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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 32086
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Ok, since it is free, I do have another question! My Irish

Customer Question

Ok, since it is free, I do have another question!
My Irish (and UK citizen) wife and I have been married for 28 years. As our children of 17 and 13 become independent, my wife and I have been discussing separation and possibly divorce because of our difficulties, but no steps have yet been taken.
My wife recently inherited Euro 100,000 from her deceased father's estate. She has told me, in what amounts to a fait accompli, that she is about to spend it on a property in Ireland, which she intends to allow access for her and our children (and me, if I wish, but I do not) to stay near her family members.
My understanding, not least because for over 20 years I was devoted to her father in practical and other ways, is that her inheritance from her father is an asset that we share. As such, despite the fact that she runs our shared family finances and I have no good knowledge of them, I believe that she needs to consult me and gain my consent before she spends the inheritance.
I have no objection in principle to her buying the property in Ireland, but I have two concerns.
1. Is my wife right to say that she has a legal right to spend as she wishes the money bequeathed to her by her father, even if I have told her (as I have) that I am currently opposed to her wish?
1. If we separate (but not divorce) and I want to leave the family home to live my own property, and funds are short, can I now, at this point, impose legally enforcible conditions, e.g. that she sell the Irish property if that is necessary in order to liquidize sufficient family assets for me to buy a separate property.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
I assume that the money was left to your wife alone?
How much is the matrimonial home worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage?
What other savings are there and what income do you each have?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Clare,


Sorry for the delay.

In answer to your queries.


1. I am pretty sure her share of the inheritance was left just to her and that I was not named.

2. The matrimonial home is worth in excess of £450,000, and the mortgage is fully paid off.

3. We have savings of c.£20,000, and also £60,000 tied up in unit trusts etc.

4. My annual income is c.£50,000 and my wife's is c.£60,000.



Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Clare,


Once again, I apologize for the delay in reading your response. I went out last night. I am awaiting your next response with interest.



Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
How much would a cheaper three bedroom property in the same general area cost to buy?