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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34886
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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After 31 years of marriage,, I am separating from my wife.

Customer Question

After 31 years of marriage,, I am separating from my wife. We are attempting to reach financial settlement amicably.
There are no dependant children - 1 mature 27 year old who medical student who should qualify this summer but who still lives at home.
The house is owned and the mortgage was paid up many years ago. We have joint cash savings amounting to £430K.
My wife is a medically retired GP and has always been considered the main bread winner. I have always worked part time – a decision made years / decades ago to allow my wife to work full time while I look after the children.
I am 59 and my wife is 58.
A lot of area's have been agreed but there are two sticking points.
1. My wife received an inheritance of £135K approximately 3 years ago that was initially paid into her sole bank account. The funds were transferred within a matter of days to joint funds by my wife. Since then they have always been regarded as joint funds. My wife insists that this money should be retained by her - after deducting £15K that she concedes has been spent on unspecified items. What should the legal interpretation of this money be?
2. My wife has MS and took medical retirement from the NHS in 2002. She receives a pension of approx £2.5k per month and insists that she is going to retain this in it’s entirely. Since retirement my wife has also continued to work part time with earnings of approx £1k per month while also accruing a additional pension benefits. My own pension will amount to approx £800 per month and can be drawn in approx 6 months time. My wife insists that I should now work full time to build up my own pension rights. Should I be entitled to claim a share of my wife’s pension?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for your question
I am afraid that Case law is against you on the first point.
If the inheritance is still a recognisable fund (in other word sit has not been spent on buying a house etc) then it is only available for division between you if there are insufficient other funds to make a proper provision - not a problem in your case.
However you do have a clear and unambiguous claim on her pension and there will either need to be a Pension Sharing Order to balance your pensions - or you will need to have extra capital in lieu thereof