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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33324
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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I have recently divorced, but my ex has left me to deal with

Customer Question

I have recently divorced, but my ex has left me to deal with the house Valued £200k + with £82k on mortgage i have taken lodges to help cover costs, My ex now wants the house sold believing she is entitled to 50% of the equity.
My income is from self employment as a builder which in the past provided a good income then about 7 years ago a spell of ill health meant my wife had to take full time work since then my income has stayed below £10k a year.
I have no other assets
I have debts of £10k
My needs are to keep a roof over my head' and somewhere to store the equipment i need to work 50% of the equity might give me £60k But with no chance of a mortgage i would not be able to buy anything that would allow for the storage of my work equipment.
I am 58 yrs old so have less than 7 yrs before i retire.
My ex-wifes Details
She has a privately rented Flat with garden and off road parking. cost about £425.PCM
Income from F/T employment is around £12k P/A.
When she left she took £2,500 in shares and a small pension of £2500
Her father died within a month of her leaving but before divorce proceedings had started
she was to benefit as an only child but i have no details. other that she didn't get what she expected.
She is 50 yrs old so retires in about 17yrs.
She also has debts of £9k.
I have obtained a copy of the guidance given to the court which seems to say all these points are taken into consideration as a "pot" to be divided between us.
This would mean that 50% of the "pot" would be more than all the equity in the house.
I would be happy to take that as full settlement and seek no more.
Is this how it works and what should i do?
Is this how it works?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Thanks for using JustAnswer. My name isXXXXX will do whatever I can to answer your question.
Just to clarify.
There is equity in the property of £120,000.
The only other assets are shares of £2,500 and a private pension in payment to your ex of £2,500 a year.
Any other assets would be an inheritance from her father who died after you separated?
If this is correct why do you think you would get all the equity in the house?
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

As the guidance to the court seems to say that all forseeable income of both parties is included in "pot" and the loss of the house would leave me homeless and unemployed renting would have to be paid out of whatever my share turned out to be which would quickly be used up.

 

"It shall be the duty of the court in deciding whether to exercise its powers.... to have regard to all the circumstances of the case including the following matters:-

• the income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future.

• the financial needs, obligations and responsibilities which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future.

• the standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the marriage.

• the age of each party to the marriage and the duration of the marriage.

• any physical or mental disability of either of the parties to the marriage.

• the contributions made by each of the parties to the welfare of the family, including any contribution made by looking after the home or caring for the family.

• the value to either of the parties to the marriage of any benefit (for example, a pension) which ... (by reason of the divorce) ..that party will lose the chance of acquiring."

In ancillary relief proceedings there must always be full disclosure by both parties of their assets in order to enable a calculation of the 'pot' for division to be made.

 

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
I am afraid that there is nothing in the arguments that you have put forward that is likely to persuade a Court to depart from a 50/50 division of the equity in the former matrimonial home.
You both have similar debts and you both have similar incomes.
There is no reason why you should have the luxury of owned accommodation whilst your ex remains renting
The eight year difference in your ages is unlikely to be seen as significant
The fact that she has other assets may persuade a court to award then equity 60/40 in your favour - but that would be a reach and it could cost you more in court fees to achieve it than it is worth
Claire

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