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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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I am considering separating from my wife however I do not

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I am considering separating from my wife however I do not know what the legal implications are if I do, including I would be responsible for going forward? We have no dependents.
As a bit of background I tried to put my thoughts down and what the situation is and what outcomes I have been considering below:
Although we both work I pay for everything (including her car, insurance, mobile phone etc) barring the monthly household shopping. My first concern is that If I was to leave she would be unable to pay the rent that we currently pay on our house or pay any of the utilities on her wages.
Asset wise we don't have any savings as such, barring a couple of investments that run to around £20,000 and two investment properties that again I have funded. Before BREXIT and the market slowdown I think that there may have been up to £100,00 in equity in them. Valuation hasn’t changed however the willingness for people to buy in these uncertain times may affect being able to get the capital out of them.
I run my own company which I use for consulting where I currently earn around £700 per day on a charge rate. I have ploughed most of my available money into trying to grow the business into other areas. From a work perspective my current contract means that I am working 3-4 days away per week.
As further background, In 2009 my wife got into some difficulties with work which led to her slipping into alcoholism, this was a difficult year where she ended up being prosecuted twice for drink driving. In an effort to restore her to herself she agreed to enter a 2 month private residential treatment programme, which I funded.
Since then she has changed her life dramatically, has not touched alcohol since and works diligently in drug and alcohol rehab. My obvious worry is that this situation will have negative impact on her wellbeing so I am looking to understand what would be the best course of action to lessen the impact.
I have no animosity to my wife, I simply feel that after 15 years together (13 years married, I am 38 years old, she is 41), that we live almost two separate lives and I feel that separation is something I would like to consider.
From a settlement perspective I am happy to sign the investment properties over to her, or sell them and give her whatever capital is available. I am also happy to provide for her money to remain in this rental home (along with all of our furniture etc) until the lease is up. Selfishly what I want to protect is my earning power and the business going forward. I know it sounds mercenary but she has no involvement to date or historically.
Apologies for the ramble I am just unsure about what the correct steps are to take make this as painless as possible.

Hi, thank you for your question. Just a bit more information required to fully assist you:
-What other assets and pensions do you both have (both sole and joint), together with values?
-What are your respective incomes?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi,Apologies for the late reply!There are no other assets. I earn about £150,000 PA and she earns around £17,000 PASteve

Thanks - are thr investment properties £100k each equity?

IS £17k her maximum earning potential?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Total equity. Yes 17k is the max

Thank you. As part of the divorce, you are both entitled to seek financial relief from the other for a variety of financial orders - in your circumstances and based on your disclosure, it can be in relation to the properties and potentially spousal maintenance. As part of the settlement 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 will need to disclose her reasonable needs and due to the big disparity in your respective incomes, if she does not pursue spousal maintenance then a court will likely agree that the split of assets should be more in her favour. 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.

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

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your help. Much appreciated.