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Harris
Harris, Family Law Expert
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1762
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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I saw a divorce solicitor yesterday as I want to divorce my

Customer Question

I saw a divorce solicitor yesterday as I want to divorce my husband on grounds of unreasonable behaviour. Whilst I am happy to split our assets 50% each she advised that I won't get spousal maintenance since my husband isn't earning any money at the moment and living from our savings.
She has said that she would put in an £1 order to visit later.
However, my husband is self employed as a property developer and the very nature of this business is that income is in peaks and troughs. At the moment we have been in a very long trough. This could change in 1 1/2 to 2 years time. He has a wealthy brother who finances their projects so he is in a good position to receive a good return on any developments he works on. He has a few in the pipeline now but, of course, they take time to completion.
Is it possible to have a written agreement in place at time of the divorce that I would receive spousal payments when his finances are in a good position again? I would prefer an agreement in place instead of me having to chase for it post divorce.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Harris replied 2 months ago.

Hi, thank you for your question. Just a bit more information required to fully assist you:
-How old are you both?
-How long have you been married?
-Do you have any children together, if so their ages and proposed arrangements?
-What is the value of the property, and what is the outstanding mortgage?
-Who is now living in the property?
-Whose name is ***** ***** in?
-What other assets and pensions do you both have (both sole and joint), together with values?
-What is your income and earning potential?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I am 61, husband is 62
Married 10 years but have lived together since 1979 (37 years)
3 grown up children, 29, 26 and 24
£1.385,000 Mortgage is £275
My husband and myself live in it, with 2 children in and out.
Joint ownership
Villa in Spain E300,000 and flat in Surrey worth £192,000.00 (both owned jointly with his brother)
£100k pension I don't have a pension until I am 66
I stopped work in 2012 (husband wanted to go on cruise for 3 weeks and my boss wouldn't let me have that time off so I left thinking pension kicks in at 60. I wasn't told it was 66 and found out too late). My income potential is low as getting interviews at 61 is almost non existent.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  Harris replied 2 months ago.

What is the value of your private pension and have you now started claiming state pension?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I have answered these questions but they disappear when I press send. Could you call me on 01428 727320
Expert:  Harris replied 2 months ago.

Sorry, I cannot take a phone call at the moment, but if you are able to provide the information requested I can continue to assist you.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Ok I will respond toyour first question again.
I am 61 and husband is 62
We have been married 10 years but have lived together since 1979 (37 years)
3 adult children, 29, 26 and 24
House is worth £1,350,000 and has a mortgage of £375,000
We both live here and 2 sons pop in and out, staying adhoc.
We have joint ownership of house but shared ownership with his brother of: Office Premises Value £395.000 total, Villa in Spain value Euro 300,000 total and property in Surrey worth £192,000.00 total.
My earning potential is not good as getting employment over 60 seems to be impossible. I do a little curtain making but that's no more than £1,500 pa
My State Pension does not start until I am 66. I only found this out when I was 59 which was a shock as I had given up my full time job thinking I only had a year to go until retirement. Dept of Pensions failed to advise me. Which seems to be something 1950s born women are having to bear in UK.
Husband has a pension of £100K but I have no idea of what that entails.
Expert:  Harris replied 2 months ago.

Thank you and apologies for the delay in responding. Firstly, given the long marriage and three children you would have a strong claim for financial relief from him - if you are unable to meet your reasonable needs you can seek spousal maintenance from him, although this will depend on what his income is and if he would be able to meet his needs as well - if he is unable to then you can potentially seek a lump sum capitalisation of spousal maintenance. 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. For your information the criteria considered by the court in these matters 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.

I hope this assists you. 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 your question without a positive rating. Thank you

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I wanted to know whether I should follow my solicitors advice and not go for spousal support but keep the £1 order option. She says as he is not earning any money at the moment that would be the best thing to do. However, his business is peaks and troughs and at the moment we are in a trough but that could easily change in a short period of time. I feel that I should go for spousal support with the view that I am given some support as and when he has income. I don't feel I should have to chase him with the £1 order option. I wanted a second opinion on that. Thank you.
Expert:  Harris replied 1 month ago.

If his current income is not sufficient to provide for himself and you then the court will not find it reasonable, or even possible, at this time to make a spousal maintenance order. To prevent you having to come back to court you may be able to seek a capitalisation (for it to be added as a lump sum) of whatever spousal maintenance that is reasonable and for this to be dealt with through the matrimonial assets.

I hope this assists you. 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 your question without a positive rating. Thank you

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