I have been married to my husband since 2008. We jointly own our home and have a mortgage. Whilst I do not know the exact amount, I am aware my husband has a significant income and pension. Due to his income, I only needed to work part time and have a very small pension. I recently found out my husband has been having an affair and I now want a divorce. I am confused what will happen with our home and finances. It is his fault I want a divorce and therefore I believe I should not have to pay anything and I should be entitled to continue living in the house. What can I do?
You may petition to the Court for a divorce. The sole ground for divorce is that your marriage has irretrievably broken down. You could prove this ground based on the fact that your husband has committed adultery, or on the fact of your husband’s unreasonable behaviour.
There is a fee of £550 to petition for divorce which is usually paid by the Petitioner (you). It may be possible to negotiate with your husband that he pays the fee of £550. On the other hand, you can include within the petition an application for the Court to order the Respondent to pay the costs.
Before considering the division of matrimonial assets, the best starting point to determine what finances and assets you both have is by way of full and frank financial disclosure. This includes disclosing information such as your bank statements and wage slips. Failure to comply with financial disclosure may result in an application for the Court to order financial disclosure.
Following the process of financial disclosure, it is then possible to establish what assets are matrimonial assets. Whilst this is case dependant, it may be possible for matrimonial assets to include assets which are either held jointly or solely in your husband’s name. When matrimonial assets have been established, it is then advisable to consider the process of mediation. During mediation, an independent third party would assist with you and your husband to negotiate the division of the assets in an amicable way. Another option is to negotiate through solicitors.
Should these options be unsuccessful, it may be appropriate to consider an application to Court.
Here at Ben Hoare Bell we have a team of specialist family law solicitors who would be happy to advise you on issues relating to divorce and finance. To speak to a solicitor please phone 0191 565 3112 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that this advice was correct at the time of writing. However there may have been changes in the law or procedure since that date. If you are in doubt you should obtain up to date legal advice.