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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34885
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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My husband left me on 21st February 2014 after nearly 25 years

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My husband left me on 21st February 2014 after nearly 25 years of marriage.
He has a well paid PAYE job.
I run a smallholding as a sole trader. The farm, business, business bank account, business development loans, VAT are all in my name.
Does he have any legal claim to any of my business and property?
Susan Davies
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
What income do you each have and what is the value of the assets?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello Clare
My husband has a basic of £84k + bonuses, which normally takes his annual income over £100k / annum. He also has expenses & a daily per diem when he is working away/abroad.

My gross income from the farm is about £12k, though this is improving as I have been running the farm for a short time - since 2008. I net about £2k. It is my only source of income.
The smallholding is worth about £150k (I am having it valued this afternoon), however we only have temporary planning permission to dwell.
We also have a house in France, which is worth about £125k . He has said he wants this property, which is in joint names and has a french mortgage. It was originally bought for our pension investment. I have a small Scottish Widows pension and Nick has 2 frozen pensions.
Thanks for your help.

How much is outstanding on the French Mortgage?
Are there any other assets?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare

We took out an 80% mortgage in 2005 for 20 years. I am not sure the exact balance as Nick has been dealing with it on-line. I think that it is about £65k.

I have 2 business development loans = £44k, however next January we have an endowment policy maturing for about £26k + bonus. This secures the loans and will pay off most of the balances remaining at that time.


We have livestock & equipment on the smallholding.

Nick has some Standard Life Shares in his name for £3837
We have a time share in Virginia. Purchased for £7k in 2001 that Nick will keep.
Nick's car is worth £15k whereas I have a very ancient Discovery.


Just to check - you did not inherit the business at all?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No. I bought the field in 2000 for my horses. I was a riding instructor.
I then took time out to home educate our son. Nick was working away most of the time.
I put together a business plan in 2006 to run it as a smallholding breeding alpaca. We got temporary planning permission to dwell in 2008 when we built a barn and bought a mobile home (cost £6k). The value of alpaca dropped about that time. I have expanded into goats, sheep & pigs and now bees. I produce pets, meat, eggs, alpaca yarn & garments, honey & vegetables. The business is still in its infancy.


Before we moved onto the smallholding we were renting a house.

Given the length of your relationship the starting point for division of ALL the assets (including the small holding) is 50/50
However the substantial difference in your incomes and pension provision means that you are likely to keep a larger share of the capital assets - so your keeping the small holding and him keeping the French property is a very likely outcome
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you