Wife in divorce dispute ordered to leave ‘future’ marital home

Monopoly housesA wife has lost the right to live in a property she had thought belonged to her ex-husband.

In M v  S, the couple lived with the husband’s parents after their marriage, but several months later the wife left, relocating to another property owned by her father-in-law. She claimed that they had always planned to move in there together but he said she had moved into the property without permission while his parents were out of the country.

The wife filed for divorce and also applied for financial relief (maintenance). On their return, the man’s parents asked her to leave the building and a hearing took place to determine ownership of the property the wife was now living in.

The man presented documents showing that he did not in fact own the property and that it had instead been bought by his father before the couple even met. The wife insisted, meanwhile, that the man had told her the property was his and that they would live together there after the marriage. The hearing also heard that the husband had Asperger’s Syndrome and also suffered from depression.

Sitting in the Family Division, Mr Justice Coleridge said the man’s mental conditions may have led her to give the false impression that he owned the property and the wife could not be faulted for believing him. But the documents clearly showed that the husband’s father was the owner of the property and so the wife had no prospect of success.

Photo by Pat Scullion via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence

Marilyn Stowe

The senior partner at Stowe Family Law, Marilyn Stowe is one of Britain’s best known divorce lawyers with clients throughout the country, in Europe, the Far East and the USA.

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2 comments

Lukey - July 1, 2013 at 11:38pm

Wow, it just shows that some people will just try for anything…

Paul - July 3, 2013 at 11:13pm

Well, Luke, these chancers clearly believe the (rotten) system gives them hope and their greedy, venal solicitors do nothing to dispel that notion. She could have checked online with the Land Registry herself, at the miserly cost of £4, to see whether he owned the place or not. The next thing we’ll find out is that this was all carried out at public expense on legal aid.

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