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Subject: Divorce advice sought please Posted: Tuesday, December 23, 2014 - 13:47:52


My father re-married after the death of my mother just over two years ago. He is just about to turn 70 and retired a few years ago. He has a work pension. My stepmother is 65 and has just retired and as far as I know doesn't have any pension other than the state pension.

Originally they were going to rent out her house and live in his house. The plans were then changed to rent his house out and live in hers then again to sell his house and buy half of her house which is what eventually happened. A lot of the money that was received by her from this was used to make home improvements.

Their marriage is currently not going very well, my father does not seem to be himself mentally which is causing him to not be as considerate as he might be etc. and my stepmother is at the stage she would like to end the marriage. He on the other hand would like to remain married and would like to work things out.

Unfortunately if this was to end in divorce I feel that while he is most likely not mentally incapable in the eyes of the law he would not neccesarily be able or willing to look after his interests. My stepmother has also indicated that she would have to 'look after herself' and would expect to be awarded some of his pension.

My limited understanding of divorce law is that after a short childless marriage it is usual to take out what you have put in?

I guess unless she was able to buy his share of the house then would have to sell the house to achieve this. My question is how would the fact that she used the money she received to improve the house, which is effectively a joint asset, affect this?

Also, would she have claim on any of his pension? I can't imagine she would as she has not given up work or retired early as a result of the marriage, nor do they have any dependents. It concerns me that if this was to happen, his pension would not be large enough to comfortably support himself, especially as he no longer has his house as an asset. I guess it also begs the question that if she feels she needs some of this to survive then how was she planning on supporting herself after she retired if she had not have married?

Any advice would be most gratefully received.

Many thanks.

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