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Property settlement where property has negative equity

My ex has recently left leaving me with the kids and a house which is in joint tenants as is the mortgage.

Hi.

My ex has recently left leaving me with the kids and a house which is in joint tenants as is the mortgage.

The house has negative equity in that the mortgage is greater than the property valuation due to incomplete renovations. Although the ex is willing to transfer the property to me with zero consideration the bank will not allow this due to low equity and low income after seperation.

My question is can the ex have a claim on the property once I improve it? and thus increase the equity. I am led to believe that any entitlement that the ex may have is based on the value of the property at separation. ie. negative. Is this true? If so I assume then I assume the ex has no claim to any increase in property value.

The ex has minimal assets so I will be taking over all mortgage repayments, rates etc.

If after a few years the ex is unwilling to transfer the property or is uncontactable then where do I stand.

To date the seperation has been amicable and we have not had to resort to legal advice.

Thanks. Any advice appreciated.
In general, if you add value to the house by way of improvements, the increase should be yours. However, there are issues here that can come back to bite you - how do you determine what percentage increase in the value of the property is down to your improvements and not just normal market increase?



Be careful.

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on the site (Look for the Avatars).   Be mindful what you post in the public areas. 
Care is needed.

Can try and get a property settlment now with the transfer of the house to be at a later time after the renovations have been done.

Can get Ex to sign transfer now (and keep on file) if worried ex cant be found latter.

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