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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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I'm looking for advice on what my (now) husband would be

Customer Question

Hi there,
I'm looking for advice on what my (now) husband would be entitled to in the capital realised upon selling my house. I bought the house as a sole owner in 2011 using deposit funds of my own totalling £25k. The house value has increased £90k over the term of ownership so complete with mortgage payments there is now capital in the house of £140k. I have made additional overpaents and completed all capital related work to the house I.e. new bathroom, decoration, repairs so his contribution was approximately half (just less than) of the mortgage. We got married a year ago and have both lived in the house since moving in 5 years ago.
We are shortly buying a new house together and working out a fair percentage split of the new property based on the £140k deposit so my query is what, by law, is he entitled to on the existing property a) as a tenant but with no formal contract and b) now as my husband?
Thank you!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.

Hi, thank you for your question. Just a bit more information required to fully assist you:
-How old are you both?
-How long have you been married?
-Do you have any children together, if so their ages and proposed arrangements?
-What is the value of the property, and what is the outstanding mortgage?
-Whose name is ***** ***** property in?
-What other assets and pensions do you both have (both sole and joint), together with values?
-What are your respective incomes?

-Is there an intention to separate?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Harris,
There is no intention to separate, it is an isolated question not looking at other assets such as pension although I can now it is more complicated than I had originally thought and see where you are going by asking this!
We've been married a year, both are early 30's and have a 7 month old daughter together. The current property is solely in my name and is worth £260k. Given this is a public forum I feel uncomfortable sharing any further information therefore is this enough to make an estimated guess as to his claim on the property?
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for confirming. I will base my answer on the general legal issues that will arise.

As the previous property was used as the matrimonial home he has matrimonial home rights arising out of the marriage, so despite the property being in your sole name and you making sole contributions to the purchase of the property prior to marriage, it is now a matrimonial asset and he has a right to occupy the property and make a claim towards it if you separate.

You are now intending on selling this property and purchasing a new property (I would imagine to also use as the matrimonial home), again he would have matrimonial home rights to occupy and make a claim towards it no matter what shares you hold or even if it is still in your sole name.

Given the short marriage, if you were to separate, it is highly likely that your contributions to the previous property will be taken into account, but the whole property cannot be ring-fenced because it has now been used for matrimonial purposes.

If you divorce in the future, the court will consider the facts and circumstances at that time - so, for example, if you remain married for 10 years, this will be considered a long marriage and your contributions will unlikely have a major impact on the division of assets, and the court will likely focus on both your needs and the needs of your children when dividing assets.

You should also be aware that when owning property jointly, there are two ways to hold the property - either as joint tenants or tenants in common. Joint tenants own the whole property together, and if one passes away, the other automatically inherits it and it cannot be bequeathed as part of a will. If held as tenants in common it can be held in equal or unequal shares, and each owners shares can be bequeathed as per their wishes.

If you were to separate in the future, the Court's starting point is a 50-50 split of all matrimonial assets and ensuring that needs of both of you and any children 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

Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.

Hi, this question remains open. If you found my information provided helpful please could you rate my response positively using the stars at the top of this page as I will not be credited for my response without a positive rating.