Divorce and the process of selling or keeping your home can be incredibly stressful. When the property is in your ex-partner’s name, it can add further complications to an already challenging situation. In this guide, we’ll explore your rights and options in such scenarios, offering valuable information to help you navigate this difficult period.

Understanding Your Rights to the Property: If your former partner’s name is on the property’s title, it’s natural to be concerned about your rights to the house. However, there are steps you can take to assert your interest and financial investment in the property.

Check if the Property is Registered: The first step is to determine if the property is registered with the Land Registry. If it is, you can protect your interests by applying for a matrimonial home rights notice, a free and straightforward process. All you need is your ex-partner’s name and the property’s title number.

Unregistered Properties: If the property is not registered, there’s no need to panic. You can apply for a Class F land charge with the Land Registry, which involves a nominal fee of just £1. This charge will safeguard your rights and ensure that your ex cannot sell the property or increase the mortgage without notifying you, giving you time to dispute any such decisions.

Mortgage Liability: Even if your name isn’t on the property’s title deeds, it may be on the mortgage agreement if you made a joint application and have been contributing to the monthly payments. In such cases, you could be held liable for the entire mortgage debt if your ex-partner stops payments. To safeguard your interests, inform your mortgage lender of your changed circumstances to prevent any unauthorized actions by your ex-partner.

Your Right to Stay in the Property: Legally, your ex cannot simply evict you from the property. Your right to stay in the home generally depends on several factors:

  1. Marital Status: If you’re married or in a civil partnership, you typically have the right to remain in the property, even if your name isn’t on the title deeds. You can register for matrimonial home rights, which establishes your connection to the property, allowing you to claim your share even if you haven’t made direct financial contributions.

  2. Complications with Co-Ownership: If your ex-partner co-owns the property with a third party, such as a friend or family member, the situation can become more complex. In such cases, legal advice is advisable to navigate the intricacies of property rights.

What If You Weren’t Married? If you weren’t married, there’s still a legal avenue for you to secure your right to stay in the property. You can apply for an occupation order, particularly if there was any history of domestic violence. This order grants you the right to reside in the property for a specified period (usually six months, but it can be renewed), while restricting your ex-partner’s access to the premises.

Whether you’re married or not, there are legal avenues to protect your interests. If you and your ex-partner are considering selling the property as part of an amicable solution, We Buy Any House may offer assistance in streamlining the process and helping you both move forward.