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Declaration of Trust HELP (4 Posts)
Started By:
24 January, 2018 10:39AM
Declaration of Trust HELP
jdog7 - 24 January, 2018 10:39AM
Hi all,

Looking for a bit of advice for my brother regarding a Declaration of Trust he signed 16 years ago.

Bit of background - my brother had a severe stroke two years ago and was left handicapped. Following 6 months in hospital, he returned home but his wife was uncaring and unsympathetic to his condition, eventually asking him to leave the family home and his two young children.

He now lives with my elderly parents and is going through the process of the divorce. He’s lost his independence, his family, his home and now his wife claims that she is entitled to 90% of the property because of the Declaration of Trust he signed when they purchased the house in 2002.

When they bought the house, they put down a 25% deposit and she supplied 90% of this. However, the document does indeed state that she owns 90% of the entire house, not just the deposit.

They paid the mortgage jointly until 2006 and then he paid it solely from then until this present day (he still pays it now, even though he hasn’t lived there for 6 months plus).

My question is - will this Declaration of Trust be completely legally binding? Or will a court see that it is completely unfair and unjust and recognise the fact that he has contributed way more than 50% to the equity in the property? The money in that house is all he has left to restart his life.
Re: Declaration of Trust HELP
Andyk - 24 January, 2018 11:35AM
I think that you will find that after a lengthy marriage a declaration trust could be set aside when it comes to divorce. It is no different to a house solely owned by the husband, it forms part of the pot as it is the marital home and if the wife needs it, then the can obtain some of it as part of the divorce process.

It probably doesn't help that your brother left the home as his wife could say that his housing needs have been satisfied so she needs more of the house.

As in every divorce, the figures are everything. If your brother for example had a £million in the bank then it probably wouldn't be unreasonable for his wife to keep the house. If however his earning capacity is reduced because of his stroke then more weight could be given to him.
Re: Declaration of Trust HELP
davidterry - 24 January, 2018 11:46AM
The declaration of trust will carry no weight in these circumstances. People cannot get around the jurisdiction of the divorce courts just by writing a declaration of trust. Furthermore, far too much time has elapsed since this document was written and circumstances have changed so much that no court would think it was reasonable to attach any significant weight to it in divorce proceedings.
Re: Declaration of Trust HELP
jdog7 - 24 January, 2018 02:28PM
Thank you all for your help
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