How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Thomas Judge Your Own Question
Thomas Judge
Thomas Judge, Family Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34004
Experience:  Over twenty-five years experience
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Thomas Judge is online now

Married for 2 years. We have one 9 year old child together.

This answer was rated:

Married for 2 years. We have one 9 year old child together. I own 2 houses, one in which we live as the family home, the other is rented. I am the sole owner of both, having always paid 100% for both. The rented property was bought before marriage. I wondered whether my soon to be ex-wife has any claim on the rented property.

How long have you been together in total?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
11 Years
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I should maybe add, on and off. With her living an different property for a short period during that term

Well I am afraid that she may well have a claim on the rental property which you own. The fact that you have been together so long means that the court will consider all of your assets (whether in your name or hers) and put them into a proverbial pot for distribution as to needs etc. The starting point is often a distribution of 50-50. It can go higher or lower depending on certain factors.

When considering a departure from the ‘yardstick of equality’ the courts are guided by the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, in particular, section 25 (2) (which is worth listing in full). It states that the court should have regard to the following matters when deciding how to divide marital property and assets:

(a) 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;

(b )the financial needs, obligations and responsibilities which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;

(c) the standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the marriage;

(d )the age of each party to the marriage and the duration of the marriage;

(e) any physical or mental disability of either of the parties to the marriage;

(f) 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;

(g) 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;

(h) in the case of proceedings for divorce or nullity of marriage, the value to each of the parties to the marriage of any benefit F4. . . which, by reason of the dissolution or annulment of the marriage, that party will lose the chance of acquiring.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Ok Thanks
What is the generally the maximum sway in either direction of the distribution of assets?
And is there anything my wife can submit, to block/stop the sale of the rented property?

There is no maximum (other than of course what people have). The key is always to make sure that the child has a roof over their head for the rest of their minority. The court would then of course like to ensure that both parents have a roof over their head. The court will take into account earnings and earning potential. As to blocking the sale of a property the court would only be concerned to show transparency for the proceeds of any sale. I hope this helps and please of course rate positive.

Thomas Judge and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you