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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 7609
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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Our son and his fiance are shortly to be married and will then

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Our son and his fiance are shortly to be married and will then look to buy a house. He will be putting considerably more into the deposit than she will, in the order of £70,000 to £5000. She will not countenance a pre-nup. Is there some other way of protecting his proportion of the deposit in the event of a split in the relationship?

Thanks for your patience.

Where two persons contribute unequally to a property they may have their differing respective shares reflected by executing a Declaration Of Trust, which is a deed sworn by both purchases in which you specify how the proceeds of sale of the property (ie. when it is eventually sold) are to be divided.

This could take account of the large deposit by either specifying that they should receive this amount first and dividing the remaining equity equally (or as a percentage proportion) or it could simply stated that he receive x% and you boyfriend receives y%.

If they wish to do this then they need to speak with their conveyancing solicitor to arrange this before exchange of contracts in the purchase.

However, courts have very wide powers in the case of divorce to set aside such documents where, for example, the marriage is long one before divorce or if there are children of the marriage.

The above would only be afforded significant weight in matrimonial settlement proceedings where the marriage was short before divorce. The length of the marriage would take in to account the time that they were together as an unmarried couple too.

The best way of protecting himself is to insist on a pre-nup, the above is NOT a substitution for this and he should really focus on getting his fiancé to execute a pre-nup. If he does not then he leaves himself quite exposed given the disparity in financial contribution.

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Kind regards,

Thomas and other UK Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Presumably the Declaration of Trust needs to be registered as a charge against any property bought with a mortgage. Does that pose a problem to mortgage companies?
It would be registered against the title as a notice which is a little different to a charge. Generally mortgage companies do not mind this arrangement since there charge has first call on the property by virtue of being a first legal charge payment