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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35065
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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I separated from an extremely abusive man and now think I need

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I separated from an extremely abusive man and now think I need a divorce - he has a girlfriend. Because of him always getting us into debt and nearly having our home repossessed I had the house transferred to my name only several years ago. He has paid me £750 monthly maintenance as I need to provide a home for our 3 children, one of whom is autistic and has severe ADHD. I need to know can he take the home from us in a divorce? Can I apply for part of his pensions (I gave up career to raise the 3 children and did not pay into a pension for over 10 years, and then only working part-time). Children's ages now 17, 19 and 22 - 17 year old an apprentice, 19 year old with Autism/ADHD not working and emotionally a huge burden, 22 year old dependent on me as he is in a low paid apprenticeship.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He has not always paid maintenance but since agreeing and paying £750 per month several years ago he now has stopped payments. He knows I cannot afford to maintain our family home for the 4 of us without his support.
HiThank you for your questionMy name is ***** ***** do my best to help you but I need some further information firstHow 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 2 years ago.
I am not sure of his income but know it to be in excess of £45,000 per year for his Engineering role. He also has a second job and suspect he is earning several hundred pounds a month from this.
The house is valued at £240,000 and my mortgage is £125,000 - I had to increase the mortgage when I took it on to pay off lots of debt he had got us into.
No other assets that I can think of apart from his pensions.
My salary is £31,000 as a L&D Support Manager - my health is not great and I am not sure how long I can work full time.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have paid for all improvements to the house which have increased its value.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Married since 8th August 1987. I am 50 and ex is 54.
How much have the improvements increased the value of the property and what debts did you pay off?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Paid off credit card, overdrafts, bank loans, car loan etc.
I have improved the house with a £10,000 kitchen, new tile flooring throughout, new woodwork to stairs, landscape garden and full decoration throughout - I estimate I have put at least £35,000 onto the home in value.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I also had to pay off the arrears of the mortgage when I took it on as it was 8 months in arrears despite him earning good money and letting me believe he had been paying it. The house was nearly repossessed. He also emptied the bank account and building society account leaving me with no money whatsoever when we split.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hello - are you there? It has been an hour since your last question. As it is 00.20 hrs I am going to log on again tomorrow morning. Kind regards, Suzanne
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I am still waiting?
My apologies for the delay
Can you give me a best guess about how much the work that you have paid for has increased the value of the property?
Rough idea will do
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
In a comment above I have put an estimate of at least £35,000 increase due to work I've undertaken on my property. This property has already been signed over to me and the deeds/mortgage in my sole name. Kind regards Suze
You did indeed - my apologies for missing this.
You mention that he took capital when he left - how much did he take?
How long have you been separated?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He had £16,000 which he spent on a car. And a further. £4,000 which he spent on laser surgery. We originally split up in 2002 and I have raised our 3 children alone but rather stupidly took him back in around 2011 - I'm catholic and thought he'd changed. Sadly the abuse started again almost immediately on him moving into the family home. I told him to leave and he left in the autumn of 2012. He voluntarily paid me £750 a month since then. It stopped this month when he announced to our children he had a girlfriend.
Do you have any idea how much his pensions are worth?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No. I have asked him for the details ... He has an RAF pension of 15 years, a St Ivel Pension of approx 13 years and now works as an Engineers and been in that pension scheme for approx 5 years.
I gave up my raf career to follow his raf career and worked in temporary roles and self employed as a childminder. I Estimate I did not pay into pension schemes for around 12 years whilst raising our family and taking temporary work.
Now those pensions will be worthwhile.
Are you prepared to let them go to keep the house?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes but I thought as the house is already mine he couldn't touch it?
I am afraid that that is not the case - he has matrimonial home rights and a financial claim on the property.
However if he wishes to retain his pensions than this coupled with the work that you have paid for should be sufficient to ensure that you retain the property.
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
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