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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 35086
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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My wife and I am getting a divorce and I would like to know

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My wife and I am getting a divorce and I would like to know how the assets could potentially be split.
We married in June 2012, we met in Oct 2011 and started living together in Dec 2011 Jan 2012 (we had previously been married to each other for a few years in the 90's)
I have two children from my second marriage that live with us full time aged 15 and 13, my wife has no children. I receive no child maintenance.
Eight years previous to the marriage I purchased three buy to let properties. At the time we got married they had an equity value of approx £150,000. The current equity is £185,000, after taking into account we increase the mortgage by £34,000 in July 2014 whilst married.
The £34,000 from the remortgage was deposited into my wife's bank account direct from the solicitor. £11,000 was used to pay off old debts of mine that I had from before we were married, the balance went into day to day living expense less the cost of a motorbike worth £1,800 for me and a £4,000 deposit for cars.
My wife had £20,000 cash in the bank when we married. She did not have a home or any furniture worth mentioning, I did have a home with furniture which we still use. From the day we got married we lived and continue to live in unfurnished rented accommodation but added a few bits of furniture along the way.
During the marriage I received a repayment of £5,000 from someone I had loaned money to before we were married, this has been absorbed into day to day living expenses.
My wife did not work during the marriage but for a few months working for me in the beginning of our relationship and when we were married. I am a self employed commission only sales person and my wife is technically employed by my limited company for tax purposes, we have equal shares in the company but the company has no value.
We have two cars purchased during the marriage both in my wife's name with car loans in her name the equity in these is approximately £3,500 after repaying the loans of approx £16,000.
We purchased a horse while married at a cost of £5,000, my wife has told me that this horse is now worth £7,000 - £12,000 as we have paid to have it trained and of course the day to day costs of keeping a horse.
There is a £4,500 deposit on the our rented home.
My wife and I received £9,000 from my mother and £10,000 from my wife's mother whilst we were married.
We did not have a joint bank account, my wife had a credit card and I was an additional card holder, we used this for day to day expenses and I would then pay it off in full each month from the company bank account.
All house hold bills9rent, electric, council tax water, phone internet etc) are paid from my own bank account using the rental income from the buy to let properties and working tax credits.
We claim joint working tax credits and child tax credits benefit which will need to be repaid as my income has increase and we would not be entitled to these. The exact amount I do not know as I have not finalized my tax return which is not due until Jan 2017. I estimate we would have to repay approx £10,000 - £5,000
My wife is about to start a three year University course in September using student loans, but I guess she will to find a job, or will I have to support her?
My wife came to the marriage with a dog which she classes as her own, would I be able to get custody of the dog as the children and I have come attached to him over the last 5 years?
I have an outstanding debt from before the marriage of £3,000 which I have been paying off @ £77.00 per month, plus I owe £1,300 to HMRC as a repayment of WTC as a result of making a single person claim when it should have been a joint claim.
Both my wife and I have about £1,500 in our own bank accounts at any one time.
Thank you for your help and I look forward to your reply

Thank you for your question

My name is Clare

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

What is your income from all sources?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My income would be approx £49,000 PA in total made up of £10,000 PA from property rental and £39,000 from sales commissions
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
my income of £49,000 is Gross before TAX

How old are you both?

Are you aware that the site charges extra for a phone call?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK thanks I understand you cant call will you be able to respond to my question?

OF course - how old are you both?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Me: 50 DOB 29/10/65
Her: 48 DOB 31/08/1967 so she will be 49 in a week
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi9 any idea when I may get a reply? Thanks Mike

My apologies for the delay

The marriage is a short to medium length one which produced no children - although the needs of your two children will be a factor in any settlement.

the substantial difference in your incomes means that spouse maintenance is a very real possibility - although for a limited period - two or three years at most.

There are limited assets which have arisen from the marriage - but you have extensive assets in the form of the buy to lets.

The marriage has been a high spending one - with your wife bringing in £30,000 and you maybe £36,000.

The only current assets amount to £20,000.

It is likely that the Court will take into account the fact that you have the properties and award the few assets that there are to your wife - which may mean no spouse maintennace if you are lucky.

The dog is hers and will not be something the court would be happy if you tried to argue about it

Please remember that I can only give you a rough guide

Please ask if you need further details

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.One point I forgot to mention and throw into the pot was our pensions.My wife's pension was £88,092 when we married and now stands at £103,000 based on contributions made of approx £2,900 and an increase due to performance of the funds.My pension was £34,865 when we married and now stands at £39,265 made up of £2,300 of contributions and the increase due to performance.Before we take the pensions into account can I take it from your reply that a court may award my wife £20,000, this being the current assets. If so what effect, if any, would the pensions have on this figure?Thanks

You each have a claim on the pension that accrued whilst you were together - which seems relatively well balanced - but you may be able to use this to reduce the Capital settlement by £2000 ir so

Clare and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi could I ask a further question?I listed my assets as my buy to let properties, could a court force me to sell one or more of them in order to realise the capital so that I could pay my wife off? or could then force me to take out a loan on the properties as I do not have and cash?Also I mention my income as £49,000 made up of £39,000 from sales commissions and £10,00 in property rental income. The sales commissions are paid to a limited company that is owned 50/50 with my wife. Technically for the last 3 years my wife's income has been approx £3,500 and mine £3,500 as stated on our tax return, the remaining income has be derived from a directors loan account that the limited company repaid to my wife and I as directors. My wife did not get involved in the day to day running of the limited company and I did all the work, it was set up to take advantage of her tax free allowance, as is common practice with husband and wife.When I stated that my income would be Circa £49,000 this was based on my future income once we are separated. In court I would argue that my wife would need to find alternative employment and I would resign from the limited company which would have the effect of having to have the company wound up, I would then start again afresh either as a sole trader or with a newly formed limited company with no shares going to my wife. There is no value in the current limited company and the directors loan has been repaid in full.Would this affect the potential settlement as technically there is no disparity in our incomes at the current time. My wife has previously been a high earner and is capable of getting employment with a salary in excess of £60,00 PA, would I therefore be in a position to ask for maintenance from her as our current income is equal and she has a greater individual earning potential than me, especially as I would have 2 minor children, now there's a twist!Many thanks

Yes they can make you sell one or more of the properties.

With regard to the spouse maintenance I am afraid that what you have said does not change things at all

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Could I ask another question. My wife and I currently rent a house together, we are both on the tenancy agreement, which has now rolled over to a month by month let. Due to the breakdown of our marriage I would not be able to afford this house and have found another house that is cheaper. Will I be able to give notice on the house we rent together, which in effect would mean she would either have to take it on herself or find somewhere else. Many thanks

Yes it would - unless she applies to the court for a transfer of the tenancy