Any accurate advice would be much appreciated please.. A precis of my position is as follows : -
I have lived with my wife for the past seven years.I moved into her house seven years ago and we purchased our marital home five years ago, with us both on the deeds, using the equity in her house of £80,000 plus £5000 cash that I supplied as a joint deposit leaving us with a mortgage of £150k.We married two years ago.I fully paid (and still do) the mortgage on the properties. This I estimate to amount to £50,000+ in mortgage payments alone and I have contributed a total of £140,000 over those seven years for all other bill/utilities and day to day living.We have two children aged five and three who I intend to seek Shared Residence for..
Twelve months ago out of the blue she told me she had contracted VD and gave me the dreaded brown envelope to go and get myself treated.The cheeky madam said it must have lain dormant!..yeah right!.. Anyway she later told me that she did''nt love me anymore and she wanted us to part.She took herself and the children to stay with her grandmother for a couple of months and then returned for the Christmas period after pleadings by me to give it another chance.. However she never really gave it a chance and has been monosyllabic and vicious from then to about last March.. The constant abuse was breaking my heart so I had to leave in March ''12 and moved back in with my father who lives just around the corner from the MH.. She has met somebody else and he stays over at our family home when I have the children.She is demanding a divorce now (on what grounds I don''t know) and wants to sell the MH which I have agreed to in principle,BUT here is the cruncher she says I am not entitled to anything because the house has been valued at the same price as we purchased it for and apparently I signed one of these trust agreements when we did the paperwork for the house.. Obviously since then we married, so I am wondering if the agreement still holds any water or ever did?
My wife owns another property purchased prior to us meeting (value £150K) which is let and will shortly inherit close to £1million from her aged and very ill grandmother..
Where do I stand please and what does the law say?.What should I expect financially?..I am just about to get a solicitor.How should I approach things with her?.Does it matter who divorces who?.. Thanks for reading this.Regards Santelm
Well, I think it''s unlikely you will get nothing at all out of the marital home because very few divorcing spouses do exit a marriage with absolutely nothing. The trust will probably be of little value, though where the parties are not married at all it is likely to be very important.
What matters far more is your respective need for accommodation and in particular the essential requirement of a home for your children. But in your case, correct me if I''m wrong, she provided £80K towards the deposit and you £5K.
Forgive me, but I think most neutrals would say it isn''t unreasonable that she should have the lion''s share ?
But as I said, the question of need does come into it. And your need matters. I know you are feeling upset, and with good reason, but that is very unlikely to have a great deal of impact on the settlement.
What you need to look at is, first of all, your need for a home, and the needs of your wife and kids. Then you have to look at your joint resources and try to work out how to make sure you both have a roof over your head.
I note that you have paid the mortgage for five years. The obvious question is this ; you will not be expected to pay the mortgage on a house you are not allowed to occupy. You will have to pay some maintenance for your kids and possibly your wife as well, but if she cannot afford the mortgage with the aid of such resources as she has or might acquire, then giving her the right to live in the former marital home is not appropriate.
At this stage let me mention the grandmother. The Courts are notoriously reluctant to get involved over questions of life expectancy. The problem is that a will can be changed, right up to the point of death, and parents and grandparents are becoming increasingly aware that anything they leave their kids could in theory be taken by their ex spouse. That is not something the Courts like to do as such, but it can be done if the needs of the parties cannot be satisfied without recourse to the inheritance. If the lady is known to be close to death, the Court may possibly be willing to adjourn the hearing because undoubtedly if your ex inherits this sort of money, there is more than enough to amply satisfy your housing needs.
If I may so suggest, I did write an article called " Housing options following separation " and there is a thread under that name where you can find a link to it. I wrote it for the benefit of people in your position and I hope you would find it helpful as a guide to the kind of orders a Court can make and the circumstances where these orders are likely to be used.
Thankyou very much for your reply which is very helpful.. You are correct in saying that my wife put down £80,000 deposit and I put down £5,000 as a deposit on our home.Since then of course I have paid £50,000 in mortgage payments.. I have no problem with my wife receiving the lion''s share of the proceeds of the sale of the house but she is trying to push me into agreeing to sell the house right now and her view is that I deserve nothing out of it.To quote her she says,"Well you came into it with nothing so why should''nt you go out of it with nothing"... Obviously this has frightened me because this could leave me living in a bed-sit when I really need a decent deposit for a home for my children to come and live with me part of the time.She on the other hand will be living very comfortably well off.... rgds santelm
If I am asked how much do I want out of the divorce.. What in your view (without prejudice) do you think a fair split would be?.I hav''nt a clue.. and would that be taken as a percentage just of the marital home or would it be of the grand total of our assets.. i.e. include the other property (that we let out) that my wife bought before we were married??... I feel a little ungentlemanly in all of this but as I keep being told that if it was the woman who was in my position then it would be seen as perfectly normal for her to do this.. It''s just because in this case that ''Shock Horror'' a woman is in the same position that men have been in for years.
You will almost certainly get something for three reasons. The first is that you need somewhere to live, which will, almost certainly, mean you will need to realise some cash from the sale. The second is that you made a contribution to the deposit and paid the mortgage for five ( ? ) years. The third is that the FMH is clearly matrimonial property where there is a yardstick of equality. In your case she would get the larger share, and as I indicated, I think that is right.
Lord Nicholls, in the House of Lords judgment in McFarlane, said this : The parties'' matrimonial home, even if this was brought into the marriage at the outset by one of the parties, usually has a central place in any marriage. So it should normally be treated as matrimonial property for this purpose. As already noted, in principle the entitlement of each party to a share of the matrimonial property is the same however long or short the marriage may have been.
Thanks LMM... That has put my mind at rest .. Would you advise me to get a solicitor immediately or simply wait to hear what their proposals are from her solicitor.. My main concern is for my children and providing them with a home for when they are with me. My stbxw tells me not to worry and that we have joint custody of our girls but her idea and my idea of bringing them up is completely different.For example I think I should be able to look after our girls at our home when it is my turn to have them and that my wife should have the decency to go and stay with her family.After all that is what I am doing during the week when I stay at my fathers.I am just being civilised. To her though this is a red rag to a bull and she threatens hell and damnation if I even try to suggest it.To me this solution minimises the disruption and pain for my girls and they get to sleep in their own beds and play with their own things.I appreciate that this will happen all to soon when we both have our own homes but it''s very early days at the moment and the girls know nothing about what is going on.
Is joint custody a weaker legal position than shared residence.What would you suggest?... regards and thankyou Santelm