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Starting divorce proceedings

(8 Posts)
mumofonlyboys Sun 12-Jul-15 09:37:54

Hi all
No idea where to go with this but wondered if any of you could help?
I'm about to go through a divorce and my husband inherited a lot of money whilst we were still together. He took voluntary redundancy last November and has decided he wants to do an msc funded by his inheritance. The implications of this are that I will need to look after my 3 boys (middle boy has Down syndrome) more than previously.
We would like to try and divorce through mediation as our personal relationship is good and would like to maintain that for the sake of the boys.
However...when we discussed what would be a fair settlement he thought that would be to divide equity of our two jointly owned houses, and he split his pensions.
He is adamant that his inheritance is nothing to do with me.
To put this into context, I work 24 hours a week and my salary is £12000. My job isn't secure, and I have no savings. I live in a completely inappropriate house with 3 bedrooms and no garden and a very busy road at the front. His house (our marital home) has 4 bedrooms with lots of outside space. His earning capacity is to the tune of £50000 and he chooses not to work. He wants to do a years msc then go on to do a PhD for 3 years which will be funded partly by his inheritance and he will earn £22000 for that per annum.
My query is this. He would like to settle with the aforementioned figures, and then not have to pay me any child maintenence as he isn't working. Does anyone know how this all works. Like I said I'd like to keep this as amicable as possible but non of this seems fair.
Sorry for the long post! Just not sure where to go as I can't afford to see a solicitor ATM.
Hope you can help xx

lifebeginsat42 Mon 13-Jul-15 09:29:09

Hello, I'm no expert on all this but some thoughts...

How come he's in the larger, more suitable family home? Do you think you'd be able to persuade him to swap as it sounds as if you think the place he's in would be better for you and the boys in the long run.

Re child maintenance, if he's not intending to work for a few years as he's studying then I'm not sure what happens. Effectively if he has no income then I think it would be hard to pursue him for CM. This is however a very worrying attitude on his part. It's like he's only thinking of himself and has given no consideration as to how his boys are going to be clothed, fed etc during this period. angry

As for the inheritance, I'm guessing this is a significant amount. If this money was passed to him whilst you were still married then as far as I can see it goes into the pot of marital assets to be divided between you, starting point 50:50. I believe he is wrong in saying that you cannot claim any of this. Some people who are divorcing with elderly parents even get a clean break put into their divorce so that should a parent die after the divorce the ex can't pop up and claim some of it, so I really don't think he's right.

As ever though, you need to go and take some advice. Money spent on fees now will help you to avoid costly mistakes. Doing all this through mediation is great but you need to be sure what you are entitled to rather than him dictating what he thinks you are.

Good luck.

nearlyhadenough Mon 13-Jul-15 14:01:49

I saw a solicitor last Monday about the possibility of a divorce and it's financial implications. My main concern is around DH being a beneficiary of a large inheritance that is in the process of being finalised.

I have NO claim upon his inheritance - it will NOT be classed as a marital asset. (I am in England - law may differ elsewhere).

But, due to the length of the marriage (22 years) and the fact that there is not enough in the marital asset pot to purchase either of us a home if it were split (inheritance not considered) 50/50, AND the fact that DH will be exceptionally well off compared to me when he gets the inheritance - I have a 'needs based' claim on the inheritance. This means in practice that I can ask for an amount to put towards a property - but it will be nowhere near half, more likely about 5%.

Hope that all makes sense - it is all very complicated!

lifebeginsat42 Tue 14-Jul-15 23:02:33

Sorry to hear that nearly

Sounds v unfair on you. Does it make any difference if he had actually received the inheritance before you split?

PurpleWithRed Tue 14-Jul-15 23:06:07

See a solicitor. When you say 'still together' what do you mean? Still happily married?

nearlyhadenough Wed 15-Jul-15 17:22:42


In my case we have not actually split and it would make no difference - I am making enquires as to where I stand. There will be no money until it is sorted so I am basically stuck until some property is sold (been on market for 2 years so far...). Inheritance is not counted as a marital asset.

Generally, it depends on what is done with the proceeds of an inheritance and the time scale prior to divorce. If money was used to buy a house 20 years ago the other partner would probably have a claim on it. If the money was gained a couple of years ago and sat in a bank - there is no claim.

Very complicated and individual issue - needs specialised legal advice.

ALaughAMinute Sun 26-Jul-15 12:28:35

You are entitled to half his inheritance provided you are still married to him. Get legal advice and make sure he doesn't try and hide the money.

murrell0cherri Wed 29-Jul-15 15:45:09

Every case is different

Unfortunately there are no hard and fast rules in English law.

The 50/50 rule is a misnomer perpetrated by the press/tv

You do need to get good legal/financial advice (view this as some of the best money you can invest in your future your children's future )

You can either agree a settlement or make an application for a court order and a judge will decide.

In either case you will need legal advice to ensure that no assets are hidden etc

If you are worried about fees, many solicitor do fix fee options, and many do a free 'initial meeting' so you can get a feel for them as a professional and a better understanding of what you can and can not expect to be awarded by a judge or agree in settlement, depending on the inheritance it may be worth getting a specialist involved, at the very least always use a family law specialist.

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