when we divorce i fully expect to be slaughtered financially. do i get any benefit or advantage from the fact that after the mortgage is accounted for the equity in the FMH is from the deposit that i provided myself?
ie this came from the profit on the sale of a previous house that i bought by myself before i met my wife. she lived in it with me for 3 years, 2 with our child before we moved and bought our joint home.
I understand how you feel ! It can, I think, be easy for men to make an unconscious assumption, based perhaps on reporting of high profile cases, that divorce is a honeypot for women and you probably feel a little bit like cattle en route to a slaughterhouse. But I think there can be dangers for men in assuming they're going to be taken to the cleaners ; their expectations may be so low that they might be prepared to settle for a figure which is unrealistically low.
So let me explain my understanding of the situation. The Court will make the welfare of the children its primary objective. This is a statutory requirement and stems from section 25(1) of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. This doesn't mean that the needs of the parents are irrelevant. But in practice it does tend to have the result that the parent looking after children has a bit of an advantage.
The Court is further required to consider a whole list of factors set out in section 25(2) and you will probably find them on this website somewhere, but they are basically pretty much common sense. One of them is the contributions which each party made to the marriage.
So therefore, the fact that you provided the deposit is, at least, a factor.
But the Court has to consider the needs of both parties - you included. What the Court will do often depends on how much the parties have in the way of resources. Where there is plenty of money, sufficient to satisfy both parties ' needs, then the objective is to share the resources out in a fair way. But where there is limited money then the Court must look primarily at the issue of meeting needs, and in lower income cases, this may, and often does, mean that the payer of maintenance must be allowed enough to meet his needs, and if this is not enough to meet the needs of the wife, then she will have to rely on benefits to make up the shortfall. In such cases the fact that you provided some of the family assets is regarded as much less important.
Now I know this is a bit of a mushy answer, and there are some people, myself included, who think that the law, as now interpreted, is getting a little bit too flexible and that there are a number of problems becoming apparent, ie (i) it makes it difficult even for professionals to advise client as to the likely outcome of a divorce settlement ; (ii) uncertainty begets litigation, when the law should be actively encouraging