Divorce and Bankruptcy

Exactly who owns what in the matrimonial home can be a complex question especially when it when it comes to a divorce. In divorce, it is relatively common for one party to leave the matrimonial home, or it is sold and the proceeds split. On the other hand, in bankruptcy the parties generally wish to retain the home. However, many homeowners are unmarried and there are many instances where only one name is on the title deeds.

“Commenting, Gerald Irwin of Sutton Coldfield based Licensed Insolvency Practitioners and Business Advisers, Irwin Insolvency said, “Insolvency Practitioners acting as trustees in bankruptcy often have quite differing views. Some perceive it their duty to maximise recovery for creditors whilst others seek to interpret the law as fairly as possible which can often avoid the loss of the home.”

In the case of a sole legal title, if it can be inferred the parties intended to share beneficial ownership, the law is likely to uphold such rights. With jointly owned properties, adjustments to the fifty-fifty presumption will similarly be available if such intention can be inferred from the parties’ actions. Again, if fairness requires a different ratio of interest, the courts will be likely to accept it.

“For those insolvency practitioners wishing to promote fairness and equity in their bankruptcy case-loads there is always scope for negotiation,” added Mr. Irwin.