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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 22620
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
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Hi, My husband and I have been married for 9 years but I

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My husband and I have been married for 9 years but I want to divorce. We have been separated for 9 months and are trying to reach a financial agreement before starting the divorce process. We bought our first property 10 years ago (on his name only) but contributed equally to the monthly payments. We were not married then but got married shortly after. He contributed 8% of the total value of purchase & set up of the property and I contributed 1%. We then sold and bought a new property , still on his name. We now have an equity of £135K. His view is that due to his initial contribution he is entitled to approx 60% of the equity. There is also another property where there is loss of $72K (both of our names on the mortgage). He contributed 18% of the total value of the property . By applying the same "proportional" logic to calculate the loss for each of us, it turns out he would absorb 60% of the loss & me 40%. He is not willing to let go of any of the two properties, wants me to absorb the loss of the second property and so I walk away with the little money that is left. Am I entitled to more if I went to the courts? at least to keep one of the 2 properties so don't have to absorb such a loss at this moment as I think the price of the property will go up and will have positive equity in a few years.
thank you to the question. I will try to assist you.
Please bear with me over the weekend because I will be online and off-line spasmodically.
I need some more information please.
Do you have any children?
How long were you together before you got married?
What do you both earn?
In simple terms, what did the two properties cost each
what mortgage is outstanding on each property
what is each property now worth?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for your reply. Below answers to your questions
We have no children.
He is 41 and I am 37.
We were approx 3 years together before getting married o/w 2.5 living together.
I earn approx £30K and he aprox £50k ( this may increase to +£70 next year).
Property 1 was bought with £18k, he put down £16k and me £2k. We mortgaged the rest. After selling and buying again, he put down another £10k and me £5k. We now have a property worth £360k, mortgage £225k.
Property 2 was bought with £35k he put down £33k (o/w £20k was a gift from his family) and me £2k. We mortgaged the rest. We now have a property in negative equity, worth £110k, mortgage £180k.

Thank you.

I'm going to ignore the initial property because it appears that
just within the marriage it was bought and sold the way that people buy and
sell our house, and move house, within a marriage, as people normally do.

So you have a long marriage of nine years +3

you have 2 houses, one worth 360 with 135 of equity

the other with £70,000 of negative equity

so the equity in the marriage is £65,000.

On this as being a relatively long marriage. It would add in
also, at the time you were together before marriage.

Regarding the division of assets, if there are no children
the starting point is 50-50.

That then gets adjusted depending on time married and need to
provide for children and who has them and unequal inputs.


For example a girl with nothing marries a millionaire and gets
divorced after 12 months. She wouldn't get 50%


If they had been married for 40 years but never worked she is
still unlikely to get 50% but would get a substantial chunk.


If he wasn't a millionaire and she worked and contributed, after
40 years she would get 50%, maybe more.


It isn't an exact science or calculation. The fact that a house
may now be in one name only matters not a jot. If one party put all the equity
in, say from an old house, that will adjust the split in their favour,
diminishing as time goes on.


"With all my worldly goods I thee endow" doesn't work in

This may be useful


have no children and I think therefore all the assets, would be lumped together
and split 50-50. Your ages in this case are immaterial.


is one potential fly in the ointment and that is the gift from the family.

would depend when that was made and whether it was a gift to the pair of you.

it was made very recently and just to him, the chances are that would be taken
into account and would go in his share in the balance divided. If it was a gift
to you it would simply go into the pot. If it was a gift to him but made some
time ago, would be divided. Once again, there is no exact formula.


There is a very slim possibility
of a liability for spousal maintenance, maintenance paid to keep a spouse , as
opposed to children. Although most commonly paid from husband to wife, that is
not necessarily the case. Spousal maintenance is based on both incomes, ability
to earn money, previous lifestyles and most importantly, need. It is not about
equalising incomes. There is no exact formula, but these links will give some



Thank you.

Does that answer the question? Can I assist
further or answer any specific queries?

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PS Experts on here are online and off-line all day each day and
weekends so please bear with me if I do not get back to you immediately.

PS. I use voice type, voice recognition typing because I only
type with two fingers and it would take me ages. Sometimes, a computer does not
hear me correctly and you will get an incoherent word. I do try to but
sometimes they slip through. I apologise therefore if anything doesn't make
sense. It is me losing it, not you. Just ask if anything is not clear please.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you. I understand there is not an exact calculation and that's the reason we are finding it so difficult to reach an agreement.


You say "If one party put all the equity in, say from an old house, that will adjust the split in their favour,diminishing as time goes on." Does this mean that after 12 years his share would still be higher or is it normal to expect a 50/50 start. As we are negotiating outside of court, the starting point for us is quite important. Should he get +60% or 50% to start with?.


In regards XXXXX XXXXX gift from his family, it was given +5yrs ago. I think it was a gift to the marriage but he argues it was to him only. This was invested in the property that is in negative equity. So based on this, his share of the loss is bigger? or would that mean that from the total equity of the two properties we first have to return the "gift money" to him and split the rest?


I am not interested in maintenance.


Sorry if I am trying to be too detailed but it is the base to our negotiation.

After 12 months, as you were getting divorced, each would properly come out with what they came in with.

But as time goes on, the split flattens out till eventually, it becomes 50-50, and I think that you are approaching that point indeed, if you have not got to it already

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