mortgage deposit in relation to divorce settlement


Looking for some advice if I put the whole 10 percent deposit down on a house and im married, however my wife doesn't contribute to the deposit. Will she be entitled to half the deposit if we separate?. I've spoken to different solicitors some say no and some say if we are married for 5 years she will be entitled to half.



  • pinkshoes
    pinkshoes Forumite Posts: 19,776
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    The starting point is always 50/50...

    There is more to marriage contributions that financial ones.
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  • RAS
    RAS Forumite Posts: 31,923
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    Divorce after a short marriage usually returns both parties to a similar one in which they started.

    After a long marriage 5+years, it tends towards 50:50.
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  • Mitchel.
    Mitchel. Forumite Posts: 55
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    pinkshoes said:
    The starting point is always 50/50...

    There is more to marriage contributions that financial ones.
    what do you mean by  There is more to marriage contributions that financial ones.
  • Spendless
    Spendless Forumite Posts: 23,597
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    edited 2 July at 2:14PM
    It would depend. You split up after 30 years marriage, she's stayed at home fetched up your joint children, enabled you to work overtime, seek promotions, etc, nursed you through a spell of ill-health and redundancy, gone out to work herself, juggling childcare then I doubt very much you'd be able to say you put 10% deposit in and that's mine, all assets would be looked at before deciding on the financial split.

    You split up after a short period of marriage and I'm unsure if there's a legal definition of short then quite possibly you'd retine it (though possibly not if by then she's a stay at home Mum to 3 kids under 5) 

    Then there's a grey area inbetween these scenarios
  • FarmGirl78
    FarmGirl78 Forumite Posts: 65
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    For 'short' marriages, without children, rather than being 50/50 the stance is usually that couples go home with that they brought to the marriage.

    However the court will also consider the length of the relationship prior to the marriage. So if you've been living together for 8 years, get married and then divorce after 2 years they'll view that as a 10 year marriage rather than a 'short' 2 year one.

    You can of course get a deed of trust (or post nup) signed to say that the on divorce one party would get their deposit back before the rest of proceeds were split 50/50. Done correctly and registered with the land registry this would show that the house was held by the owners as 'tenants in common' in unequal shares eg 60/40. It's a couple of years since I dealt with all this though, so check out this last paragraph, I may have remembered wrong!

  • TBagpuss
    TBagpuss Forumite Posts: 11,169
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    AS others have sad, there is no hard and fast rule, because the aim is always to achieve a fair settlement looking at all of the relevant information.

    Contributions other than financial ones - things such as child care, house work, one person moving / giving up career progression options to support the other etc. Normally, the presumption is that you have each made equally valuable contributions towards the marriage as a whole, some of which will have been financial and some non-financial if one of you wants to claim that you made greater contributions and should get an enhanced share of the assets because of that, it is up to the person claiming they contributed more to satisfy the judge of that, and that it is fair for them to get more as a result.

    If it is a very short marriage with no children  then it may well be seen as fair for you to eaxh get back the deposits you paid and to then split the rest equally,.
    All posts are my personal opinion, not formal advice Always get proper, professional advice (particularly about anything legal!)
  • 74jax
    74jax Forumite Posts: 7,892
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    You have to look at everything as a whole. 
    From your previous posts, your wife purchased the house from her parents, and it was in her sole name. 
    When you paid the deposit, was it recorded anywhere as from 'just' you? As at the time your wife purchased it, you were married, had bad debt and we're looking at bankruptcy, so where was this deposit from?  A joint account etc?
    Did a solicitor make notes it was from only you? 
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