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UKfamsol, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 560
Experience:  Very experienced specialist family law solicitor, qualifed in 1994
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I have recently separated from my wife, after being together

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I have recently separated from my wife, after being together for 25 years and married for 10 I have left our home and rented an apartment. I am still transferring the money to the mortgage which has 3 years left to pay, I am also paying rent on a property where i am staying now and i wish to know how i legally stand if we sell the property when it has been payed, am i entitled to 50% after paying for so long ?
Hello and thanks for your question.

I need a bit more information first:

How much is the house worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage?

Whose name is XXXXX XXXXX title deeds, and the mortgage?

What other assets (including pensions) and debts are there?

How much do you each earn/ what income do you each have?

Are there any dependent children and if so, who has the day to day care of them?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The property would be worth around £150,000, i think there is about £15,000 left to pay and my wifes name is XXXXX XXXXX deeds. She told me my name was added to the mortgage and there are a couple of loans outstanding which i pay but only about £2000, I earn £45,000 per year but my wife only works 16 hours a week so that will not be much and im sorry i dont know how much, and there are no dependents.

Ok thanks.

From the information you have given me, the net matrimonial assets are the equity in the house of £135,000 (plus any pension fund plus any savings of either of you which you haven't mentioned) less the loan of £2,000, so the amount to be divided between you is £133,000.

The matrmonial assets are everything in each person's sole name plus everything they own jointly with the other person or any other person. Any negotiation needs to be on the same basis that a court would decide the case - otherwise you run the risk that either side could apply to court later to overturn any agreement reached. Both parties are under a duty to provide full financial disclsure of all their finances and property to the other. The longer the marriage, the more likely it is that if the case went to court, the starting point for the court would be a 50:50 divsion of the assets - but see below. Yours would be considered a long marriage as the court will add the years you lived together before marriage on to the number of years you've been married ie treat your marriage as if it was a 25 year marriage.

Starting from a position of a 50:50 division of the assets, the court will then look at whether there are any reasons why one person should get a greater than 50% share.

In your case. I think it is highly likely that your wife will get a much greater than 50% share eg 65% or maybe even more - possibly even up to 100%, because of the disparity in your incomes.

The court will want to find an outcome that enables both parties to be adequately housed. Given your income, your mortgage capacity of 3 x £45,000 would enable you to buy a house of £135,000 outright, whereas your wife may have a nil mortgage capacity or a very small one. I think that given the value of the house, it is unlikely that a court would order that the house be sold, as your wife would need to be able to purchase a similar one for herself. I think it is more likely that a court would order the house to be transferred into your wife's sole name (if it is not already) with her undertaking to the court that she wil use her best endeavours to get your name released from your liabilities under the terms of the mortgage deed. The fact that you paid the mortgage while you were together will not entitle you to a larger share of the equity now, because in matrimonial cases, the court takes the view that marriage is a joint venture where all is shared. You might have an argument that payments of capital post separation should entitle you to a larger share of the equity, but the amount would be very small and not enough to cancel out the effect of your much larger income.

The best advice I can give you is to negotiate, NEGOTIATE, N E G O T I A T E !

Once a divorce petiton has been filed at court, either party can apply to court to ask the court to decide how the matrimonial assets should be divided, if the couple cannot reach agreement between themselves - BUT going to court is stressful, time-consuimg and expensive.

You can negotiate either between yourselves, or via solicitors' correspondence, or via mediation. Mediation is a round-the-table discussion with a trained an neutral mediator.

Ther family court does anwyay now require the parties to have attempted mediation before it will consider an application to court.

Here's where to find a local family mediator:

If you can reach agreement, once a divorce petition has been filed at court, you can get that agreement turned into a binding legal agreement by asking a solicitor to prepare a draft consent order which you both sign which is then filed at court for the court to approve. Once approved by the court, the consent order is as binding as an order made at the end of contested proceedings.

Here's where to find a specialist family law solicitor, either to prepare a draft consent order to incorporate your agreement, or to give you some face-to-face legal advice generally:-

I know this wasn't the answer you hoped to receive - but hope it helps anyway and I wish you the best of luck.

Thanks and best wishes...

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