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Harris
Harris, Law Specialist
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2739
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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My wife and I seperated last summer and now live apart but

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My wife and I seperated last summer and now live apart but remain amicable. During our marriage we acquired several foriegn properties in addition to the main home. the foreign properties are in negative equity but there is equity in the main home. We are trying to work out a fair financial arangement and I proposed that we split the equity in the main home 50/50 but I keep the foreign properties and the associated debt, I also keep my pension as her share would be about equal to her share of the foreign property negative equity. She feels this is unfair as the foreign properties may one day become profitable. My understanding is that the value of assets and liabilites get frozen as of the date of seperation and therefore any future profit or loss would be excluded. I would appreciate any clairfication.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Hi, thank you for your question. The value of assets and liabilities at date of separation are indeed considered in relation to a settlement, but they are not "frozen". The court also takes into account the value of assets at the date of the final hearing or date of the settlement, therefore you cannot just rely on the value of the assets and liabilities as well as a longer list of criteria is considered by the court to approve a settlement or make an order. If you are able to confirm the following information I can provide you more guidance on this:-how long you were married-if you have any children together and what their ages and arrangements for them are-the value of the assets and liabilities, including pensions-how old you both are-both your income positionsIn the meantime if you have found this information helpful so far please provide a positive rating. I will not be credited for answering your question without a positive rating. Thank you
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your answer. In answer to your questions:We were legally married for 18 years but also lived together with children for 4 years before that - total 22 years.
Total value of assets incl pension approx £1M value of liabilities approx £550K (pension is worth £250K)
I am 51 my wife is 47
My salary is £100K, my wife is £16K
Our children live with me, the youngest is 17, 2 are at Uni and the eldest is workingI hope that helps
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Thank you.Given that it is long marriage, a court is likely to want to equalise the equity between you, and this will include the pension as you are both nearer to age of retirement. As your wife is on a low income, it is not expected that she will be able to accrue her own sizeable pension and therefore a court will likely agree that pension sharing would be appropriate.Given that there is significant disparity in your incomes, your wife will be able to apply for spousal maintenance and if she does you should attempt to limit the term of this until she is able to meet he reasonable needs. Her needs are unlikely to be great, given that the children are with you.As the youngest is 17, by the time that this matter settles, the youngest is likely not considered dependant and therefore the court will only consider your needs and her needs, unless you are funding the university placements of the children. Initially this should be attempted either through negotiations or mediation (you can find independent mediators here: familymediationcouncil.org.uk If a settlement is agreed this can be submitted to court under a consent order (together with a D81 form outlining your respective financial positions)Once the Decree Nisi is granted for the court to assess whether it is a fair settlement for everyone.If this does not progress you should then proceed with an application to court under Form A for financial relief. This would include consideration of all your assets and financial position, as well as your needs, as well as his financial position and needs and the court will decide what is fair when considering the following criteria: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.If you have any further questions regarding this please let me know.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you Harris, it is a complex equation but this gives me a good broad understanding of the factors. I am supporting my children through university, so my wife has no financial burden other than her own. The only other area I am unsure about is the foreign properties which I continue to fund and which are currently worth less than the outstanding mortgage, these may at some future date come into profit but surely my wife cannot claim loss of potential benefit on that basis unless she shares the continued funding requirements? And if we sell at a loss, surely half the loss would be hers?
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
The values of the assets will be taken at what they are at the date of the settlement or final hearing. If they are in negative equity then you will be able to claim for her to share the loss. It will be difficult for her to argue that she should be compensated for any future unknown increase in value of the property.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** what I was hoping to hear.
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Hope it goes well - if you have any questions in the future you can ask for me directly by starting your question For Harris

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