Going through a high net worth divorce can be quite a challenging time – especially when it comes to the splitting of assets. Property is usually the biggest asset in financial terms for most divorcing couples.
It is not uncommon for people to come to an amicable property settlement agreement after they begin divorce proceedings. The agreement can involve the transferring of the property wholly to a single individual so they become the sole owner.
However, sometimes life is not so straightforward.
The important thing to remember is that there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the transfer of property after divorce. Using our years of experience in navigating high net worth divorce cases, we’ll cover this topic in the contents of this post.
This is so that you can have a better understanding of what to expect during a process such as the transfer of property ownership after divorce in the UK.
Is the transfer of property the same as the transfer of equity during divorce?
The transfer of property is also known as the transfer of equity. This process entails adding or removing someone from the title deeds of a property.
The transfer of equity is different from a sale as it doesn’t necessarily involve the transfer of money. And when transferring equity, one of the original owners’ names will still be on the title deeds.
What is the transfer of property process in the UK?
Once a settlement is agreed and finances have been approved (perhaps with the use of a consent order to make the agreement binding), the property transfer process can begin.
During this process, you would usually employ the help and advice of a divorce law specialist.
This is because these proceedings can get quite complex and without the help of an expert you could end up with an unfavourable settlement.
These are a few key steps to keep in mind when it comes to the transfer of property (equity) during divorce:
Title deeds need to be copied
To begin the transfer your solicitor will receive a certified copy of the title deeds. They will examine the copy and spot any reasons for restrictions on the transfer. At the beginning stage, your solicitor will also verify the identification of each party involved.
Have transfer documents ready
Now your solicitor will get the transfer deed document prepared so it can get signed.
Notify third parties
If the property has vested interest from a third party e.g. bank, mortgage lender or building society, then these must be notified of the transfer. The third-party must give their written consent for the transfer to go through and be finalised.
Sign the deed
All that’s left now is to meet with your solicitor and get the deed signed. You’ll also need to bring an impartial witness.
Land registry to be notified
When a transfer of property takes place the land registry will need to be informed of the specifics of the agreement. They will then charge you a cost which is dependent on your property value.
How long does it take for the transfer of property?
This will totally depend on each specific case as no two cases are the same. Some deals may go through in a matter of weeks while others may take months or possibly even years.
If you’re waiting on a third party giving their consent then this is a factor that could slow the process down.
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to these deals so it is best to prepare things on your end as that is very much in your control.
Is there capital gains tax on the transfer of property on a divorce?
What this means is that no taxable gains arise on the transfer of assets. This only applies when couples have lived together at some stage during the year.
If the couple has separated and the transfer takes place in the same year of the separation then it is subject to capital gains tax (CGT).
As of April 6th 2023, there will be a longer period of the no gain/no loss rule relating to transfer of assets. The period is up to three years after the couple stop living together.
Brown Turner Ross – UK divorce solicitors
As discussed, property is usually one of the most valuable assets involved in divorce proceedings which can make deals and agreements stressful to complete.
Having competent and reliable legal support available to you every step of the way can be invaluable. Here at Brown Turner Ross, we can assist you should you be facing divorce issues such as the transfer of property.
With our helpful team of experts, we’ll guide you every step of the way and ensure you get a deal that suits you.
Contact us today and one of our lovely staff members will be happy to assist you.