Good afternoon, I am posting on behalf of a friend so I hope this is okay. My friend has been married for about 5 years now and the marriage has been rough. A lot of emotional abuse and coercive control. He hasnt been kind to her. No physical abuse as far as I know, but a lot of emotional abuse. She cheated on him, at first it was an emotional thing which turned physical. The affair lasted for 3 months tops. The husband found out by going through the messages in her apple watch. Since then he has moved out of the home and told her he wants a divorce.
The house is hers and her name is on the deeds. She purchased the house before they got together but since being married, he has paid some of the bills. Mostly utilities and food. He hasnt paid the mortgage nor the council tax. He has told her that he wants £25,000 out of the house. Either by making her sell, or getting her to re-mortgage. She is a newly qualified band 5 nurse, he works in sales and earns at least double her annual salary. He also told her that if he takes her to court then she will end up paying more than the 25k as well as his legal fees so it's in her best interests to just pay up. Obviously she doesnt have that kind of money and doesnt want to sell up or re-mortgage either.
He has been harrassing her, calling her and asking her where she's going all the time and has also followed her when she's left the house. I have told her to stop taking his calls and to block him and only communicate through solicitors. (She is yet to find a solicitor as this all happened over the weekend).
She is absolutely terrified to leave the house - I have told her to contact the police about this but where does she stand in terms of a divorce? Is it true in what he says where she would end up paying more than £25k and all his legal fees because she committed adultery? They have no children thank god, she does have a child but she's at university and is 19 years old.
The reasons for the divorce will have no bearing on any financial settlement.
The length of the marriage is relevant. Did they live together beforehand? Are there children to consider?
In a short marriage the rule of thumb is that you take out what you put in and share profits of the marriage equally. All assets are considered, not just the house. So savings, pensions, investments etc. It may be that increases in the value of his pension outweigh other assets.
It is hard to comment without a greater level of financial detail but it is perfectly true that they could spend thousands , even tens of thousands between them on lawyers. I would suggest that your friend makes sure she is aware of how settlement works (lots of info on this site) and doesn't rush to agree anything. She certainly should not hand over any money without a legally binding order in place.
She may want to consider talking to one of our divorce consultants or booking a fixed price legal consultation.