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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33813
Experience:  25 years experience of all aspects of family law
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I'm currently starting divorce proceedings against my husband.

Customer Question

I'm currently starting divorce proceedings against my husband. Married for 6.5 years, separated 5 weeks ago.
Him:
55
salary £22k
savings £5k
House (lived in since 1984, husband's sole name, mortgage paid around 2010) worth approx £130k in current condition
Car <£1k
Motorbike <£1k
Pension was before we met.
Me
31
Salary £49k (with student loan repayments still being taken)
Savings: circa £26/28k
Car £8k
Pension: Waiting for valuation, likely to be very low
6 months ago I received a life assurance payment for my dad who died suddenly in August 2014. This amounted to £66k. My brother received the same. We also, between us, inherited his home with a £46k mortgage still outstanding. My brother and I used that money plus dad's pension death benefit to pay this. leaving me with £55k and half the house (worth £82k). I used £3300 to pay a loan.
Other than that the money was; paid into my sole account, never used for anything in the house and was separated to a savings ago as soon as I got chance. Since the above I have done nothing with it.
I moved into my husbands house 11/12 years ago and have paid for in part (usually greater than half):
- new bathroom
- central heating installation
- complete redecoration including hard wood floors and new window, furniture, of the front room
- Complete new kitchen including windows, door, appliances, plastering.
In total I spend around £15k
In full I recently (December) paid for a new driveway (from my ISA) this was £3850
I'm just trying to understand, on balance, the following:
1) Entitlement to part of the property
2) Chances of ring fencing the money and house related to my dad's recent death
3) Whether he will try to claim spousal maintenance?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How and when was the mortgage on the matrimonial home paid off?
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Clare,

I moved in around 2003 and the mortgage, in my husbands (then partner) name was paid monthly, by direct debit, until he finished paying it around 2010.

During the recession my husband was on short time for some period and, although I have no proof, (common sense also dictates) that I gave him cash towards the mortgage, I was myself earning around £21k at the time but his income reduced during 2008 and 2009 significantly.

Not sure if this is helpful

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Since your inheritance has always been kept separate there is a good chance that the court will "ring fence" it and not treat it as an asset for division.
An 11 year relationship gives you a clear claim on the Matrimonial home - although this is not necessarily a claim for 50% of the equity the fact that you have paid for so much work on the property could push it towards that.
However the fact that you have funds elsewhere makes it more likely that the court will be generous with your ex when it comes to dividing the house and you will get less than you would otherwise have done - maybe 20% to 25%.
On the figures there is a potential liability for spouse maintenance - and again that may factor in to your receiving a lower capital sum.
You should try and discuss this using Family mediation
www.familymediationhelpline.co.uk
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Clare,

Thank you for your, very helpful, response. Just a quick follow up if I might.

At this stage my husband can have no contact with me due to bail conditions (there was a minor assault for which he has pled guilty and is awaiting sentencing).

This will obviously cause issues with mediation and at the moment there is a push for a restraining order (which I think is wholly unnecessary, this is the first and only time anything like this has ever happened)

Can mediation be conducted with a restraining order?

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
It will be difficult - and you should ask the court to include an exception for mediation.
Shuttle mediation will ensure that you do not meet
Clare

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