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Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33813
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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My wife and I were married

Customer Question

My wife and I were married on 3rd July 1999. My DOB is 7th March 1952, heir’s is 19th February 1961, and so there is a 9 year age difference. My wife came from China shortly before the marriage and brought very little cash with her. We have lived in 3 properties sequentially. We moved into 1 on the marriage (my home at the time). When we bought 2 the sale of 1 my proportion of the equity in theta property contributed £61k to the purchase, I had made all mortgage repayments on 1.
My wife has her own business which has earned £125k since the marriage to date, this is her sole source of income. Of this £72k has been my salary drawn from that business (calculated to minimise tax liabilities). In fact the work is split roughly 50:50.
My earnings since the marriage have been £280k. In July 2004 I received a severance payment of £42k from my then employer, which enabled us to buy prosperity 3 mortgage free and do the numerous works to refurbish it.
I have not yet broken the news of my intentions to my wife but I would like to know the probable outcome of the split in the equity in property 3 on divorce.
Having already consulted another Solicitor I am dissatisfied with her opinion that the above information is largely irrelevant in this respect and that that the split will be based mostly on future earnings potential.
This seems to me, from a laymen’s point of view, grossly unfair.
The law in the UK on division of assets on divorce seems very unclear and seems to depend mostly on who makes the final decision!
I would appreciate a second opinion.
If I desert my wife will this affect the financial division of the equity in the house, bank accounts etc?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
HiThank you for your questionMy name is ***** ***** do my best to help you but I need some further information firstHow much is the matrimonial home worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage?What is the current income that you each havePlease confirm that there are no children
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Worth £259k per Zoopla
£10k pa split rouhgly 50:50 from my wife's business
£476 pcm from my Compnay Pension - joined Sept 1995, left July 2004
No children
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
You my also find the information in the appended files useful.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
What is her future mortgage capacity?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Here current business is as a Chinese Entertainer in the UK, she is ex-Chinese State Circus. This business earns about £10k pa at present. However she has worked on Cruise Ships and earned more than double that figure. She is very attractive and could easily find another, richer husband in his 50's. She could then enjoy the life on the South Coast in a luxury home that she craves.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
How much does a cheaper one bedroom property in the same area cost to buy?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
$65k
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My wife has now decided she hates this town, but that is probably beside the point.
Going back to my original question is it possible to estimate the split of the equity in the house?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How much time with access to your services does my original payment buy me?
So far I have answered numerous questions, but had no answers or advice.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
We can spend as much time on this question as is needed - all covered by the payment that you have offered for it (of which I only get my half if you give a positive rating)I have been looking at this form all possible angles and fear that i have bad news for youGiven the length of your marriage the starting point for division of the assets is 50/50.The Court can depart from this and does have the power to redistribute the assets in any way that it considers fair.In your case I am afraid the fact that the capital came from you will not assist greatly - although it might possibly increase the division to 55/45 at the very very most.However if there is to be no pension sharing then even that could be ambitious - although i would start at 60/40 in the hope of securing the 55/45 division.This would be on the basis that she will retain the company and thus her income capacity.I suspect that this is not what you wish to hear but I owe you a duty to be realistic as to the options.Please ask if there are further details you wish to cover (all covered as I said)Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for being honest, although I find the Work Pension division particularly absurd. I joined my Pension scheme on 1st Sept 1995 and left on 31st July 2004, therefore 43% of the contributions were made when was single. So, from my layman’s viewpoint, 57% belongs entirely to me and of the remaining 43% half belongs to me). So, the work pension spilt should be 78.5 % to me (57% + half of 43%)?
Presumably my State Pension is unaffected and is 100% mine when I begin to draw it next year?
I expect you have seen this article, or are aware of the contents: -
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/sex/divorce/9534190/New-formula-to-settle-divorce-payouts.html
Has any of it been put into effect yet?
She will retain the company and thus her income capacity. However, she could double her income by going back to working on a Cruise Ship as an Entertainer.
Another thought - what was the relevance of your question on 07/03/2016 05:14 - “How much does a cheaper one bedroom property in the same area cost to buy?”
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
You are correct - her claim on your pension is relatively small as is her potential claim for spouse maintenance - however excluding them completely makes a 50/50 division of the house more likely.I am indeed aware of the Law Commission proposals but as yet no legislation is plannedI asked about the cost of housing as your age does make your housing needs relevant!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Regarding the equity split if a graduate begins work at 21 they work 44 years before they retire (as in my case), so my wife has very nearly 20% more earning years than me to go, supporting a 60:40 split. My understanding now is that future earnings capacity is the determining factor in equity splits, not where the equity came from. Under the new structure my wife would reach State Pension age on 10 January 2028 (age 67) making the split slightly more favourable to myself. I understand you can now work to whatever age you wish.
You may be interested to know my wife began earning a wage in her early teens in the Circus in China, but spent all her earnings from travelling the world with the Circus and apparently arrived in the UK with few funds. So, the saver is penalized yet again!
Incidentally, have you answered my question of 7th March “If I desert my wife will this affect the financial division of the equity in the house, bank accounts etc?”
Thank You,
Duncan
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hii am not sure why you feel that Future Earning Capacity is a factor.In fact the major factor in your case is the length of the relationship - 16 years - which means that a 50/50 split is the most likely option provided it gives both of you sufficient assets to rehouse yourselves.Who leaves whom does not effect the financial outcome
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Please confirm that if we divorce my State Pension is unaffected and is 100% mine when I begin to draw it next year?Incidentally, I am not buying another property, but a motorhome in which to tour Europe. Hence the $65k (sic), which was the £65k mentioned in 07/03/2016 06:08
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Yes your State Pension is yours - which is why you need spouse maintenance dismissed
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
When I have move out of the house is my wife responsible for all bills? Should I change the name on all the accounts to my wife’s sole name? Should I re-arrange/cancel all direct debits for household bills? Do I need do change the title deeds to “tenants in common” – we are joint tenants at present.Thanks,
Duncan
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Once you have answered this question I will pay the £47
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Once you move out then you can indeed transfer any utilities into your wife's sole nameThe tenants in Common issue is a duel edged one.Yes you are ensuring that if you die then your share does not automatically go to your ex.However you are also ensuring that if she dies her share will not automatically go to you
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33813
Experience: I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
Clare and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks, ***** ***** with for now. What will be the charge to my card? Please confirm last 4 digits of long card number I used.Very good advice all the way through, Thanks again.

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