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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34233
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 been married years and am now considering

Resolved Question:

Hi I have been married for 21 years and am now considering divorce. We have no children and hope to keep the split amicable. Before we try to agree on the financial spli, I would appreciate some advice on my entitlement. I have not worked since marriage due to ill health and recieve a pension from my previous employers of approx€15000 per annum. My husbands salary is £80,000+. We intend to split our assets 50/50 but I wondered if I would be entitled to any maintenance despite having no children.thank you. My husband also has a €100,000 pension pot but says that I will be not entitled to any of it as I have my own guaranteed for life pension. He will also receive a £300,000 inheritance sometime probably within the next five years. Will I be entitled to claim any of that as a part of our current capital has been left to me by my parents and he is expecting to retain half of that.

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 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.
What did you do with your inheritance - how was it invested?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi clare, my parents money enabled us to climb the property ladder. The rest has been invested in stocks and shares. This has now been mostly spent towards the purchase of another property which I will be living in. The value of my property will be deducted from my half share of our total assets which are approximately 600,000 pounds. My property cost £134,500 so my share of the rest will be £165,500. This means that my parents money and the advantage we gained from being able to afford more expensive property will have been shared equally between myself and my husband. This is why I am concerned that it will be unjust if I do not benefit from my husbands parents inheritance but according to him, as we will probably be divorced by the time he receives it, I will not be entitled to any of it. Please also answer my questions re possible maintenance and my husbands pension share. I do not wish this to go down the legal road but would like to know the possible outcome if it did before I make an informed decision if a 50/50 clean break split would be fair to me who has no possibility of ever working again due to health problems. Thank you in anticipation of your reply

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Before I deal with that could I just have a little more information about the money from your parents - how much did you receive?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi clare, approximately £120,000. When we were newly married we swapped houses with my parents as they wished to downsize. Their house in 1994 was worth £30,000 more than mine and the difference was a gift. The house which we left was my house with a mortgage of £20,000 which my dad lent us so that we were mortgage free when my husband was only 26.this obviously enabled us to climb the property ladder when we moved after a few years.my husband owned a flat when we met which was in negative equity so ended up substantially better off after our marriage. The other €90,000 was inheritance which has been invested until recently but has now been used towards the purchase of a property for me to live in.our marital home is valued at approximately £550,000 with an outstanding mortgage of approximately €100,000. I look forward to receiving your reply

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Was it invested in your sole name?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No joint names

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
The fact that your inheritance contributed to the capital is a good reason for you to receive a larger share of the assets - with a 60/40 split in your favour a good guide.
You are in fact still entitled to a pension sharing order - and to ongoing spouse maintenance given the substantial difference in your incomes
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi clare can you please answer the question I asked about the fact that my husband will receive an inheritance of £300,000 possibly within the next five years. Am I entitled to any of this as my husband has benefited from my parents inheritance. You mentioned ongoing spouse maintenance which surprises me as we have no children. Have you a rough idea of how much I may be entitled to. Thank you

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Sorry I should have said - I am afraid that you have no claim on any inheritance received after your are divorced and the finances settled.
Your only option is to use it as an argument to support your receiving a larger share of the assets now since they were partly financed by your inheritance.
Another way of doing it would be for the value of your new home to be ignored when calculating the assets available for division.
Spouse maintenance is not about having children.
It is about the difference in your incomes and in your case the fact that you cannot increase yours due to disability
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi clare thanks for your answer. Could you please tell me how the spouse maintenance is calculated to help me in negotiations with my husband.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
That is a needs based calculation.
It is based on how much do you need to live comfortably - in a way that reflects but may not be equal to your current lifestyle - set against your income from all other sources.
Clare
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