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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34885
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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I have been separated from my husband since June 2012 - we

Customer Question

I have been separated from my husband since June 2012 - we still live separately at the same property - after 26 years together (married for 19). I left work 19 years ago to bring up our children (2 boys, now aged 16 and 18 and both in full time education living at home). Worked part time for 5 years up to diagnosis of breast cancer in September 2010. Am nearly finished all my treatment, have 2 sessions of day surgery to go and various check up appointment. Between us we have a fully paid house in Earlsfield, London, a 50% share of a warden controlled flat in Merton Park, inherited from my ex-husbands family about 5 years ago? My small pension from when I worked in an Underwriting Agency in the City, though the scheme is in wind-up and my husband's pension. We do not have any savings, what we did have we split back in July. There only income that comes into the house now is my husband's wage. And income from the rental of the flat, but I don't see that as my husband says it's his? I was getting Employment Seekers Allowance but my medical certificate has now run out.
Any help and advice you can give me on what is the best way forward for me please would be very much appreciated.
Living together here is not ideal, and not really working out - but I cannot afford to live anywhere else.
Thank you in aniticpation. Julie
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 5 years ago.
Thanks for using JustAnswer. My name is Claire, I will do whatever I can to answer your question
How much are the various assets actually worth
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi Claire. Thank you very much. Good to hear from you. And so soon.

The house is worth around £600,000. And the flat possibly only £150,000 of which 50% is my ex-husband's brothers.

The rent on the flat is £874.99 every 4 weeks - 13 payments each year of which approx 3 payments cover service charges etc, and the balance is split 50:50 with his brother.

As mentioned my pension plan is being wound-up, and I understand this will go to the government Financial Assistance Scheme? I got some figures from Capita recently who are currently looking after the "Cuthbert Heath Family Security Plan" which are:-

Total Pension at Date of Leaving £2,676.12 pa (I left the scheme 30.11.93, which is the date I assume they mean?)

Total GMP at Date of Leaving £739.96 pa

Total revaluing non-GMP benefits at Date of Leaving £1,936.16 pa

Total non-revaluing benefits at Date of Leaviing £0 pa

I do not know what the value of my ex-husband pension is. It is with Fujitsu and I would guess he has been there 10-12 years, but had a pension before that, which would have been transferred into that one. He also had a private pension at one stage that he cashed in and paid a largish lump sum into his Fujitsu pension, and he also still has a small private pension.

We have no items of big value, just usual household items and furniture etc.

We have a car, but I didn't get much chance to use it, so I borrowed money from a member of my family to buy another - that he has agreed I don't have to start paying back for a couple of years until all my finances are sorted. When my husband reinsured the family car (originally the insurance was in my name, and he was just a named driver) he did not insure me too so I have no use of it - although he expects to (and does) pay for fuel, tax, mot, AA, repairs etc out of joint household money.

My ex-husband does give me some money each month just for me - but he has twice as much himself cause he says he earns it, so it's his - but he says its paying me to do his washing and cooking and clean the house and do the shopping etc.

I hope this is sufficient - is there anything else you need to know?

I look forward to hearing back from you, and thanks again.

Kind regards - Julie

Expert:  Clare replied 5 years ago.
How much would you need to rehouse yourself?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I don't know?

I need to stay in London, which is expensive - our house is only modest at £600,000 - because my children are in college here plus I need to stay with my current doctors and St George's hospital because of my on-going treatment - medication, minor ops and check-ups etc

Ideally I would like to stay in this house - for the sake of the children, they have lived nowhere else and can get to their respective colleges? But I would need financial assistance (though I would either way). And what do I do if my ex-husband wont move out?

Kind regards. Julie

Expert:  Clare replied 5 years ago.
Is the 18 year old still in secondary education?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Yes - they are both still in full time education

Regards - Julie

Expert:  Clare replied 5 years ago.
When will he go to University?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Probably from September 2013.



Expert:  Clare replied 5 years ago.
Realistically it is unlikely that you will be able to remain in your current home I am afraid - unless your husband has a very large pension.
The starting point for division of all the assets (except the inherited property) is 50/50.
It is likely that you will get a larger share to reflect the fact that your earning capacity is limited and that his pension is high - and he has the inherited asset - which you are not entitled to a share of.
This could bring your share up to 70% of even more - but it is hard to see how it could be pushed higher .
The starting point is to start divorce proceedings as soon as possible to try and resolve these issues
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Sorry it has taken so long to get back to you.

Firstly before I talk about the above, I thought no money would be taken from my account if I wasn't happy with the reply? And £33 was taken out straight away? Plus another £43 has just been taken??

Can you please let me know about that urgently please as I do not have enough money in the account at the moment? Thank you so much,

Also with your reply above - it does not really tell me anything that I have not told you?

How did you get to the 70% share without knowing the value of his pension etc?

Also I am entitled to the inherited property under English law - I have already been told that. You say I am not - why do you say that? And what about the rent money on the flat?

I needed to know if best to wait two years or divorce now - which is best for me - and why?

You advise me to start divorce proceedings asap. But you don't say why? Or how I do that? How much its costs? Or how long it takes? Will the house have to then be sold immediately?

You say I cant stay in the house? But you don't mention the kids still living here and being in full time education still - where do they go?

At this juncture I am not happy with the reply and do not want to join the membership. Please refund the £33 and £43 asap. if you cannot do that yourself, please forward this to whoever can and let me know who please and how I can contact them, as I need that money back in my account urgently to avoid any bank charges. Thank you. Julie



Expert:  Clare replied 5 years ago.
I am sorry that you are not happy with my response.
The question and answer nature of this forum means that of necessity only a broad over view can be given rather than a detailed assessment of the likely outcome.
I said that if his pension is large then a 70/30 split of the house MAY be possible but no higher - this is based on the actual value of the equity - the court will wish to give your ex some capital and 30% is probably as low as they will go on that although you MAY be able to push it down to 20% if your ex is anxious to protect his pension - if the pension imbalance is still high then it is likely that they will balance it with a Pension Sharing Order - not more capital
You have also been incorrectly advised on the issue of the Inherited property.
The property remains a distinct entity and as such whilst it is taken into account as an asset available to your ex it is not an asset on which you have a claim since there are ample other assets available for division between you.
The rent money is simply part of your ex's income for maintenance (child and spouse) purposes
It woudl be sensible for you to start the divorce proceedings now as if you wait you will have NO children under 18 and will have lost one of the arguments for your having a larger share of the equity - the housing needs of MINOR children.
Of course it may be that your ex will not fight you over every penny - in which case you may keep the house - but if he does then it is unlikely and you will need to seek a cheaper property - so you need to ensure that your needs are maximised - which is whilst your youngest is under 18.
If you have no income of your own then you are entitled to Legal Aid - but this ends in April this year - another reason for acting swiftly
The money issue is dealt with exclusively by site admin and I have referred the matter to them