template letters

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In my last post Severing a joint tenancy in divorce I explained just what this painful-sounding procedure involved and why divorced or separated partners might want to serve a Notice of Severance  of Joint Tenancy upon each other.

I should have expected the request that followed: “What does a Notice of Severance look like” and “Can I prepare my own?”

Sample Notice of Severance of Joint Tenancy

Well, here it is: Notice of Severance.  It’s in Word format so you can download it or cut and paste into your own document.  As advised in my last post on this subject I would urge anyone considering using this procedure to read my previous post and obtain legal advice upon the consequences of sending such a notice pursuant to divorce to their spouse or partner.

I have also been asked: “How do I send it to my wife/husband?”

Sample letter to spouse

If you have a solicitor acting for you then they would send the Notice of Severance of Joint Tenancy to your co-owner.  I am presuming that most of the people reading my blog only have piecemeal access or perhaps no access to quality family law advice.  In that case, if you were preparing the Notice of Severance yourself and sending it directly to your spouse or partner I would suggest you do so by special delivery and use the following covering letter:

Dear Ex,

I am enclosing a Notice of Severance of Joint Tenancy which I have prepared in duplicate.  

Please sign and date both copies of the Notice.  Please then return one of the copies to me. I will then send the Notice to the District Land Registry.

Even if you do not sign the Notice, or return it to me, the effect of the notice is that our property [insert the name of the jointly owned property] will still be owned by you and me jointly but in the eyes of the law it will be as ‘Tenants in Common’.  This means that if you die before me your share in the property will pass according to the terms of your Will or under the rules of intestacy if you do not have a Will.   Your share in the property will no longer pass automatically to me.  The same situation applies if I die before you: my share will pass to the person specified in my Will and not to you.

I would strongly recommend you to review your Will and make a fresh one if appropriate.  Alternatively, if you have not made a Will, this is a good opportunity for you to do so and you should show this Notice to your lawyer.

I look forward to hearing from you with the signed Notice of Severance.

You then have to sit back and wait for the signed Notice of Severance to return.  Once it does, you will need to send it,  along with a specific form called Form SEV, to District Land Registry.  If enough people express an interest in this topic, I will consider another post devoted to the completion of Form SEV.

Note: Form SEV is subject to Crown Copyright.



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I’ve been asked if there is a standard letter to remind the payer of maintenance that the first (or subsequent) anniversary of a maintenance payment order is imminent and that the payment is to be varied upwards by the Retail Prices Index (RPI).

Whilst I’m not aware of a standard letter, I’m happy to offer the following template that can be adjusted as thought fit.  This is written directly to the ex-spouse as, in most cases, the whole point of an automatic uplift by reference to the RPI is that people should be able to operate it themselves instead of going back to lawyers.

It is a good idea to have a diary reminder to write to your ex one month before the maintenance is due to be varied so there is time to agree the amount and have it set up.  I am presuming that most people will be emailing rather than sending a traditional letter.  In an effort to be helpful I have used the same assumptions for the amount of maintenance and the time periods as in my worked example for ease of reference and comparison.

Dear Ex,

I thought it would be a good idea to just remind you that my spousal maintenance payments are due to be varied on 25th November 2011.  (I have a copy of the court order if you do not have yours to hand).

I am presently receiving £112.00 a month from you.  The new maintenance amount needs to be calculated correctly and we will both want to be satisfied it is right.  

I understand that to carry out the calculation we need the RPI figure for August 2010 and that was stated in the court order to be 224.5.  We also need the RPI figure for August 2011 which is 240.0.   To obtain this I looked at data on the RPI kept by the Office of National Statistics.  I have included the link so you can check for yourself or you could contact them by email on info@statistics.gov.uk.  

The calculation is as follows: 

    • The figure of £112.00 is multiplied by the RPI figure for August 2011.  £112.00 x 240.0 is £26,880.  If we then take the sum of £26,880.0 and divide it by the RPI for August 2010 (which is 224.5) the result is £120.00 (rounded up).
    • So, while you are presently paying £112.00 per month, the payments will need to increase to £120.00 commencing with the payment in November 2011.  
I would be grateful if you could acknowledge this email and confirm that you agree with my calculations and that the standing order will be amended in time for the November 2011 payment.
Good luck with this.  There is no reason why the same template letter/email could not be used to vary child periodical payments as the mechanism and the calculation is the same.

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