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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 7434
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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if a couple are married but only one of the parties name is

Resolved Question:

if a couple are married but only one of the parties name is XXXXX XXXXX mortgage, does that mean if they divorce the other person cannot claim part of the equitity on the house, even if they have been paying for it together for the ten years they have been married. And have been splitting council tax and other expenses for the house as well?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: UK Family Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 5 years ago.



How long have you been married and when was the house acquired (during or before marriage)?



Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The house was acquired before the marriage, but we have been married for 8 years, and during that time, the expenses have been paid jointly.
Expert:  Thomas replied 5 years ago.

Thanks for your reply. I note you refer to ten years in your original question, for how long had you been in a relationship with your husband prior to marriage?


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
We lived together for 2 years in the house before we were married.
Expert:  Thomas replied 5 years ago.

Ok. How long before you met was the property acquired?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
not 100% sure, but i think around 4 years previously
Expert:  Thomas replied 5 years ago.


Assets acquired before marriage are taken to consideration in "long" marriages". The length of your marriage would be taken to be the time during which you were in a relationship up to the point at which you decide to divorce, which I calculate to be 10 years. This is a medium-long length of marriage.

In view of the fact that you have been contributing to the mortgage (I assume jointly or above a joint level) and the fact that property was acquire relatively close to you marriage it will likely form part of the matrimonial asset pool over which you would negotiate a financial settlement. So you would therefore be able to claim a share of the equity in the property. They longer your marriage lasts the stronger this claim becomes.

There is a presumption that each party is entitled to a 50:50 share of assets, this can be rebutted if, mainly, one party is to have residence of the children and therefore requires a larger share of the asset pool or, to a lesser extent. one party requires more due to health reasons or there is a large disparity in earning capacity.


In the event that your marriage looks like it is heading for divorce you should see a solicitor and they will likely advise you to enter a matrimonial home rights notice against the property to bring the attention of any would be purchasers that you have a right of occupation and claim against the equity.



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