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What are we each entitled to in our divorce settlement?

What does the law say about how to split the house, how to share pensions and other assets, and how much maintenance is payable.

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Scared and confused

  • trooper
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29 Jul 07 #1637 by trooper
Topic started by trooper
Hi all,

My wife and I have just decided that it is not working and it's time to go out separate ways.

A short marriage (2.5 years) and no children so at least there is that to be thankful of.

I have a few questions (by the way i have a solicitor but it is always nice to be aware of what may happen from like minded people)

1) My wife put in 100k as the deposit on the house we now share. I agreed that in the event of a split she would get that back - no problem there. However she is indicating that she wants to stay in the house. My question is this. Lets say that the house is now worth 180k (we have a 60k mortgage) then what happens? Does my wife take on the 80k mortgage and I simply get 50% of the difference between 160k and 180k? (House was bought for 130k and my debt of 15k makes 145k and then 15k loan for house improvements makes 160k).

2) When we took out our mortgage we agreed that i could put my debt onto it as it was more cost effective way of managing it. How is that debt viewed now ? Is it still my reposibility or is it OUR responsibility as we added it to the mortgage?

My head is all over the place and I will be glad when i know how to handle this.



  • LittleMrMike
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30 Jul 07 #1639 by LittleMrMike
Reply from LittleMrMike
This is not an easy question to answer because so much depends on your ability, and your wife's, to service a mortgage as separate individuals, rather than as a couple.

I can be fairly definite in saying that if you both signed the mortgage, then as far as the lender is concerned you are both liable, and you would remain liable if your wife keeps the house, unless the mortgage lender released you.

One option is sale, which should leave both of you with about £120K and it is then a question of how you divide it.

Another option is for your wife to buy you out and as you say that depends on her ability to raise the necessary cash.

In the McFarlane case in the House of Lords, one of the judges ( Lord Nicholls, if I remember rightly )
said that both spouses are entitled to a share in ' matrimonial assets ' ( which must include the matrimonial home ) regardless of the length of the marriage. What he didn't say is how large that share should be or whether it makes any difference that your marriage has been a short one. I don't know the answer to that and I don't think anyone does. My guess is that a Court's general approach would be to try and make sure both of you could secure adequate accommodation ; so if the wife keeps the house then they might want to see you come away with some cash for a deposit on a house for yourself - but that would depend on your ability to get a release from your existing mortgage covenant.

The only other useful advice I can offer would be to try and settle this by agreement if you can, and get a Clean Break order dismissing all financial claims that each of you might have against the other. Get a release from your existing mortgage covenant if it can be done. Think about mediation as a possibility. The last thing you want or need in a case like this is a contested hearing. But so much depends on your mortgage capability.

Mike 100468

  • trooper
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30 Jul 07 #1644 by trooper
Reply from trooper
HI Mike many thanks for your thoughts

My only additional point to seek clarification is this

I did sign a piece of paper when we bought the house indicating thatn in the event of a split then the wife would get her 100k back.

Do we know if this is legally binding? If so then fair enough after all i didn't get married for money.

  • Dobber
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30 Jul 07 #1646 by Dobber
Reply from Dobber
Hi Trooper, Pre Nups are not legally binding in the UK.

Having said that I bought my FMH with the ex before we were married & signed a Decleration of trust with her on her deposit she put down from the sale of her former home. Due to the lengh of our marrige my solicitor says I have every right to claim a share in that.Apparently the longer you are married the less these declerations stand up. I have,nt tho but have used it as a barganing tool , regareds to her pension & the 28ks worth of furniture we bought last year !!
Get down to your local mediation office & book a session. Its fantastic & will help you both iron out any niggles in a settlement.Good luck.


  • Fiona
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30 Jul 07 #1650 by Fiona
Reply from Fiona

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