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michael holly
michael holly, Family Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 6857
Experience:  BA Hons degree Law , Solicitors finals, 20 years experience, trained family law mediator.
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How can grandfather provide financial support enabling granddaughter

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How can grandfather provide financial support enabling granddaughter to stay in her home when her parents separate?

Non-resident parent wants to force sale of the jointly-owned family home.
Grandfather considering buying-out that parent's share of the equity (and/or paying monthly mortgage repayments) so child does not have to move house.
Does not want either parent to get hands on money and spend on other things.

What are the ways in which grandfather can legally own a share of the house?

Can he (or his estate) get his money back when child is 18?

Good idea to put it in trust for child?

Any other ideas?

There is no reason why this cannot be done. The easiest way would be for you to buy the non resident parent's share and then hold the property with the resident parent as tenants in common which is one of the 2 forms in which more than one person can hold property together. As tenants in common your exact share can be stated on the title deeds e.g. 35% and your share is distinct meaning that it does not automatically pass to the surviving co owner on your death but can be passed by you in your Will to whom you please.Alternatively you can hold your share on trust for the child so it passes to the child on your death.

The difficulties tend to be practical ones such a what happens if one of you wants to sell and the other does not or who pays for essential maintenance to the house and in what proportion.If you want to sell the house at a particular time then this should be agreed in advance with the resident parent.

I hope this helps. If there are any further points please reply

Best wishes

Yours sincerely

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks. Would it be possible to set things up so that the house is owned as follows:-

  • x% owned by grandad 'outright' (not held in trust)

  • y% held in trust for the child's benefit (grandad being trustee, or appointing the trustees)

  • z% owned by NON-resident parent (who might be willing to leave some capital invested in the property - perhaps until child becomes 18)

  • remainder owned by resident parent.


Can it be worded so that grandad or trustees could force sale at any time, after giving N months notice? Or at specified break-points (eg yearly review)?

It would be hard to list all the circumstances which might make him want to do that, but they might include :

  • if the resident parent's behaviour becomes alarming (drugs, violence, etc)

  • if the other parent gets custody at some future date

  • if the child dies

Yes, all of this can be done.

Yours sincerely


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