Hi I have been separated for 1 1/2 yrs and I am now in rented accommodation. My wife lives in the matrimonial house rent free, no mortage. She gets half of my pension and we divided half of all savings. I also pay half of the utility bills. We divided all assets other than the house and contents. Is she now entitled to any income / savings I am currently making and any money I may inherit after our separation upon divorce?
Oh dear. We do get this sort of query from time to time.
The short answer is that, unless you have a Court order which settles the finances once and for all, or a legally binding Separation Agreement ( which I suspect you haven''t ) then you are in a vulnerable position.
You are worried about the possibility of your ex making a claim against your inheritance after separation. In general terms that is unlikely, but it is possible, as has been shown by a few highly publicised cases.
What worries me more is the situation regarding the house. Your post suggests to me that it''s been left up in the air, so to speak.
Well, it''s all very nice for her, isn''t it, carrying on living in the house rent free on an indefinite basis ? Because that''s what will happen, unless you take some steps to come to some agreement about it. She has absolutely no incentive to do anything, she just sits on her backside and refuses to budge.
As long as you remain married there is **** all you can do about it.
Are you a joint owner ?
You ask whether you could be exposed a claim for maintenance in the future. The answer is yes, it''s possible, but of course if she''s managing without maintenance, you could argue, if she tries, that she seems to have managed without it, therefore does not need it.
My friend, it looks as though you are still in the holy estate of matrimony. Now I don''t like to rush anyone into divorce, but you really need to ask yourself, I think, whether you want to take formal steps to end the marriage and settle the finances.
At the moment she has got the goldmine and you have got the shaft, to use the words of the pop song. You have, effectively, lost your house and half of everything else.
That seems odd, you split the savings, she is living mortgage free, you pay half your pension, you pay rent and presumably utilities (unless you are living in a tent), you pay half her utilities, presumably she has all the marital furniture (not split).
Do you also have earned income,
length of marriage,
ages of both parties
any dependent children
value of savings in both names
Is the potential inheritance subject to a current will
Is she likely to get an inheritance
Are you going to divorce - if so I think you need to start the process.
On the face of it I do not understand why you are paying utilities and voluntary maintenence, letting her stay in the house when you pay rent - seems somewhat inequitable to me