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Is He Entitled To Half The House?

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renegadefm | 17:55 Sun 31st Mar 2024 | Law
69 Answers

My partners friend owns a house that was left to her by her grandfather in his will, so when he died the house became hers. 

She was married at the time, but since then the relationship as broken down, but the husband never actually lived in the house she inherited. 

They are now seperate with a devorce on the horizon, but he has won a case in court and claimed half the value of the house once it's sold. 

But it puts her in a sticky situation as she will be left with roughly £70.000, which is no where near enough for a house, and unable to get help, as she would have too many savings.

Is he really entitled to a house that was basically a gift to her, and he never lived in? 



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The judge had all the facts and figures and said 'yes, he is'.  We only have an outline so it is impossible to answer.

What's happened with the house your partner's friend lived in with her husband?

A solicitor would be able to advise her about the division of assets during the divorce and how the court-case will impact this.

How did the court determine that he was entitled to 50% of the sale price?

There is too much 'unknown' here to be able to give a definitive answer.

Question Author


They lived in America before her grandad died. 

But during that time the relationship broke down, then she moved into the house she inherited with the 3 children. 

Thats all I know at the moment, sorry my details are sparce. 

All I know is even though the kids live with her, he won the case and got half the house. Which basically puts her and her children on the streets.

I can't believe how a judge would award that, especially as the house was a gift from her grandad. He would be turning in his grave if he knew. 

Did you read the link? It's all explained there.  When you are married inherited assets are considered to be jointly owned.

They must have been living in something in America - was it rented?

Question Author


They rented in America. 

But split up before his wife lived in the inherited house, so technically he never lived in it, he started renting out his own place here in the UK. 

His origin is American. I don't understand how he's allowed to make a claim on a property that was left to his wife by her grandad, it had nothing to do with him, they had already seperate. 

Plus what he is doing is affectively putting his ex, and his own children at risk of being on the streets. 

The council won't help because she has once the house sells £70.000 in savings, they don't prioritise that.

So basically they will be homeless. 

How did the judge grant that? 

If he is entitled to half the proceeds of a sale why doesn't she move into and stay in the house until she is more financially secure?

Question Author


Not sure what you mean. 

She is obviously in the house that's been forced to be up for sale with her kids. 

The problem arises when the house sells, then she is just left with £70.000 which does not buy a house, and no establishment like the council will prioritise to house them with those kind of savings.

Shes caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. 

She can't claim benefits or anything with £70.000 sitting in the bank.

But she can't stay in the house once the house sells. 

He is basically making his ex and his children homeless. 

Evil doesn't come close. 

But how does a judge pass this? 

Has the judge said that she has to sell the house?

If she'll have £70,000 after the house sells, why could she not rent somewhere?

Question Author


Yes the house was forced to go up for sale to release the half of the value. 

Can she not get a mortgage on the house to buy out his interest in it?


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Of course that is an option, but would squander the £70.000 on rent in just 8 years if the rent is £700 a month for example.

Average rents around here for a 3 bed house is £700 a month.

But they ideally would need a 4 bed house, so would swallow the £70.000 quicker than 8 years.

Then what happens? 

Yes, he's entitled to half. Not fair in my opinion but it's law

Does she have any other income?

Since she can rent, she'll not be out on the streets, will she?

It feels unfair but when we marry we do so in the knowledge that what is mine is yours and what is yours is mine. Unless of course what is mine is wrapped in an appropriate legal wrapper so that you can't have any of it.

You must be aware of other cases where divorced women have claimed not only half the assets of the marriage but also half of her ex-husband's future pension and maintenance payments?

Of course it works the other way, too, with women financially losing out after divorce to their ex-husband.

The fact that the ex-husband in your case has never lived in the house is irrelevant.  Maybe your friend could get a mortgage on the house and pay him off.

Will her ex be paying maintenance for the children?

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