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Hi, thank you for your question. Just a bit more information required to fully assist you:-Are you in England or Wales?-How old are you both?-How long have you been married?-What other assets and pensions do you both have (both sole and joint), together with values?-What are your respective incomes?-What are the value of the properties and what is the outstanding mortgage?-Who is now living in the property?-Whose name is ***** ***** in?
Thanks for confirming. Firstly, your inheritance is not an automatic matrimonial asset and this will only be brought in by a court if both your needs cannot be met from the other assets.
Secondly, in relation to the rest of the assets, they will all be taken into account when deciding what an equitable split is. You will both need to provide each other with full and frank financial and income disclosure, as well as disclosure of your reasonable needs. The Court's starting point is a 50-50 split of all matrimonial assets and ensuring that both your needs are met in relation to both assets and income. Furthermore, given your disparity in incomes, if she is unable to meet her reasonable needs then she will have a claim against you for spousal maintenance to at least make up the shortfall. The legal criteria considered is:1. The income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future, including in the case of earning capacity any increase in that capacity which it would in the opinion of the court be reasonable to expect a party to the marriage to take steps to acquire;2. The financial needs, obligations and responsibilities which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;3. The standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the marriage;4. The age of each party to the marriage and the duration of the marriage;5. Any physical or mental disability of either of the parties to the marriage;6. The contributions which each of the parties has made or is likely in the foreseeable future to make to the welfare of the family, including any contribution by looking after the home or caring for the family;7. The conduct of each of the parties, if that conduct is such that it would in the opinion of the court be inequitable to disregard it;8. In the case of proceedings for divorce or nullity of marriage, the value to each of the parties to the marriage of any benefit which, by reason of the dissolution or annulment of the marriage, that party will lose the chance of acquiring.If you have any further questions regarding this please let me know. In the meantime if you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating using the stars at the top of this page. I will not be credited for answering your question without a positive rating. Thank you
Apologies, yes she has a claim to both properties - this is due to your long marriage - whereby it is difficult for you to ring-fence pre-marital assets but it does not specifically mean that she will obtain a share of the property, as the value of the property will need to be considered alongside the rest of the assets to see how best assets should be divided to meet both of your housing needs.
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The split of assets is not a straightforward 50-50 split. It depends on a variety of factors (the 8 point list above). The court's starting point is a 50-50 split of all matrimonial assets and this will be departed from when considering the various factors.
In relation to the other property, this will still be considered a matrimonial asset despite you acquiring it before the marriage. This is due to your long marriage.
In relation to her being fit and able, this will be an argument for you if she were to pursue spousal maintenance, however, even though she has not worked, she is still entitled to claim from all the matrimonial assets (including the other property) in order to meet her needs.
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I am sorry you view it as vague, however it will not be appropriate or correct for me to give you definitive answers based on only this information without sight of detailed documentation and information
I am sorry you feel that way, but your actual question asked if your wife had a claim towards your first home in which I gave you a definitive answer stating that she does as it will be considered a matrimonial asset. How the matrimonial assets will be divided is a more complex issue.