How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask UKfamsol Your Own Question
UKfamsol, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 560
Experience:  Very experienced specialist family law solicitor, qualifed in 1994
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
UKfamsol is online now

Is it true that after 30 yrs & 25 yrs of marriage & a 34 yr

This answer was rated:

Is it true that after 30 yrs & 25 yrs of marriage & a 34 yr career earning the higher income my 58 yr old sister who retired 2 yrs ago now has to give her husband (who has just walked out on her saying he wants a different life now ) 50 % of her pension and half the family home, which means she will have to sell it to pay him. He is still working and says that's his income? Is it any use using a barrister as her local solicitor has said this is the law?
Hello and thanks for your question.

If a couple decide to divorce, then once a divorce petition has been filed at court, either party can ask the court to decide how the matrimonial assets should be divided between them, if the couple cannot agree between themselves. The matrimonial assets arae everything in each person's sole name, plus everything they own jointly. The court starts from the position that the assets should be divided 50:50 - then looks at reasons why that should not be so. For example, if there are dependent children then the person who provides a home for them can argue for more than 50% of the assets. Or if one person has a significantly lower income than the other, they can argue for a greater than 50% share.

Even if your sister earned more in the past, if her income is much lower than her husband's now, she can argue for a greater than 50% share. If her husband is yoinger than her, and still has many years to contribute to a pension scheme, or even just has the opportunuity to increase his income in years to come, while her income remains static, these would also be arguments for a greater than 50% share.

If her financial needs are greater eg if she has a disability or had to retuire earky ion health grounds, then again she can argue for a greater than 50% share.

However, her husband WILL be entitled to a substantial share, even if not 50%, it's unlikely to be less than say 35% or 40%.

Your sister needs to see a specialist family law solicitor to discuss her situation in details. Here's where to find one:

As going to court is stressful, time-consuming and expensive, if your sister can negotiate a settlement either between herself and her husband, or via solicitors' correspondence, or via mediation, that would be preferable. The family court nayway now requires the parties to have attempted mediatin before it will consider an application to court.Here's where to find a local family mediation service:

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

Thanks and best wishes...

UKfamsol and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thnx for reply. Her husband is still working earning £25,000 so shouldn't that be taken into account in the whole split ? He has asked her to give him the rent of £700 from another property worth £170,000which they own & rent out which has a small mortgage of approx £300 a month , which he says she has to pay for now. He says if she does this he will not force her out of the house for 2 yrs but also wants a third of her pension NOW. With the family home upkeep which is worth £600,000 and no income & giving him a third of her pension and then having this hanging over her for 2 yrs she is not sure this is a very good deal. In 2 yrs he will want half of both property values approx £800,000 and then could still go for 50% of her pension? She might never get another job being 58 now, so he would be better off. Their 23 yr old son is still living at home as is studying law & next year has his first yr of articles which presently as he doesn't have a sponsor will cost £18,000. Surely they should split this cost,could it come off the pension in one or rental income ? Thnx
The fact that your sister's husband has a much bigger income than your sister is of course relevant as I pointed out in my answer - she can argue for more than 50% of the assets in that case. It's not really possible for me to go into all the details of your sister's case as I would normally sit down with a client and spend an hour or two getting all the information and discussing all the options - but that 's not really possible through this website.

Your sister should not allow herelf to be bullied by her husband. The ONLY way to get a legally-binding agreement ie a court order (whether by consent or following contested proceedings) is within divorce proceedings.

Therefore - the first stage is to file a divorce petition at court - which she can do NOW. She does not have to wait for two years. Her divorce petition can be based on her husband's behaviour.

Once a divorce petition has been filed at court, she can make her financial application to court - that can include an application for maintenance for herself (both while the court case is ongoing - and beyond that) as well as an application for a large share of the assets.

Divorce IS very distressing, and her husband WILL get a share of the assets - taking into account his income and his prospects etc - but working out what exactly what his share should be, and formulating an offer to settle, is beyond the scope of this website.

I strongly recommend that she gets some face-to-face legal advice as soon as possibe, before she has any more informal discussions with her husband, so that she can be reassured and informed about all her options.

If she's suffering or has suffered bullying or worse from her husband, and would like to talk thorugh her experiences, Women's Aid have a free 24 help line on 0808 2000 247, and their website is:-

best wishes....