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ukfamilysolicitor, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1376
Experience:  Divorce, Finances, Children, Domestic Violence, Care Proceedings
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Married 25 yrs but white british husband lives almost all year

Customer Question

married 25 yrs but white british husband lives almost all year Kenya. recently discovered he has a 'wife' there as well as a child from a previous Kenyan 'wife'. Am approaching retirement age and have no more than state pension as husband always said he would look after me. we own our house and land 50/50 as tenants in common. what should be I be thinking of asking from him - I know that in addition to our joint property he has investments of at least £350k and a pension of approx £22K pa and is still working as a broadcaster and psychologist in Kenya. I have savings of approx £100k and have maintained the property and paid all costs except council tax and insurance for the last 15 years. Advice on where to start would be much appreciated!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 2 years ago.
Welcome to Just Answer
I am sorry to hear about your difficulties.
I am a Solicitor and will assist.
There is a set process for dealing with the issue the matrimonial finances.
If your are looking to also deal with matters in the long term then - in relation to the matrimonial finances - The correct process for dealing with the matrimonial finances and division is to go through a process known as full and frank financial disclosure. Yourself and your husband need to exchange full details of all assets and liabilities before negotiations take place in relation to settlement. Disclosure includes all assets including pensions.
The normal rule for division is 50/50 of all assets however the matrimonial causes act sets out factors which could lead to a departure from this rule. A few examples are the likely earning capacity of both of you for the future, health needs, etc. If these apply to you then you should argue for a larger share.
If there is a disparity in your income then you also consider spousal maintenance. Either spouse may make an application to the court for a spousal maintenance order, also known as a periodical payments order.
The court follows the legal principles from legislation and case law in making its decision, although each judge has a discretion to do what they perceive to be appropriate on the evidence in each particular case. This means the precise outcome of financial court proceedings can be quite difficult to predict.
The statutory principles are set out in section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. The court's first consideration is the welfare of any children involved. Alongside that, the court considers:

the income and earning capacity that each of you have or are likely to have in the foreseeable future and in the case of earning capacity, any increase in that capacity that it would be reasonable to expect you to take steps to acquire

the financial needs, obligations and responsibilities that each of you have or are likely to have in the foreseeable future

the standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the marriage

your ages and the length of the marriage

any physical or mental disability of either of you

contributions made or likely in the foreseeable future to make to the welfare of the family, including any non-economic contribution

conduct, if that conduct is such that it would, in the court's opinion, be inequitable to disregard it (although it is rare for conduct to be taken into account and the reason for the marriage or civil partnership breakdown is very unlikely to be a conduct issue), and

the value to you of any benefit that you will lose the chance of acquiring
Maintenance ordered to cover the interim position only is called ‘maintenance pending suit' (MPS). In an application for MPS, the court will concentrate on a party's immediate and interim needs only, so a separate interim budget needs to be prepared. An application for MPS can also include a request for an order that one party make payment to the other party for their legal costs, also known as a legal services order.
An application for MPS can be made on or after a divorce petition has been filed with the court but before decree absolute.
In the majority of cases, meeting essential needs will be all that is achievable. Where financial resources are limited it may only be possible to meet the basic needs of one party, often the parent with the day-to-day care of the children of the relationship. Your needs will be considered within the context of the available resources of the marriage.
You should consider making a referral to a specialist mediation service.
They can assist in relation to the process of disclosure and also in relation to negotiations about division. One such mediation service is the National Family Mediation service.
If agreement cannot be reached then an application would need to be made to the court. You can not make an application to the court until you have at least attempted mediation first.
It is very important that no division of any assets takes place until a court order is obtained.
If division is agreed without the need to apply to court then you should submit a consent order for Judicial approval prior to division. Not doing so could leave you open for a future claim. A Solicitor can help you draft the Consent Order to protect your position for the future. The court will not approve or make an order unless decree nisi has been obtained in divorce proceedings.
Kind Regards
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Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 2 years ago.
please remember to rate positively - your question will not close and I can answer your follow up questions for free