This query is actually on behalf of a friend (no, really!!)Being a man it was easier for me to ask for him:
My colleage has been married for four years, no children, house in his name and he pays mortgage. His wife has had various low paid contract work so has contributed little to household expenditure however she has bought some furniture. she is still living in the property as she says she cannot afford to move out yet as she is curretnly now working, however they have lived seperately within the house for six months and he has told her the marriage is over.
My colleage now wants a divorce on the grounds of her unreasonable behaviour to his child from his first marriage. He is hoping for a 50 50 split on the equity on the house and no spousal support as she brought no assets to the marriage. However, he has just remortgaged his house in order to clear his debts, which has of course reduced the profit equity on the house. He has done this without her knowing, however when she realises during divorce negotiations that the mortgage has increased will there be any comeback on my friend? She was aware of the mortgage details etc six months ago so was probably planning to get more.
Whether there will be any comeback on the remortgaging depends entirely on what these debts (that were cleared with the remortgaged monies) were.
If they were excessive personal spending by him in last few months on holidays/gambling/partying etc then this could be seen as financial misconduct and impact the settlement (by adjusting to give her back 50% of what he spent).
If they were family debts built up over a couple/few years on household items / normal general expenditure then this wont go againts him.
It doesnt matter whos name the house is in or who paid most bills during the marriage - the marriage was a partnership.
If he is a high earner and she a low earner then spousal maintenance may be due - it has little to do with any assest that she brought to the marriage and more to do with her needs, her ability (or lack of it ) to support herself, and his ability to pay.