UK Family Law
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We own an extended semi detached house in Queens Rd Wimbledon SW19. The house is comprised of two parts – a residential ground floor flat and rental units on the first and second floor. The residential part is a large two bedroom flat of approx. 1300 Square feet with 150 feet back garden, a front garden with two parking space, and 350 square feet garden house. The rental part is comprised of 5 bed sitting room units. My wife has been managing these rental units.
The house was purchased for 565,000 pounds at auction in 2007. Approx. 200,000 pound was spent for renovation and extension. Current value of the house as whole is probably 1.3 – 1.5 million and the rental part have been producing approx. 25,000 pounds per annual. There is no mortgage secured on the house.
I own non-matrimonial assets which derive from a property in Arundel Gardens - a one-bed room flat in the prime Notting Hill location. I bought this flat with money from his parents before I was married to my wife.
Currently I have 920, 000 pounds cash in in my offshore bank account, and have an investment property in Hawaii that I have just purchased in Jan 2013 for US 370, 000 dollar (with 220,000 pounds sent from his off shore account and 2,000,000 yen from my Japanese bank). Altogether, I have 1.14 million pounds non-matrimonial assets which derive from the Arundel Gardens flat. I also have approx. 3,000,000 yen saving (20, 000 pounds) which derives from my earning in Japan after the separation.
The wife has 8000,000 yen saving in Japan, which derives from her father’s inheritance, and I believe she has no non-matrimonial assets in the UK.
When I was married to my wife in 1994, we lived in the Arundel Gardens flat first. In 1997, we bought another one bedroom flat in Elgin Crescent – only one block away from the Arundel Gardens in Notting Hill. Then we have lived in and worked from these two flats for a while.
The Elgin Crescent flat and Arundel Gardens flat had more or less the same floor space – approx. 600 square feet – and both of them were in the prime Notting Hill location with communal gardens. The Elgin Crescent flat had a balcony in the back and higher ceiling thus it would command slightly more money (perhaps 10 % or so) than the Arundel Gardens, had we decided to sell both flats at the same time.
As our son getting older, this arrangement to live in the two one-bedroom flats soon became not very convenient. Thus we decided to sell one of the flats to buy a bigger family house. We decided to sell the Arundel Gardens and my wife agreed to treat the Elgin Crescent as my non-matrimonial property (no signed contract). We sold the Arundel Gardens for 295,000 pounds in 2001, and put the money in an offshore bank account under my wife’s name.
However, the search for our family house took a very long time. We could not make up our mind because there was uncertainty over how and where we wanted to educate our son. Thus we lived in a rented muse house in Wandworth, near the make shift Rudolf Steiner school, in which our son was attending for the time being (from 2003 – 2007), and rented out the Elgin Crescent flat.
Eventually, we decided to buy a house in Queens Rd Wimbledon because our son was accepted to a private school with good academic reputations in the area, and as a consequence, my wife decided not to move back to Japan with me. The house was bought with the money from the Arundel Gardens flat (approx. 350,000 pounds with accumulated interests) and a mortgage secured on the Elgin Crescent flat.
Our marriage was very shaky by this stage, but I thought the separation might not be a bad idea for us. I wanted to stay as a family at least till our son leave home for university.
Around the same time, a multi-millionaire next-door neighbor in Notting Hill made a fantastic offer to buy the Elgin Crescent flat. He eventually paid 1 million pounds (the market value of the flat was 600- 650, 000 pounds at that time. Why he wanted this flat so badly is another story) in Jan 2008.
When I sold the Elgin Crescent I needed my wife’s consent wife because her matrimonial home right was still registered. She agreed to the sale and re-confirmed that the flat was my non-matrimonial asset, thus I put the whole amount into my bank account. At the same time, however, she made me promise I wouldn’t be mean with the money. My wife made me write “I won’t be mean with monies” on a piece of paper and sign. I believe she still keeps this paper.
As far as I am concerned I believe I kept my end of the promise. I paid off the mortgage for the Queens Rd house, built a large extension and renovated a run-down house to make it a confortable home with income producing capacity. I paid for all the fixtures and furniture my wife wanted and paid for our son’s private education in England and etc.
Sadly, however, now my wife argues that that was not good enough. She even says that she only agreed to recognize the non-matrimonial status of the money because I would have gone bizarre otherwise and she didn’t want to have arguments.
My wife and I, each of us have Stake-Holder Pension which we have been paying in 3,600 pounds per annually over ten years. The current value of my pension pot is 97,000 pounds, with estimated pension of 3,000 pounds per year in today’s money if I retire on April 2018. My wife’s pension is a little smaller because she paid less in the earlier years. We also have been paying into Japanese national scheme and it will pay approx. 50,000 yen (330 pounds) per month when we reach 65 years old. I have joined my university’s pension top up scheme 5 years ago, but I don’t expect the pay out to be very much probably around extra 40,000 yen (230 ponds) per month from the age of 65. Thus the rental income from the Queens Rd house was the main body of our pension plan.
Maintenance for our son
Already, my wife and I have provided 30,000 pounds fund for our son’s university education. The fund is under his name and it was originally gifts from grand parents. And I am happy to support my son’s education whenever he needs extra financial help.
The Arundel Garden flat was purchased with money given by my mother plus a mortgage. The purchase price of the flat was 75,000 pounds, and 45,000 pounds was gift from my mother and 30,000 pounds was mortgage.
Over all assets are:
The Queens Rd house= Approx 1.4 million pounds.
My offshore cash = 920,000 pounds.
Condo in Hawaii = 220,000 pounds.
My cash in Japan = 20,000 pounds.
My Isa etc = 30,000 pounds
My pension =97,000 pounds
My wife's pension= 85,000 pounds
50% share of the Queens Rd house, with her right to keep living in the house and take incomes from the house, just as the way she was living the last five years for the time being till she establish her new life.
They are not, at the moment.
But I am certain that it is possible to creates new leases and register them as two separate flats.
You don't think the court will take the fact that I made much bigger contribution to our assets at all?
Why do you think the court allocate at least least 1 million to my wife (we own the house 50/50) plus maintenance?
Any idea what the level and length of the maintenance likely to be?
Any idea about the level and the length of maintenance likely to be?
My income is approx 55-60,000 pounds (in Japanese yen), and if the house is sold, she has no income.
Also, if she choose to divorce on the ground of adultly rather than two year separation will it make any difference to financial settlement?
I know it is difficult to assess what the maintenance will be, but what basis the court decide the level and length of maintenance?
It is "need" basis?
If so how the court define my ex's "need"?
Also, if I am paying in lump sum, how the court calculate the lump sum?
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