Is my ex-husband entitled to a share of the house we bought together?

Q: Is my ex-husband entitled to a share of the house we bought together?

My ex-husband abandoned and left me with a 1yr old child. We have a house in both of our names, which I took care of and rented to pay the mortgage and raise my son. My ex-husband refused to pay child support and left me to bring up my son by myself.

Originally I had paid £2,500 and he paid £500 towards the deposit. And I have since paid the mortgage payments to present.

I now wish to sell the house as I do not want to pay interest and need to support my son through university. My ex-husband previously agreed to sign over the house to me within the last 6 months. He has since revoked it and is now looking for half of the value of the house.

· According to shariah law is he entitled to 50% to the house?

· What are my rights in this matter in terms of selling the house with his name on the mortgage papers?

· How do I go about settling my affairs and can you help me with this matter.

الجواب حامدا ومصليا ومسلما ومنه الصدق والصواب

A: If the house was purchased jointly by you and your husband then the ownership of the house is vested in both of you in accordance with the proportion of ownership agreed at the onset. If no express division was agreed then the ownership share is 50% for each of you. At the onset, both of you incurred a debt in proportion to ownership payable to the mortgage provider. The house, however, was owned by both of you. Once your husband left you the matter of the house should have been settled then. This would have made matters much simpler.

However, in the absence of any such settlement the rental income earned on the house to pay the mortgage was earned on a property that was jointly owned. Thus, your ex-husband also had a proportional right to that rental income. Any rental income that was used to pay the mortgage represented proportional payment on behalf of both of you. Any additional money paid, if any, represented your proportional payment only. As he refused to pay the child maintenance rightfully due upon him, any rental income reasonably used to bring up your son was justified.

Whilst you have the right to sell your share of the house you are not empowered to sell the share of your ex-husband without his consent. If he does not consent, then he has the option of either purchasing your share or else sharing the property with the next buyer. If he does consent then he will have a right to the net proceeds of the sale.

However, if your ex-husband ever agreed that his proportion of the house now belonged to you as he had gifted his share to you then you have sole ownership of the house even if his name is on the mortgage papers. If he had merely promised to transfer ownership and title and has now retracted that then he stills retains his ownership.

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