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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 22624
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
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my parents gifted me 60 thousand pound to help me get on property

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my parents gifted me 60 thousand pound to help me get on property ladder (the money was gifted to me). although it was gifted there was always the agreement that once financially better off the money would be re paid. however i owned the house with my ex boyfriend who then became my husband, 6 years ago the house was re mortgaged and 30 thousand was returned ro my parents, there was always the understanding the rest would also be returned. now me and my ex have split up and the house sold he demanded half the equity and will not return it to my parents. he knows this money is not his to keep and has sent texts previoisly saying he wouldnt keep the money and recently saying he would return it when the cheque clears but has not. where do my parents stand with getting the mney back?
is any of this in writing that the money was meant to be repaid?
please explain how it could be a gift (you say that "the money was gifted to you" but then there is an agreement that it is to be repaid.
what is the house worth?
What is the mortgage outstanding?
When was the gift made?
Is there any separate deed of trust in respect of your parents money?
Are any children involved?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
it was gifted to me approx 8 yeard ago,but nothing in writing that it was to be repaid, just verbal contract.there was letter written stating that it was a gift to myself, my partners name was not on this!! there is the proof that 30 thousand was repaid approx 5 tears ago the house was sold and the equity was 20 thousand so lost ten parents are still pating a mortgage on that money.yes we have a 4 year old daughter.are the text messages fron him stating that he wouldnt keep the money "he's not that kind of guy, and wouldnt like it if it was the other way around" and also texts stating he would give it baack once cheque clear not proof he knows the money was meant to be returned???

thank you. I think the texts are useful in that
they show an intention to repay but they are not absolute proof that the money
was a gift. He could argue that it was a gift to you both (not to you as an
individual), but he agreed to repay it to stop any argument. You don't know
this, but I have personal experience of the gift v loan argument and how it can
pan out.

If the money was paid to you before the pair of
you got together, that is pretty conclusive that the was money was for your
benefit and not for joint benefits. The fact that half of it was returned is
also pretty good proof that it was a loan and not a gift.

The fact that they are still repaying the
mortgage on it also points to it being a loan and not a gift.

It is such a shame that this was not done in
writing with your parents having a trust deed in respect of the money or a loan
agreement in respect of the money or even a simple letter in respect of the
money which said that it was to be returned.

If you have a four-year-old daughter, then you
are both under a duty to provide a home for dependent children until aged 18
and leaving your parents money out of this, unless the sale of the house would
produce enough money to provide a home for you (assuming that you have
residence of the child) and the child until aged 18 and give him some money
also, he is going to have to wait for the house to be sold until the child is
18. He might not want to wait of the 14 years.

At that stage in time, once again, ignoring your
parents contribution, he might get 40% of the value of the house although he is
not liable for the bills or the mortgage meanwhile. You are liable for that
although you may be eligible for spousal maintenance and you will be eligible for
child maintenance if you are the resident parent. He is most unlikely to get
50% even in 14 years time.

And there is then the issue of your parents money
and that really comes down as to whether it was what is legally known as a "family
arrangement" or was meant to be a formal arrangement intended to "create legal

There is no legal aid for this and solicitors
arguing over it will cost £500 per hour or thereabouts which can soon gobble up
what he is arguing over.

If you cannot agree what you are doing between
you, then you are faced with court and the judge will decide the issue based
upon the facts..

It really comes down to whether, based upon all
the points I have mentioned, he thinks that this was indeed meant to be re paid
or whether it was a gift. I can only give you my opinion based upon the facts
you have given me and I think that it swings in favour of it being meant to be

Do remember however that there are two parties at
least in every court case and each one goes to court having been told by their
respective legal representatives that they have a good case. You never know
what kind of fictions your ex will come up with in court

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