Matrimonial Home Rights – What are they?
For most people, the home that they share with their spouse, and possibly their children, will be their single most valuable asset. It is extremely common, for panic to set in when a marriage breaks down if the property is held solely in the name of your spouse. We appreciate that this can leave some parties feeling extremely vulnerable and frightened of what their rights are. Please rest assured, at the very least, you will have matrimonial home rights in the property, which mean that you are allowed to occupy the property without being disturbed. You may also be entitled to a share in the equity even though your name is not registered at the Land Registry.
Register a Home Rights Notice
If your marriage is breaking down and your spouse owns the property in their sole name, you should register a Home Rights Notice at the Land Registry, and it is advisable to seek legal advice at an early stage to ensure that your interests are properly protected. We are able to assist you with registering your Matrimonial Home Rights or simply offer you some guidance on how to undertake this necessary precaution yourself.
Registering a Notice will mean that if your spouse tries to sell or re-mortgage the property before a decision has been reached between you as to the division of your assets, any buyer or lender’s solicitors would be put on notice of your rights and the transaction would not be allowed to proceed until these are removed.
Once you have reached an agreement with your spouse i.e. that the property is to be sold and/or transferred to either party, any matrimonial home rights will need to be removed from the Land Registry to allow the transaction to proceed. This is very simple and we can also attend to this for you by sending off the necessary forms.
The above information only relates to you, if your property is registered at HM Land Registry. Even in this day and age, where registration is compulsory, there are still properties that are unregistered and there are still ways of protecting your interest albeit slightly more complicated. If this applies to you, please contact us for further advice. If you would like to discuss your Matrimonial Home Rights, then please do not hesitate to contact us on 01252 622422.
By Rachel Watson, Watson Thomas Solicitors, Fleet Hampshire