I have been seperated from my husband for 9 years, he left me. At the time we lived in a house that was owned by myself only. Since the desertion I sold my house and bought a new one. He is now claiming he wants a divorce and half of what my house is worth. Can he do this? we have a child together (who has now left home )since leaving he has never paid any maintenance for her, she was 13 at the time. He lives in a council property which he claims housing benefit for as he is unable to work due to being an alcholic. I am happy to get a divorce, however I am not sure where I stand regarding my property. Please help!!
Being an alcoholic does not make one unable to work. No judge would accept that line.
I think he will be fighting an uphill struggle to get much, if any, out of you. However it would all depend on the figures. If for example you sold the house for £500k then he might reasonably expect some share of that. We could give more advice if you can give us:
1) Your respective ages
2) Your respective incomes including any benefits
3) Any pensions you or your husband have
4) Value of the FMH when it was sold, and how much the mortgage was; how much did you get from the sale
5) Current value and mortgage of your new home
6) Any other assets such as savings, shares etc, and when these were acquired (pre or post separation)
7) Any debts eg credit cards, loans etc, how much, whose name when they were acquired
He has a secure tenancy of a Council house, so he could not make a case on grounds of need.
On the other hand, if you were forced to sell the house or buy him out, the cash so received would in all probability disqualify him from housing benefit. Unfortunately for you, the argument that the state would pay his housing costs anyway is not an argument that would get you too far.
Cynically, I suppose most of the cash would finish up in the till at the Rose and Crown.
I feel pretty sure that you would not be on the receiving end of an order that would leave you homeless. But neither cookie or I know whether there is any scope for giving him any interest in your house while still retaining a roof over your head.
For what it might be worth, there is some precedent here ; K v K ( Conduct ) 1990 2 FLR 225 also concerned chronic alcoholism but even so the husband got a share in the proceeds of the house, but his application for spousal maintenance was dismissed. I stress however that every case depends on its own facts.