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Harris
Harris, Family Law Expert
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2851
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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I met my husband in December 1999. From 31/1/2001 I assisted

Customer Question

I met my husband in December 1999. From 31/1/2001 I assisted the building of our marital home in Suffolk every w/e while doing my full-time job in London. Hard work. I moved into our house 15/3/2002 although it was far from completion. I commuted the 5 hour round trip into work - but establishing the house and garden at w/es caused my health to breakdown - high blood pressure and exhaustion. So I was force to give up my career on 26/11/2003. We married on 30/4/2004.
My husband had sold several companies prior to meeting me and did not work from 1998 to date. Although he kept Templar Consulting.Ltd as a dormant company. He now has approx. £200k in share investments and the house is worth £900k in his name. My solicitor has told me that these shares/investments count as non-marital assets. We do not have a pre-nuptial agreement.
But as our sole income throughout the marriage was from these investments and I was totally dependent on his support (£250 per calendar month, he paid the bills) I am at a loss to understand why they do not count. I started to receive my state pension in 2013 and made many home improvements (granite drainer - £1800, dog e-fence - £1080, various items for the house and garden - £3000) during 2014 blissfully unaware that he planned to desert me on 12/10/2014.
No discussion, he called the police and was taken away in an ambulance, then refused to speak to me when I visited the hospital the next evening. He then lived with a friend in Braintree. He paid not maintenance until 6 months later when he made 4 x monthly payments of £1250 suddenly stopped in August 2015. At the same time he closed the electricity account so I was totally dependent on my pension £629 a month to get through last winter. Somehow I managed to hold out as I'd been advised that should I finalise the divorce or move, my marital home rights - Land Registry - and thus any settlement would be compromised.
He's now made a cash offer of £385k. His shares are apparently 'non-marital assets'. Not only is the cash offer far below the median value of our home on last year's valuation with 3 estate agencies (£800-900k) but not based on an up-to-date valuation… property has increased in value by +3.5% per annum since 2014 and our house is a large 6-bedroom property with 1.8 acres of garden in a very popular village with school, shop, PO, doctors surgery..
My question is as both of us were totally dependent on his share income throughout our 7 year 6 months marriage + the cohabitation period of 13 months (2002-2004)during which I worked for 9 months), how can this £200k of share investments be excluded from the settlement?
I cannot afford to buy any sort of property in the area because I could not afford its upkeep. I am going to be 65 on 5/10/2016. My marriage destroyed my career, I'd been working for the company for 7 years, and reduced the co pension so I can expect just £900 per annum from a £35k pension pot. He also claims that his pension (£60k) was accrued before our marriage so we cannot pool our pensions and each take an equitable share. I'm suicidal.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.

Hi, thank you for your question. The exclusion of the investments as non-matrimonial assets appears to be his view on the assets, however given the length of the marriage and prior cohabitation it will be unlikely that the court will agre with his position.

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