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Marriage breakup and divorce

-I have been married for 20 years
-I bought the house 2 years befor I got married
-We have 3 childresn aged 18, 15 and 10
-My wife has been working as a child minder for 17 years or so
-My wife has been using the house for her childminding business
-The morgage is now paid but my wife has never contributed a penny towards the morgage, council tax, food or any of the bills. She spends merely few pounds a week on munchies for the children
-Until 2015, I have been paying for all the holidays
-Since she started working back in 2004, she has been using her money and the child benefits to help her parents build a bloc of flats and several shops abroad that they are now renting. More recently, she has been transferring her money abroad and investing in gold that she keeps at her parents home abroad.

We now getting to the point where we are living seperately in the house and we don't even communicate. I can't bear living under the same roof as her anymore and thinking of moving out of my house and eventually file for a divorce and would like to know what my options are.

Any advice or guidance would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks.



  • Raoul23
    Sorry for not starting with Hi or a Hello. I have typed the text in notepad and then copied it and pasted here and forgot to start with a hello.

  • RAS
    RAS Posts: 32,960 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    The starting point is that you both get 50% of the assets of the marriage. If your wife can be shown to own assets overseas, they would count as assets of the marriage but if they are owned by her parents that's a different matter.

    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
  • tacpot12
    tacpot12 Posts: 8,170 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    You need to consider where your children will live. You could allow your wife to occupy the house and live there with the children, and you move out. This could be a good solution if it allows her to continue to run her business from the house. 

    I would suggest you need to get some relationship councelling to help you figure out if you want to get divorced or not. 

    If you do decide to get divorced, you should look to get a clean-break order so that you and her are no longer finacially connected. As part of a financial settlement you might have to give her 50% of the house, but you can ask for her assets abroad to be taken into account in the settlement. You might also need to share any pensions you have if she does not have a pension. 

    The comments I post are my personal opinion. While I try to check everything is correct before posting, I can and do make mistakes, so always try to check official information sources before relying on my posts.
  • pinkshoes
    pinkshoes Posts: 20,142 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Photogenic First Post
    Does she earn enough as a childminder to be able to take a mortgage out for 50% of the value of the house? The house could then be put in her name and she can continue her business.

    That would give you a lump sum to buy elsewhere. 

    Regarding other assets/pensions/gold. You will need to negotiate with her but the starting point will be 50/50. Perhaps see if she will agree to 50% of the house then you'll leave her other finances alone and she leaves your other finances alone. 
    Should've = Should HAVE (not 'of')
    Would've = Would HAVE (not 'of')

    No, I am not perfect, but yes I do judge people on their use of basic English language. If you didn't know the above, then learn it! (If English is your second language, then you are forgiven!)
  • Raoul23
    My wife and her family are extremely crafty. She and her family worship money. She will not have anything in her name and would want to get the maximum out of me.
    She does not earn enough to take a mortgage out for 50% of the house. In case this goes to court, will I be able to get the house sold and get my 50%? Also will she be entitled to part of my private pension even though all her money went abroad and never contributed anything in the house?
  • comeandgo
    comeandgo Posts: 5,759 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    Starting point is list all the assets in your name, in her name, in joint names.  These include pensions.  Start at 50% each but the parent who has the children with them usually has an increased percentage.  There is no winner in divorce but there can be some who loose a lot more than their ex partner does.
  • Raoul23
    She has nothing in her name. There are 2 assets in my name, the house and my private pension. I guess this means she will be the winner (she will get 50% of the house and 50% of my pension) and me the loser, right?
    If it goes to court, will she be forced to agree to the sale of the house so I get my 50% even though I have children under 18?
  • Alias_Omega
    Alias_Omega Posts: 7,912 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    edited 12 September 2021 at 10:17PM
    Raoul23 said:

    -I have been married for 20 years
    -I bought the house 2 years before I got married
    -We have 3 children aged 18, 15 and 10
    -My wife has been working from home since 2004 (child minder)
    -The mortgage is now paid off

    You've missed a few steps,

    1. the date you moved in together. 
    2. House valuation
    3. Any debts
    4. Any assets (tangible) ~ cars etc
    5. Pension valuations for you both, private and state. 

    Funds are calculated from that. Your looking at 50/50 split, plus spousal maintenance. 

    It would be reasonable to say your future ex wife needs a 3 bedroom house, just like yourself. Your needs mirror her's. Can you force the sale? Probably not due to being so close to 18. Children need stability in the final years of education! Would you want to trash that as a parent?

    Please go get some paid for advice, from a solicitor! The first 30 mins are free, so don't waffle on like your original post. 
  • sassyblue
    sassyblue Posts: 3,783 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Firstly, stating your wife has never contributed a penny towards any of the bills in the household for 20 years won’t wash with a solicitor. The fact that she has raised three children of the marriage will count as an equal contribution towards the marriage.

    if this really has been the situation then why wait 20 years to do something about it? 

    It really infuriates me and it’s ALWAYS said by men. 

    Your marriage was long and the starting point in any divorce is 50/50 however, because of the ages of the children your wife is likely to achieve more than 50% as it’s highly likely the children will continue to live with and be raised by her until they leave school.

    if you want to play her at her own game wait until the youngest has left school/education and then it really will be a 50/50 split, however, that’s a long time in your case.

    I would gather as much evidence as you can of her finances - once you’ve separated and involved lawyers things will get messy and for your own peace of mind get that info beforehand so she can’t 'forget' about anything and find a good lawyer because it sounds like you will need one. Ask others for recommendations.

    Happy moneysaving all.
  • Raoul23
    I waited this long because I am too old now and I lost the bit of patience left in me. All I wish now is that I can spend the bit of time left before I die as away from her and her family as possible, somewhere where I can't hear her voice.
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