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ukfamilysolicitor, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1382
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor Currently specialising in Family. Also experienced in Corporate, Employment, Civil Litigation, Debt Recovery
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I'm 72 years old and my wife is 62. Recent events have led

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I'm 72 years old and my wife is 62. Recent events have led me to consider divorcing my wife. I've been married to my current wife for 35 years and the house is my name. I divorced my first wife in 1977 and bought out her share of the equity and it's been mortgage free since 1996.
It's currently valued at about £400K and I have financial assets of £80K. My wife owns a buy to let valued at about £120K and is the proprietor of a small nine bed care home that is probably worth about £600K. I know very little about her annual profits but a few years ago I did notice a statement from her accountant that showed a pre tax profit of about £88K. She's been running the business for some 15 years now but again I have no knowledge of what she has in the way of savings or other financial assets. Her business also has a small flat where she stays for 4 or 5 nights each week because a daily commute would be a round trip of about two and a half hours. My wife's savings are likely to be a considerable amount as over the last 35 years as I've paid all the household bills and home improvements such a loft convention and an extension along with major repairs.
So what I would like to know is how likely is it that I would be able to remain in the house if we were to divorce? I have absolutely no interest at all in seeking a financial settlement from my wife even though her assets are likely to much greater than mine. I've lived in this same house for 45 years and just want to enjoy my remaining years in a stress free environment.I'm retired and my two pensions total £1,700 net monthly. My wife is nine years younger than me and is still working in her business.
Kind regards,
Dear ***** Welcome to Just Answer I am a Solicitor and will assist you. In respect of the matrimonial finances – there is a set process for dealing with the same. Whilst I note that you do not consider that you want to make a matrimonial claim - I still think that it is important that I provide you with some detail in this regard. Divorce proceedings and finances proceedings, whilst they do link together at points, are actually in fact separate proceedings. It is possible for either party to make a claim in respect of the matrimonial finances. The matrimonial finances does not just include your house but both have but the assets and liabilities of both of you including pensions, savings, your wifes business and her rental property. The first step to dealing with the matrimonial finances is full and frank disclosure of all of the assets and liabilities for both of you. This includes everything. It is only when full disclosure has taken place that discussions can start about division. With a long marriage (over 5 years) the normal starting point for the division of matrimonial assets is a 50/50 division of all assets. The Matrimonial Causes Act sets out several factors which can lead to departure of the 50/50. A few examples, the earning capacity for both of you, future health needs etc. In reality, as your earning capacity appears to be less - then you need to be arguing for a larger share of the matrimonial assets say 10% more. You will not even be able to start discussions until your wife has engaged in full and frank disclosure. If this does not happen then you could be simply selling yourself short. Your proposals in respect of keeping your home do not seem unrealistic given the other assets that you have detailed - but you are not going to be able to start negotiating until all cards are laid on the table. I would suggest that you consider referring your case to family mediation. Family mediation will help both you and your wife through the process of full and frank disclosure as well as discussions about division. That are lots of family mediation services and there will be one local to you. If you just google family mediation in your area and then you can give them a call to get the ball rolling. If your wife engages with mediation and matters can be agreed as to who keeps what - then a consent order can be prepared which can be submitted to the court for approval. Once this has been approved by the court – it becomes legally binding. If your wife wont provide full disclosure or engage in mediation then you should make an application to the court so that the court can compel her to engage in disclosure and the court can also make the decision as to what the split should be. Under no circumstances should you agree to distribute any assets until you have an order of the court either by court order or consent. Not to follow this advice could leave you open for a further claim against you and / or selling yourself short in respect of any settlement. This is particularly important - as say if you didn't follow the process I have detailed for you in respect of getting an order to finalise matter - then say your wife's business went under - she could still come back and seek a claim in your home. So its best to deal with it all correctly. Please do not hesitate to ask if I can clarify anything for you or assist you further. Kind Regards ***** ***** kindly remember to star rate our service so that we receive credit for helping you today.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello there Caroline,
Many thanks for your swift and very informative reply. My wife has generally been quite secretive about her financial affairs but until now it was not something that I was particularly bothered about. I suspect she would not agree to full disclosure or mediation so a court is very likely to be the way forward. The point you made about the possibility of my wife's business going under was certainly something that I didn't take account of.Kind regards,
Dear ***** Glad I could help you Please do not hesitate to ask if I can assist you further. Thank you for using Just Answer Kind Regards Caroline