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what is my husband entitled to when we divorce

(26 Posts)

hello i wonder if you could give me some advice. my husband and i are in the process of separating. we have been married three and a half years and together for five and a half years. he earns much less than i do however has never contributed in a fair way i pay all of the household bills including the mortgage and he pays for sky, internet and phones. i owned my house (with a mortgage) before he moved in with me. the only significant contribution has been paying for a new kitchen (which his mother also helped towards) he has also bought new white goods and a TV (I didnt have TV before he moved in and I pay for licence). last year my outgoings went up considerably as i had to revert to a payment mortgage instead of an interest only mortgage (which i had when my daughter was studying) and he agreed to pay £300 towards household expenses per month he did this in march, april and May then missed until he paid september, october december and january. Our respective children are all adults and live independently. when we divorce will i have to sell my house to share it with him?

gillybean2 Wed 19-Feb-14 10:16:47

Not an expert but when my sister divorced her husband (no children) everything was split 50/50. This included all assets and outstanding debts. She was the higher earner and he got half her pension even. When you marry you share everything. It doesn't matter who was the higher earner. If there are dependant chidren involved then it can be different to take them into account. But that doesn't seem to be the case for you.

thank you...that doesnt seem fair when he hasnt paid anything towards the mortgage....he brought £28,000 of debt with him too

mistlethrush Wed 19-Feb-14 10:21:07

gilly - its not been that long a marriage though and I'm sure that would be taken into account in looking at how things are shared - you might need to 'pay back' for the kitchen though.

The £300 a month - did that include food shopping or was that on top?

I would go and see a solicitor for a free 1/2 hr and have all the information on who has paid what when and what it covered and you might get a bit more specific help.

gillybean2 Wed 19-Feb-14 10:34:46

Really I feel it doesn't matter who is the higher earner (someone is invariably going to earn more than the other at some stage).

I am sure there are many men who feel it's not fair either when their wife has worked part time or stayed home to take care of children and not returned to work full time after that so not contributed equally financially.

As I said to my sister said when she had to give up half her pension, if it was the other way round you'd be entitled to half his pension and everything else too.

Of course no-one wants to see their hard earned money 'given away' and what you feel is fair may not be what he feels is fair. But if your marriage has broken down to the point you cannot fix things then that is the price you have to pay unfortunately.

When you marry you make a legal committment to share what you have - for better for worse. Whether you wanted too or not you took on his debt when you married him. It is definitely all relevant though so be sure to have everything listed down when you do see a solicitor. Including and HP agreements (such as car), credit card debts, what debt he brought with him etc

mumblechum1 Wed 19-Feb-14 10:35:50

The brevity of the marriage and inequality of contributions are highly relevant. You will certainly not have to give him half of the house.
Am on phone so can't go into chapter and verse but you should arrange yo see a family solicitor who will go through the numbers and give you a good idea of what the outcome is likely to be and to open negotiations for you.

mumblechum1 Wed 19-Feb-14 10:39:21

Gillybean, I'm sorry but the advice you have given is not correct. OP is asking for legal advice.

thank you to both of you....the £300 has not been paid all of the time he lived here and has not been paid every month since he agrees to pay it. and did not include shopping

the debt came from his previous marriage

babybarrister Wed 19-Feb-14 12:05:59

have a look at the case of Miller in the House of Lords in 2006 for what happens in a short childless marriage - starting point 50% of the marital home but keeping other assets brought into marriage

thank you babybarrister

mistlethrush Wed 19-Feb-14 12:08:21

In this case, the family home was 'brought into' the marriage though?

babybarrister Wed 19-Feb-14 12:11:03

it was in Miller .....W brought nothing in at all. Para 12 of the judgment makes an exception for the family home I am afraid

courts though do tend to be more pragmatic and not very keen on awarding 50% of home in these circumstances

It seems really unfair that he has lived with me contributing very little as his wages he spent on his hobbies.. then can choose to leave and will be able to take half....its not the same situation as a spouse who has been supporting their partners business or providing childcare...

prh47bridge Wed 19-Feb-14 15:01:07

Half is the starting point. It doesn't necessarily mean he will end up with half. He may well end up with less than that. You need to see a lawyer who specialises in family law for detailed advice.

MOSagain Wed 19-Feb-14 16:07:47

Completely agree with mumbles and babyb <waves>
This is NOT a case for 50/50 or pension sharing.

Short marriage, unequal contributions

celestialsquirrelnuts Wed 19-Feb-14 16:10:29

Go and see a solicitor who is a member of Resolution. Even if you can't afford to use a solicitor throughout, pay for a few hours of advice to understand your position. Don't hope to find the answer on the internet.

LauraBridges Wed 19-Feb-14 16:50:43

Is 5.5 years short enough to count as short? Probably. Ours was long and he got 60%.

celestialsquirrelnuts Wed 19-Feb-14 17:29:16

5.5 years is moving into that grey area of not really a short marriage and not really a long marriage. However this was actually a 3.5 year marriage with no kids so most judges would prob say that was a short marriage...

IDontDoIroning Wed 19-Feb-14 17:40:00

My fil was married 10 yrs. his exw tried to claim half his house - mortgage free owned for 20+ yrs before he met her. She ended up with half the difference in value between date of marriage and divorce but he had to fight it.

LauraBridges Wed 19-Feb-14 18:03:37

I think they count the living together period in deciding if a short marriage but even so no children from the marriage, both older, both big grown ups - certainly sounds like might be a case where she could keep more than half and he won't claim maintenance for life.

Ah the IDont example shows it is worth getting legal advice on this and next time just move a lover in don't marry them and only move them in once they have signed a cohabitation agreement.

ImperialBlether Wed 19-Feb-14 18:07:30

I thought it was half of the money since the wedding?

ImperialBlether Wed 19-Feb-14 18:07:43

Half of the equity/savings, I mean.

Blu Wed 19-Feb-14 18:17:55

In any case, gillybean, what is the moral relevance of a comparison with a woman who has give up her career and earnings to be a sahm? No-one in this marriage has done that. They have no children together and married once their respective children were grown.

i really appreciate you all taking time to reply to this...thank you xx

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