Thank you. As it was the matrimonial home, she would have been able to make a claim towards your share of the property. However, as you have now received the full proceeds of sale (which I have calculated to be approximately £25,000) this is the figure that will be used when deciding a financial settlement as part of a divorce.
As part of the divorce you will need to reach a financial settlement, initially this should be attempted through mediation - you can find independent mediators here: http://www.familymediationcouncil.org.uk If a settlement is agreed this can be submitted to court under a consent order (together with a D81 form outlining your respective financial positions).
If mediation does not progress you should then proceed with an application to court under Form A for financial relief once the divorce petition has been issued.
You will both need to provide each other with full and frank financial and income disclosure, as well as disclosure of your reasonable needs. The Court's starting point is a 50-50 split of all matrimonial assets and ensuring that both your needs are met in relation to both assets and income - she would therefore be entitled to claim spousal maintenance if she is unable to meet her reasonable needs from her benefits (as she is likely in receipt of this if she is not working with a young child). The criteria considered is:
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.
Furthermore, as she is the resident parent she can separately make a claim for child maintenance through the Child Maintenance Service - I have calculated to be £38 per week based on your gross income of £23k, and the child tying overnight with you on average 2-3 nights per week.
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 using the stars at the top of this page. I will not be credited for answering your question without a positive rating. Thank you