My wife and I have divorced and finally reached a financial settlement which includes me paying her off a share of our home. How do I remove her name from the house deeds?
If as a result of the financial settlement you have remortgaged the property to help raise the money to pay your ex-wife her share of the home, then the position is relatively simple, as during the process of remortgaging, the property will be transferred from your joint names into your sole name. The former joint mortgage will be repaid out of your new mortgage funds and the property ending up in your sole name.
It is essential that if you are paying, in addition to repayment of your joint mortgage, an additional capital sum to your ex-wife, that the consideration shown in the Transfer into your sole name is the total of the capital amount payable to your ex wife plus her one half share of the existing mortgage debt, which you are, effectively, absorbing.
If the combined total of this exceeds £175,000 then Stamp Duty Land Tax will be payable – unless the settlement is made the subject of a formal Court Order. However, if there were no additional capital payment to be made and you were simply absorbing the existing joint mortgage, then this could be done by way of a Transfer of Equity into your sole name, provided of course the existing Lender was happy to release your ex-wife from the joint mortgage and to transfer the mortgage into your sole name.
If the existing Lender is not prepared to do this, then you may be faced with having to remortgage with another Lender, taking out a new loan in your sole name which would complete simultaneously with the transfer of the property into your sole name.