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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34105
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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HI, Am hoping you can help me answer a few queries I have

Resolved Question:

HI,

Am hoping you can help me answer a few queries I have around an ex wife's entitlement. My partner is currently going through a divorce. They separated 4 years ago and I believe are legally separated as divorce proceedings have previously been started but stalled. They have 1 child together (8 years old). The custody was finalised that the ex wife would be the primary carer but they both share the full time care (probably 60/40) of their daughter, and the day to day costs are shared between them. The proceeds from the sale of the marital home were also shared with the £180,000 profit being shared as £120k to the ex wife and £60k to my now partner. This was due to her having to get a 2 bed property for her and the daughter and him having to get a one bed place (even although the daughter stays with him a lot of the time). He also pays the advised monthly maintenance amount by the CSA website based on his earnings. This arrangement has been working with no problems until now when the divorce is now been pushed again.
Since the split of the proceeds, the ex wife has spent the £120k (over the 4 years they have been separated) and my partner invested his £60K into a property (that he lives in). This property has now gone up in value by approx £70K.

The ex wife has now stated she wants increased maintenance payments, which I am not too worried about as is purely based on his salary? However, she also wants a flat valuation done and for him to re mortgage to take the half the equity out of the property?
Given that the joint equity they had has been distributed between them already, and was 2/3rds in her favour, can she now claim anything from the property he has had solely in his name since they separated?
She is claiming that she cant pay her rent on the 2 bed place she has, as her current salary wont cover it, which is why she has spent the £120K to date and now needs an additional amount to finalise the divorce.
My partner obviously wants to do the best by his daughter, but without giving away any of his equity to his ex wife, when he is unclear where the money is being spent.

My common sense tells me that she shouldnt be entitled to anything further, however, I am not too sure how these things work legally. Any help or advice would be appreciated.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Has you explained why she did not use the money to purchase a property for herself and the child?
How much do your partner and his ex each earn?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for your prompt response


 


She didn't buy a property as said she couldn't afford the mortgage payments on her salary (even with the equity), hence using it to pay her rent and maintain her lifestyle.


 


last year her salary was approx £26,000 and his was £49,000

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
How much is the property worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The property was bought for £240k, 3.5 years ago and is probably now worth approx £310k (ish). A valuation has not been done, so I am guessing approximately with this figure based on current market values. There is a mortgage of £160K and £150k equity in the property (based on the current value being £310k.)

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Can I assume that it was purchased jointly with you?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
No, the property is solely in his name.
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Sorry - i have worked out why I was confused.
Can he prove that she could have purchased a property then has she wished to do so (since he did it was clearly possible)
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
She would say that her salary was not enough to cover the monthly mortgage payments, whereas his was, hence why he was in a position to purchase and she wasn't.
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Oh I know what she will say - but can he show that there were reasonably priced houses she could have managed to buy?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

she could have potentially bought somewhere, however, not in the same area that she was currently living and wanted to remain living to ensure there was no disruption to the daughter's schooling. She has therefore continued to live in an area she cant afford, and has used the capital of £120K to subsidise the rental payments. This money has now run out. Which is why (I am assuming) she is now proceeding with the divorce, saying she is now having to borrow money to make her rental payments, and wants a property valuation of my partners property to get half the equity out of it.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi Camille
I wish I could give totally positive news about the position - but I cannot do so.
Certainly there is no risk of more Child maintenance being ordered if your partner is already paying the CSA rate.
Unfortunately I cannot say for certain that your partner will not have to give her a further lump sum - but I would not expect it to be as much as 50%
The problem is that in the absence of a signed agreement setting out the arrangements his ex can still make a claim on his assets
In addition there is a borderline risk of spouse maintenance being ordered - very slight but there
However given the unequal division of the equity in the Matrimonial Home there is a reasonable chance that the court will not order a further payment or spouse maintenance
Please ask if you need further details
Clare
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