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Advice on best step

Posted by Roy Protyush 
Advice on best step
March 28, 2022 12:29PM
Hi,

My wife and myself married in 2010, got a flat together in 2011. We eventually acquired another property jointly in India in 2015 and I bought another property in my name in India in 2017.

The wife had an affair in 2020 and when confronted she moved out of the flat in May 2021 and transferred all equity in my name. I was paying for the property since.

She has recently filed for a divorce and asking to pay £750 for her legal cost and demands financial disclosure. She refuses to do her disclosure on mediation. We have both earned similar. Can you let me know what are my best option?

Regards
Roy
Re: Advice on best step
March 28, 2022 02:09PM
Best option for what? Your wife is on the face of it entitled to half the value of the flat and half the value of the property in India. Whether she has had an affair is irrelevant to what she is entitled to.
Re: Advice on best step
March 28, 2022 06:52PM
Can she claim for £750 for her legal cost of the divorce?

Also since I have been paying for the mortgage and have made some upfront payment to the mortgage since she has moved out - is she still entitled to half of the current price of the property?

With the properties, can we decide to split them or do we have to sell all properties and divide the money? My wife is insistent on selling the properties and I think its best to split them and she takes the two properties in India and I keep the UK property and pay her the difference in cash.
Re: Advice on best step
March 29, 2022 10:57AM
>>Can she claim for £750 for her legal cost of the divorce?

Yes. Whether she can get it depends upon how you responded to the divorce petition and/or any argument in favour of not paying. Since the marriage is over there is no obvious reason why you should not share the cost of the divorce which benefits both of you and not just your wife.

>>Also since I have been paying for the mortgage and have made some upfront payment to the mortgage since she has moved out - is she still entitled to half of the current price of the property?

Yes. In these circumstances you paying the mortgage is much the same as paying rent. You cannot expect to live in the property without paying. You are also occupying a property half owned by your wife.

>>With the properties, can we decide to split them or do we have to sell all properties and divide the money?

You can decide to split them. A court would not order a sale for the sake of it because sales involve transaction costs. If fairness can be achieved by a property transfer and cash adjustment then that would be the likely outcome if a court had to decide anyway.
Re: Advice on best step
March 29, 2022 11:24AM
Thanks David.

>>Yes. Whether she can get it depends upon how you responded to the divorce petition and/or any argument in favour of not paying. Since the marriage is over there is no obvious reason why you should not share the cost of the divorce which benefits both of you and not just your wife.

Given that I have my share of legal cost and am willing to pay half of the court fees (£593) is it not the case that we both pick up our own lawyers fees as I will have my share of lawyers fees and 50% of the court fees?

>>Yes. In these circumstances you paying the mortgage is much the same as paying rent. You cannot expect to live in the property without paying. You are also occupying a property half owned by your wife.

Is this still the case even if the property is fully in my name since she moved out and I have been paying the mortgage, upfront payment to the mortgage, ground rent and maintenance? Does these not get taken in account when dividing the assets?

>>You can decide to split them. A court would not order a sale for the sake of it because sales involve transaction costs. If fairness can be achieved by a property transfer and cash adjustment then that would be the likely outcome if a court had to decide anyway.

If I want to split them and my wife wants to sell all assets is the court to then decide on the outcome?
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