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Ask Harris Your Own Question

Harris, Family Law Expert
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1775
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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I relocated from Australia to be with a man I have

Customer Question

I relocated from Australia to be with a man I have known all of my life.
I have retained my job in Australia and travel back there 1 week every month.
I relocated in Dec 2014 and married him Jan 3 this year.
He has since changed and become verbally abusive and very controlling and manipulative.
I am going to return to Australia as I cannot live in fear.
I intended to just walk away but wondered if I would be entitled to anything from him.
He is financially stable with his own business. We have a great house but only him on the mortgage.
I contribute £900 per month to household bills.. We are both 55
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Harris replied 4 months ago.

Hi, thank you for your question. Just a bit more information required to fully assist you:
-Did you cohabit immediately prior to the marriage, if so for how long?
-Do you have any children together, if so their ages and proposed arrangements?
-What other assets, savings and pensions do you both have (both sole and joint), together with values?
-What are your respective incomes?
-What is the value of the home, and what is the outstanding mortgage?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
we did cohabit .
No children
I have £130.000 pension.
He has loads more ..not sure how much as he has a financial services business.
He takes about £120,000 per annum plus dividends.
I earn around £75.000
House is worth around £450000
Mortgage around £280000
He has around £100.000 in savings
I have about £5000
Expert:  Harris replied 4 months ago.

How long did you cohabit for?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
A year .. Immediately I relocated to Uk from Australia ... So Dec 2014 and married Jan 2016
Expert:  Harris replied 4 months ago.

Thank you. Firstly, as you have been married less than a year you cannot pursue a divorce. This can only be pursued after 3 January 2017.

As part of the divorce you will need to reach a financial settlement especially given your large pension. You will immediately need to check your pension terms and consider preparing a will - as if there is no will in place your husband will inherit your whole estate upon your death as you have no children.

Furthermore, if you are unable to meet your reasonable needs you can seek spousal maintenance from him to cover any shortfall, but given both of your decent salaries, there will need to be an assessment of this and whether it is reasonable.

Furthermore, as you have been married for a short time, you are currently both entitled to "ring-fence" assets obtained prior to the marriage and there is case law to support this.

Initially a financial settlement should be attempted through mediation - you can find independent mediators here: If a settlement is agreed this can be submitted to court under a consent order (together with a D81 form outlining your respective financial positions).

If mediation does not progress you should then proceed with an application to court under Form A for financial relief once the divorce petition has been issued.

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. The 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

Expert:  Harris replied 4 months ago.

Hi, this question remains open. If you found my information provided helpful please could you rate my response positively using the stars at the top of this page as I will not be credited for my response without a positive rating.

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