Divorcing and house ownership

My husband and I are going to divorce and I am hoping as part of the settlement to get our French house.

Does anyone know what the costs are for changing the ownership into one name and is it easier to do before the divorce (in the UK) or after?

I paid my lawyer 1500 euros (1495 too much, given he turned out to be a fucking idiot) to “do everything”…can’t recall paying the notaire anything.

Sorry to hear about your separation . . . mais c’est la vie?
As I understand it you cannot just ‘change the ownership’. The transfer has to be done by a notaire; and he/she will document it as a sale. You will then, in effect, ‘buy’ your French house from your husband - but this rather depends on the ownership set-up you currently have in place. The cost will therefore depend upon the value that you and your husband agree upon for your French home.
Your notaire will advise you on this, without charge.
The question of ‘what’s easier’ does not come into it. The legalities can be effected at any time; but it will have to be documented in your UK divorce proceedings.

Thanks for your help. The notaire who we bought through wouldn’t entertain giving us any idea what her costs would be when we initially asked.

I have now approached an estate agent for a valuation and will go from there.

It has all been quite hard to discover my husband was having an affair and we are just starting mediation with regards to splitting our assets. I am hoping to get our house in France and hope to be able to afford to still run it as a holiday home for myself and my family.

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Well done, Freya. I’m not surprised that your notaire wouldn’t talk about costs - it’s very different in France, because divorce law here is not the same as the UK. The basic concept of just splitting everything 50/50 does not exist here. That’s why I asked you on what basis you had purchased the house. It will determine how the settlement is handled.
You need to understand your notaire’s part in this. Divorce settlements in France have historically been decided by the local court (Tribunal). A notaire plays no part in this, it is conducted by an avocat on your behalf. Once the court has made their decision about what should happen (which always takes the future interests of the children first & foremost), the notaire is only responsible for legally documenting the decision. Since 2017 it has become possible to have a ‘mutually agreed’ divorce, without the need for the court to make the decisions. The court then just rubber stamps it; and the notaire processes it into a legally documented format.
But you are entering into a divorce from your husband under UK Law. You can hopefully come to an amicable solution, which is what the mediation process is all about. You can decide for yourselves how you settle your affairs; and the financial arrangements that are needed for that - for you; for your children; for your husband.
In that context, your French home just becomes an asset in the pot. The lower you can get it valued, the better for you. If you just bought it in joint names, half of the value is his. You need at least three valuations, in writing, not just verbal - and then you can calculate an average. You must ask the immobiliers for a realistic sale price - not an asking price. This will exclude their fee (unlike a UK property valuation). The concept of a legally liable valuation for property by an ‘expert’ doesn’t exist, in my personal experience, and unlike the UK.
Take care, life’s a bitch.

My husband has been very lazy in sorting out an valuations of our properties and has basically left it up to me to sort out. He wants to stay in our rental property leaving me to find somewhere else to buy after selling the family home. I am going to push to have outer French house based on the fact that he wants our rental house.

He has no idea yet what I want, but I know what he wants, so I am one step ahead of him. As he won’t have to “buy” a property I am going to insist that we take into account stamp duty and solicitors fees for the house he wants as part of his settlement as I will have to pay that when I buy a house.

I know he is going to be difficult, but I think I am fairly prepared for the forthcoming battle. If he agrees to my having the French house then I hope we can just go through a simple process of putting it in my name. I think I have been told that his “selling” his part of the house would incur a lower charge from the notaire than if we sold to strangers. I guess we will see nearer the time.

Tough times for you - but keep strong.
You do seem to be on top of ‘details’ - which is a credit to you - and will be of great help.
You just make sure you continue to ‘keep one step ahead’ ; it does appear (to me at least), that he’s rather lazy, thinks it will all work out in his favour - so hopefully he’ll get a nasty awakening when you’ve ensured financial security for yourself and your family - which has to be the priority.
Good luck; I’m rooting for you and hope it works out in your favour.

Thanks. It is so good to have the support of so many people.

I have also already seen two solicitors in the UK and had advice from them. Had a private detective spy on him, so I know for sure exactly who he has been cheating on me with. It will come as quite a shock to him when I tell him I want a divorce and am considering naming her as the co respondent (or whatever name it is for a mistress).

If you own half the house each, then you only need to buy half of it from your OH. As opposed to selling the entire property to a third party. If you see what I mean

I do see what you mean.

Hang on, Freya - seems like you are assuming that he won’t want a divorce, and you will have to fight him? Consulted two solicitors - and a French notaire? And a private detective?!
The concept of proving guilt is simply not the way to go, either in UK or France.
“Mediation” is the way to go. Try to keep calm.
Best wishes.

As Freya is a UK resident I would have thought the divorce itself would go through the UK courts.

It has long been my understanding that, when dealing with the disposal of assets when a couple seek a divorce, the British Courts don’t take the notion of ‘blame’ into account at all.

Rather the court looks to a settlement in which neither party is disadvantaged when the legitimate needs of both are weighed, including the needs of any dependents of the parties, be they children or otherwise.

He thinks I am better off not divorcing him as I won’t get his pension when he dies. Frankly I just want to be shot of the lying cheating man.

I want a divorce as I think I will be able to move on quicker.

I am not planning to name and shame her, but I want him to think that I might. If I can cause them any anguish I will do so.

I have been on antidepressants for six months now and have had them increased to the maximum dose age. I am also having to see a counsellor to try and regain my self worth.

He has such a lot to answer for. He tried to make out I was mad thinking he was having an affair and kept turning it back on me. They did it in our home/bed. He has been lying to me even during our trial separation. I only had the private eye to see if he was still seeing her. He told me it was all over and she didn’t want to have anything to do with him. He has supposedly been off playing golf, but I know better.

How can anyone be so mean to another person that they have spent 37 years with?!

What seemed like a sensible topic heading for those who might have experience in such matters is fast turning into a blame game/woe is me agony aunt column.
The answers seem to me to have already been said and while I sympathise with the posters situation it takes 2 to tango and reading a one sided view is only half the story.

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What an unpleasant post.

I can’t offer anything other than sympathy and to say that you WILL get through this. If you want to DM me and have a good offload, please feel free!
Don’t forget too that your OH’s pensions should be taken into consideration in the divorce settlement. For instance when I got divorced my ex had two private schemes and I was awarded one of them. Make sure you get good legal advice as it is all too easy to be so overwhelmed by the emotional side that you stop thinking clearly. And you are absolutely right about moving on, it’s only when you can let go of the anger and bitterness that you will be able to move on and enjoy the rest of your life. Take care of you xx

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I agree!

Tracey - if you haven’t got anything better to do than stir things up on here then I strongly suggest you find something to do. I am really not in the mood. Thanks.

I didn’t mean for this post to get into husband bashing. I was really interested in finding out how much I might have to pay a notaire to transfer our house into my name only.

My husband has behaved very badly and did say that none of it was my fault. Let’s leave it at that.

Thanks for any support you have given me, but I now need to concentrate on the financial side of things for my benefit.