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Harris, Law Specialist
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2851
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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My daughter's husband left her about a month ago. The house

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My daughter's husband left her about a month ago. The house they shared was mortgaged in his name. They have two children aged 5 and 1, who have stayed with her. She has no income, apart from a small amount she gets for a disability she has which means she can't leave the house without someone else as she has a fear of speaking to people, which also means also that she cannot speak on the phone. Her husband has texted her to say he can no longer afford to pay the bills, he said he will carry on paying the motgage but she will have to pay for everything else. My husband and myself are both disabled and I am his carer, we are finding it very hard to help her as she lives over an hours drive away, but we have to get her shopping and try to sort things out for her. I have tried to get her chid benefit and income support, but how do we get help with her having to pay all the bills" We do not have the room for her to move in with us. Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated.

Hi, thank you for your question. Just a bit more information required to fully assist you:
-How old are they both?
-How long have they been married?
-What is the value of the property, and what is the outstanding mortgage?
-Who is now living in the property?
-Whose name is ***** ***** in?
-What other assets and pensions do they both have (both sole and joint), together with values?
-What is his income?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My daughter is 29 and her husband is 30. They have been married for 3 years. The property is valued at around £100,000. My daughter is living there with their two children aged 5 and 1. The property is in the husband's name. My daughter has never worked because of her disability and does not have a pension, I am unsure about her husband. There are no other assets apart from the house and his car. I do not know his income but my daughter says she thinks he brings home around £1500.00 a month.

Thank you.

-What is the outstanding mortgage?

-Are both children his?

-Did they cohabit prior to the marriage, if so for how long?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The outstanding mortgage is around £76000.00. Both children are his. They have both lived in the house for 6 years

Thanks for confirming. As they are married they are both entitled to seek financial relief from each other upon divorce. However, as her husband appears to have the assets and income, it would be for her to seek relief from him and this will include dealing with all assets and income. As the former matrimonial home is only in his name she does not have a legal interest in the property, but as it is the family home she has matrimonial home rights entitling her to occupy the home at least until divorce and she can register this interest on the title of the property using form HR1 with the land registry - her husband will be notified of the registration and if registered, this will delay or prevent a sale if the husband tries to sell the property.

Given that they have two children and she has high needs, the court will consider her and the children's needs above his. The children's needs are paramount and the first thing the court will look at is housing. The family home will be considered first, and if appropriate, she has a good case to remain there.

Given that she has no income, she can seek spousal maintenance to cover her reasonable needs. She can also seek child maintenance which will be in the region of £21 - 70 per week depending on how often the children stay overnight with him (the more the stay the less he pays) - this is a legal liability and is based on his gross income. She can apply direct to the Child Maintenance Service for this if he does not voluntarily agree.

In relation to her income she will need to demonstrate that she is maximising this from all sources. She should look into applying for child benefit, tax credits and potentially employment support allowance and DLA/PIP due to her disability.

The Court's starting point is a 50-50 split of all matrimonial assets and ensuring that both your needs are met in relation to both assets and income. For your information the criteria considered by the court in these matters is:

1. The income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future, including in the case of earning capacity any increase in that capacity which it would in the opinion of the court be reasonable to expect a party to the marriage to take steps to acquire;
2. The financial needs, obligations and responsibilities which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;
3. The standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the marriage;
4. The age of each party to the marriage and the duration of the marriage;
5. Any physical or mental disability of either of the parties to the marriage;
6. The contributions which each of the parties has made or is likely in the foreseeable future to make to the welfare of the family, including any contribution by looking after the home or caring for the family;
7. The conduct of each of the parties, if that conduct is such that it would in the opinion of the court be inequitable to disregard it;
8. In the case of proceedings for divorce or nullity of marriage, the value to each of the parties to the marriage of any benefit which, by reason of the dissolution or annulment of the marriage, that party will lose the chance of acquiring.

If you have any further questions regarding this please let me know. In the meantime if you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating using the stars at the top of this page. I will not be credited for answering your question without a positive rating. Thank you

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