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My partner has served divorce papers which I'm fine with but

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Hi my partner has served divorce papers which I'm fine with but he wants half of everything I have which isn't much. We do not own a home or have any joint finances BUT I am due inheritance from the sale of my late father's flat, to share with my brother. We had been living separately for 2.5 years before he died. How can I protect this money. He also wants half of my nhs pension. We have 3 children under 18 who live with him. I have paid £430 child maintenance since we separated. Just need advice please
JA: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in family court?
Customer: I have just signed the divorce petition but not posted it back yet
JA: Family Court normally sits in a local County and Magistrates' Court. Do you know the location of the court? If not, what county do you live in?
Customer: Uk
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: Not that I can think of
Good morning and thank you for your question. I'm a solicitor specialising in divorce, separation and financial matters. I'm sorry to hear about your dilemma but I'd be happy to offer some guidance. Firstly, do you know when the probate on your brother's estate will complete. Secondly, how many years have you been married?You may also receive a pop up saying that I am offering a telephone call. Please ignore it as I can rarely speak by telephone to a customer before 5.30 pm. It is automatically generated by the site and not by me. If necessary, I can offer a call later if you really did need to speak directly to. In my experience, most matters can be sorted via messaging. Thanks, J
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
Thank u for your prompt reply, probate is through already, we are just having to do it up to sell it then split the money. We have been married 31 years. I've always worked amd provided to the family income
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
I want to keep some of the money for my sons and for me to have a secure future I do not want him to just get half especially after all the emotional abuse that made me have to leave my home and become homeless for a while
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
I've had to start again with nothing
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
How do I protect my inheritance?
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
Sorry been married since 2002 july
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
19 years I think
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
Are you still there?

Good evening and thank you for your patience.  I'm afraid I was extremely busy at work today so I've only just logged back into Just Answer.

So, the inheritance is not a matrimonial asset.  The starting point for any financial division following a long marriage is a 50:50 division of the matrimonial assets ("the yardstick of equality").  There are a number of factors such as the needs of dependent children, age of the parties, health, respective incomes, etc - the list is endless and specific to each case.  Where possible, the courts will keep inheritance at arm's length.  As it was not acquired during the marriage, your husband cannot say it is part of the matrimonial pot to be divided between you.

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
Ok, my children are 13, 12 and 9, I'm 49 and my husband is 54, he has his own business, gets all the help from the government and I pay and have paid full child support.
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
We don't own a home or have any joint savings. So no assets to worry about.

With regard to the pension, he would be entitled to half as it's a matrimonial asset acquired during your 31 years of marriage.  The only way you would protect that is by offsetting another asset against his notional share of your pension, i.e. giving him a lump sum payout instead of a pension share.  I don't like to be the bearer of bad news but I'm afraid your options in relation to the pension are stark if he has no pension provision of his own and you have built up such a large pension fund.

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
Married for 19 years, together for 31. Oh well nothing I can do I suppose

NHS pensions are 'gold plated,' similar to MOD, military and police pensions and worth an awful lot in comparison to private 'money purchase' pensions.  I suspect your husband knows that.  He would also say that you lived together for a number of years before marriage and that 'the cohabitation moved seamlessly into marriage.'  What that means is, from a legal perspective, you lived together and shared your finances accordingly before marrying and carrying on the same arrangement. To all intents and purposes, the overall length of time you have been together would be instrumental in how the matrimonial assets are divvied up.

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
Typical , I will be working for at least another 20 years after we are divorced and he can get some of that pension contributions.
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
Thank you for your help and I'm sorry for disturbing you so late
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
But I couldn't give him any of my pension money until I actually get it, so he will have to wait, is that correct?
Once a pension share is created, he will receive it at the age which it would routinely become available. It's dependent on the scheme.
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