How can we buy out her ex's share?

Our lawyer, Fiona McNulty, advises on what the legal considerations are when new partners want to buy out an ex-partner's share of a property
Divorce property cartoon
© Merrily Harpur (
Question: My partner is going through a divorce, as am I. Unofficially, we live together in the property that she owns with her ex-husband; it is worth about £200,000 but has an £80,000 mortgage.

Her husband wants her to buy him out for £40,000, though she doesn't earn enough to take out a mortgage on her own. Can my salary be taken into account, and can I act as guarantor?

Answer: If you are both being advised by solicitors regarding your divorces you must tell your respective solicitors of any plan you have, so that any settlements they are negotiating are not prejudiced.

It is probably best for your partner to contact her current lender and explain what she wants to do and inform them of your offer to guarantee any loan. She must also disclose that you are living at the property, as you will need to sign a consent form giving up any rights of occupation you have.

If the current lender can't help, then contact a reputable independent financial adviser to see if another lender can be found who may allow you to guarantee the loan. There is a decent amount of equity in the property and so you might be able to find lender who will provide a bespoke mortgage to suit your partner's requirements.

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If you have a question for Fiona McNulty, email We regret that questions cannot be answered individually.

Fiona is a partner in the property team at Thring Townsend Lee & Pembertons Solicitors

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