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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35045
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 and I decided to separated 3 weeks ago due to his

Customer Question

My husband and I decided to separated 3 weeks ago due to his affair. We have been married for 4 years without any children.

My husband suffers from depression and drinking problem, he also has various debts, credit cards, personal loan, parking tickets and outstanding tax (his self-employed). I have to bail him out so many times to pay off some of the urgent debts over the past 4 years. He also relies on me to pay for all the utilities & living costs as he can not hold a job and I am normally the bread winner.

We own a property (purchase price £250K, market value now approx £350K) under both of our name but I am the sole mortgage holder (mortgage £150K and £100K deposit) due to his poor credit rating. We have a legal paper drawn by solicitor to outline he only owns 1% of the property. I also have some saving (£20K) under my name.

He is now urgently need some money to pay his debts (he said it is about £18k but I believe it is more) so he is pushing me to agree a financial settlement or he will need to declare bankruptcy which he says we will have to sell up our property to pay his debts off.

My questions are:

1. How much he is entitled to this our joint own property if we divorce? He has not contribute any mortgages, maintenance fee, insurance etc. Considering I have been paying so much money toward him already.

2. He is now moving back home with his parents but he wants to get his own place so he is asking me to pay him £90K - is it acceptable? I don't have this money and I don't want to sell the property.

3. Would his bankruptcy means we will have sell up or remortgage the property to pay for it?

4. How can I protect my assets ie. Saving as I do not want to pay off his debts which are due to his careless spending and addiction to online gaming etc.

I would much prefer paying towards his counseling session as he really needs instead of paying a large sum so he may use for other purposes to fuel his drinking, gaming etc. Also over the years, I have been dramatized by his poor behaviors, verbal abuse, affair, stealing money from me etc. I feel very angry that I have to give him my hard earn money so I really need to know how I can do to protect myself from losing even more.

Please advice.

Many thanks, Mel
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
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 long have you actually lived together?
What other assets are there and what income do you each have?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

We have lived together from Sep 2009 to Mar 2014.


My annual income is between £35,000 - £50,000 during the marriage. However, I will become self-employed after end of May so no regular income.


Steve is a self-employed plumber so his income is not stable and he hasn't been filed his tax return since 2008-9 and I found out recently he owes Tax man around £25K including massive fine for delay. He paid off some by borrowing from high interest loan, he told me at moment he still owe £18K to the Taxman.


Apart from that, Steve owns a commercial vehicle and various household equipment, laptop, tablet and pluming tools.


I have good saving around £20K, and some saving overseas around £40K. My father funded me to buy a property in London, which is under my father's name and I will be moving to there.


I hope these are sufficient information for you.


Looking forward to hearing from you.


Thanks, Mel


Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Relist: Answer came too late.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Relist: No answer yet.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Relist: No answer yet.
Really need comprehensive answer as soon as possible as my separated husband has been pushing me to pay him off.
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
My apologies for the delay
For clarity - where did the deposit for the house come from?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The deposit for the house came from me, my own saving. We have a trust deed drawn by a solicitor outlining the percentage of our share of sale. (I have 99% vs he has 1%). The property was purchased before we got married.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
As I hope the solicitor who drafted it warned you the Family Court has the power to simply ignore the Declaration of Trust if it wishes to do so
A five year relationship however does NOT entitle him to 50% of the capital not anything close.
You brought all the capital (and most of the income)
What is less clear is what a reasonable settlement would be
As a very rough guide between 10% and 20 % is a likely settlement - in return for the property being transferred into your sole name
If he does go bankrupt the Declaration of trust will protect your interest in the property
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for your reply. Just couple of more questions:


How can I protect my saving? Would he be able to claim against my saving?


Also, How can I make sure I don't need to pay for his personal loans/credit card bills which are under his name and were not used for household purposes.


Many thanks. Mel

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
There is nothing you can do at this stage to protect anything - not is there any great need to since his claims are so limited
You will not have to pay bills that are in his name