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michael holly
michael holly, Family Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 6841
Experience:  BA Hons degree Law , Solicitors finals, 20 years experience, trained family law mediator.
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Property (est value: £180K) purchased by parents a few weeks

Customer Question

Hi folks,
Property (est value: £180K) purchased by parents a few weeks prior to my marriage in 2012. They kindly offered us newlyweds to stay at this property a few months later.
Having settled in for a few years and a child later, I opted to purchase the property and struck a private deal with parents. In 2015, the title deeds were signed over (to me) with a trust put in place stating I had no beneficial interest in the property whatsoever and for all intents and purposes, it still belonged to them. The idea was I accumulate enough funds to pay parents within 2 years and if that didn't work, we'd simply reverse the deal and rent instead. It would also act as a safeguard to ensure the wife didn't get any funny ideas about entitlement etc. This trust document was signed by witnesses and a solicitor who filed/registered it at their offices.
Within a year, the funds didn't materialise and the marriage began to break down with the wife making verbal gestures towards the new asset in my name (referring to it as the matrimonial home'). In order to safeguard the property, the trust was enforced and the deed titles quickly transferred back to parents.
The spouse caught wind of this and filed a Matrimonial Home Rights notice with Land Registry blocking the transfer citing I was attempting to dispose of property to avoid it being part of any future divorce settlement.
What options do I have now? Parents wants property back and wish to enforce the trust document. We have a 3 year old child and I have read the trust isn't as robust or watertight as parents originally thought i.e. the courts could override any clauses outlined in the document often in favor of the wife/child. Is this true?
Please advise
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: UK Family Law
Expert:  michael holly replied 10 months ago.

If your parents stand by passively whilst you and your wife argue over the house position the court will assume the position is that the trust is a sham.

They need to get legal representation and get stuck in which is what anyone about to lose a valuable asset would do.

Best regards