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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 have been separated (but we never legally formalized it)

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I have been separated (but we never legally formalized it) from my wife for just under 8 years. Our split was reasonably amicable. She continues to live in our matrimonial home. I live elsewhere. I have voluntarily paid the mortgage (the house is in joint names) since I left. I have also voluntarily given her money every month too for that same period of time. We both work full time, as we did during our marriage. Our kids are 28 and 25. I pay into a works pension. The mortgage (interest only) is due to be paid up in 2025. The house will have to be sold to clear it. I intend to continue to pay the mortgage for as long as I am able, allowing her to live there. Would I be entitled to half the equity when it is sold? But do I have to continue to pay the mortgage and pay her "maintenance"? I am a soon to be beneficiary of some money from my mother's estate. Am I legally obliged to share it with her?

Hi, thank you for your question. Just a bit more information required to fully assist you:
-Are you in England or Wales?
-How old are you both?
-How long have you been married?
-What is the value of the property, and what is the outstanding mortgage?
-Who else lives in the property and how many bedrooms does it have?
-Whose name is ***** ***** in?
-What other assets and pensions do you both have (both sole and joint), together with values?
-What are your respective incomes?

-What will your share of your mother's estate be?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
House value now approximately £250,000. Mortgage £180,000. Three bedrooms. My 28 year old son is living there. He works full time and earns £20K per annum. I earn £40K per annum. Gill earns about £15K per annum
I am 55, Gill is 56. I think I will inherit about £80K. House is in joint names. I have a pension plan, but uncertain of value. Gill is beneficiary if I die in service. No other assets. We were married in 1983. I left home in 2008

Thanks for confirming. Given the long marriage you are both entitled to claim financial relief from the other as part of a divorce. 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.

Given the long marriage, all assets will likely be matrimonial assets, save for the inheritance you are due to receive. The court will initially consider all the other assets, and if both your needs cannot be met from those assets, then the inheritance will be brought in to the asset pot for division.

For your information the criteria considered by the court in these matters 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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