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Wagon Wheel Posted - 10 December 2020 : 16:38:27
Hi there!

Hoping someone here can help. I recently separated from my former partner and left our jointly owned home (no mortgage outstanding).

I had been stupidly hoping sense would come through and she would offer to buy me out or just sell the home. Unfortunately I now discovered that she has signed a thing called a "protected trust deed" without my knowledge and seems to be trying to hide behind that to avoid any come back on me claiming my half of the house.

She has been claiming to agree to a equal split for months long after signing the trust deed, stringing things along, which I am sure she would never even have been able to do as she doesn't "own" it anymore.

Is what she is trying to do even legal?

Any help is welcome!

9   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Kevin Mapstone Posted - 10 December 2020 : 18:35:13
Hi Wagon Wheel. Most normal household items like TVs, white goods etc are actually specifically exempt from being conveyed in a Protected Trust Deed, so your ex's trustee will have had no rights over them at any point.

As TDA says, there are two separate legal processes going on here. It is more complicated due to the trustee being involved too, but it shouldn't prevent you from doing what you need to do to progress your separation.
Wagon Wheel Posted - 10 December 2020 : 17:58:19
You are probably correct, TDA - as I assume you will appreciate, despite best intentions, it's not always easy to keep human emotions out of things like debt, separation and so on.

Apologies if I wasn't very clear!

TDA (Debt Adviser) Posted - 10 December 2020 : 17:52:43
I guess we're talking about two separate processes here in reality Wagon Wheel.

You and your ex are looking to divide your assets in a fair way.

Your ex's trustee has in interest in her assets and will have taken a view on how to deal with this at the start of her trust deed.
Wagon Wheel Posted - 10 December 2020 : 17:44:42

Again, thanks for your reply - I think you have mainly answered what I was asking and I do greatly appreciate that. More sense in 3 posts on an internet forum than 9 months of lawyers letters!

What I thought was odd was her solicitor was acting as if all that was needed was some settling of agreement on little things like TVs then they would agree to the sale of the house - if I read you correctly, that isn'r in their gift to give - it is the trustee that I am now dealing with.

Will let you know how things turn out and thank you again.
TDA (Debt Adviser) Posted - 10 December 2020 : 17:34:00
Hi Wagon Wheel,

A trustee may have an interest in significant assets (like a house or car) but are unlikely to have any interest in regular household goods like a TV.

An agreement about how any assets would be dealt with will have been made at the start of the trust deed. If we're talking about some joint assets you'd be well within your rights to contact the trustee, ask about this, and ensure they're aware of any assets that you claim part or full ownership of.

Your ex signing a trust deed doesn't strip you of your interest in things that you legally own.
Wagon Wheel Posted - 10 December 2020 : 17:20:11

I freely admit I could be wrong, but once you sign a TD, all of your assets apart from a pension don't officially belong to you any more - is that not correct?

If this is correct, how can you negiotiate about the split of things you no longer formally own?
TDA (Debt Adviser) Posted - 10 December 2020 : 17:12:44
What do you mean by saying that she doesn't own these things Wagon Wheel?

I'm not quite sure that I follow.

Wagon Wheel Posted - 10 December 2020 : 17:09:31
Thank you for your reply, TDA

I know who the trustee is for that register you have mentioned. Unfortunately my lawyer is a wee bit chocolate teapot and I seem to be doing more work than him!

As mentioned, I was hoping to avoid a really messy courts, lawyers, action of division and sale and all that goes with this, but it seems likely that will be how it goes.

I suppose I was just wondering in the meantime if her claiming to be haggling about formerly owned things like the TV on the part of her solicitor was actually legal when he knew fine well that she didn't even offically own these things or anything else, I suppose.

Seems like me trying to sell you a car that I know I don't even own!

TDA (Debt Adviser) Posted - 10 December 2020 : 16:57:34
Welcome to the trust deed forum Wagon Wheel.

When your former partner entered a trust deed her trustee (the person who is responsible for the arrangement) will have asked about the assets that she owns.

If she is the joint owner of a property without a mortgage she should have disclosed this to her trustee. It seems likely that she will have agreed to do something with that asset to help repay her creditors.

The key point however is that her asset is only the share of the property that she legally owns. Your share of the property that you legally own remains yours.

As a joint owner you have rights and there are some protections in place. If it were me, and I was struggling to get information from my ex in this scenario, I'd approach her trustee and ask what (if any) arrangements have been put in place to deal with her share of the equity in the property.

If you don't know who her trustee is you can look it up on the register of insolvencies (online). You can read more about how to do this at:

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