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STBXH wants half my inheritance to leave house

(39 Posts)
coffeecuppa Sun 29-Jan-17 19:04:09

We're getting a divorce - not started the paperwork yet but that's tomorrow's job - initiated by me.

Over the years I have paid for everything 'big' and he has contributed 50% to standard, day-to-day living expenses. For example I paid for our wedding. I bought the car. I bought furniture. I pay for the car insurance in a yearly lump sum. I paid off his debts (£2k).

I also paid 100% of the deposit on our house from an inheritance trust; over £110k. We've only been married 2.5 years, bought the house 1.5 years ago. I also paid all the solicitor fees and stamp duty.

H says he can't leave the house until he gets some money. He's asking for 50% of the equity, which in total is my deposit plus about 10k that we've paid off/house has increased in value.

I saw a solicitor on Thursday who said that inheritance is 'protected' and not put into the 'marriage pot', but that this isn't strictly enforceable by law. But basically, solicitor said he shouldn't expect anywhere near the amount he is asking for. I've offered him £5k, which he has turned down. He's still in the family home and says he won't leave until he gets the money.

What do I do? Can anyone tell me more about whether my inheritance is protected or whether in buying the house as joint owners my 'right' to that money has gone? He is saying that he is entitled to it and we will have to sell the house. My DS (16 months) and I will be unable to get another mortgage as I currently have a very sporadic freelance job.

Very scared sad

Gallavich Sun 29-Jan-17 19:07:28

Your solicitor should be answering this question, not randoms on mumsnet. Sounds like they gave you good advice already. It seems highly unlikely that he would get much given the short length of the marriage, that most of the money was your inheritance and that you have a young child. Try to relax.

picklemepopcorn Sun 29-Jan-17 19:22:05

I know nothing about it sorry, but wanted to express sympathy and maybe bump your thread. It sounds awful, I'm not surprised your scared!

coffeecuppa Sun 29-Jan-17 19:23:09

Thanks Gallavich, I'll try not to worry too much. I will of course make another appointment with the solicitor to discuss it. I just wondered if anyone had experienced this or if anyone knows the law surrounding inheritance being put into joint property. I hate this, I was hoping he'd be gone soon but doesn't look likely.

coffeecuppa Sun 29-Jan-17 19:24:16

Thank you pickle. It is a really horrible situation. I've put so much into the marriage and he has put in so little. And still he expects more sad

Stuffedshirt Sun 29-Jan-17 19:25:33

My understanding is that when you marry everything becomes half each.

RandomMess Sun 29-Jan-17 19:29:46

How long were you cohabiting for directly before you married as that ca make a difference I believe? A short marriage and if you have DC that will reside with you should make a difference.

However marriage is a legal contract and these things become marital assets.

Are you happy/confident with your solicitor?

bevelino Sun 29-Jan-17 19:31:16

OP, lawyer here. Your solicitor will advise and guide you as they will know all the circumstances of your case.

coffeecuppa Sun 29-Jan-17 19:38:54

We lived together in rented accommodation for 21 months before marrying.

I'm quite confident in my solicitor. I've never had dealings with one before but she seemed competent. She was saying that everything would be split (but not 50/50) until I said the deposit was paid with inheritance - then she said I should make him an offer of £1-£5k.

Thanks bevelino. I will talk to her and see what she says. I think I just needed to get it all out and talk about it tonight. I'm trying to be brave but I've never been good with conflict and knowing that H will be staying here for the foreseeable is stressing me out.

AndShesGone Sun 29-Jan-17 19:42:11

Get your solicitor to go towards an exclusion order to get him out the house? No idea if that's possible ?

mandalayaway Sun 29-Jan-17 19:47:52

Equitable split. That's marriage (and divorce) I'm afraid.

TheInternetIsForPorn Sun 29-Jan-17 19:53:49

Equitable split isn't necessarily true. Lots of factors come into play here including length of marriage etc. If I were you OP I'd leave the thread alone and deal with things how your solicitor advises. They'll be much better placed to help as yours sounds like there maybe complexities we here online couldn't really get to the truth of

StripeyCover Sun 29-Jan-17 20:16:39

And though you say you trust your solicitor, it doesn't sound as if she is being entirely clear. I would even get a second legal opinion, out of interest. It could save you a lot of money in the long run.

mirokarikovo Sun 29-Jan-17 20:40:20

Even if it was going to be equitable split (which I hope it wouldn't be but couldn't say for certain) it is unlikely a court would force you to cough up if the consequence would be such a huge negative for you and your toddler. It would be normal if it was ruled that he should have 50% to get a Mescher order on the house which basically gets him off the deeds but he has to wait till the child has grown up or until you remarry before it is actually all resolved. But like others said - go with what your solicitor says, they know the facts of the case.

MrsBertBibby Sun 29-Jan-17 20:55:00

OP, just let your solicitor get on. If you're worried, you can ask her to get an advice with a barrister, it's not much money, and a second pair of eyes is always good.

The shortness of the marriage, your unmatched contribution, and your being the young child's carer all strongly point to a settlement weighted in your favour, but no one can advise without all the facts.

Gallavich Sun 29-Jan-17 21:20:50

Marriage doesn't automatically lead to 50/50 split fgs. The length of the marriage, provenance of the funds and the presence of a child who needs a home will all factor. No judge is going to give away half the op's inheritance to a man she has known for less than 5 years, especially if she needs the house to raise a child in.

Gallavich Sun 29-Jan-17 21:21:34

Did you say half the equity would be £10k or £5k?

busyboysmum Sun 29-Jan-17 21:25:27

When you originally bought the house you should have drawn up a Declaration of Trust to protect you really. This would have laid out the fact that you put so much more onto the house and stated how the proceeds of sale would be split. Did you have a solicitor act for you when you bought the house? They should have advised you of this.

busyboysmum Sun 29-Jan-17 21:27:33

coffeecuppa Sun 29-Jan-17 21:42:31

No, busyboys, the solicitor (not the same one I'm using now) never mentioned a Declaration of Trust. That would have been useful to know!! Bugger.

Gallavich, if you take my inheritance out of the equation there would be less than £20k. We have a loan from my Dad - loaned to us to pay the mortgage and living expenses for a few months when STBXH lost his job (not the first time) last year when my maternity pay had ended - that we would need to pay back. That leaves £10k. So I offered him half of that.

Gallavich Sun 29-Jan-17 21:50:26

That seems more than fair tbh

busyboysmum Sun 29-Jan-17 22:00:56

If it goes pear shaped you may have a case for a claim against the original solicitor who hasn't advised you correctly. Run it by your new solicitor when you go next time.

AwkwardTurtles Sun 29-Jan-17 22:02:38

It's a simple case. Your lawyer will be perfectly capable of handling this, I'd say the best advice is to stay off mums net and don't get drawn into fireside law as you will end up being confused and will also probably be tempted to micromanage your lawyer, which will just be irritating for everyone

CommonFramework Sun 29-Jan-17 22:04:58

OP, trust your lawyer! Don't ask randoms on Munsnet for advice!

Good luck.

Moanranger Sun 29-Jan-17 23:09:02

Agree with all - go to lawyer. She probably was a bit vague as splits of assets don't follow hard & fast rules.
A useful thing for you to do would be to write down exactly how much of your inheritance went into the house deposit, how much came as a loan from your DF, how much YOU pay for various expense, & if possible get bank statements, letter etc to document. This will help your lawyer. She can then draft a crisp letter to your STBXH & he should back off.
50-50 splits only apply in long marriages, which yours was not.

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