Domestic violence & beneficial ownership

Domestic violence & beneficial ownership

21:17 PM, 14th September 2022, About 2 weeks ago 3

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Please help and advise. I am at my wits end.

I jointly purchased a property 50/50 with my violent ex-husband.

On divorce, our joint building society would not let me take the mortgage on in my sole name because they deemed I couldn’t afford it.

As a way around this, my Solicitor negotiated an agreement granting me the sole beneficial interest in the property, but with my ex remaining on the legal title (as requested by our Building Society). 27 years on, I have cleared the mortgage and now want to the sole legal title vesting in my name, ie, I want my ex removing.

My questions are as follows:

1. How do I do this without incurring excessive legal costs
2. Would there be a tax liability? If so, how do I calculate what I would have to pay?
3. Although I have the sole beneficial interest and have kept my side of the bargain – ie paying the mortgage, maintenance and repair liabilities, does he have any rights?

This is an absolute nightmare for me. I dread any contact with him. I also have cancer and want to put my affairs in order.

Thanks in advance.



Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118 View Profile

21:22 PM, 14th September 2022, About 2 weeks ago

Hi Jane

My answers to your questions in the order asked are:

1) Sorry, I'm not sure. If you do need to go to Court I think it is likely that the Courts would award all costs to him, i.e. he would need to pay your legal and Court costs. You would have to pay up front though.

2) Not until you sell the property. when you do decide to sell see

3) In the context of your question, No


11:25 AM, 15th September 2022, About 2 weeks ago

Did you get a financial order as part of your divorce? If not the house was part of the matrimonial assets so maybe not straightforward. In my view this is about divorce law not necessarily property law. Get some professional legal advice I would think.

Seething Landlord

11:55 AM, 15th September 2022, About 2 weeks ago

For what it's worth, this is how I see it but I might be entirely wrong.
1: the answer to this may vary depending on whether you and your ex-husband are joint tenants or tenants in common and I think you will probably need advice from a property lawyer who can review the original agreement and take all the factors into account
2: your ex-husband would not be transferring any value to you because you already are the sole beneficial owner so I cannot see there being a tax issue on him relinquishing legal ownership. As the house has always been your principal private residence I do not think that there would be any tax issues arising on sale either.
3: as long as he remains a legal owner you might need his formal consent to any sale of the property, failing which you might need an order of the Court but this again is really a matter for your lawyers to resolve.

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