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UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 4312
Experience:  English solicitor with over 12 years experience
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My husband is an alcoholic who is getting into more and more

Customer Question

My husband is an alcoholic who is getting into more and more debt (£30 000) and won't get help for his drinking. I want to divorce him, but I have paid £235 000 towards our £275 000 home (inheritance, redundancy pay, profit from my previous property) and don't want him to take my money. We have been married for 11 years but haven't shared a bedroom for the last 8 years. Would he be entitled to 50:50? Thank you
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 4 years ago.

Sorry to hear about this.

I am afraid yes, the usual starting point will be 50:50 but the final decision will lie with the court. I assume there are no children and that both of you have more or less similar income.

You could try mediation to see if there is any amicable way of resolving the differences:

But if he is a determined alcoholic, I do not think mediation will help especially as he is not seeking any help for his problem.

Can I assist further?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

what will the court take into consideration to make its decision. we don't have children. we bought our house together 5 years ago. so he would be entitled to 50% of my money even if i divorce on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour (a lot of the debt is from using televised sex lines). my life is a nightmare, but i can't escape because if I divorce him I will lose my means to a have a roof over my head. it is so unfair. i only married him so he could stay in the UK (he's south african) - would that help me to keep my money?

Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 4 years ago.
I am afraid entering into a marriage of convenience for immigration purposes is itself illegal and you were a party to the illegality.

none of those are good reasons. If you had entered into a pre nuptial or a post nuptial agreement and both had taken independent legal advice, then that would have helped you but the fact that there is none really means that the starting point of 50:50 comes into play.

His conduct may be taken into account by the court if it appears to be inequitable to the court to disregard it and this may lead to him getting say 40% and you 60%, but like I said, the final decision will lie with the court.

Under S. 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, the following factors are normally considered:

(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. . . which, by reason of the dissolution or annulment of the marriage, that party will lose the chance of acquiring.

This article may also be useful for you to understand the matter more:

Hope this helps