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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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With reference to your answer below – some further

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With reference to your answer below – some further information. My wife did not relocate to the UK she was already living here for around 7yrs before we met, does this make a difference? Would my property not be considered a pre-existing asset? Given that my wife has contributed nothing to the property and I invited her in to my house is a 50/50 split realistic? And on any further property which I will be wholly financing is that likely to be a 50/50 split?
Please advise, thanks and regards."Divorce Entitlements: Given your medium length marriage and one child from the marriage, the court's starting point is a 50-50 split of all matrimonial assets. Despite the home being in your sole name, it is the matrimonial home and considered a matrimonial asset. She has home rights to occupy the property and can make a claim towards it. The court not only considers financial contributions, but also non-financial contributions such as a major relocation from a country to be here and upkeep and child-rearing. All and any property during negotiations will need to be disclosed by both of you and this will be considered, so if you buy a property now this will be taken into account."

Thank you for your further question. You can disclose the assets as pre-marital assets, however, if the property is used as the matrimonial home it will be considered a matrimonial asset, and because you now have a child together and the marriage is not short it is difficult to attempt to ring-fence assets as pre-marital and the needs of the child and both of you will take priority.

50-50 of all matrimonial assets is the starting point and there needs to be detailed assessment of both your needs, and the child's needs and the court will depart from this equality depending on needs.

In relation to her residing in the UK for 7 years, this will not necessarily impact the decision as there are numerous non-financial contributions that she is likely to be able to raise that would be arguable to show contributions to the family.

I hope this assists you. 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 your question without a positive rating. Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you Harris for the timely reply and further information.
Is there anyway to "ring fence" within the marriage any property investments I do from this point forward?
Best regards,

Unfortunately not - until such time as she remarries or a court order settles the finances, she has the right to seek financial relief from you which will include consideration of all assets and finances (you have the same right against her).

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you Harris - one final question. Would it be worth me contesting the marriage certificate itself given that we were married in Colombia (the certificate was then legalised in the UK a few weeks later but cannot remember the exact details at this point).
Kind regards,

As the marriage evidently took place and appears to have been legal given that the certificate was legalised in the UK - there would be no grounds to contest the validity of marriage or the certificate.

Harris and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your time Harris.
Kind regards,

No worries, I hope it goes well. If you have any questions in the future you can ask for me directly by starting your question For Harris

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Harris, noted.