Bought my house in 1999. Wife came from China in 2002 and we married in 9/03. 2/04 she moved into the spare bedroom. Marriage then started falling apart. 4/06 she got her UK passport, and 9/06 filed for divorce (Nisi being issued 14th May) . I have paid all the mortgage, bills and council tax, and am overdrawn by about £1000. I'm sure she must have a pretty penny stashed away somewhere as she has been taking home about £1000 a month for about 3 years.
Now she wants £30,000 settlement (half of equity).
It seems like she is staying put until she gets what she wants, and the atmosphere in the house in unbearable. Am I right in being very reluctant to give her anything like that amount? I feel like I've been had. How would the courts see it?
Am I also right in thinking that Decree Absolute won't be issued until finances are settled?
This case in a sense hinges on whether the courts treat it as a very short marriage or not.
From marriage date to Decree Nisi is 3 years - I know you feel it was over when she moved to the spare room - but I reckon the court will use 3 years as the length.
The fact that you paid the mortgage during the marriage is not hugely relevant.
What is more relevant is what the house was worth when you got married - i.e. how much equity you brought into the marriage - because as the marriage was pretty short then a good portion of this could remain yours.
I assume you have no kids - so no child support.
You also say she is earning 1000 per month so unless you are earning 3 times this or more then as marriage was short i would also say no Spousal maintenance is likely.
I would assume that she will get 1/2 of the increase in equity in the house since the marriage began. plus some portion maybe 20% of the equity you brought into the marriage.
i.e. 20% of net equity in house at marriage date (house value then minus mortgage then) plus 50% of equity gain (house price increase in last 3 years).
It could be more it could be less - but hopefully that gives you some idea of what could happen.