Divorce and property

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I don't know if this is the correct place to post this so please bear with me.
My girlfriend is going through a divorce which should be finalised in a few weeks.
She still lives in the marital home which is mortgaged,the husband moved out 3 years ago.
He has asked her to sign this......

I 'husband' hereby give you notice severing our joint tenancy in equity of and in the property 'address' now held by yourself and myself as joint tenants both at law and in equity and henceforth the property shall be held by us as tenants in common in equity in equal shares and I request you to acknowledge receipt of this notice by signing and return herewith

All sounds like a load of jibberish to me.
Can anyone shed any light on it ?
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  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 32,927 Forumite
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    Joint tenancy, if one of them dies the whole property automatically passes to the other one.
    Tenants in common, if one dies, their share (50% in this case) is disposed of according to their will.
    He's understandably protecting his assets but she might want to get her own legal advice before signing. Free half hour consultation if paying is an issue.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • paddy's_mum
    paddy's_mum Posts: 3,977 Forumite
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    I'm only surprised that he didn't sever the joint tenancy when he left. Three years where his share of the property could have been vulnerable is a long time.

    If you think the document is "jibberish", I respectfully suggest that you would be very well advised to read up on protecting oneself from the vagaries of life .... such as mortgage protection, wills, life insurance, rights over children, what constitutes a matrimonial asset, Power of Attorney, who owns the family dog etc

    Good luck.
  • bouicca21
    bouicca21 Posts: 6,519 Forumite
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    Is it likely that a split of assets would give her more than 50% of the house?
  • DUTR
    DUTR Posts: 12,958 Forumite
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    bouicca21 wrote: »
    Is it likely that a split of assets would give her more than 50% of the house?

    Why is that then?
  • bouicca21
    bouicca21 Posts: 6,519 Forumite
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    Long marriage. Youngish with dependent children. Older low income v high earning partner. All sorts of factors influence what the courts see As a fair division of assets. It might be 50/50, it could be 70/30. I wouldn't sign anything without advice.
  • DUTR
    DUTR Posts: 12,958 Forumite
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    bouicca21 wrote: »
    Long marriage. Youngish with dependent children. Older low income v high earning partner. All sorts of factors influence what the courts see As a fair division of assets. It might be 50/50, it could be 70/30. I wouldn't sign anything without advice.

    There was no mention of long marraige or children, that's what made me ask why you were so sure the woman would get more than 50%, seems a great career then hitching up and splitting to get through life, will the OP be the next victim? As I'm sure when his GF met her hubby/ex hubby they both thought it was for keeps.
  • Daz2009
    Daz2009 Posts: 1,084 Forumite
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    Just to clarify,the marriage was 20 years + and there are 2 adult children,one still at home
  • bouicca21
    bouicca21 Posts: 6,519 Forumite
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    With all due respect, DUTR, I did not say she should get more than 50%, I asked a question.

    Even now that OP has posted about length of marriage and adult children there is insufficient information for any of us to know what sort of split might be right in their case. There might be massive lottery winnings. The house might be a mansion that if sold would provide enough money for an adequate roof over both their heads. There might be insurance policies, pensionpots, or maybe massive cc and gambling debts. Maybe one of the spouses is a merchant banker earning a million a year, maybe not. And the higher earner wouldn't necessarily be the husband.

    We don't know, which is precisely why OP and his GF should get proper advice.
  • Daz2009
    Daz2009 Posts: 1,084 Forumite
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    Now I understand what the document means re 50/50 split of the marital home.
    Thanks for the info folks,I'll advise her not to sign and to let a solicitor handle the negotiations for the assets
  • paddy's_mum
    paddy's_mum Posts: 3,977 Forumite
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    Daz2009 wrote: »
    Now I understand what the document means re 50/50 split of the marital home.
    Thanks for the info folks,I'll advise her not to sign and to let a solicitor handle the negotiations for the assets

    I think that you have perhaps missed the point somewhat. :)

    The joint ownership has already been severed simply by her receipt of the Notice. Signing acknowledgement of receipt is of no consequence other than to prove that the Notice was delivered to her.

    It is important for her to understand that the Severance is not necessarily part of the negotiations prior to divorce but to prevent her inheriting the whole property if he should pop his clogs and vice versa.

    Having said that, an appointment with a solicitor seems like a sensible way forward.
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