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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34905
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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can a husband overcome the women's property act, where is spouse

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can a husband overcome the women's property act, where is spouse has inherited a property

Thank you question.

I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Could you explain a little more about the background to the situation please
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
There are two house. One is the matermonial home and the other was inherited my my partners wife during there marriage. They are claiming my partner has no rights to the property and there can only expect a settlement from the matermonial home. The other side are also looking for £500 a month maintenance wife. My partner pays child maintenance and as his ex does not work, although there is no reason why she can't he feels paying her maintenance is unfair. They also state he is responsible her debts run up while they were married, although according to this married laws policy she is responsible own debt.
Also, the only reason this is going to a final court hearing which is going to cost us £20000 is because her mother is rich and has said she will pay final hearing even though the previous judge said that was not a good idea. Is it true we can go after the mother costs.. My partner only earns £54,000 a year.

How much are the two properties worth and how much is outstanding on any mortgages.
What other assets and dents are there?
How long have they lived together and how old are the children?
What qualifications does she have?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
The one she inherited is worth about £200000' the matermonial home is worth £325,000 with £150 mortgage. They have been together years with a son nearly 16 and daughter of 11. She has not worked since before children were born so has no current qualifications but has a large pensions and we believe works par time as a cleaner now

Thank you .
How did she build a large Pension and what work did she do prior to the marriage.
What capital settlement has been offered?
What debts are there and how is the second property being used at the moment?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
She has a degree but hasn't worked since having the children so 15 years. They have offered my partner £20,000 plus to pay his wife £500 a month maintenance to retrain over the next 5 years. Plus £720 a month child maintenance, which he is happy to pay children. There are debts in her name which were run up during the marriag on credit cards mainly on clothing etc. my partner is being asked to pay half.
She receives £800 a month rent from the second home.

Oh I don't thinks so - that offer is not even close
What did she do when she did work and how much are the debts?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
She was a clerk in a building society. Her debt is £10000. The mortgage on the martal home is £1200000. The next court hearing is going to cost us £20000 and the only reason it is going to a third hearing is because she would not settle if my partner would not pay her the £500 a month and when the judge told her she would be better to settle because of the cost of the next trial she said it didn't matter her mother would pay. The second home she inherited from her father. Our solicitor never mention having to pay global maintenance until it came up at the second hearing and we have only just been told about married women's act.

I am not sure what you think the relevance of the Married Woman's property Act is but never mind!
What I need to know is whether she could live in the second property with the children if need be?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yes she could. They have asked as my partner is claiming a 50% claim in the the inherited property does he or has he made an application under the Married women's act.

Did your partner have to fund any repairs improvements or refurbishments of the inherited property at all?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yes he did and he painted, fitted new kitchen and bathroom, but has no proof or receipts.

Excellent - do not worry about the receipts- how much did he spend?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
He can't remember about £5000

Ty .
In general terms the court looks at all the assets held by either or both the parties within the financial side of divorce proceedings when considering a settlement.
However where assets have been inherited by one party - and kept separate from the joint family finances then the court may well chose to ignore them - provided that a fair division can be managed without them being touched.
In this case there has been some cross over of assets as family assets have been used and improvements - but equally there are sufficient assets fair division to be achieved in any event
If she is to retain the property in her sole name then it is reasonable that the matrimonial home is divided 50/50 - possibly delayed until the youngest child is 18 - with your partner taking less than 50% if he wishes immediate capital - say 40% rather than 50%
There is a clear liability maintenance certainly in the interim - and three years at £500 a month to allow her to retrain is not unreasonable. However if she wants that then she has to understand that your partner should have his half of the equity immediately - after all she can sell her property to achieve that
Equally given her assets there is no reason why she should not pay her own debts
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare and other Law Specialists are ready to help you