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ukfamilysolicitor, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1364
Experience:  Divorce, Finances, Children, Domestic Violence, Care Proceedings
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I am a year old woman and I have been separated from. Y

Customer Question

I am a 69 year old woman and I have been separated from. Y husband for almost seven year. My husband returned to his native Ireland and in those seven years has contributed nothing towards the outstanding mortgage on this property or it's maintenance/upkeep.
My husband now wants me to sell the house and had engaged a solicitor who has made some frightening threats about about 'forcing' me to sell the house. As there is a substantial outstanding mortgage, plus another large debt of my husband's attached to the house, my share of the equity would not allow me to buy another property (in South East England) although my husband could easily buy a property outright in Northern Ireland, in addition to paying off the new debts he has accrued since our separation.
My husband is in full time employment in his own business, while I live on a reduced pension and also have health issues. I am physically compromised due to a double hip replacement and suffer from exacerbated asthma. This together with my age prevent me from having a job, My question is; can my husband force me to sell my home?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 2 years ago.
Hello Welcome to Just Answer I am a Solicitor and will try and assist you. Please may I ask: - has your husband started any divorce proceedings in Ireland?- are you considering divorce?- what are the matrimonial assets - including pensions?- how long were you married?- any minor children?- what are your respective yearly earnings? Kind Regards Caroline
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He has asked via a solicitor for a divorce. I was not considering divorce and was completely surprised and shocked to,leant that he was. We have been very amicable during our separation. He stayed in the house with me every year, sometimes, twice a year and last year, three times, including a lovely family Christmas.Our assets are this property, worth £435 at today's valuation. It has an outstanding mortgage of £105,000 plus a £15,000 charge in my husband's name. He has paid nothing towards the mortgage or upkeep since our separation, almost seven X years ago, at which time I think the property was worth something like £350,000. We on,yn have out state pensions. Mine is reduced due to taking time off work when our children were born and then working for his business free of charge.We were married in March of 1978.We have no minor children.I live on a state pension of £116.00 per week plus a teacher's pension of £178.00 per month. He has a business in Northern Ireland but I have no idea what income he has from that business. He also earns money from 'gigging' in clubs and bars and at wedding and parties etc.,
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 2 years ago.
Hello Thank you for your response. Has your husband petitioned for divorce already? Is this from a court in his home in Northern Ireland or from a Court in England and Wales? Kind Regards Caroline
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have simply had a letter from a solicitor suggesting we bring our marriage to a formal end, on the basis we have lived separately for more than five years. If we are both in agreement, it will not go to court. The issue here is my home and whether or not he can force me to sell it.
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 2 years ago.
Good Morning Thank you for your response. I have to tell you that I am not a specialist in Northern Ireland Law - the laws are different to England and Wales. I therefore wanted to press you on whether divorce had been issued in Northern Ireland. The reason I press this is because if your husband does issue for divorce in Northern Ireland and given that he is resident there - I imagine that the Northern Ireland court would consider that it has jurisdiction to hear the proceedings and it is simply unknown to me how the courts in that Jurisdiction would deal with the matrimonial finances. What you have been told by his solicitor, in respect of the matter not going to court, is not quite true. Whilst it is correct that in the England and Wales Jurisdiction- if agreement is reached in respect of divorce proceedings - that attendance is not required at court - but the court will still decide whether or not you should divorce and this will be on paper. What I can tell you is - if divorce was petitioned for in the Jurisdiction of England and Wales then you would be able to make a claim in respect of the matrimonial finances. You should not under any circumstances agree to your house being sold and any division of the proceeds until this process has been undertaken. There is a a set procedure in respect of the matrimonial finances and the first step is full dislosure of all financial information. Your husband would have to tell you his income position and I do not suggest that any settlement is reached in respect of the matrimonial finances until full dsiclosure has taken place. With such a long marriage as yours - then normal starting point for division is 50/50. If however your husabdns earning capacity is more then - then you should be arguing for a larger share. You should also a claim for spousal maintenance. There are mediation services that can help you both go through the process of disclosure and discussions about division. If agreement can be reached at mediation - then this can be drawn up into a consent order. If this happens then distribution should take place only after this has been approved by the court. If agreement cannot be reached or your husband will not be honest and disclose his position - then refer your case to court. Do not agree to the house being sold without disclosure taking place and an order being obtained from the court. Whilst it is correct that your husband will have some share in the house - this is unlikely to be 50%, especially since the length of your separation and the value added by you, your health needs and your current earning position. The court will decide a case based on your needs and the court has a range of orders it can utilise including deferring a sale etc To summarise - do not under any circumstances be pressurised to sell. Give strong consideration to issuing divorce proceedings yourself in the Jurisdiction of England and Wales so that you are in control. Refer to mediation and if he wont engage - make an application to the court so that they can decide what a settlement should be. If you do decide to take the lead and issue divorce proceedings in England - it might be wise in your circumstances not to tell him until the court has issued your paperwork - otherwise he might try and issue in Northern Ireland first. Whilst this is not normally recommended - I think in your circumstances it is necessary to protect your position. Please do not hesitate to ask if I can clarify anything for you. Kind regards ***** ***** kindly remember to star rate my service so that I receive credit for helping you today
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hello Caroline,Thank you so much for your response. I would like to read it several times and have a think. I hope it would be okay to ask you clarify a couple of points, once I have got my head round it a bit. In the meantime, very many thanks.
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 2 years ago.
Glad I could help :) If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask. kind regards ***** ***** feedback is gratefully received