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Divorcing but never lived together, will he be entitled to half my property...HELP!
29

Allicando · 04/07/2022 05:55

Hi I am looking for some advice on a non typical divorce. I have been married to stbxh for just over 2 years and together for 5 years, we have never lived together in that time. We chose to not live together (second marriage) until my teens have left home. We both own (mortgaged) our own homes neither of us have ever lived in the others house, land registry for both is in own respective names as is council tax is separate and our mortgages.

I have around 200k equity in mine and he has around 50-70k equity in his (unsure of his exact mortgage amount) I have an NHS final salary pension and he has several pensions but one larger one standing at around 100k lump sum at the minute, I am 45 and him 55.

Things havent been good for some time and I found him on a dating website several weeks ago and despite trying again it is clear we just arent good together and so it is over. He rang me last night and things got very heated (well he basically got heated and did a lot of shouting and hung up on me), then text me telling me he wanted a divorce. When I replied ok he replied "BIG MISTAKE".

My concerns lie around the disparity in our equity in each others property and that he could be legally entitled to half of my equity. As it is not a typical living situation I cannot find much info relating to our set up and how things would be divided. I am praying that he wouldnt really go for half but really need to get some proper advice.

So lovely legal Mumsnetters would anybody be able to shed any light?

Thank you so much

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Ifailed · 04/07/2022 06:55

When you signed the wedding contract, you agreed that all property, savings, investments, pensions etc became marital property, that's the starting point in England and Wales.

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Beamur · 04/07/2022 06:58

Yes, but even so, it was a short marriage, you don't have kids or live together. I'd have thought very unlikely that a court would award him half your equity.
Plus the whole marital 'asset' would presumably be the value of the house not the equity?
Speak to a solicitor for advice.

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FishcakesWithTooMuchCoriander · 04/07/2022 07:02

there’s no marital home here. Just two houses bought before the short marriage.

You’re both able to house yourself in exactly the same way you have been doing throughout the relationship. So the ‘needs’ are all met without transferring assets anywhere.

see a solicitor. I would imagine that leaving with what’s yours and him leaving with what’s his is entirely reasonable as a proposal.

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WhenDovesFly · 04/07/2022 07:03

Wouldn't he be liable for capital gains tax from your property, as it isn't his main residence? Might put him off going for it. Think you need some advice though. After such a short marriage and not living together, be surprised if it went 50:50.

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5zeds · 04/07/2022 07:04

i think it’s half each but agree with pp the value of the houses is the focus not mortgage.

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something2say · 04/07/2022 07:06

Don't you have to be married for 5 years for the assets to be split?? So 2 years...no. but really need proper advice.

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mocktail · 04/07/2022 07:10

FishcakesWithTooMuchCoriander · 04/07/2022 07:02

there’s no marital home here. Just two houses bought before the short marriage.

You’re both able to house yourself in exactly the same way you have been doing throughout the relationship. So the ‘needs’ are all met without transferring assets anywhere.

see a solicitor. I would imagine that leaving with what’s yours and him leaving with what’s his is entirely reasonable as a proposal.

This seems the most likely scenario. And would be the fairest imho.

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TheVanguardSix · 04/07/2022 07:15

The good news is that you can both actually agree on something that works best for you, i.e. not take anything from each other (he keeps his stuff, you keep yours). You don't have to split anything. Just divorce with a clean break and walk away with both your assets intact. Clean break is crucial because it means neither one of you can come back to each other years down the lines, sniffing around each other assets with renewed interest.

So what will happen if you don't agree to draw up the above and make it legally binding? You'll likely have a 50:50 split of all assets in the pot: Properties, pensions, cars, collections, anything you share courtesy of being married. Yours is a short-term marriage, the starting point is 50:50. A judge could award you more or less (60:40 for example).
STBX is indeed entitled to half your assets.
But you are also entitled to half his.

There are also loads of excellent podcasts. One that I would recommend listening to in your situation is this one: open.spotify.com/episode/3T8N03AFyqRi2fUEKiirNu?si=95c41ff6ed644052

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Allicando · 04/07/2022 07:16

Thank you all very much. His house is worth around 225k and mine around 375k. We both have equal amounts of mortgage of around 165k on each property. Both mortgages in individual names.

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mocktail · 04/07/2022 07:22

For those mentioning it, it's the equity in the house that's considered rather than the value

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HollowTalk · 04/07/2022 07:27

You really need to see a lawyer as soon as possible. You need to make this marriage as short as possible. There are plenty of lawyers on here who can advise you but all I can say is what a fucking creep that man is.

