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UKfamsol
UKfamsol, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 560
Experience:  Very experienced specialist family law solicitor, qualifed in 1994
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Please have been married for a year and divorcing but am buying

Resolved Question:

Please have been married for a year and divorcing but am buying a new house on the first buyer government scheme which is in my name. Have been paying everything including the deposite for the new house. We have two young kids and I dnt want my wife to take my house from me so I want to know where I stand with assets. Thank you
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  UKfamsol replied 3 years ago.
Hello and thanks for your question.

I need a bit more information first.

How much is the house worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage?
What other assets and debts are there?
How much do you each earn?
Who has the day to day care of the children?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The house worth 185000 and its a new mortgage which I paid 9200 deposite. The house is first buyer scheme where by the government pay %25 , the bank pay %70 and have just paid %5. Only my name is XXXXX XXXXX house which is not even completed yet. I did exchange mortgage contract on 31/01/14.I earn 1800 p/m and she a self employ hairdresser but she never tell me anything about her money and I also get army pension which is £360p/m for been medically discharged from the forces. We been married for a year whikes was in the army and I did nine yearn in the forces. I have to pay for everything for her and she dnt contibute to anything at all. Have got £12000 loan am paying for to help my house am buying and to sort my family problems so am in debt aswel. Please do you think the court ll give me house to her because of the kids. She has apply for council house which is approved but she dnt want to take it because she's desparate for my house. Please any advise.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Please just paid £33 and I want to know if is one off payment because I dnt want money taking from my bank every month. Thank you

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Please am still waiting for my reply about the information you ask me about the mortgage, earns etc thank you.

Expert:  UKfamsol replied 3 years ago.
Hello again and thanks for the extra information.

Once a divorce petition has been filed at court, either party can make a financial and/or property claim against the other if they cannot agree between themselves how the matrimonial assets should be divided.

The matrimonial assets are everything in your sole name, everything in her sole name and everything you own jointly. If neither of you have any savings or any other assets, then it sounds as is the only matrimonial asset is the house. The value taken into account will be the equity in the house, ie £9,500. Any negotiation has to be on th same basis that a court would decide the case, or you risk any agreement being overturned later. The court works on the principle that both parties must give full and frank financial disclosure ie be totally open to each other (and to the court if it goes to court) about everything they own or have a financial interest in.

If you will still get an army pension in addition to your medical discharge pension, then that counts as a matrimonial asset as well.

In deciding how the assets should be divided, the court starts from the position that the assets should be divided 50:50 - then looks at reasons why that should not be so. Reasons why one person should get more than 50% would be that they will be providing a home for dependent children and/or their income is significantly lower than the other person's.

In your case, the kids will stay with your wife, and her income as a hairdresser is likely to be much lower than your total income of £2,100 per month. The total assets are also very small at £9,500. I think therefore that if it goes to court she will get a big share of the £9,500, possibly 70% or even as high as 100% - but probably not be allowed to make any claim against your pension when you reach retirement age.

The court aims to find an outcome that is fair to both parties and ensures that the parties and any children are adequately housed. The tries to avoid disrupting children if possible ie if there is a way that the children and the person who looks after them can stay in the house, then that is the preferred solution of the court.

On the income of a hairdresser, it is highly unlikely that she will be able to afford the mortgage and government loan on her own. It is also highly unlikely that any building society would agree to remove your name from the mortgage.

Therefore if the disruption to the children to move would be very great, the court might order that she and the kids stay in the house, even though it is in your name, and that she be allowed to live there without you being allowed to live there - but only until the youngest child finishes their education, at which point the house to be sold, and the net sale proceeds divided as agreed in the divorce, which could be 70:30 in her favour. For you, this has the disadvantage that you will not be able to get another mortgage until your name is XXXXX XXXXX mortgage.

If you can negotiate an agreement with her eg by giving her 70% of £9,500 now, in return for her not making a claim against the house (but get any agreement drawn up by a solicitor for you both to sign and file at court), then that would obviously be a better outcome for you. It may mean that the house will have to be sold as soon as your purchase of it has been completed to raise the money for her - but that might be a better option for you (if she will agree) than being tied to a mortgage for years to come.

A court case takes months and months, so my best advice to you is to negotiate, NEGOTIATE, E G O T I A T E !

