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James Mather
James Mather,
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1390
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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I am informally separated from my wife, a Japanese national

Customer Question

I am informally separated from my wife, a Japanese national who is not resident in the UK, nor has had any such rights to be resident. She owns a property in Los Angeles, USA, which was the joint purchase of her father and herself 7 years before we met and got married. No mortgage. I have lived in that house for 12 months. I have not paid any of the property taxes. I have not paid anything towards any house improvements. I could not argue contributing any value to the marital assets during our 18 months of marriage or there are any fruits of the marriage, new assets or wealth that can be split. There was no mingling of any assets during the marriage.  We kept separate bank accounts.  My wife didn't even change her name.  We didn't even share by name any utility bills.  I am now living in London, UK. I am trying to claim Housing Benefit, but they wish to refuse my claim on the basis of an interest in this property which is valued at around 400,000 USD. In addition we signed a pre-nup expressing our intentions to keep our pre-marriage property and assets separate - although we didn't in fact get it notarized. Neither of us have any intention to dishonor that intent.  I need a written legal opinion that it would be highly unlikely for a UK court to grant me a beneficial interest in this property, if we were to get divorced - assuming either of us applied to the court to make a judgment upon our financial matters, which to my knowledge is not a compulsory part of divorce proceedings.  If you can't provide me such an opinion to present to Westminster Council, then any advice is of no use to me. 

Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Family Law