My ex purchased the home we lived in as a married couple 2years prior to my moving in, my name was added to the mortgage and title deeds and we resided in the property for 9 years together before we separated. During this time I contributed to half the mortgage and household bills and paid half of all home improvements, new kitchen, decoration etc, I personally carried out a lot of the work myself. The value has grown by roughly £50K from when I moved in and the mortgage has reduced to only £22K remaining and is due to be paid off in 8years so in total there is roughly £70K equity on the property. I am asking for a small share to help me start over by asking her to extend the current mortgage and pay it off over a longer period, allowing her and our two daughters to stay in the house. Her solicitor is claiming I am entitled to nothing however mine is telling me I am entitled to a share of the equity on the grounds that she has benefitted from my contributions while I lived there. I have been quoted £5k contributions to take this to court, Is it worth my while?
There are legal arguments on both side. Property that is purchased before marriage is non matrimonial unless it was bought with the intention of being a family home. However, if assets owned before marriage are incorporated into family finances they become matrimonial property. In this case it is possible the circumstances would be treated as special so that the value of the former matrimonial home is considered matrimonial but the assets are shared in favour of the person who owned the property before marriage.
Unfortunately the only opinion that is binding is that of a judge at a proof hearing. Only you can decide if the amount you stand to gain is worth risking £5k and possibly more if you are unsuccessful and are ordered to pay the other sides costs. For what it''s worth I think you would be awarded *something* but I''m not a lawyer.
Thanks Fiona. I have given my ex the opportunity to keep the home with no financial settlement on the basis that she progress with divorce matters asap. This has not happened and she is''nt giving an inch on any matters of debate in the minute of agreement. She is holding things up at every opportunity and unless I agree to basically everything she wants then she will not divorce. I have conceeded everything to this point and am at the point where I have nothing more to concede to her, yet she''s still delaying any progress. I feel at the point now where forcing the divorce through the courts is my only option and will have to go for a financial settlement in order to attempt to cover my costs at least. Would a judge take into account how unreasonable she has been when making his decision and could she attempt to have me cover her costs if she has basically forced me to go this way?