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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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Hello. My marriage is very unhappy and whilst I would like

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Hello. My marriage is very unhappy and whilst I would like it to work better, it is getting harder day by day.
If my wife and I get to the point of divorce, I would like to know approximately what my rights are.
Our children are grown up, married and live their own lives. My wife and I are full time foster and adult carers, and we have both an adult male and a 17 year old female who are in our care living with us.
Our house is almost paid for, my wife earns more than I do, and we both have savings.
I recently inherited money after the sale of my deceased mother's house.
The house and remaining small mortgage is in joint names.
Please could you advise me of how the matrimonial funds would likely be split.

I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your reply.

I am perfectly happy waiting for a researched reply; I do not want the question cancelling since I have paid £22 for it.

I don't need a detailed reply, I simply want to know the normal expected general outcome of a divorce settlement when there are no dependent matrimonial children (and hence financial support) involved.

I am 62, my wife is 58, and we both have own incomes and savings, including my inheritance from the sale of my deceased mother's house.


I believe the element of my question regarding foster and adult care should be ignored, but I am not sure.


We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.

Thank you for your patience,
Hello and thanks for your question.

Once a divorce petition has been filed at court, if the parties cannot agree between themselves, either party can apply to the family court to ask the court to decide how the matrimonial assets should be divided between them. Both sides are under a duty to give full financial disclosure ie reveal all finances - to the court & to each other. The matrimonial assets are everything in each person's name, and everything they own jointly with anyone else. Pension entitlements count as matrimonial assets. You may be able to argue that your inheritance is NOT a matrimonial asset if you have kept the monies is a separate account, and not used any of it for general household expenses or for your wife's benefit.

The court starts from the position that the matrimonial assets should be divided 50:50 - then looks at reasons why that should not be the case eg if one party is to provide a home for dependent children, or if one party has a significnatly lower income than the other, then that person could argue for a larger than 50% share (but rarely more than 60% or 65%).

In your case, as your wife earns more than you, you might be able to argue for more than 50% - but given that you have your inheritance which you will want not to be in cluded, it is likely that the best you can get is 50% of the total, excluding your inheritance.

This does not mean that every asset must be split in half - eg it could be that one of you buys out the other's share in the house, which is then transferred in that person's sole name. Or the house could be sold and the net proceeds divided as agreed.

As going to court is stressful, time-consuming and expensive, reaching a settlement is preferable if at all possible. You can negotiate either between yourselves or via solicitors' correspondence, or via mediation. Here's where to find a specialist family law solicitor:

If you do reach agreement, that can be made into a binding legal agreement if drawn up into a draft consent order by a solicitor which you both sign, which is then sent to court for the court's approval.

If you can't reach agreement, either one of you can apply to court - but the court now requires that mediation is attempted before it will consider an application to court.

Here's where to find a local family mediator:-

I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck.

Thanks and best wishes.

UKfamsol, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 560
Experience: Very experienced specialist family law solicitor, qualifed in 1994
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