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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 parents want to begin divorce proceedings. My mum is

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My parents want to begin divorce proceedings. My mum is retired and has no income of her own, my dad is employed. My husband and I are in a position to buy a property and would like my mum to live in it as a rent free 'tenant' as even added the divorce she would struggle to buy a home and we don't want to see her spend must of her settlement on rent. What implications are there for her divorce if any?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
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Hi, thank you for your question. Just a bit more information required to fully assist you:
-How old are they both?
-How long have they been married?
-Do they have any children together, if so their ages and proposed arrangements?
-What assets and pensions do you both have (both sole and joint), together with values?
-What are your respective incomes?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They are both 62.
They have been married for 39 years
Both their children have left the family home - I am 37 and my brother is 28
They jointly own the family home, have some savings and both have pensions, although my dad has more pension pots than my mum
my mum has no income as she is retired
We are currently working with estate agents to value their house
My dad earns around 35k per year
Thank you

Thank you - the value of the home is important, do you have an approximate value and what is the outstanding mortgage?

What is the size of each of their pension pots and savings?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No outstanding mortgage. Am I right in thinking that if they can get together and work out what assets and the value of them before seeing a solicitor that would be better? Also, if I buy a house in my name and my mum lives there will that complicate matters?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We are currently seeking valuations from estate agents.

Thanks - the relevance of the valuation is to see how much is available to share between you.

If your mother were to move out and live in a home funded by you, this could slightly complicate matters as the argument husband would have is that he does not need to assist or use matrimonial assets to meet her housing needs as this would have already been met by you.

She has a right arising out of the lengthy marriage to seek financial relief from him and for the court to consider how their assets should be divided in order to meet their needs, both in relation to income and in relation to capital.

Initially this could be discussed and negotiated with them and if this does not settle matters she should atempt it through mediation - you can find independent mediators here: If a settlement is agreed this can be submitted to court under a consent order (together with a D81 form outlining their respective financial positions).

If mediation does not progress she should then proceed with an application to court under Form A for financial relief once the divorce petition has been issued.

They will both need to provide each other with full and frank financial and income disclosure, as well as disclosure of their reasonable needs. The Court's starting point is a 50-50 split of all matrimonial assets and ensuring that both their needs are met in relation to both assets and income. 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

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** make sense and we are looking at all their finances. I suppose we could charge my mum some rent to make matters a little less complicated?

Yes, you could potentially do that and ensure that you make it clear that the arrangement is only temporary during their separation and financial negotiations

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** I could charge my mum rent and then later down the line I could reduce it or make it rent free?

You could potentially do that, but you should have some form of agreement with her to ensure that the arrangement is temporary (if that is the case) so that the husband cannot rely on the home meeting her future housing needs

Harris and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for all your help, it has been really useful.