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Harris
Harris, Law Specialist
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2851
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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I need advice, my husband has left the family home and is

Customer Question

Hello I need advice, my husband has left the family home and is filing for divorce.
He wishes to sell the family home, which is held solely in my name only.
We have two children, aged 6 & 7. Does he have any legal rights to this property on the basis that he lived in it for a period of time and contributed to the house hold bills?
I also own a small investment rental property and my husband himself owns a small investment property. Do either of us have any legal rights to each others assets? or can we walk away each keeping our own investment property without any challenge from the other spouse?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.

Hi, thank you for your question. Just a bit more information required to fully assist you:
-Are you in England or Wales?
-How old are you both?
-How long have you been married?
-What are the proposed arrangements for the children?
-What is the value of the property, and what is the outstanding mortgage?
-What other assets and pensions do you both have (both sole and joint), together with values?
-What are your respective incomes?,

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We live in England
-Husband is 35 and I am 32.
-Married for 8 years but only bought the family home 4 years ago.
-Arrangements for children are my husband will do 1-2 school pick ups and have them over night once a week. He proposes to not pay any maintenance payments but agrees to contribute half to clothing as and when they are needed.
- The family home is a shared ownership property with a local authority so my share of the value of the property is £35k , current mortgage is for 26k. I own a 25% interest in the property.
-I solely own a rental property with a current value of around £65k and current mortgage outstanding of £46k. No other assets/pensions
My husband owns a rental property with a current value of £100k and current mortgage outstanding of £122K (negative equity)
-My only income is my employment which is 30k gross per annum
-My husbands income from employment is approximately £40K per annum.
Both receive no other income.
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for confirming. As you are married and the home was used as the former matrimonial home he has matrimonial home rights to occupy the property until divorce. He is also able to make a claim towards the property as well as wider matrimonial assets (you also have the same right to do this). However, despite him stating he wishes to sell the property there needs to be a proper assessment of both your financial circumstances.

You will both need to provide each other with full and frank financial and income disclosure, as well as disclosure of your reasonable needs. The Court's starting point is a 50-50 split of all matrimonial assets and ensuring that firstly the needs of the children are met (most importantly their housing needs) and then both your needs are met in relation to both assets and income. If you remain the children's main carer you have a good argument to attempt to keep the property for their benefit during their upbringing.

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.

If you have any further questions regarding this please let me know. In the meantime 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 answering your question without a positive rating. Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your response.So just to clarify, any assets that I acquired whilst married for the duration of ownership my husband would like a right to 50/50 split by default? So if he doesn't make a claim now but makes a claim on assets in the future he is entitled to half of these assets?
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.

If finances are not settled now and he remarries he will not be entitled to make a claim against any of your sole assets.

The starting point is a 50-50 split of matrimonial assets - it does not meant that he will necessarily obtain 50% of assets acquired during the marriage as this is only the starting point. Furthermore, even assets obtained prior to the marriage may be subject to division especially given the length of the marriage and that you have two children together - so it may be difficult for you to attempt to ring-fence pre-marital assets.

Harris and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi HarrisJust one final question. Once divorced, does he have to remarry before he has lost his right to make a claim on any solely owned assets?
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.

Yes, if he does not remarry and there is no court order settling the finances he will be entitled to seek financial relief from you at any time