Belfast Telegraph

Can I claim marital home?

Fiona Caine is here to help if you have a relationship, sexual, marriage or family problem.

When I married my wife eight years ago I moved into her home and sold off my own.

The money was split between my daughter and me and my share went into the joint account with my new wife.

We agreed that the marital home would become ours rather than just hers but I suppose we never thought anything would happen and never got around to it. Nine months ago, my wife died and in her will she left the house to her son.

Now he wants me to leave — or at least he is pressuring me not to do this and not to do that.

I have offered to buy my wife’s share of the house but he says it is all his and won’t sell.

Is there any way I can claim at least part of the marital home as mine? TN

FIONA SAYS: SEE A SOLICITOR

Was your wife's will made before she married you or after?

If it was before, then it doesn't apply any more because your marriage cancelled it out.

If it was made after, then the position is more complicated.

Either way, you need to see a solicitor who can advise you and, if necessary, make it clear to your stepson.

If you have a legal right to remain in the property, then he can't stop you doing things.

Your story emphasises just how important it is for people to draw up a proper will, especially when there is a second marriage with children from the first marriage.

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