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ukfamilysolicitor, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1384
Experience:  Divorce, Finances, Children, Domestic Violence, Care Proceedings
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My marriage is in a v bad place. We have a 7yr old girl.

Customer Question

Hello, my marriage is in a v bad place. We have a 7yr old girl. We have a farm which lost its herd of cows to tb and now there is no income on the farm. We have an enormous mortgage which is coming up for renewal. My husband used to earn a good income. Now he earns nothing and over the past 3 yrs rather than find a job He has sold all his assets to pay bills. Historically I contributed 2/3rds of money to the farm purchase and he agreed to pay the mortgage and bills. I own two buy to lets and have an investment protfolio. I am starting many new tourism ventures on the farm to get income flowing but this will take a year or so. In the meantime, he has lost interest in the farm and would happily sell. I have invested 1 year and money in new projects. He therefore is holding me to ransom. I pay all the bills if I want to stay here. or we sell (and separate). Would he be entitled to 1/2 my assets if we did sell and separate? How is this worked out?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 2 years ago.
Welcome to Just Answer
I am a Solicitor and will assist you.
Please may I ask:
- how long have you been married?
- is divorce contemplated?
Kind regards
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
8 years and divorce - i dont know. I feel i am being used and held to ransom. he has checked out of the marriage essentially but its not a route I really want.
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 2 years ago.
Just seen your request for a phone call.
I am just about to go into a meeting but I could call at either 4.30 or 7 - would this be ok?
If so - let me know and I will accept the request as this will give me your phone number.
Kind Regards
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
no sadly I m not available then. could you continue online now - I need to leave at 3.45pm thanks
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 2 years ago.
I will prepare you an answer as to the current position.
This will take me a little while as I'm just going into a meeting. Sorry!
You can view the information at any point and if you want me to call you to discuss things after you've considered the information I can do that for you at another time.
I hope this is ok.
Kind regards
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
ok thanks. i'll await your email. Lucy
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
more information
I have lent him £40K to start a new business. He is playing at this business now and wont write a business plan or take it seriously or repay this money. he signed us up to a terrible financing agreement for the installation of a biomass boiler. I am having to renegotiate terms with the lenders as he has wiped his hands of it. Previously i lent him money for other things which he has never repaid. I dont know if he has had external advise but it feels that he thinks he is in a win win situation and he is not being very nice. For the sake of our daughter I thought I should stick it out and try to get on the best we can. he sees the whole problem as about money. I see that he makes no effort on anything - work, social, positive childcare. He lies on the sofa every night of his life, never initiates anything for us as a family or for our daughter. I pay school fees, plan all her activities, and do most (not all) of the childcare. We did go to marriage counselling which did work until he simply refused to do any of the things he was asked to do or admit that he had completely changed as a person and was essentially not who he presented himself to be when we married or even attempt to present a plan as to how he can help try and improve our situation. - that is really the full picture. thanks Lucy
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 2 years ago.
I am so sorry. My meeting went on longer than thought and I am now stuck in miles of traffic following a vehicle fire on the M6.
I will review and return to you as soon as I can.
Kindest regards
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Are you able to come back to me today please. thank-you lucy
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 2 years ago.
Dear Lucy
Please accept my sincere apologies. I am normally able to respond within 1 hour of any questions from 7am to 12am. Yesterday was somewhat of an odd day for me and I thank you for your patience.
To start, what you need to be aware of is that if either yourself or your husband did decide to divorce - then either of you would be able to make a claim in respect of the matrimonial finances.
There is a set process to this and I think it is important to provide you with some further information in respect of this - so you have an idea.
The first step to go through a process known as full and frank disclosure. This step includes the exchange of information in respect of your assets and liabilities. Everything is included in this stage including pensions.
Once disclosure has taken place then discussions can take place about division.
The normal rule for division for a marriage longer than 5 years is 50/50. The Matrimonial Causes Act does set out factors which can depart from this rule. From what you have said so far:
- his points to argue more than 50% are - your earning capacity os more than him, he may have health needs that need meeting.
- your points to argue more than 50% are - you will be undertaking the lions share of child care.
This list is not exhaustive. I just want to let you know that 50/50 is only a starting point.
I am very much getting the impression from your messages that you have substantially cotributed to the marriage is respect of pre-marital assets. I am not sure whether or not a Pre Nup was agreed? In any event Pre Nup's are not necessarily legally binding on a future family court Judge.
It is possible to argue that some pre-marital assets should remain sole assets but this is by no means certain and it depends on the parties needs and the ability of those being met. The longer you are married - the harder such an argument is going to be.
I note that you are not sure about divorce and actually from your presepctive you are not really considering this as an option right now.
The difficulty is that the best way to know what the final position will be in respect of the matrimonial finances is to go through the process of disclosure, discussion and if things can be agreed - that a consent order be submitted to the court detailing what had been agreed. If this was approved by the court would become legally binding - to the effect that finality is created and no further claims can be made in the future. In the alternative - if matters can be agreed an application and be made to court and the court will decide the issue of division and make an order. This again creates finality.
If divorce is not on the cards, then you can agree a separation agreement - but this is not legally binding on a future family Judge. Although some Judges will order in line with such agreements if it is considered fair and disclosure took place.
I would in any event tell you that it is not a good idea to pay any monies to your husband to 'buy him out' without at least a separaton agreement, although in reality a court order is much better, because your husband could just come back for more money in the future if things havent been resolved properly by court order.
I hope that this has given you a flavour of things.
Please dont hesitate to ask if you need any more details.
Thank you again
Kindest Regards