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percentage of marital home

Posted by griffer 
percentage of marital home
August 17, 2021 06:07PM
My brother moved into his house in 1995..has a mortgage
Got married to S in 2005..had a son with her that year
She already had a 5 year old daughter
Three years later S moved out with children into rented house
She did not put any money into house
My brother has paid support for children from then to now although undocumented
The son( now 16) lives around 50% of time at my brother’s
Daughter has left home
At this point my brother has no savings and a 50k mortgage on house valued at 300k
They have not divorced
If they divorce what percentage of house valuation would his wife normally be entitled to?
Neither are high earners..she works in a pub and he has gardening business
My brother and I are in line for a medium size inheritance and I have concerns how this may impact us.
Many thanks for advice..
Re: percentage of marital home
August 17, 2021 06:45PM
This is a long marriage and the house became the matrimonial home. The starting point for any discussion will be an equal division of the equity.

Whether she 'put any money into the house' isn't really the issue because contributions are not measured in purely financial terms. The relevant part of the applicable section of statute reads, '(f) the contributions made by each of the parties to the welfare of the family, including any contribution made by looking after the home or caring for the family.'
Re: percentage of marital home
August 17, 2021 07:41PM
many thanks for the prompt reply
unfortunately that will come as a shock for my brother
is it true that he can come to an out-of -court settlement with his wife or will there always be oversight by a court who may set aside any agreement they have made?
further, as there is a possibility of an inheritance, would that also be included in total assets at settlement....and therefore would a sooner rather than later divorce settlement be prudent....my parents are going to be mortified if their life's assets potentially are split 25/25/50.
many thanks for your time..
Re: percentage of marital home
August 18, 2021 11:33AM
A potential inheritance is irrelevant. People can and do leave their estates to a cats' home or an orphanage. As long as your parents are still alive what your brother may or may not receive upon their death is irrelevant. It would be different if they were dead and their estate was in the process of administration but the mere hope of an inheritance is too uncertain for a divorce court to take into account.
Re: percentage of marital home
August 18, 2021 11:37AM
thanks for the reply
regarding whether they can come to an out of court settlement...say my brother offered her 100K ...can that be set aside by the court or can a private agreement be binding if both parties are happy?
Re: percentage of marital home
August 18, 2021 02:27PM
They can come to whatever private agreement they want but if they want that private agreement turned into a court order (which is the only way of making any settlement of matrimonial financial issues formal and final) then a court would have to approve it. And a court will not approve any settlement unless it thinks it is broadly fair.

You say the house is worth £300K and that it has an outstanding mortgage of £50K. What is more they are still married. A court might well ask why it is fair that of that equity the wife should receive £100K and the husband £150K. I think much will depend upon what the wife's housing needs are and why the husband says they are less important than his.
Re: percentage of marital home
August 18, 2021 02:47PM
thankyou for clear advice..what an excellent facility this forum is...should be we require more specific advice, which obviously comes at a cost, do we contact you directly..?
thanks again..
Re: percentage of marital home
August 18, 2021 06:55PM
Within limits I do answer questions directly every day and do not charge for general enquiries. However, if questions start to become disproportionate and/or they are in the nature of, 'Can you tell me how to complete a divorce petition' or 'Can I transfer the matrimonial home to my brother?' then I will say so.
Re: percentage of marital home
August 20, 2021 07:37AM
a follow up if I may
while I understand the reasoning for the sharing of the matrimonial home, I am not so clear of the logic of having to share an inheritance..
if this inheritance became due, and was to be valued at around 700k, of which my brother was entitled to 50%...would this be added to his house value (250k)and potentially his wife could be entitled to a half share of the total (600k) which would be around 300k.
effectively my brother would have to hand over his inheritance to retain his house?
that is of course assuming it is a 50/50 split...reading through other posts I see that higher 60/40 splits in favour of the wife are common
thanks again..
Re: percentage of marital home
August 20, 2021 10:53AM
This is applied basket weaving. Your parents are still alive. This has been answered. Speculating about this, that or the other theoretical future is a waste of time.
Re: percentage of marital home
August 20, 2021 07:35PM
If your brother is that worried about his inheritance the he needs to get a wiggle on and get himself divorced.
Re: percentage of marital home
August 21, 2021 07:53AM
thanks Andy..it certainly does seem like that. Neither my brother or I have ever been through a divorce so this all new territory. We are hoping to find out the possibilities of different scenarios so that we can do some financial planning rather than trying to act after events, and then finding it is impossible.
Re: percentage of marital home
August 22, 2021 11:00AM
There are two observations which I want to make here.

1. Your brother's marriage is nothing to do with you. If he is old enough to get married he is old enough to take his own decisions and get his own advice.

2. There is something distasteful about adult children counting on an inheritance from parents who are still alive. In this country there is freedom of testamentary disposition which means people are not obliged to leave anything to adult children. They can leave it to whoever they want including to charity. It was Andrew Carnegie who said, the "man who dies...rich, dies disgraced". He was in his day the richest man in the world but before his death he gave his wealth away. Many of the philanthropic trusts he set up are now 100 years old and still going strong.
Re: percentage of marital home
August 22, 2021 12:16PM
Dear Mr Terry
thanks for your interesting comments. If I may reply
1..You know nothing about the personal circumstances of my brother or our family relationship other than the outline I have posted here.Some families are closer than others and pull together when an individual is going through a difficult period.We are that type of family. Is that unusual? Perhaps in your experience; not in ours. From your reply it may seem that you insinuate I may be meddling in his affairs. This has all been posted with his knowledge and approval.
2 Regarding the inheritance.My parents have worked long and hard to amass their inheritance. As we have a family business we have been part of that journey. Their greatest joy is knowing that one day that will passed over to their sons.You say you find "something distasteful" in that. Distasteful to whom? You? Quoting Andrew Carnegie who died in 1919, who became one of the richest men in the world, not without a hint of corruption, and then gave away a large percentage of his wealth, but not all, seems somewhat bizarre. The parallel between "the man who dies..rich, dies disgraced" and our circumstances seems somewhat stretched.
Obviously this is your forum and again I thank you again for the initial advice. I came here asking for divorce advice, not to be schooled on family relationships or your perception of morals. That I find "somewhat distasteful".
Re: percentage of marital home
August 22, 2021 05:30PM
The fact remains that if your brother wants advice he should seek it on his own account. To rely upon advice obtained via a third party such as yourself would be a fundamental mistake for him.

And however 'close' you may be as a family that is your perspective. Your interests and those of your parents are not identical however much you may think they are. Again, if your parents are concerned about what may happen to their estate when they pass away they should seek advice about that on their own account and not from a person who has his own dog in the fight.

Closeness really has nothing to do with it. In this case you are a third party both in respect of your brother's marriage and in respect of any wealth your parents may have. For either to rely upon advice from you poses risks about the impartiality of that advice.

It is an elementary matter of objectivity and impartiality which does not depend upon knowing anything about you or your family.
Re: percentage of marital home
August 23, 2021 07:36PM
I'd advise your brother to stop thinking of 'The House' and start thinking of 'The assets'. Does your brother have a pension or any other assets?
I bet her needs are greater and therefor she will get more than half of all assets.

I'd be happy to take less than half of my house, but had a rude awakening when it was explained all assets are taken into account and our pensions would be equalised.

I have put a lot more into the marriage (financially) and have a much better pension. I have to most to lose and it looks like I will lose badly.

How I wish I'd offered her half the house when I left.
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