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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34910
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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I am in the process of divorce. My husband actually left five

Customer Question

I am in the process of divorce. My husband actually left five years ago for a better job down south. He is counting on a 2 year separation coming through in September (it is officially two years since he has been here at all). I have upkept the house, cared for the growing teen-agers, took care of the dog. In addition the house is packed with stuff accumulated in 18 years of family living. I went to a lawyer who told me he has every right to force me to sell the house once the two years have passed! I asked her about the Martin principle, however she felt it didn't apply in my case? I have just put my house up on the market however, I am really worried here as I am 62 on the 16th of June. Thankfully, I am still in full time employment an earn about 45,000 pounds a year. My husband is six years younger than I and in a higher job category. I am going to have real trouble re-housing myself as I have debt which brings my credit rating down. This debt was incurred together. How is it I cannot evoke the Martin principle? Her advice was to file (through her) for divorce based on unreasonable behaviour on his part and then try to get a 70 thirty split of the profits through her or most probably a 60/40 split.
What is your advice? Is she right?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your question
I shall do my best to assist you but need some further information first
How much is the property worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage
What other assets and debts are there and how old are the children?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I have put the house provisionally on the market for 196,000.00 I am hoping from 190,000 to 189,000. We both have pensions from the British University sector, however they are both only 20 years long. We have two children and although he left when they were 15 for this job, he did return once in a while until the first one left for University which will be two years this September. They are identical twin boys (one changed direction and went back a year so he just started year one in University this year). He provided nothing for the boys whatsoever during the time they were fifteen to 20. He still continues not to . He did not visit his sons once in the first year of what he is counting as two year separation. There are unfortunately no more assets and both of us (especially me) collected a fair amount of debt when we were together. I am on a DMP for 40,000.00. I claim I incurred these debts when I was with him and therefore he shared in the false economy they created for us to live on. He rejects this and this is what really caused him to run for the hills. In addition I am 62 on June 16th, he is 56, he has six more years in full time employment to be able to re-house himself and gain a mortage. I on the other hand, at best have four more years in work. If he decides to work until the age I am forced to he will have10 more years in full time employment. I am not on the electorial role either as I am an American citizen with permanent right to remain. I would take my citizenship test, however it costs 1,000 pounds to get my British passport. I hope I have painted the picture of my dilemma in enough detail. If I have misspelled I apologise I could not find a spell check on this service. I bring the electorial role in relationship to gaining a mortage which I would not be able to do with any economy as I have a bad credit rating now.

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
How much is outstanding on the mortgage and how much would a one bedroom property in the same general area cost?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Claire, There is about 100,000 still outstanding as we had the failed endowment. A one bedroom is unthinkable. I still have 2 children they are at University however, these days after Uni they usually need some where to stay for a bit (judging from all my neighbours experience). I feel it is my duty as a Mother to always be able to offer them a place to stay.


A small terraced house is abouit 90,000. Remember I have a bad credit rating though and I don't think anybody would give me a mortage. I feel I would even have difficulty renting. This is why I am keen on the Martin Principle.


Thank you,




Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
I appreciate that you need something bigger - but the question is an important one - so how much would a one bedroom property cost?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I will look and tell you.

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
That's fine - just add the details when you can
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

A one or two b edroom is a 70,000 to 90,000 however these houses are really not worth a mortage, They are run down or in bad neighbours a huge drop in living standards and not suitable as I still have two audlt children to house when they are not at University and realistically for a few years after University before they are aghle in today's marketoplace and climate to aofford appropriate housing either renting or byuying on their own.


~Thank you

Nancy XXXXX,


As still answered:



Now will you please answetr my original question. If we are co-signers on a mortage and he leaves the house, the marriage, and the location for a better higher paif job and then asks for a sepration/divorce cannot I not invoke the Martin principle?



Am I by law forced after two years absence to sell this house? Even if it was not my decision. I can take over the mortage and afford it.




Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
I am sorry but I have to be clear
So far as the family court is concerned (and that is the basis of the advice that I have to give you) your children are adults and are not the concern of the court when deciding how the financial assets should be dealt with
So for the court a one bedroom is not unthinkable - and the starting point for division of the equity is 50/50 and the only reason the court might be persuaded to depart from that would be to accommodate your housing needs
The Martin Order was brought into reflect the needs of women of the generation who had few work skills and little ability to finance their housing needs at all and there is no basis on which the Court is likely to be persuaded to do this -UNLESS your ex agrees.
The house will not have to be sold after any particular period of time unless your ex applies to the court for the financial side of divorce proceedings to be dealt with
The issue of who issues proceedings and what the grounds are is not really relevant to the settlement
I appreciate that this not what you wished to hear but if you need further details please let me know
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you Claire I expected as much. Do I have any grounds to a sixty forty split of the profit if I am 62 and only have five more years to work and he is 57 , therefore he is 6 years younger than I an will have an easier time rehousing himself and reparing from the cost of divorce?

I was told by one broker I would have to pay off my new mortage by the time I am 70 that is 8 years? He has also not paid into any upkeep (garden, painting, etc., day to day wear and tear repairs since he started his job five years ago. Would I not be able to recoup for this and I am the one who has to show the house and keep it up to scratch to try to sell it/

Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Actually I think you will do better than 60/40 since your housing needs (even for a one bedroom propert) will not be covered by half of the equity