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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 son is in the process of divorce. He and his wife will

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My son is in the process of divorce. He and his wife will share custody of the children and the house sale. A relative has offered to help my son buy another house now before the matrimonial house is sold and my son has found a house that would really suit him and the children. How could this be managed so that my daughter in law couldn't establish a right to the money loaned/given by our relative?

Hi, thank you for your question. Just a bit more information required to fully assist you:

-How long have they been married?

-When did they separate?

-How old are the children?

-What is the value of the matrimonial home and outstanding mortgage?

-What other assets and properties do they have, either sole or jointly owned together with values?

-What is the value of the home he is purchasing, and how much is being loaned and how much mortgage is he taking out?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
married since 2008 although have been together since junior school. They separated in August 2015. The children are 4 and 6. The value of the matrimonial home is £250K approx and the outstanding mortgage is £100k. They have no other assets. The value of the home he wishes to purchase is £225K. He is hoping to get a £100k mortgage and £75K equity from the sale of the matrimonial home and either myself or my brother will make up the shortfall.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The both have good pension systems: one police and one health but my daughter in law has only worked 3 days a week since their first child was born.

Sorry I cannot take a phone call at the moment, but will continue to assist you here.

Firstly, as there has been no court approved financial settlement, the finances that will be considered will be what they have at time of negotiations, and final hearing (if it goes that far). Therefore his new property will need to be disclosed but the loan that he is receiving should be formal and there should be a written agreement between him and his relative to demonstrate it is a true loan and not a gift.

As part of the negotiations 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 the children's needs are met, then 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.

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.
What if my brother bought the house in his name and my son moved in with the children. He would then buy the house from my brother when all the matrimonial issues have been settled. Would this work? When my son and his wife bought their existing home I gave them 40K. My daughter in law will be walking off with 20K of that money and I wouldn't want her to take any more. The marriage broke up largely due to her alcoholism which had been going on for many years but got worse once the first child was born. When she was done for drink driving with the younger child in the car, on her way to pick up the other child from school, social services wouldn't let her have the children on her own: one of her parents have to be with her. We have been having regular court hearings to check her alcohol tests and hopefully the one on the 22nd dec this year will show she is dry. Her employers have kept her job open and she works 3 days per week. My son works full time doing extra long shifts so he can be more at home with the children the days she works. They do not live together.
Your reply makes it sound complicated - would it be better to leave everything until all the financial matters have been resolved. The decree nisi has come through with the absolute due next month

Thanks for the further information. The court does not take kindly to financial matters being concealed in order to defeat a claim by the other party, and it may be viewed that purchasing a property in a siblings name, only for it to be transferred after proceedings will be considered such conduct.

You should be aware that despite him purchasing a property now, the court will still want to see that he can suitably house himself, and if he is able to demonstrate that the mother can also house herself from the equity in the matrimonial home, then she would not need to seek a claim against his new property.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If the decree absolute has been made so the marriage is over, wouldn't the financial aspects be taken as how they exist at that date? I suppose what I'm asking you is does the existence of the Decree Absolute have any effect on this? My son will be no richer at the end of this: just that a house that suits him and the children in a good school catchment area is available now at a price he should be able to afford, but can't at present because things haven't been finalised. These properties dont come up very often in his area at his price. His wife is currently supporting herself as far as we know - probably a mixture of her health salary - which is good, plus some benefits - possible working tax credits and housing benefit

No, the decree absolute does not impact the financial settlement - all it does is dissolve the marriage and end certain rights, such as some inheritance rights.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There is no reason why my daughter in law couldn't work full time the same as my son - they are both mid thirties and will both have care of the children equally.
When you say a formal loan agreement, do you mean get a solicitor to draw it up?

They can do the loan agreement between themselves and have an independent third party witness and sign it.

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