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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35059
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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1. If I have been with my husband years and married

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1. If I have been with my husband for 10 years and married for 3 of those (no kids), does the law state that we are entitled to half of everything each? Would this include property bought solely in his name (some before, some after we got together)?
2. If I move out of our married home, does that give me less entitlement if I decide I'd like to have the house? How much stuff can I move before it counts as moving out?
3. Would a deed of trust whcih we both signed after we were married and which protects the first £50 000 of the house sale in his favour supersede any marriage laws?
HiThank you for your questionMy name is ***** ***** do my best to help you but I need some further information first.What assets and debts are there and what income do you each have?What capital did you each bring to the relationship?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare

It's pretty complex because he has a property business, but I'll try my best.


1. An apartment in Cardiff which he bought before we were together, solely in his name, valued now at about £150 000, probably £50k equity. We lived there for about 3 years and went halves on mortgage and bills.

2. An apartment in London which he bought when we were together but not married, solely in his name, probably worth about £400k with £200k equity. We lived there for 18 months, I contributed to bills.

3. Our married home which we bought a year ago, worth about £280k, has £100k equity. Purchased solely in my name, just me on the mortgage but with a deed of trust to say we are joint owners and to protect the extra £50k he put in (we also put in £30k each).

4. Then he has 12-15 cheap (£60-80k) properties, some purchased with a business partber, most under a business which he bought since we were together. |These all have mortgages.

5. He has a car loan for about £9k

6. I have £20k in savings.


My income is currently £22k, his is harder to know because he's a landlord and it fluctuates


I have put £30k into our married home, he has put £80K into it, plus the deposits on the Cardiff and London apartments (£30k each??)

Is there no simple rule about things being halved in marriage, are incomes/capital taken into account etc?

Best guess on the value of the business?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Gosh, no idea. I think he gets about £70k rent pre year, but that's before taking out mortgages and expenses. I don't really want half of the business, I would just like half of the married home without the ring fenced £50k being taken out but I don't know what the law is on dividing assests in married couples.

Given the length of your relationship the starting point for division of the assets is 50/50 no matter whose name is ***** ***** deeds.The family court has wide powers to adjust these percentages in any way that they feel fair - and are NOT bound by the Declaration of Trust that was signed.Realistically it is unlikely that the Court would give you half of ALL the assets as clearly your husband brought substantial capital to the relationship.However I have no doubt that you will retain the matrimonial home withOUT the £50,000 charge - and indeed it is entirely possible that he will have to make a further payment on top of that so that you have more equity in the property as well.This remains the same even if you move outI hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further detailsClare
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

So if I understand correctly, the starting point would be that I would possibly be entitled to half of the apartments in London and Cardiff, even thought the deeds are just in his name.

This is also true for our married home, despite the DoT.

I do not want to 'go after' half the apartments but knowing I'm entitled to them gives me leverage to negotiate on having half the married home if I don't claim anything else.

And if I understand correctly, me moving out temporarily would not affect my right to buy him out of his half of the married home, if I chose to do so (and no less entitlement to be the one who stays?)

That is entirely correct!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Ok, thank you. I'm a bit puzzled why we had the DoT then, it sounds like it doesn't count for anything?

Last question, do you think it would be reasonable for me to try and negotiate getting half the house (whether we sell it or buy each other out) out of court in a separation agreement in exchange for not pursuing anything else?

(I may be selling myself short but I'm trying to balance my finances with my morals and not having to go to court).

I agree - the Declaration of Trust was redundant in many waysYour negotiating stance is more than reasonable - i would push for more but I respect your reasoning