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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35088
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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Divorce, Property and Inheritance advice?In March last year

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Divorce, Property and Inheritance advice?
In March last year my husband (aged 59) took voluntary redundancy and retired from work activating his company pension.(11K pa) He says he has no intention of working again.
The following month, last April, he told me he had re-evaluated his life and now no longer wished to be married. He has his own room and has lived his own life ever since, he ignores me and has hardly spoken to me. I was very upset and in shock at this news, as it came completely out of the blue!
We have been together 17 years and married for almost 11 years, we have both been married before, we have no children together and children from our former marriages are now all independent.
I would like to know where I stand with regard to Divorce, our joint property and money from 2 inheritances I have received.
My aunt left me some money in 2007 most of which I used to pay off our joint mortgage (£40K) and a conservatory loan (£10K). The loan was in my husband’s sole name as he had signed all the paperwork, but both of these were paid jointly in equal amounts until I cleared the remaining balances off both debts. We have always paid all household bills on a 50/50 basis, even though prior to his retirement he earned more than me.
Our property is worth around £250K and we own it as tenants in common. We have ‘ Willed’ that each of our share be left to our children and not to each other. No children are at home and we have no other debts.
I am still working (age 56) I work 30 hours p.w. I earn £16kpa before stoppages, and pay half the household expenditure as I have always done. But I do buy an annual rail card to get to work which is quite costly. I do not expect to get my state pension until I am 66, I have worked for the whole time we have been together, I worked full time until 6 years ago. After I cleared the mortgage I reduced my hours as my mum developed Alzheimer’s and needed more of my help.
My husband told me last year me he is entitled to half the house even if I have paid more into it than him and he is not in a position to move now he has retired. He wishes to continue living as we are and refuses to discuss the matter further. His redundancy payment plus his lump sum pension payment (£52K approx) put him in a position to pay me back at least some of his share of the mortgage and loan which he was happy for me to pay off in 2007, but he has banked all the money in his name and purchased himself a new car!
During a conversation some time ago he did inform me he intended not to give me a lump sum when he got his retirement funds but told me he intended to pay me back at £200 per month to top up my company pension which will be substantially smaller than his. He said he would do this from me retiring from my employment until I commenced to receive my state pension when I reach 66. I obviously have no control over this and as he no longer wishes to be married I doubt he will honour what was only a verbal discussion. I had planned to retire from work at age 60, in just under 4 years’ time, but now, financially, this may no longer be possible.
It has now been almost a year and I feel trapped and very unhappy, I do not wish to carry on living like this anymore! Nobody wants to come to our house due to the situation so nobody ever visits.
Is there a way he could be forced into selling our property? If so how do I go about this? Also would I be entitled to all, or at least some of the money back that I paid on his behalf i.e. his share of the mortgage and loan? This would obviously help me purchase another home.
Secondly, my mum died just over 2 years ago and I inherited a half share from the sale of her property. As I used my previous inheritance to secure our home and for us to become mortgage free, I have invested most of the money I received under the terms of her Will in my own name. This is due to mature in four years’ time when I had hoped to retire myself. Would he be entitled to a share of this? I feel in a no win situation. He told me this morning I now have to pay an extra £20 per month towards household bills! Yes they have increased, but mainly because he is at home all day. This was the final straw, I can’t carry on living like this any longer. Please help as I have nowhere else to go and feel close to breaking point? Do I have any grounds for Divorce? I do not wish to challenge him on this until I know where I stand legally. Also would I have to pay for this or would the costs be shared between us? He has never mentioned anything about Divorce. Thank You.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
how much do one bedroom properties in the area cost to buy?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Clare


I would say you could buy one for between £90K to £120K depending on where it was.


Thank you

You have grounds for a divorce based on Unreasonable Behaviour
Whilst you can claim costs from him you should assume that this is unlikely.
There is enough money in the property that if it was sold there would be enough for you each to rehouse yourself - so the court will Order the sale.
Account will be taken of the extra money that you paid
Since your latest Inheritance has always been kept separate and there are sufficient funds for him to be rehoused it is likely that you will be able to retain your Inheritance
I hope that this is of assistance
Please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Does this mean I would be awarded more than 50% of the sale proceeds when our current property is sold taking into account additional funds I have paid in? I am sure he will not want to live in a less affluent area than we currently live in.

Thank you


It is difficult to be more specific without all the financial details - as it seems that he has savings etc.
provided he has enough to purchase an alternative property there is a reasonable chance that you will get a larger share of the equity
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you