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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35042
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 wife left me 8 months ago . She is living with another man

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My wife left me 8 months ago . She is living with another man . We co own the house I live in . I am happy to sell up when the divorce is finalised. I am not seeking grounds and I am happy to wait 2 years for separation and then apply. My son lives with me he is unemployed and 23 years old . I am his support. My wife wants me to sell the house before the divorce so that she can buy another property to live in . I do not want to sell up until the divorce. Can she force me to sell?
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 much is the house worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage?
What other assets are there and what income do you each have?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
The house is jointly owned and is worth approx £400k , there is s mortgage outstanding of £131000. ( £ 700 P/M£We each have occupational pensions mine is police pension that pays £1600 per month hers is an NHS I'll health pension that pays her £ 500 per month . With my pension lump sum we purchased a flat which is rented for £ 650 per month and this goes to my wife making her nett income £1150 p/m . She pays £ 250 each month to my bank account towards our mortgage which is approx 1/3 . The flat is valued at £75000. I am aware how complicated pension rules are and that there are various ways that they can be split I.e Pensions sharing , offsetting Etc and this will need mediation nearer the divorce if we cannot make our own deal . I have offered my wife the flat ( including the lease) no call from me on her pension , half the equity on our joint home and a maximum of 10% of my residual pension . She has not responded to the offer . There was no violence . She has a key to our house and she resides with her new man in a caravanette in a pub car park . He has occasional work as a children's entertainer but I have no details of his income.
May I ask why you wish to delay the sale of the Matrimonial home?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Clare . I do not wish to sell the home until I have a clear idea of what my income will be post divorce. Also I will need to move far away from my current location in the London area because I will not be able to afford to live here . I also have to buy a property that can accommodate my son at least temporarily . I also have a small part time job locally that pays me £300 per month. I am 54 and i do not think that I will be able to get a mortgage.

Thank you for that.
In fact your wife has two options in terms of forcing a sale.
She can issue a Divorce Petition base don your Unreasonable Behaviour (very easy I am afraid) and issue a Financial application; OR she can use property law and as a joint owner apply for the sale of the property - and the 50/50 division of the equity.
You can try and forestall this by offering to negotiate with her using Family mediation
to resolve the issues.
Please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Clare. I did offer to divorce her for adultery to expedite the proceedings so that we could resolve the situation earlier but she refuses to accept that her new situation counts as adultery ? She wants to wait the two years so that we can use separation . Although things are reasonably amicable we have not talked much and I only know whats in her mind when my son comes back from visiting her in a distraught state. I don't think she wants to issue the petition . I am very wary of taking on another property until I have at least some idea of her intentions in respect of my pension. Am I right in thinking that she can cannot expect to obtain more than 50 % of our assets as we have no dependent children. If this is the case I will at least have a baseline to work from. Thank you

Yes a 50/50 split of all the assets is most likely
Alternatively if you do wish to move matters on then you could divorce her on the basis of HER Unreasonable Behaviour
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Clare you have been most helpful, one last question that will help me to consider my next move. Should my wife petition me for divorce as you suggest or if she looks into forcing the sale under property law . Roughly how long will such proceedings take ? I am not about to force the issue with her as my daughter is about to give birth in the next week and I do not want to cause any further family friction at this precise time but this information may be important to me. I could indeed divorce my wife for unreasonable behavior, I certainly have good grounds. We were married for 32 years have two great kids and grandchildren and although the whole situation is sad I am trying not to make things worse whilst protecting myself and my son's future at the same time. Thank you

You are being very strong in remembering that whilst they are over 18 your children are still vulnerable.
If your ex does try and force the issue then it would take between six months and a year to resolve.
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Clare

I was very pleased with the service and thanks again . I have informed my wife of the information you supplied me with . I have made her a suggestion as to an offer of settlement of our divorce based on the two year separation that she has requested rather than accepting a Divorce sooner, (either way) based on the other required grounds and supplied her with various examples of projected incomes, our prospective pensions and equity split. She has promised to consider them once she has sought advice of her own. I am still hoping that we can come to a private equitable arrangement and while we are able to communicate I am hopeful of achieving this before resorting to legal intervention.

Thanks again

Darren Sharp

I hope all goes well