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ukfamilysolicitor
ukfamilysolicitor, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 857
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor Currently specialising in Family. Also experienced in Corporate, Employment, Civil Litigation, Debt Recovery
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I am separated from my wife but we are currently still

Customer Question

Hi, i am separated from my wife but we are currently still living in the same house. The house is a local authority / council house, single tenancy in my name only. I am currently in the process of exercising my right to buy, again the house will be solely in my name with a mortgage in my name only. My question is while we are still legally married is my wife entitled to anything from the impending purchase, baring in mind that we are currently separated but cohabitating. The intention will be that once the house is purchased i will be moving to another property and she will continue to live in the property but as my tenant.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 10 months ago.

Hello

Welcome to Just Answer

I am a Solicitor and will assist you.

Please may I ask:

- how long have you been married?

- do you have children?

- are you getting a discount on the purchase?

- what are the other matrimonial assets including pensions?

- is divorce contemplated?

kind regards

Caroline

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hi,Married for 12 years.
No children.
I will receive the full allowed discount (~£72k) due to my length of tenancy, my wife has never been on my tenancy, she came to live with me when we met.
I have a company pension thru my current employer.
Divorce will be the outcome, there are no 3rd partie involved just complete breakdown of the marriage.Darren
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 10 months ago.

Hello Darren

Thank you for your response.

You have to be aware that your wife can make a claim in respect of the matrimonial finances on divorce and with such a long marriage she is going to be looking at an equal share of all assets as a starting point. It doesnt matter that the tenancy is in your sole name.

You should perhaps consider divorce before you purchase the property and also a clean break to prevent a future claim from your wife - if she will agree to this. Your wife could still claim part of your pension at this stage.

I know this isnt what you want to hear but I have to be honest with you.

Let me know if I can help you further.

Kind Regards

Caroline

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Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hi, would an "contract" written up by a solicitor and agreed by both parties be binding should we divorce, a contract stating what she will and wont be entitled to on divorce finalisation?ThanksDarren
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 10 months ago.

Hello Darren

You could draw up a separation agreement but the problem that you have is that such an agreement is not strictly binding on a family court Judge and they could over rule such an ageement if they felt it was not fair. This gives you wife scope to change her mind.

The only way to have finality is if you were divorced and a consent order was submitted to the court and approved by a Judge.

Kind regards

Caroline

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I am not anticipating this having to go to court but could my wife (ex - wife) take me to court after the divorce is finalised? would i still need a consent order after the decree absolute even if i bought the property after the decree absolute?
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 10 months ago.

Hello Darren

Yes - if you dont resolve the issue of the matrimonial finances when you obtain decree absolute then it is still possible for your wife to make a claim even after the divorce has been finalised unless a consent order is lodged and approved by the court at te same time.

Kind Regards

Caroline

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hi again, can i just check, my wife would be entitled to 1/2 of any equity in the house? the reason i ask is because if i chose right to buy then any discount i recieve would need to be repaid to the local authority if the property is sold within 5 years. So i am assuming she would be entitled to 1/2 of whatever my discount would be?Many thanksDarren
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 10 months ago.

Hello Darren

The starting point for division of assets is equality. The Matrimonial Causes Act sets out reasons from departure of equality which include the earning capacity for both of you for the future, future health needs etc. You need to be aware that you wife may argue for more if these apply to her.

Whilst I appreciate the recoup rule it makes no sense for you to sell within 5 years and lose this amount and therefore my previous posts do stand and the best option for you is to seek a resolution by way of clean break first.

Kind Regards

Caroline

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ukfamilysolicitor and 3 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hi,
the reason i ask is because as of April the new "pay to stay" rule comes in which means council rent is earnings related, i am above the upper limit which means my rent will almost double making purchase the only option, should she pursue me then the omly option would be to sell but then any positive equity would need to be repaid to the local authority, surely this would mean we both come away from the sale with nothing as there would be no profit? If this is the case then another option is for me to just cancel my tenancy and return the house to the local authority (not the best option but it still equates to no house and no profit) then she could only pursue me for my pension accrued since we have been together is this correct?Many thanksDarren
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 10 months ago.

Hi

I can see this is a dilemma.

I would suggest that you consider mediating with your wife. See if you can come to agreement as to a share for her? Perhaps it could be agreed at mediation that she will receive a share in the future on the sale of the house at some later date? then you both benefit rather than the LA getting the equity back?

There are lots of mediation services and there will be one local to you. If you google family mediation in your area and give them a call to get the ball rolling.

If this can be agreed this can be lodged as a consent order with the court when obtaining decree absolute so its legally binding still.

Kind regards

Caroline

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
That was my thinking, perhaps a sum equal to 1/2 of the discount which would equal 1/2 the profit should the property be sold without recoup penalty, i will look into the mediation services.Thanks againDarren
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 10 months ago.

Let me know how you get on and If I can help you further.

Kind Regards

Caroline

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