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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 35059
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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Hi My wife and I split up two months ago after over five

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My wife and I split up two months ago after over five and a half years of marriage.
I wasn't aware of any problems and she has said it's nothing I've done wrong, just that she doesn't love me in the same way anymore. I know I have done nothing wrong and her parents have told me they know I'm not to blame. So far, when I have suggested marriage counselling she has said there is no point.

Fourteen months ago she had what the psychiatrist diagnosed as a psychotic episode. At that time, while we were sitting in the mental health unit, she told me she didn't want to be married anymore because she she wanted to be free for this pop singer she was obsessed about at the time who she believed was coming for her. After two months we got back together.

At the time, someone suggested that the marriage break up was the cause and not a symptom of this psychotic episode. The psychiatrist dismissed this suggestion and said this was a typical symptom of this type of mental issue. This time, apart from appearing to be in an odd mood, she seemed perfectly lucid when she told me. It was only a couple of days later, when I was standing with my suitcase packed waiting for a lift, she started displaying the same strange behaviour. Her mum had come round to see her as she wasn't going to work that day and her mum said I should still go. So I left.

We are both in our early forties, we don't have any children, we both work full time and we both had our own properties when we met. We made our home in her property and I rented my property out.

A separation should be fairly straightforward as neither of us has any dependency on the other. My only concern would be that for most of our eight years together, she was always insistent on paying for most things so I decided that I would use my spare cash to get our mortgages paid off. I reduced the term on my mortgage on my property to pay it off quickly and keep mine as a pension pot for both of us. I'm not sure now how much of a claim she can have on that asset legally.

My question is, can she have any legal claim on my assets? The marriage breakdown is purely her choice another anything I have done and it was she who insisted that she pays the bills as I had made the sacrifice of moving out of my property.

Thank you in advance
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How long have you actually lived together?
How much are the properties worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgages?
What other assets and debts are there and what income do you each have?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Clare

Both properties are 2 bedroom flats in different areas and both worth approximately £205k. We have lived in her property together for about seven and a half years.

Back in 2006, my mortgage was about £85k and is now about £23k. Her mortgage in 2006 was about £100k and she has been making the normal monthly payments but I am not sure what her current outstanding balance is.

She has worked for the same company for 17 years with a good company pension and her income is now over £50k including bonuses while I have spent the last five years on temp contracts with an average annual income of between £20-25k plus rent of £8.5k collected per annum for seven years.

I have always been very careful with money while she has always been quite frivolous. This is probably because of our different earnings power and that she has always had a very secure job while mine can be very intermittent. She always wanted separate bank accounts because she always wanted to spend whatever she wanted without me commenting.

There are no real other assets.

My whole world has been turned upside down. I have moved out of our marital home and have to build a new life for myself back in the town where I came from originally, having moved away from my family to be with her.

I have spent the last seven and a half years doing every thing I can to make her happy and her family were so pleased that we were always so much in love and she seemed so happy. Although I have a very close and loving family, she was never willing to integrate with my family and refused to join me when I went to visit them.

I have no idea why she wanted to end our marriage. She said I've done nothing wrong, that I am attractive and would be a real catch for somebody.

Even if it is just down to these mental issues she's had in the past fourteen months, I can't just walk back into our marriage and risk the same thing happening again next year. I never thought this would happen to us because we were always so happy together but I don't want to go through the pain again that I've suffered twice now in a year.

Has she said that she will wish to make a Financial Claim against you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
She hasn't made any mention of anything yet. I'm not sure that she's even given the future any thought. Her life has carried on pretty much as before, except I'm not there and she won't get the 50% contribution towards household bills we agreed I would make each month.

I'm not expecting her to make any claim because she's always insisted that what was hers, property, jewellery etc, would go to her niece and nephews and my assets would go to mine as neither of us ever had any children. Plus, she's not the type of person to be vindictive or calculating, especially as I've done nothing wrong. But there's always the chance.

I just wanted to know where I stood legally should I file for a legal separation in the future at some point.
Technically since during the course of your marriage you have been able to reduce your mortgage considerably your wife could make a claim for a lump sum to reflect the fact that she has facilitated that
Apart form that you have no claims against each other.
The cause of the separation and who instigated it does not effect the financial settlement
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Clare

My final query would be the options open to me regarding separation and what would be a sensible time to wait before making any decisions about the ending of our marriage.

Thank you for your advice and I'm sorry if I've made you think it's an agony aunt I need more than legal advice.


You are already separated since you are living apart
How you go forward is entirely up to you, so take your time and give yourself all the time you need
Clare and other Law Specialists are ready to help you