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Harris, Law Specialist
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2724
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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In 2000 my late husband and I bought a house in our

Resolved Question:

In 2000 my late husband and I bought a house in our daughter's name. Since then we have shouldered all the financial outgoings in addition to collecting rental on the property since 2009.
My daughter has not enjoyed any financial or material benefit from the house in all that time.
She is now going through a divorce, and her husband is asking for the property to be regarded as a marital asset, even though it was bought three years before they married.
Unfortunately no deed of trust was drawn up at the time of the purchase although we continue to pay all the property taxes, maintenance and HMRC tax on the income (there is no mortgage).
Could you please advise on the validity of my son-in-law's claim to a share of this asset?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Harris replied 9 months ago.

Hi, thank you for your question. Just a bit more information required to fully assist you:

-How long have they been married?

-Was it ever used for matrimonial purposes?

-Do they have any children, if so how old and what are the proposed arrangements?

-What other assets do they have?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
They have been married since June 2003. The house has never been used by them for matrimonial purposes.
They have two children ages 11 and 7. My daughter is primary carer, with shared access.
Other marital assets are: the matrimonial home which is mortgaged; shared savings account; company shares in husband's name.
Expert:  Harris replied 9 months ago.

Thanks for confirming. Firstly, as she has a sole legal interest in the property this is her asset despite her not benefiting financial from it - legally it is in her sole name. Given the length of the marriage and them having two children it must be disclosed as her asset and it will be for the court to decide if it is a matrimonial asset or not based on the evidence, facts and her involvement and use in the property. If she is able to demonstrate that there is no intention at all of her ever benefiting from the property, and that someone else has the true benefit, it can be argued that it is not her real asset - but this may be difficult given it has been in her sole name for so long.

As part of their financial negotiations they will both need to provide each other with full and frank financial and income disclosure, as well as disclosure of their reasonable needs. The Court's starting point is a 50-50 split of all matrimonial assets and ensuring that both their needs are met in relation to both assets and income. 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.

I hope this assists you. 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 your question without a positive rating. Thank you

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Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** helpful.