How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Lawry Your Own Question
Lawry, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 268
Experience:  Expert
Type Your Law Question Here...
Lawry is online now

I want to buy a property but am still legally married but

Customer Question

I want to buy a property but am still legally married but seperate for nearly 3 years. If I buy a house is my former wife entitled to any of it.
JA: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in family court?
Customer: No not 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: East Yorkshire. Hull
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: No
Submitted: 16 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Lawry replied 16 days ago.


My name is ***** ***** I will try and help you today.

The family courts cannot make financial orders about how a couple’s property and money will be divided until divorce proceedings have at least reached the midpoint in the process. This means that the couple’s assets may be shared long after the couple has separated. If one party’s financial position has significantly improved, this may give rise to arguments that sharing assets that have been acquired after the end of the marriage would be unfair.

Whilst such assets may be labelled ‘non-matrimonial’, there is no guarantee that they will not be subject to a Court Order requiring them to be shared. The extent to which they accrued because of the marriage is relevant. For example, a bonus is more likely to be shared if success in the job has been achieved with the help and support of the former spouse during the marriage. On the other hand, a gift or inheritance, which has no connection with the marriage is less likely to be shared.

However, the overriding question, which will determine most cases, is whether the parties’ needs can be met without sharing the assets acquired post separation. If both parties cannot re-house, for example, then even an asset acquired since separation by one party is likely to be taken into account when orders are made about how the property and money should be divided, regardless of their source or link to the marriage.

It is sensible to enter into a Separation Agreement. This is a written document in which they set out their agreement about how the finances are to be divided. Whilst this is not legally binding on the Court, if entered into properly with each having independent legal advice, it will regarded as strong evidence of the parties’ intentions and will help to avoid disputes at the time of the divorce and financial arrangements being finalised.

If you require help with this call the Law Society on 0207(###) ###-####who can recommend local firms that can assist.