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

I'm in the process of petitioning , I asked my

This answer was rated:

I'm in the process of petitioning , I asked my husband to leave in July 2013 after finding out he had had an affair with a woman. We only married in Aug 2009 and he spent most of his time living away with work, He seems to think he is entitled to half my house, the house is in my name and I owned this (on mortgage) before I met him. Is he correct ? I believe because we were married a short period of time that he wouldn't be - I got the house in 2000.
and thanks question.
I need a bit more information to be able to answer:
What is the house worth now?
How much is the current total mortgage on the house?
What other assets and debts are there?
What is your annual income from all sources?
What is your husband's annual income from all sources?
How old are any children and who will they live with after the divorce?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


The house is currently worth 400K (valued sept 2014), My mortgage is 114K, we have no children together, however i have a 21 year old daughter. I owe approx £25K on loans and Credit Cards. My Annual Income is 64K He is a consultant so works through his own company, he charges £500 per day, however I know he pays himself minimum salary, as takes our as dividends. No other assets as they were split when he left in July 2013, all the furniture I had before he moved into the house. We both have cars, although his was of a higher value, he has since sold that cheaper one. I have decorated and improved the house since he left so the current value is a lot higher than it would have been in 2013.

A bit more info please!
From what you say, your husband will have income in the region of £100,000, whether than comes via a salary or via dividends. So given that you have been separated years already, he must either have substantial savings, and/or his own property. Do you know if he has either or both of these , and if so, an approximate idea of how much and/or the value of equity in any property? These need to be taken into account as well.
Also, do either of you have any pension entitlements? these also have to be part of the calculation.
And - when you split the assets in July 2013, was anything put in writing about who was to get what, and whether that was to be a final settlement? Was that agreement recorded in solicitors' correspondence? or via a mediator in a Memorandum of Understanding?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

, My husband is very bad with money, is currently renting a nice house in Maidenhead, no savings I'm aware of, He has an old pension, but I don't think its worth very much, as do I. I was alway relying of the sale of my house as my pension!.

We we split it was mainly furniture pictures etc not money we had no savings, we did split the Joint accounts overdraft and paid that off - Although he had created it in the first place.

Nothing has been agreed officially. I know this sounds ridiculous but at the time, I assumed all was fine, and we would part with what we came in with….

Ok thanks.
The situation is as follows:
Once a divorce petition has been filed at court, either party can ask the court to decide how the matrimonial assets should be divided if between you, you can't agree. The starting point is that the matrimonial assets are everything on your name, everything in his name, and everything you own jointly, and that everything should be split 50:50
BUT there are arguments you can make a) over what is or is not a matrimonial assets and b) where indeed the split should be 50:50.
I'm going ignore pensions (because it seems his is too small and you don't have one) and cars, which cancel each other out.
a) in your case, it seems that the sole matrimonial assets is the house, worth £400,000, less mortgage £114,000, so equity = £286,000. You bought it 9 years before the marriage, and you've lived there alone last 2 years and have increased its value since then. So I would say you have an argument that 9 years plus 2 years of the 15 years you have owned the house ie up to the date of the petition should be ignored, totalling 11 years, and therefore 4 out of the 15 years should the house be treated as a matrimonial asset ie 4/15 x £286,000= £76,267. So your argument would be that the gross matrimonial assets are £76,267, and not £286,000.
The net matrimonial assets are the gross matrimonial assets less the matrimonial liabilities. The matrimonial liabilities are any debts regardless in whose name they are that the household/couple benefited from. So eg if one of your loans was in your sole name but paid holiday both of you, that would be a matrimonial liability. But if the loans etc either relate to personal items eg clothes, or were taken out after you separated, then they are not matrimonial liabilities. The same applies to your husband's debts etc.
So if you do have any matrimonial liabilities , you can deduct the amounts outstanding from £76,267 to get a figure net matrimonial assets. But I'm going to assume that the loans etc. were taken out after separation, just of calculation.
b) in considering whether the assets should be divided 50*****will consider whether there are any reasons why the shares should not be equal eg if one party has to provide a home children or one party has an income significantly lower than the other party. In your case, it looks as if your income is significantly lower than your husband's - so you could argue that his share should be only 40% - but he will definitely get something.
So if his share is 40%, that is .4 x £76,267 = £30,506.
On your income of £64,000, you have a mortgage capacity of 3 x £64k = £192,000. You already have a mortgage of £114,000, so in principle, you could raise a further £78,000, so you do have scope to raise a further £30,506 to buy out your husband's interest, in full & final settlement.
You might like to get some face-to-face legal advice from specialist family law solicitor - here's where to find one near you:
As going to court is VERY expensive, time-consuming and stressful, it's preferable to negotiate a settlement if at all possible - which you can do either between yourselves, or via solicitors' correspondence or via mediation.
Here's where to find a local family mediation service:
If you can reach agreement (even if it's more than I've suggested above - and bear in mind that there's no scientific formula) a solicitor can draw up your agreement into a draft consent order both to sign, which is then filed at court court's approval. Once approved by the court, the consent order is as binding as an order made following contested proceedings, without either of you having to go to court.
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