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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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My wife and I have been separated 4 years. My house (where

Resolved Question:

My wife and I have been separated 4 years. My house (where my wife has never lived) is in my name, while she lives in an apartment in Germany, which is in our joint names (and which I am happy for her to have as part of the settlement).
If I sell my house and give part of the proceeds to our sons before divorcing, how much time should I allow before initiating divorce, in order that the gift will not be counted against my share in a division of the remaining family assets?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
HiThank you for your questionMy name is ***** ***** do my best to help you but I need some further information firstHow long were you living together in total?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
17 years. We lived in Brussels. In case you need it, here's a bit more:Following the separation (2012) we sold the marital home and she got €400000 to my €200000. My arm was twisted because she needed €400000 to get the apartment she wanted to buy in Munich. It has a mortgage of just under €300000 and is probably worth around €750000, so her equity is around €450000 (£350000).My house (my principal and only residence, and only asset) was bought with my share of the Brussels proceeds and, more importantly, the proceeds from sale of my apartment in London. The latter was bought during my marriage with part of the proceeds from selling my previous home in Camberwell, which had been bought before my marriage. The rest of the proceeds from my Camberwell home helped to buy the house in Brussels. My current house/home is probably worth around £1.1-£1.2 million, with a mortgage of around £165000, so my equity is around £1,000,000.What I would like to do is settle around £500000-£600000 on our sons and use what is left to buy something for myself. If I did this, my assets would not greatly exceed my wife's, and I would need all of that remaining share to buy something decent for myself. (This would involve, of course, moving out of London).My understanding is that, if I gave away property a matter of a few months before filing for divorce, it could be seen as a manoeuvre, and a judge might give a bigger share of my remaining assets to my wife, but that if I had settled the money on my sons a year or more before filing for divorce, this could be seen as a reasonable choice on my part, to make provision for our sons (ages 21, 19 and 15; only the youngest lives with his mother; the other two are at university in the UK, supported financially by me).
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
I am sorry but your understanding is not correct.The length of your relationship means that the house in which you live is clearly a matrimonial asset - the fact that some of the monies came from your former home is not relevant.Unless your ex agrees to this gift to the children then however long the delay is before the divorce the family court will indeed give a larger share of the remaining assets to your ex.I am sorry not to give better news - please ask if you need further detailsClare
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