You should protect your rights to the family home if you are getting divorced or dissolving your civil partnership. This becomes very important if the house is owned by your husband, wife or civil partner.
Things to Consider
You should, initially, be aware of who actually owns the home. This may sound like an odd thing to say but sometimes people are not aware of this seemingly important fact. For example:
- Is it owned by one individual in the relationship?
- Jointly, by both of you?
- By a third party?
- Or possibly by an ex-partner (husband, wife or civil partner)? This is where you might be able to register your interest in it to protect your position.
Protecting your rights if the property is in England or Wales
If your property is registered at the Land Registry, you can protect your position by using a ‘matrimonial home rights notice’ or ‘home rights notice’. You should do this as quickly as possible.
If your property is not registered with the Land Registry, you can protect your position by applying for a ‘class F land charge’ at the Land Registry, which costs £1.
The benefit of doing this is that once you have registered your interest, your (ex)partner cannot sell the property or apply for a larger mortgage without you being told about it.
rhw can offer legal advice on this area.