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Property asset split

Posted by jack57 
Property asset split
September 15, 2021 10:20AM
Hi all

Hope I haven't broken any rules posting this and sorry if the info is elsewhere (I have looked)

I am wondereing about the split in a property asset should divorve occur. This is the family home where we brought up our two children.

We bought the house in 2004 with a joint mortgage. Cost £300,000 at the time.
Deposit was from the sale of my wife's property £150,000.
Mortgage was £150,000.
House is worth approx. £500,000 now.

(I was paying rent or (unofficialy splitting mortgage costs) to my wife in her previous property since she bought that house in 2000). The deposit for this original property was a substantial gift from her father.

So you see my wife has put more in to the property at the beginning but the mortgage has come from our joint earnings and I have also deposted extra when I could - redundancy payout for example in 2016 of £10,000. I also maybe paid more as a result of my wife take a few years off for child care etc.

Could anyone advise how the property would be split if a divorce would occur? Would the amount of my wife's initial deposit make a difference?

I would appreciate any advice.

Jack
Re: Property asset split
September 15, 2021 11:35AM
>>Could anyone advise how the property would be split if a divorce would occur? Would the amount of my wife's initial deposit make a difference?

The starting assumption would be that the net equity should be split equally. It really doesn't matter that your wife contributed a large chunk of the deposit because (a) this is the matrimonial home so it is a matrimonial asset par excellence and (b) 2004 is a long time ago.

For what it is worth one spouse (often the husband) very often pays for the whole house because, for instance, his wife stays at home to look after the children. This does not prevent the wife having a claim on the property and in fact her claim can often be for more than half because (a) she has a lower or non existent mortgage capacity and (b) the children will often continue to live with their mother which may mean she needs a bigger property. It is the same here in reverse. It doesn't matter that your wife made a greater contribution to the deposit. The fact is the courts see marriage as a partnership to which different spouses contribute in different ways.

The chances are that your wife will not see it like this. She will probably regard the £150,000 as 'hers'. However, it is important to understand this is wrong and you would be unwise to accept that assumption on the part of your wife. In point of fact how the equity will be divided will probably be decided according to 'needs' - ie your respective accommodation needs, how it will be paid for and your respective resources. That is why I said the 'starting assumption' at the beginning.
Re: Property asset split
September 15, 2021 08:29PM
Hi David

Thankyou so much for you quick and detailed reply. You have just taken a huge weight off my shoulders in 3 short paragraphs.

Many thanks for taking the time and effort

jack
Re: Property asset split
September 29, 2021 09:44PM
I know you specifically said 'property' split, but you need to consider other assets. For example, as she took years off work to look after children, she'll probably need her pension topping up. . the money will come from yours.
Re: Property asset split
September 30, 2021 11:28AM
>>I know you specifically said 'property' split, but you need to consider other assets. For example, as she took years off work to look after children, she'll probably need her pension topping up. . the money will come from yours. <<

I am not sure if I agree with any of this. Firstly, the question was specifically about the fact that the wife had contributed more to the deposit on the house and the possible effect of that. The question was not about pensions or the division of assets generally.

Second, there is absolutely no way of knowing whether the wife will 'probably' need her pension topping up and that will come from her husband's pension. Although there is reference to the wife having taken some time off work to look after the children there is absolutely no reference to any figures. The figures would be what mattered. And in point of fact this business about childcare is not the only fact about which one can speculate in this post. For instance, the husband was supposedly paying 'rent' because it was his wife's house. That and the way funds for the house are described tend to suggest that money is very important to this particular wife. It therefore cannot be assumed she has a lesser pension provision than her husband. She may well be as assiduous about pensions as about 'her' capital.

It is, of course, perfectly true that any settlement needs to be looked at in the round rather than treating one particular asset or need in isolation but since the question was about one particular point other facts were not really mentioned. Therefore it is unwise to make assumptions about them.
Re: Property asset split
September 30, 2021 10:07PM
Apologies.

I was trying to say that there is the possibility of 'losing' part of other assets, such as pension, and its unwise to focus on property. I made that mistake.
Re: Property asset split
October 01, 2021 10:50AM
There is no need to apologise. I can see where you are coming from. People do often focus on one asset to the exclusion of others which in fact may be just as or even more important. You are quite correct in pointing out that any proposed settlement needs to be looked at in the round. Very often if one spouse focuses on one asset because that asset is important to them that fact can be very advantageous to the other spouse although that may not be realised until later, perhaps much later.
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