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Next steps - advice needed

Posted by Lizziebeth 
Next steps - advice needed
August 14, 2020 11:14AM
I separated from my husband in July 2018, after 16 years of marriage, and moved out of the marital home in early September 2018 and moved from the area. The marital home was sold in February this year and the equity, after estate agent and solicitor’s fees was split 50:50. My husband has since purchased another property but I have not so my equity is in savings accounts. My husband is asking me for £10,000 to cover the mortgage he was paying from the time I left until the property until it was sold. He says he needs this for a new kitchen and central heating boiler in his new home. I was only able to contribute a few hundred pounds during this time as my employment was sporadic. He has provided me with a spreadsheet indicating how much I was contributing during this period and how much I ‘owe’ him.

When we met in 2000 I already owned my own home in my sole name and paid the mortgage and majority of household bills, but we moved to a property in joint names in 2010. I was the higher earner and I took responsibility for paying the mortgage and other household expenses although he contributed to the joint bank account for household expenses. I paid the mortgage until some time in 2015 but following redundancy in 2013 I ran out of money and as it was difficult to talk to my husband about financial matters I borrowed money on my credit cards to pay the mortgage. As a result of this I entered into a DMP as I had built £30000 of debt, I have now reduced this to just under £23,000. He knew nothing of this but did pay the majority of the mortgage with me contributing what I could from part-time work.

My husband has never contributed towards a pension and I have never had any idea of his savings or expenditure. I have a small civil service and a larger teacher’s pension although neither of these are yet in payment. I assume that he will be able to make a claim on these.

I am cohabiting with a new partner and wish to start divorce proceedings but I would appreciate advice about financial matters as referred to above. I am also hoping to buy a property with my new partner using my equity as a deposit.

Any advice would be very much welcome as I feel in limbo at the moment.

Thank you in advance.
Re: Next steps - advice needed
August 14, 2020 02:46PM
You shouldn't pay your husband anything. If you do he will pocket it and it will be very difficult to get back. Finances are not settled in the sort of book keeping way that your husband is advocating. Much broader factors than who paid for what come into play.

Having said that, the marriage is obviously over so you should seek a divorce and sort out the financial issues once for all within the context of that divorce. If you do not do that sooner rather than later goodness knows what your financial situation and that of your husband will be in a year or so let alone over any longer period of time. It makes no sense whatever to run such a risk.
Re: Next steps - advice needed
August 14, 2020 07:19PM
David,

Thank you for your reply, that was very helpful.

Obviously I am keen to move forward and start divorce proceedings although unsure which grounds I should use as the marriage is definitely over. However, I assume that my husband can make a claim on my pensions as he does not have any pension in place and is 50 years old, I am 58, so will that mean a pension sharing order?
Re: Next steps - advice needed
August 15, 2020 12:43PM
Well, you moved out for a reason so the overwhelming likelihood is that you can petition for divorce based on unreasonable behaviour. Almost everyone can. Bearing in mind that you moved out in September 2018 the particulars of behaviour would need to be drafted with care but apart from that there is no reason why you cannot rely upon it.

In a marriage of 16 years if you have significant pension provision and your husband does not not then, yes, it is likely he is entitled to a pension share. That is not the same thing as saying he is entitled to half your pensions because he probably isn't. However, he will be entitled to some share.
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