Been separated for over 6 years and getting the divorce moving at the moment. We owned a house from the marriage that was sold and the profits split equally 50/50. We have no other financial ties and we both work full time and earn about the same. Have two children that we have split 50% residency on and neither of us pays any maintenance as we have the children equally. After selling the marital home and renting for 18 months climbed back onto the property market using my half of teh profit split as a deposit and obtaining a mortgage with my new partner. The ex-wife is now claiming that she is entitled to 50% of the new house even though it was bought 6 years after we split, using no income from the married period. Is she entitled to this or just another threat ?
The answer to your question is that you are still married to your previous partner, and if you formally divorce it is still open to make make a claim for ancillary relief. Making informal agreements without recourse to the Courts is fine but it highly advisable to have the arrangements embodied in what is called a ' Consent Order '. This involves both spouses making a joint application to the Court to rubber stamp the agreement they have made, and it will be supported to statements as to your means to satisfy the Court that the agreement is a fair one. The other alternative is a Separation Agreement , but a consent order is to be preferred, as your agreement is legally binding and your wife can't go back on it.
However, claiming it is one thing ; getting it is another. My personal inclination would be to argue on the following lines :
1. When you separated you made an agreement concerning division of property ;
2. That agreement was, at the time and in the circumstances, a fair one ;
3. Therefore a Consent Order would have been made, had it been applied for ;
4. The absence of a Consent Order is a mere technicality in these circumstances and the Court should not allow your wife to backtrack on an agreement she made freely and under no compulsion.
5. It is relevant that you acquired the assets after separation ;
6. Your wife has been guilty of unreasonable delay.
But whether this line of argument would succeed is something about which you definitely need to see a solicitor.
Even though during the whole time that we were married my wife worked, and has had a full time job earning considerably more than me in terms of income is she still entitled to claim ancillary relief ?
Hi, where do i start?
Informal aggreements are fine, if things could stay the same forever.
Just to let you know a brief outline of our case.
My husband divorced his first wife in 2002, they had a verbal agreement (no Consent Order) and absolute was granted in 2002, late 2004 i married him, i remortgaged my house to pay off all his and her debts, as we were struggling financially to pay everything, so we basically consolidated all debts, theirs and mine.
The same month we married, my husband received a letter, from his ex wifes solicitor starting ancilliary relief proceedings against him. We are now at the FH stage (its been adjourned as further questions needed answering of the pension report)
As neither party had legal advice at the time of the divorce, the verbal agreement does'nt stand.
for 2 years i have been trying to tell his wife via her solictors that she is not entitled to my money or property, they have disputed this all along, saying that shes entitled to half my property (and various other things, that have never had anything to do with her) its very complicated to go into all the ins and outs of everything, but finally a Judge told them so. (But we have received a letter from them this week stating that they dont agree with the Judge and will still pursue the claim against my property, so we still have to fight that one!)
Anyway the only asset that is left to sort out really is my husbands pension. Where my property and husbands pension is concerned they brought with them to Court case law, Rossi v Rossi, (which is something that i am still trying to get my head round,) something about being able to claim 5 years after.
.....the trouble with all this for us is...of course her solicitors will keep pushing and pushing even after being told by a Judge because they are getting paid for it. (30k upto now!) i think they have hoped all along we will just give in and settle for their totally unreasonable demands.
You have to show the courts that what you settled on at the time was fair to you both and going down the path, is a long drawn out horrid experience, sometimes though you have no choice. The answer to your question "she worked during the whole time and earnt more than me, can she still claim? is.......she can apply but whether or not she will succeed is another thing.. from all you say it seems to me that she hasnt a leg to stand on and proving all that u say, will show that.
Mike is right in all he says, but it can take a long time to get there, on paper it seems like okay, fill in a form, tell them why she shouldnt be able to get this and that, prove my case, job done, ten minutes max! Far from it.
It will give you sleepless nights, and months of worrying if you both go down this path. Try and try first to point these things out and talk. Get some legal advice and maybe hopefully one or two letters from a solicitor pointing out your case, may just end months of heartache.
I wish you well and point out there are loads of us on here who will offer advice and support if and when you need it.
I think Louise's story answers your question better than I ever could, because she's been on the wrong end of it.
I can only repeat - claiming it is one thing, whether she will get anything is quite another matter. You need to understand that, if you divorce, and if your wife, soon to be ex wife, makes no claim for ancillary relief as part and parcel of the divorce proceedings, whatever rights she may have are lost forever, so she has to consider it now.
you got excellent answers from Mike and Louise, but just to discuss a little further.
If you share the kids and she earns more than you then I see no chance of her being successful in getting spousal maintenance.
But the other aspect of ancillary relief is the division of assets. Mike has outlined very clearly how to make your case to get the informal agreement to stand.
If the informal agreement is not upheld then the court may look towards dividing the marital assets as they stand now. The problem arises if you invested your assets while she just spent all of hers. Her aim would be to claim half of the marital assets at todays valuation. How likely she is to succeed I cannot say.