How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34106
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
13262538
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Clare is online now

Hi, my wife and I have just decided to separate. 7 years ago

Customer Question

Hi, my wife and I have just decided to separate. 7 years ago my father gave us £50,000 which we used to pay off the mortgage and buy a new kitchen. He has also given us other much smaller lump sums, for a new car for example, whilst her parents have never given us anything. I also owned a house when we married and sold that for about £6,000 more than I paid which then provided the deposit for a new one. We have no children and we have both worked continuously full-time since we met. Our salaries have been very close but I have consistently earned more. Can my father demand £25,000 back off her and she has to pay it? Can I expect to get more than 50% from the settlement?
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.
How long have you lived together?
How much is the property worth and what other assets and debts are there?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The property is worth about £180,000 and there are savings of about £210,000 excluding pensions, of which we have separate plans. There are no debts other than a monthly credit card bill.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
how long have you lived together
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

We have lived together since we got married in October 1994, for 1 year in a house that I owned prior to us meeting, then since September 1995 in the current jointly owned home. My wife brought no assets to the marriage.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
What was the basis of the Gift from your father?
what income do you each have?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

After my mother's death my father sold his house and moved in with my brother and gave us each £50,000 from the proceeds. We both have full-time permanent jobs, currently I earn £47,500 and my wife around £42,000.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
So it was clearly meant as a gift and not a loan?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
The length of your marriage means that the starting point for division of all the assets is 50/50 and it is unlikely that the court will move fro from this.
You could certainly argue for a 60/40 split on the house on the basis of your father's gift - but it is not a strong case and would not be worth the cost of a full court battle
Since it was clearly a gift not a loan your father cannot ask her to repay anything
You should try and negotiate with your ex using Family mediation (www.familymediationhelpline.co.uk)
I know that this is not what you wished to hear but it is a realistic reflection of the position - please ask if you need further details
Clare
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX I expected but wished it confirmed by an expert. I don't want to get into any legal battles and fall out so won't pursue it.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
I am sorry to give bad news - I hope all goes well for you
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Hi, a new development.


 


My brother informed my father of our split and my father insists he gave the money to me alone and not to me and my wife, does this change things?

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Frankly no.
Unless he had made that clear at the time saying it now has no credence - and frankly it makes little difference to the likely outcome since it was used to pay off the mortgage
Clare