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Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33030
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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My husband and I have recently separated and although we are

Customer Question

My husband and I have recently separated and although we are unlikely to dovorce straight away I want to get our finances sorted so that I can move into a place of my own.
Before we were married or even living together (June 2006) I bought an investment property, which I call Yew Tree Road, with the help of my parents. My parents secured a mortgage against their own property to gift me £52,000 to make up the purchase price of the property which I wasn't able to get a mortgage for on my own. While the house was tenanted, the rental income paid both mortgages.
Earlier this year I sold this house and the money I received after my own mortgage secured against the property was settled has been paid into a savings account in my sole name. The mortgage my parents took out still exists, and I have been covering the monthly payments since selling the property.
My husband has never contributed in any way financially towards Yew Tree Road, he has helped me decorate on a couple of ocassions but that's all.
As soon as we got married, we had wills drawn up, and I arranged for Yew Tree Road to be kept separate. It was stated in my will that if my husband needed somewhere to live after I was gone, then he could live there, but it would never belong to him, I wanted it to stay in my family and left it to the children of my two sisters.
My bought a house together in 2007, before we were married (Burdock Close), in which we lived and my husband put down the £24,000 deposit from his savings and a gift from his parents. We sold Burdock Close in 2014 and have been renting ever since. When we sold the house we banked a cheque for just over £33,000. We spent a little under £8,000 on a new car, which my husband drives and I put £24,000 of the remainder into premium bonds. The rest was left in our joint account to cover moving costs and to furnish our new abode.
We have always had separate bank accounts and our salaries have been paid into our sole accounts. We then transfer the same amount each month into our joint account and the household bills are then taken from there. I pay our sky bill which includes phone and broadband from my own account and the car insurance, car tax and breakdown cover for the car my husband drives come from the joint account, so it's not entirely equal. Our home insurance premium is much higher than a 'normal' premium would be too, as my husband owns some expensive camera equipment which we have stated as high value items on the policy, but he does not pay extra into the joint account to cover these things.
My husband is 37 and I am 32, we have been married for 5 years and do not have any children. My proposal for splitting the finances is for my husband to keep the car and to get his £24,000 initial deposit back. I am also happy for him to keep all the furniture and white goods from our marital home, apart from my treadmill which I have only just bought. Whilst we've had money in premium bonds we have won £450 which I'm happy for him to keep too.
I just want to keep the money I got from selling my investment property, which my parents took out a mortgage to give me, a mortgage I am still paying. I also don't want my husband to have a claim on my pension.
Does this proposal seem fair and more importantly legal?
Thank you for your help
Submitted: 11 days ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 11 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 do you have in savings?

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
All together there is £62,500, this is made up of the money I got from selling Yew Tree Road, minus some I used to pay off debts plus what we had in premium bonds. I am proposing to pay my husband £24,450 out of this amount, retaining the rest myself. It is all currently sitting in accounts in my name, to which my husband does not have access.
Expert:  Clare replied 10 days ago.

The premium bonds came from the sale of the matrimonial home?

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
That's right
Expert:  Clare replied 10 days ago.

Your relationship is on the shorter side of medium length and you brought substantial capital to the relationship which you always kept separate.

This combination means that the offer that you are making is very reasonable and one which a Court is likely to support

I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** my mind at rest. If we are not looking to divorce straight away, is there something we need to do and/or put through the courts to get the split of finances agreed?
Expert:  Clare replied 10 days ago.

You cannot do anything through the courts - but you can have a Separation Agreement drawn up setting out what you have agreed - this can then be turned into a Consent Order when the time comes

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Is a separation agreement something that we can do between ourselves or would we need to both instruct a solicitor and get them to do this? My husband has asked me to provide details and evidence of all assets, I would like him to consider my proposal first, am I within my rights to refuse to provide this information unless he requests it through a solicitor?
Expert:  Clare replied 9 days ago.

It would be more sensible to discuss this using Family mediation rather than using solicitors

It is reasonable to ask for full disclosure before negotiations begin - indeed it is essential that there is full disclosure before any agreement is made

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