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Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33010
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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It is regarding a divorce Assistant: Thank you. Can you

Resolved Question:

Hello. It is regarding a divorce
Assistant: Thank you. Can you provide any more details to help us find you the right Expert?
Customer: Yes. My husband of 6 years went travelling and decided not to come back and informed me via email back in May. I had been financially supporting him for the previous 3 years. His mother owned the house that we lived in and I paid her rent. When she bought the house in 2009 it was intended that it was for us and we would pay her back with interest, however near completion she decided it would remain in her name and we would pay her rent, and put both our names to inherit the house in her will. My husband has now started touring with a prominent musician and is earning approximately £5k a week. He has started a new romantic relationship without informing me and has posted photos on social media. We have not started discussing divorce yet as he has not met me in person since ending the relationship via email. He stands to inherit a lot fo money from his grandmother, his mother and father (who are divorced and both wealthy). Before he went travelling his mother told us she would put £250,000 deposit on a house for us. I would like to know if I would be entitled to anything upon divorce. There are no children.
Submitted: 27 days ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 26 days ago.
I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.
I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.
Thank you!
Customer: replied 25 days ago.
that's ok, I can wait - thank you. It's an unusual situation.
Expert:  Clare replied 25 days ago.

Thank you for your question

My name is Clare

I shall do my best to help you but I need some further information first

How much rent have you been paying and have you done any work on the house?

How much do you earn?

Customer: replied 25 days ago.
Hi Clare, thank you for your message. Would you like the total rent that I have paid over the last 7 years? We haven't done any work to the house. I earn through my company and am the sole director - the company is taking about £1400 a week before VAT - This financial year (ending apr 17) I will personally be taking £8060 in salary and up to about £34k dividends (although this could be less). The previous year my tax return has an income of £13950 plus dividends of £6900.
Thank you
Customer: replied 25 days ago.
The total rent I've personally paid is something like £25,000-£30,000.
Expert:  Clare replied 25 days ago.

Is it a Market rent?

Customer: replied 25 days ago.
Hello, sorry I don't fully understand what that means - is it what would be set by an estate agent for the property? If so then no, it was at a reduced rate as she used part of the property for storage.
Expert:  Clare replied 25 days ago.

Yes you understood it correctly.

Did you do or not do anything based on the expectation that the house would eventually be yours?

Customer: replied 24 days ago.
Based on the expectation the house would be ours, I didn't save money for a deposit to buy a house which I otherwise would have. I allowed my husband (and his mother) to live off my earnings, both jobless out of choice, believing that security was in place for me. We stayed living at the property, still paying her, despite the fact that it would have been much more convenient to move about 3 yrs ago as I changed jobs and had to commute 3-4 hours a day on top of a 12 hour working day. A freelancer, I did not take breaks between jobs or enjoy holidays etc due to supporting him. The whole way I conducted my life and relationship was based on knowing we would have the security of our own home eventually, and as soon as the relationship ended I opened a help to buy ISA as I still have this ambition.
Expert:  Clare replied 24 days ago.

How much is the current house worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage?

Customer: replied 24 days ago.
It was bought outright so there is no mortgage. The house is currently worth approximately £350,000.
Expert:  Clare replied 23 days ago.

When you say that you supported his mother do you mean by paying the rent or something else?

Customer: replied 22 days ago.
it was her main source of income
Expert:  Clare replied 21 days ago.

How long has your ex been earning £5,000 a week - and where is he putting it?

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
He was earning at that level for about 6 months back in 2010/11, and started earning again about a month ago. It will be going directly into his personal bank account.
Customer: replied 15 days ago.
I've not received a response in several days, is there a conclusion to this query?
Expert:  Clare replied 10 days ago.

I am so sorry - you fell off my list and I was not aware that you had responded

One last issue - is that a Uk account and will he have spent it or accumulated it

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
No worries - thanks for the response - yes it is a UK account and his outgoings are small so he will be accumulating it.
Expert:  Clare replied 6 days ago.

I am afraid that you have no claim on the house despite the promises since you paid a reduced rent - and because it was clear from the start that his mother was prone to changing her mind

However there is still the possibility of a claim on your ex based on the fact that you have supported him over the years and on that basis it is reasonable for you to make a claim on the income you have helped put him into a position to claim.

It is the basis of the McFarlane and Parlour cases

Alternatively it could be viewed as a lump sum payable by installments

I am sorry not to be able to be more positive - please ask if you need further details

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Hi Clare - thanks for the info. I will look into that - if he is only earning at this level for a certain amount of time (probably the next 2 yrs), for how long is he responsible to pay? Also is it reasonable for me to ask for money towards the costs I've incurred setting up a new home which I am renting - it was necessary for me to buy new household furnishings etc due to the difficult emotional association of our shared things which are in a storage unit. I understand he is now cohabiting with his new partner but he has not informed me himself. Going forward and involving a solicitor, would I be in a position to ask that he cover 100% of the legal fees?
Thank you
Expert:  Clare replied 6 days ago.

In fact your claim on your ex is very limited given the fact there are no children, no capital assets and you earn your own good income.

It is only the fact of your (limited) housing needs coupled with the fact that he has capital in the form of savings which mean that you can make any claim at all

You should ask for say £20,000 payable in installments

You can ask for the costs of the divorce

Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33010
Experience: I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 days ago.
Thank you Clare, that clears up everything. All the best, Laura.

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