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plclegal, Barrister
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 8038
Experience:  Barrister at law
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I dunno if I can ask this *for* someone but I'd like to give

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I dunno if I can ask this *for* someone but I'd like to give it a go. A friend of mine is wanting to get a divorce. She has inherited a house half-half from her mother and the other half belongs to her sister, who is partially disabled. Friends husband has threatened to try to take half of my friend's part of the house her sister is living in if my friend goes through with divorcing him. Is it possible to in some way protect the house that her sister lives in so that her husband cannot interfere with her sister as a result of her divorcing him?
JA: What steps have been taken? Have any papers been filed in family court?
Customer: Not yet. She's been saving up to see a solicitor about it while trying to keep her intentions secret from her husband.
JA: Family Court normally sits in a local County and Magistrates' Court. Do you know the location of the court? If not, what county does he live in?
Customer: Ahh She lives in Wigan. I don't know what county that would be in.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I think that's it. Thank you

Good evening and thank you for requesting help with your legal issue, I am happy to assist. The moderators alerted me to your request for help. I am a family law barrister and will be able to assist you.

I will not be able to respond in full this evening, as I have already finished work for the day. I hope that you don't mind waiting for a response until the morning, when you will have my full attention.

Please note that our discussions on this site are for general information purposes and do not create an lawyer-client relationship. It is always recommended that you consult with a local solicitor for specific legal information.

Thanks for your understanding, Peter

Can you tell me please -

How long have they been married?

Do they own other property at all? Or private/ works pensions/ assets/ savings?

Are they separated but still living together or very much still a couple at this stage?

Are there children in the home?

What is the inherited house actually worth?

Customer: replied 18 days ago.
Hi Peter! Thank you for getting back to me!They have been married for about 10 years. They are, at this point, separated, but living together and still married on paper.There are no children, but there are three pets, which my friend takes either all or most of the care of.The house they live in together is jointly owned, worth about £120,000.The inherited house, ocupied by my friend's sister, was passed to the two sisters as an inheritance and is also worth £120,000.I've asked about other assets and savings; my friend just got back to me. She says:
"I have no savings but I’m not sure if he does. We don’t own any other assets.
We both have pensions through our employment but we haven’t had them long."

Thanks for that information.

The inheritance received during the marriage could therefore be considered a marital asset.

It really does depend on what their needs are and how these can be met by the house that they own jointly, for example if he is able to buy her out of her share with a mortgage or vice versa.

It may be possible to offset any claim he has to the inheritance by 'doing a deal' on the split of the joint house asset.

It's also sometimes possible to argue that inheritance that comes late in they and post separation (though I appreciate they are living under the same roof they can still be classed as separated) should be excluded from a settlement, but it really does depend on how the other assets play out as to whether this is possible.

Pensions seem quite straightforward, if each has not had them for a long time they won't be worth much and should simply be retained individually.

Whether or not he has savings is important, as these would also be considered a joint asset.

So, he may have a claim, but this is difficult to be clear about without full financial disclosure and each party setting out what their expectations are. And as I said, it is possible to balance the books without him having had to take a share of her inheritance, by offsetting other assets.

I hope that this answers your question?

Thank you for your enquiry today. I am happy to answer follow-up questions - please do get in touch with requests for extra information or further queries and I will do my best to help you.

plclegal and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you

Thank you again for visiting JustAnswer, please do let me know if you have any additional questions in the future. I am also happy to answer any new questions on other topics that you may have, you can request me by putting “for PLCLEGAL” at the start of the new thread. Best wishes, Peter