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arethereanyleftatall · 04/07/2022 07:27

I think you'll be fine op.

You'll both walk away with what you started with.

Consent orders etc are about 'needs'. So, for example, I kept our family home and receive spousal maintenance due to our childrens needs.

He doesn't need any equity in your house, he has one.

He will discover quite quickly too that it will cost him (you both) such a fortune in solicitor fees that it won't be worth arguing.

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Alltheleavesaregreen1 · 04/07/2022 07:28

Hello, former family law solicitor here. I think this would be a clean break where you each keep your own assets. Short marriage, no dependency, no children, nearly all assets pre-acquired, no need for rehousing. Stick to your guns and don’t offer him anything. Take legal advice though.

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FishcakesWithTooMuchCoriander · 04/07/2022 07:54

mocktail · 04/07/2022 07:22

For those mentioning it, it's the equity in the house that's considered rather than the value

It has to be. The mortgage is debt.

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BackToTheTop · 04/07/2022 08:02

You need to speak to a solicitor, a good solicitor is worth their weight in gold

My opinions are, following my divorce, after 18 months of marriage

The length of the marriage is relatively short, so it might be you walk away with what you brought to the marriage, I was married 18 months and we left with our own houses, savings etc, we didn't split anything apart from solicitor costs.

Regarding pensions, as above, but also he's only be entitled to what you put into the pension during the marriage, so very little if anything, the same goes for him of course

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YesNoMaybeNot · 04/07/2022 08:06

something2say · 04/07/2022 07:06

Don't you have to be married for 5 years for the assets to be split?? So 2 years...no. but really need proper advice.

Not true. Length of marriage is taken into consideration however.

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FishcakesWithTooMuchCoriander · 04/07/2022 08:17

You’ve never lived together so the 3 years before you got married are not likely to be relevant for a settlement really.

It would be extremely difficult for him to convince a court that he needs a share of your assets given that you have never had shared finances in the marriage and have run entirely separate households. What exactly is he going to claim he needs? And why is that now your problem on divorce?

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FinallyHere · 04/07/2022 08:21

I'm left wondering what makes anyone get married when there is no prospect of living together of sharing finances.

And it ceases to be considered a good idea to be married within two years.

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SaintHelena · 04/07/2022 08:44

If he has a large pension perhaps you can foregoing your share if you keep the equity in your house . Speak to a solicitor - you might be able to come to some sort of amicable agreement

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Allicando · 04/07/2022 09:01

FinallyHere · 04/07/2022 08:21

I'm left wondering what makes anyone get married when there is no prospect of living together of sharing finances.

And it ceases to be considered a good idea to be married within two years.

I never said we were never going to live together, if you read my post properly I stated we planned to move in together once my two teens had left for Uni which is next year. Him being on an internet dating site has devastated me and is something I am not willing to overlook, he isnt the man I thought he was.

He has not yet said he will go after anything but the tone of his message implied it, he was angry though given time I hope he will calm down and see sense.

He is hoping to cash his pension in soon (at 55) mine cannot be touched until I am state pension age so 22 years from now. I am not sure if this makes any difference anyway.

Your advice is invaluable thank you all for taking the time to reply, it is a shitty situation and one I never thought I would be in.

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BackToTheTop · 04/07/2022 09:23

Divorce aside, te told you it was over and then got angry when you agreed with him. Sounds like he was calling your bluff. I'd definitely get out now whilst you can with minimal fuss

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Sswhinesthebest · 04/07/2022 09:30

The quicker this marriage is over, the more likely you are to get your proper share.

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cottagegardenflower · 04/07/2022 09:42

The idea with divorce is that both parties should be left in an equitable position, which is why 50/50 is the norm. However your marriage has been very short and you are both home owners, both are housed adequately (equitably) and are going to be left in a similar position, you didn't live together or share major finances etc, so a court would look at all these factors. No joint children is important and the fact your DC are in settled housing even less likely you will be asked to sell up to release equity for H as that is detrimental to them.

Not sure how the pension would go but if they are fairly equal they won't tough them. It's financially not worth it.

I think you have a good chance keeping your own assets and having a clean break.

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Quartz2208 · 04/07/2022 09:46

I would seek legal advice and start the process. It would make sense given the length and assets (houses and pensions) that leaving with what you came in with would make sense.

Also there are no joint dependents and you can both support yourself

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onlyk · 04/07/2022 11:36

Per the above get a good solicitor now.

you’re still housing your children, he isn’t. Coupled with you both still being financially independent of each other and length of marriage you should both walk away with what you brought to the marriage.

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