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What are we each entitled to in our divorce settlement?

What does the law say about how to split the house, how to share pensions and other assets, and how much maintenance is payable.

What steps can we take to reach a fair agreement?

The four basic steps to reaching an agreement on divorce finances are: disclosure, getting advice, negotiating and implementing a Consent Order.

What is a Consent Order and why do we need one?

A Consent Order is a legally binding document that finalises a divorcing couple's agreement on property, pensions and other assets.


Do you need help sorting out a fair financial settlement?

Our consultant service offers expert advice and support to help you reach agreement on a fair financial settlement quickly, and for less than a quarter of the cost of using a traditional high street solicitor.


Matrimonial Asset

  • Clare20
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22 Aug 12 #351270 by Clare20
Topic started by Clare20
Can someone please help me? My STBX and I lived together for 9 years and had 2 children before we got married. During the first 9 years we lived together, firstly in his fathers house for approx 8 months (who sadly passed away 3 months before we got married in 1998)then moved from there when we had a joint tenancy in our own rented council property. We later bought the council house and had a joint mortgage current MH. This was after we married. When his father passed away the house was left to my STBH and deeds are in his sole name. During our marriage he rented this house to his sister and received income from it as a landlord - All correspondence for this came to our marital home but money was paid into his bank account (We did not have a joint bank account. We decorated the house together and paid for improvements and repairs to the property. Later in our marriage his sister moved out and someone else rented the property. Prior to them moving in he borrowed money for improvements i.e. new kitchen, carpets, bathroom, and decoration throughout from my mother. My mother and I decorated, cleaned, painted and prepared the house ready for letting. He is now saying that this property is not a matrimonial asset and wants to disregard it in our settlement (Its mortgage free) and is worth the same as our marital home (that still has a mortgage on that I have paid on my own for the last 3 years since our separation)- He just wants our MH to go into the pot? Is he right in saying that because we weren''t married when his dad left him the house it won''t go ''into the pot''. He had an affair and when we separated he went to live in his fathers house and is still there, having no mortgage to pay and contributing nil to our joint mh where I have stayed with our daughter and paid the mortgage on my own since we have split. HELP???

  • hadenoughnow
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22 Aug 12 #351271 by hadenoughnow
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Clare,

Welcome to wikivorce.

If my sums are right, your total relationship is more than 20 years. Cohabitation that moves seamlessly into marriage is counted as all part of the length of marriage ... and you also had two children!

20+ years is a long marriage. The start point for division is 50:50 although that is not usually how it ends because assets are divided according to needs first and contributions second. Everything in joint or sole names goes into the pot for division and can then be argued (or negotiated) out. If there is more than enough to house you both adequately and to provide financial support as needed, then the question of contribution may come up but tbh I am doubtful if he could argue that this property is not relevant to the financial settlement.

We could help you more effectively if you are able to answer the following questions.

How old are you both?
How old is your daughter?
What is the value of the FMH?
How big is the mortgage?
What do you each earn?
Do you have pensions?
Are there any other assets?
Do you have any debts?

Hadenoughnow

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23 Aug 12 #351325 by cookie2
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He is wrong. It is a matrimonial asset. All assets owned by either of you are matrimonial. Such is the law in England and Wales. That does not mean however that it will be split 50/50, the answer to that would depend on the questions hadenoughnow has asked.

  • Clare20
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23 Aug 12 #351402 by Clare20
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Hi

Yes we were together altogether for just over 21 years. Our youngest daughter who lives with me will be 18 next month.
I am 42 and he is 49.
Daughter is currently 17.
Value of our FMH is 75K (Same as his fathers house - but that one is mortgage free!).
I earn 19K and he claims Income Support (But for the past year has fostered a teenage boy and has received £400+ per week Tax free Allowance whilst paying NIL for his own daughter)
We both have smallish pensions (Mine is probably bigger as I am the sensible one and have paid into it since I started work at 17).
There are no other assets other than the 2 houses.
He has 12K of debt that he has accumulated through gambling, having loans behind my back (in his sole name thank god) and has borrowed money from my mother around the £4500 mark to improve his fathers property to let out during our marriage that he is currently paying her back at £50 per month via cheques).
I feel that I was being fair in saying that I would make no claim on his fathers property that is currently valued at the same amountas ours but is mortgage free, if he took responsibility for his own debts and signed over the FH to me so that I could continue paying the mortgage and in effect take on the whole debt as I have been doing so since he left in April 2009 anyway. I have received a Solicitors letter telling me that he will transfer but wants £25k to do so and that he believes that his father property should not be counted as a matrimonial asset!

It was a big shock to see the amount that he wanted .... especially as he has a gambling addiction (That he will not admit to) and I hope to have a home to leave to my 2 daughters and 2 grandsons one day.

many thanks

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23 Aug 12 #351412 by cookie2
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I think your offer is very fair. Asking for £25k is totally unrealistic. You should reply re-stating your previous offer and saying that there is no way you will be giving him £25k or any other amount. His father''s property is a marital asset whether he likes it or not.

If he brings his offer down to a reasonable figure maybe £5k then you might be best off to accept it, just to get rid of him and avoid court costs. But if he will not budge or offers another stupid amount like £20k then you''re probably better off applying to court.

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23 Aug 12 #351420 by Clare20
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Realistically ..... What are the costs likely to be if I let this go to Court and let a Judge decide how much we get? I''ve thought about just trying to offer him 5k to get rid, like you said, but then I think why should he get 5k and I get additional debt on our home and our daughter to keep. I have always contributed more to our home and family and have always earnt more than him.

I feel better knowing that his fathers house is a matrimonial asset but I don''t want to throw money away on a Solicitor if I''m going to be worse off going to Court! It''s so confusing and difficult to think straight.

Thanks for your comments it''s helping me stay sane!

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23 Aug 12 #351426 by cookie2
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I think a court would decide exactly as you have offered, that he keeps his father''s house and his own debts, and you keep the FMH. The only question is, how much would it cost to go to court and would you be better off slipping him a few grand to just get out of your lives? Probably you would, but that of course requires him to be reasonable and accept the offer.

On the other hand another tactic would just be to tell his solicitor that his offer is laughable, say no, and invite a sensible offer. The status quo does suit you quite well in fact, you live in the FMH and he has gone. You can change the locks, then do nothing. If he wants some equity from the house then the onus is on him to make an offer that is acceptable for you, or to take court action (which will likely fail). I don''t think there''s much reason for you to go to the effort of pleasing him... he wants some of the FMH equity... let him do the work.

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