you can shed some light on this.

Thank you,

Rose

Answer

Rose,

I understand your situation, and also why you feel the way you do. You are going to need legal advice on this matter, as if your soon to be ex-husband has a solicitor, you may need one as well.

It is unfortunate in some divorce cases it becomes more of a legal battle, and battle is the right term. And by not being able to settle matters amicably, it costs you both more in legal fees.

What your husband or soon to be ex-husband is saying by forcing you to buy him out of the property is that he is stating he has beneficial interest in the property. He has an interest in the property even though his name was not on the land registry or mortgage. He contributed to paying the mortgage, the monthly bills, upkeep, maintenance, renovations, and upgrades, such as the conservatory.

Determining the exact amount of beneficial interest, and proving this matter is where you need legal advice. If he has bank statements and receipts showing his paying towards the house and other expenses towards the property, it can get tricky as to the amount he is asking for, or may be entitled to. It also can become a judge’s decision on these matters.

I understand you feel this is not fair, but again, you may wish to seek legal advice.

Regards,

Jon

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