If you and your wife are not able to have an amicable discussion, I recommend that you try mediation. This is a round-the-table discussion with a trained and neutral mediator. Here's where to find a local mediation service:-

http://www.familymediationhelpline.co.uk/find-service.php

The family court does now anyway require people to have attempted mediation before it will consider an application to court.

If you do decide to go to court, or you would like any agreement reached made into a binding legal agreement called a draft consent order that is signed by both of you an filed at court for the court's approval, then you will need some face-t-face advice from a specialist solicitor. Here's where to find one:-

http://www.resolution.org.uk/findamember/

A consent order once approved by the court is as binding on the parties as an order made following contested court proceedings.

I know this probably wasn't the answer you wanted to hear but there would be no point in my being anything but honest with you.

I hope this helps anyway and I wish you the best of luck.

Thanks and best wishes...
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Even if we only been married for a year and she did not put anything down for the house so why ll the court kick me from my house and put her name on the house. Why is it 50/50 because she got my to two kids and why can she get my half of my army pension because we been married for only a year of me been in the army so you dnt think she's entitled to a year worth of my pension instead of half. The council is providing her a house to live in so do you think the court ll still give her the which is not been lived in by none of as. Till dnt understand so she entitled to more of my assets which is not joint assets and she hasn't work for anything. Am not happy but what can I do because my solicitor told me that because we have not been married for long and the house is not a joint house she can claim for half or more then me which am very confuse about it. Please can you explain it to me thank you.

Expert:  UKfamsol replied 3 years ago.
Hello again

Her claim would be under matrimonial legislation and the court is also guided by cases that have been decided in the past. The principle is that a marriage is a joint venture in which everything is shared. But the sharing is not necessarily equal, because it depends on the needs of each party as well as the income of reach party. There is no doubt in my mind that she will receive significantly more than 50% of the equity in the house, whether or not she accepts council accommodation, because she will be looking after your children, and her income is much lower than yours. If you can offer her a substantial share of the £9,500 eg 75% then she might agree in return not to make a claim on the house or a claim against your pension. I do agree with you that she is unlikely to get half of your pension - but you cannot hide what it will be worth when you reach retirement age. If you conceal any information, and she finds out later then she might have grounds to overturn any agreement reached.

I do appreciate that this wasn't the answer you wanted to hear but it would be wrong of me to give you false hope, so I would be grateful if you would now kindly accept my answer.

I hope this helps anyway and I wish you the best of luck.

Thanks and best wishes...
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Please what do you mean by the equity of the house is that the deposit I put in the house which she can claim % 70 of that. Please do think the court ll give the house to her to live whiles I still pay for it. Am already receiving a pension and have got a lot of debts to pay off so was ll the court decide about my situation. Have already given her a car and everything I bought for the house we were living before the separation. Am going to her csa which is going to be about 255 a month so what else ll the court maybe decide for me to pay aswel. Thank you.

Expert:  UKfamsol replied 3 years ago.
Hello again.

The equity in a property is the value of that property less any loans secured against it. So in your case, the house is worth £185,000, the mortgage and the government loan together are £175,500, which leaves £9,500, so that is the value of the equity.

The court has to decide
1) how the assets should be shared between you ie the £9,500 and any additional lump sum from your pension, if there is such a sum that you might be entitled when you reach retirement age
2) whether in addition to the share of the assets, your wife should also receive some spousal maintenance from you. She may or may not get an order for some maintenance from you for her(depends on how low her income is and what she can do to increase it) - but anyway, she will definitely be entitled to child support.

To argue against her getting any or much spousal maintenance, you need to write out a detailed list of your income from all sources, and all your outgoings, to show that you cannot afford to pay her anything at all, or not much.

I can't predict the exact figures that the court will come up with, but you will be able to argue how much you need to live, just as she can. But as going to court is time-consuming, stressful and very expensive, I strongly advise you to try to reach agreement between yourselves, and going to mediation is the best way to do that.

In my answer above, I've given you the website of the family mediation helpline so that you can find a local mediation service.

I don't think there's anything else I can add.

I would be grateful if you would now kindly accept my answer.

I hope this helps anyway and I wish you the best of luck.

Thanks and best wishes...
UKfamsol and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you alot am very pleased with everything.

Expert:  UKfamsol replied 3 years ago.
Thank you! I'm really glad I was able to help - please can you now accept and rate my answer.

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