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Harris, Family Law Expert
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2851
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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My boyfriend's wife left him 2 years ago to live with the man

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My boyfriend's wife left him 2 years ago to live with the man she'd been having an affair with. I met my boyfriend 5 months after she left him. We are now selling both of our homes to buy together. Their 2 children aged 15 and 18 live with my boyfriend and would come to live with us. He is happy for his wife to have half of the small profit from the sale of their home. He owns a garage business, is she entitled to claim any of that? Would she have any claim on our new home? Thank you for your help
Hi, thanks for your question. Just a bit more information required to fully assist you:-have they divorced and has there been a financial settlement?-has she remarried?-is the home he is selling in joint names with her?-how long were they married for?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you.
They have not divorced yet, he was waiting for 2 years to pass to make it easier (he thought) There has been no financial settlement. I've encouraged them to go to mediation but he feels aggrieved at having to pay for the divorce and for mediation due to the circumstances of their relationship ending.
She hasn't remarried but has been living with the man she had an affair with for the last 2 years.
The home he is selling is theirs jointly, in both names though she has never paid into it financially, his business pays the mortgage.
They have been married about 17 years.
His business was a partnership with his parents until Oct last year, he has a business mortgage and bought his parents out and is now a sole trader.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I am concerned that if there's no financial settlement before we buy a house together it could affect what he has to give her in that we will be sharing bills and the cost of the mortgage. But we have worked out what we can afford on what we currently take home and have to spend, i don't want to be in position where he can't afford his half of things in the new house therefore us not being able to afford what we've taken on together if that makes sense.
Thank you. I would not suggest that he sells and splits proceeds of sale of the property without there being a final financial settlement approved by the court and there is a risk that if there is no settlement and he purchases a property jointly with you, then she can make a claim towards his share of the property (as well as wider assets). She will have a right to do that until remarriage or an order is made or approved by the court regarding the finances.Given the length of the marriage and two children, her contributions to the property will not be a deciding factor, and the court will not consider the reasons for the divorce when approving or granting a financial settlement. The starting point will be a 50-50 split of all assets (this includes properties, savings, investments, pensions etc) and this division will be departed from based on needs and the criteria below:1. The income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future, including in the case of earning capacity any increase in that capacity which it would in the opinion of the court be reasonable to expect a party to the marriage to take steps to acquire;2. The financial needs, obligations and responsibilities which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;3. The standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the marriage;4. The age of each party to the marriage and the duration of the marriage;5. Any physical or mental disability of either of the parties to the marriage;6. The contributions which each of the parties has made or is likely in the foreseeable future to make to the welfare of the family, including any contribution by looking after the home or caring for the family;7. The conduct of each of the parties, if that conduct is such that it would in the opinion of the court be inequitable to disregard it;8. In the case of proceedings for divorce or nullity of marriage, the value to each of the parties to the marriage of any benefit which, by reason of the dissolution or annulment of the marriage, that party will lose the chance of acquiring.In relation to the divorce, it is only easier after two year separation if she provides her written consent - otherwise the easiest route for him will be under unreasonable behaviour and he can apply for a costs order for her to pay the divorce application costs he has incurred (this is for the judge to order, but he can apply for it). If you have any further questions regarding this please let me know. In the meantime if you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating. I will not be credited for answering your question without a positive rating. Thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you very much. That is a lot of information and I don't fully understand the implications of the needs and the criteria set out. I will definitely be giving you a 5 star rating, I just need to clarify some things please.
By wider assets, do you mean his business?
Remarriage-is that only her remarriage or my boyfriend's?
You say the 50/50 split is only departed from based on the needs and criteria outlined,
does this then mean if she has debt, earns much less than him with little chance of earning much more in the future, the financial split could be weighted more heavily in her favour? Would the fact he has paid for everything for their children who live with him have any bearing on the weighting of the financial split?
Thank you for your help in me understanding your previous reply
Thanks.Wider assets - this will include all properties, savings, business interests, pensions (basically everything they both have an interest in)If she remarries then she cannot pursue an application for financial relief regarding the divorce. If your boyfriend remarries, then he cannot pursue an application against her.As they have had a long marriage, the court will likely focus on both of their needs - but as he has care of both children, his needs are likely to be higher therefore it should be more in his favour - but again she can argue that her needs and prospects are not good, but the court's main focus will be the children's needs being met first therefore them remaining in his care will help his case.
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