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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 35057
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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I'm not 100% how this works as I haven't used this site

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Hi, I'm not 100% how this works as I haven't used this site before, so please bear with me if I am not following the "norm" route.
I am looking for advice on who I should talk to regarding my situation. I am a UK citizen and married to a UK citizen for the last 17 years, however I am being sponsored by my company to go and work/live in the US permanently, my husband is not coming so it would mean a long distance relationship.
I want to be informed as to what I should have in place should the marriage fail, being in a different country puts me at a disadvantage and I don't want to be accused of separation, desertion or anything like that. If it fails I want it to be a fair split, I'm just looking at how I can protect my assets but not rip anybody off.
On the financial side, I am the main earner with my husband contributing approximately 25% of the income (average over the last 5 years). I won't be earning enough to keep 2 places paid for, however I have budgeted to send enough money each month to cover the mortgage, council tax and some of the utilities, so my husband will need to look for more regular work (he's self employed) to cover the balance. We don't have any children.
It may not happen but I think it's wise for me to be informed as we have been having a difficult time, therefore it's possible that this move will end it. But I'm not looking to take action on separation/divorce, just be prepared due to being in another country.
Please do let me know what the next steps are and if you require any further information.
Many thanks

Thank you for your question

My name is Clare

I shall do my best to help you but I need some further information first

How long have you lived together, what income do you each actually have, and what is the value of the Capital assets.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Clare
We have lived together for approximately 25 years. Our current house is worth about £180k with a mortgage on it of £86k, we've had the mortgage for about 15 years.
Income has changed as I changed jobs but I've earned between £25k and £39k until Feb this year, now I'm on £45k.
I have 3 pensions totaling about £40k and we jointly have a plan that will pay out £39k at the end of the mortgage. I have health/job insurance along with a death in service plan (I think it's twice my annual salary). We both have cars but only probably worth £5k in total.
We have credit card debts of about £20k which we are paying off via a 0% card.
Anything else I need to add?
Many thanks

NO that is good thank you

One last thing - how much does a one bedroom property in the same general area cost to buy?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Clare
I did a search on RightMove for 1 bed properties within a 5 mile radius of our house and is came up with a variety of options from £55k to £99k. Majority of these were in a nearby town, not in the village we currently live in as there aren't any 1 beds available. Thanks

In the event that the move does bring your marriage to an end the worst case scenario is that your husband will receive a larger share of the equity in the property

in lieu of any spouse maintenance due to the difference in your earnings.

This could be a 60/40 split which will also allow him to rehouse himself.

I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Clare,Is there anything I should do or information I should have when I leave for the US? I want to be prepared as best as possible.Should I document any payments I make for the mortgage and/or inform the mortgage company of my move?How can I protect myself against any desertion claim?Many thanks

It would be sensible to ensure that you have copies of up to date bank statements, and ensure that you make the mortgage payments via a bank account.

You cannot be accused of Desertion if your husband knows that you are moving!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Clare, I've been away for the weekend which is why I haven't come back to you.
Can you clarify if the 60/40 is in my husband's favour?
What would be required to do an official separation before I left for the US? This may be an option for us to look at so that things are official but time is given to assess things.
If I receive an inheritance, would my husband still be entitled to some of it (if so, what %?) even if we were separated or divorced?
Many thanks

Yes the 60/40 was in his favour.

You could have a Separation agreement drawn up before you leave if you wish - you simply need to instruct a solicitor to prepare one

If you receive an inheritance after you have separated it is not likely you will have to share it since there are ample other assets to share.

Once you are divorced he no longer has any claim at all

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Many thanks, ***** ***** would I need to have prepared in readiness for a separation agreement?Does having a Separation agreement simplify the divorce process? I was looking at the government website to see what reason we would use for divorce and there didn't seem to be anything outside of being separated for 2+ years, would you agree that would be the option we would use?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Clare, any news on my queries? These are the final ones so it would be great to get your advice and then I can wrap up this session with paying and rating - thank you!

My apologies for the delay

All you need is to have discussed with your husband what the arrangements will be - using Family mediation if necessary

Since none of us are perfect it is easy to create an Unreasonable Behaviour Petition if both parties agree - or for one party to admit to adultery - if an early divorce is sought.

Whene there is a divorce the provisions of the Separation Agreement can be turned into a Consent Order

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Many thanks, ***** *****'ve given me lots to consider in readiness for the future and what it holds.

You are most welcome I hope all goes well

Clare and other Law Specialists are ready to help you