Q. I have been married for nearly 10 years. My wife used £20k of her money for deposit monies when we bought our home following marriage and I have paid the mortgage ever since. Three years ago my wife inherited £30k but has spent it on herself. I am currently divorcing her (unreasonable behaviour) and wonder if I have a share in our £100,000 property. We have no children.
A. If you have paid the mortgage for 10 years as you imply you will undoubtedly have a claim on the matrimonial home (and/or other assets). The size of the claim will very much depend on your need for capital and income compared to the needs of your wife. An initial interview with a full discussion of your income, outgoings and future plans would be beneficial at this early stage.
Q. My husband and I have been together for 10 years, married for five. I have 2 children, aged 12 and 15, from a previous marriage but my children do not see their real father and my husband pays such things as private school fees. I do not work and am financially dependent. Our home is a £500,000 house (with £180,000 mortgage). I want to separate and find other accommodation. How do I go about it and how will I support myself? Am I entitled to assistance from my husband?
A. You would have a good claim for maintenance and if you do move out this needs to be sorted as soon as possible. If you do not work at all you would need to secure accommodation with no or very little mortgage/rent. The law considers what the respective needs of the parties are, the ability of each to work and similar factors. You should do nothing firm without first seeking full advice. Advice about funding can also be covered in a first appointment.
Q. I am a British citizen and have recently separated from my Swiss husband, having lived there with him and our six-year-old daughter for eight years. I am returning to the UK to live and my husband wants to make use of my citizenship to obtain a quicker divorce than under Swiss law. Can he petition for divorce in an English court (he is neither a UK citizen nor a resident) or must I do it?
A. He cannot commence proceedings unless habitually resident here. You will be able to petition once you have been resident for one year.