amicable forum


Hi, thank you for creating the forum and advice notes. Can I ask you something, please. My wife and I have been married for 10 years but things fell apart at Xmas and they don’t look to be resolving themselves. If I remortgage to pay my debts which I have built up with her how do I stand further down the line? Say for example I have £50,000 in equity but £20,000 in debt can I remortgage before proceeding further into divorce proceedings and then I have less to split with her? Basically I don’t want to have to give her 50% of the equity and then still be left with the debt? I can’t afford to manage my debt and start renting or buying a new place. She is not on the deeds or the mortgage but we do have 2 boys and my intention is not to sell the house as I want the boys to be stable. She has only paid for the gas and electric for the last 2 years and the first 10 years of our marrige she didn’t work. Sorry it started as a simple question but clearly not as short as I expected


    Hi, yes, it’s not such a simple question but understanding how the law sees your situation is really key to getting a settlement agreed, so it’s an important one! The law doesn’t have a defined formula for dividing assets. To make fair agreements, you must think about what the courts in England & Wales take into consideration: any children of the family and how they will be housed, income, earning capacity and property as well as financial needs, obligations and responsibilities. Debt can be looked at as ‘family debt’ or ‘individual debt’ depending on how it was incurred and this can then effect whether it is taken into account and cleared before the split of assets or after (i.e. from just your half of the assets).

    It’s also worth remembering that irrespective of whether your wife is on the deeds or the mortgage she probably has a claim on the family home so you should not do anything with this until you have an agreement. If you’d like specific advice about your personal situation we offer free 15-minute divorce advice calls, you can book a time convenient here.

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