CASE STUDY – Protecting My Share of a Family Asset
Every so often we get an enquiry from someone along these lines:
“I am starting divorce proceedings in the U.K. We have an apartment in Spain but only my wife is on the deeds, I have been advised in Spanish law she can sell the house without my consent and I could not do a thing about it. Can you advise me how I can safeguard this until my divorce goes through and settlement is achieved which will include the apartment in Spain? It is currently up for sale in order to finalise things but I worry she could sell beforehand.”
This is how we responded to our worried prospective client:-
The most urgent thing you can do is to ask her to put something in writing (email, WhatsApp) accepting that half of the house is hers, and that she will share the price obtained on the sale.
If she refuses, then you can start a legal action in Spain with a petition of the provisional injunction order to stop her selling the house. But in this case, we need to prove that you have an interest in the house (because half of the money was yours or because it came from a joint bank account, or because it was bought when you were married).
If you are expecting her to refuse then we need you to show how you have an interest in the house, for example, when the house was purchased if you have copy joint bank statement showing the funds came from the joint account, or if the money came from an inheritance of yours, something to show it was jointly yours when bought.”
We are accustomed to dealing with divorce and division of joint property and can help with most items, so we are sure that we can take this case forward to make sure it is split fairly as per their agreement.