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Scottish Divorce Law not providing fairly. Any legal bods?

(6 Posts)
madlynormal Mon 11-Nov-13 20:47:57

Husband left a few months ago.
I am a SAHM to three under ten.
I had a good job before children but he wanted me to care for kids. He did very little except go to work and this has not changed.
I recently developed a medical condition that causes me pain and exhaustion. (The reason he left I think). Currently in remission.

I would now be back at the beginning in my line of work even if I could find a suitable job with a pre-schooler and no recent experience.

5 years ago he inherited 100K which he paid into the mortgage account for family home.
He then took the money out and bought flats.
He has paid nothing off the mortgage on our home except interest but has paid lump sums off the flats.
All property is in his name.
He is now claiming the flats are his as he bought them with an inheritance.

Apart from this he has personal assets from before our marriage that mean he could choose not to work.
He will walk away with nearly 750K of assets and the freedom and ability to earn a very large salary.
But I suspect he will stop working as has kept saying he may not be able to work for long. (No reason for this as far as I know)
I get £100K and £250 per week aprox.

I am not staying in family home as moving to rent near family. He is angry about this but as he does no child care and cannot cope with it I need to move in case I am ill again.
Where do I stand?

Legal advice and maintenance calculator does not offer much hope but should I ask another law firm?
Is Scottish divorce law set in stone in regard to inheritance and assets before marriage being exempt or can the judge award some of his personal wealth to me?

babybarrister Mon 11-Nov-13 21:06:58

I know it is a lot less generous than England - sorry I cannot help further but I would always advise proper legal advice

Shenanagins Mon 11-Nov-13 21:07:00

I seem to recall being told that an inheritance received during the marriage is matrimonial money and therefore you are eligible for a share of it. If it was pre-marriage you would not be entitled. However if that inheritance was subsequently put towards a home bought after marriage it becomes a matrimonial asset.

InterPolly Mon 11-Nov-13 21:34:52

There is a presumption of equal sharing of matrimonial assets in Scotland. Inherited funds are not matrimonial property. But if he has converted or transferred the inheritance during the marriage (which he did) then this means the funds become matrimonial property. Though he will have a 'source of funds' argument that he ought to receive greater than 50% of the matrimonial assets.

Although the law aims to ensure a clean break in Scotland there are circumstances where you can be awarded periodical allowance to assist you to adjust financially. This will take account of his resources.

If you're not happy with your solicitor (and it doesn't sound like you are) it is imperative that you get a second opinion. Divorce is full and final in Scotland, you can't revisit in years to come.

You have sacrificed your income/pension provision in the interests of the family, and are caring for three children, your solicitor ought to be fighting to secure a settlement to redress this.

Disclaimer obviously required - all is dependent on your particular circumstances and the financial details. It is vital that you seek legal advice, I can't advise on what a court may consider to be a fair and reasonable settlement.

Hope you get the help you need.

madlynormal Mon 11-Nov-13 22:39:37

Thank you InterPolly.

STIDW Tue 12-Nov-13 04:33:19

I'm not convinced the solicitor is far off the mark. but if you don't have confidence in your solicitor you should seek a second opinion or change solicitors.

In Scotland it is set in stone that assets (except gift and inheritances) accrued between the dates of marriage and separation form the matrimonial "pot" to be shared "fairly," usually equally 50:50. Being economically disadvantaged by the relationship by giving up a career to care for children can justify moving away from 50:50 in your favour. However the move tends to be a few percent and doesn't exceed 60%. Therefore it's often a case of making a judgement call about the costs and the chances of an improved settlement.

When an inheritance has been amalgamated into the family finances it will be considered matrimonial property, but it sounds as though the flats may have been kept separate.

Sometimes "aliment" (maintenance) is appropriate but very rarely for a period longer than 3 years after divorce and if there are enough resources a "clean break" is preferable.

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