03 April 2013
Family Lawyer Caroline Harvey on the division of property and possessions in Divorce proceedings
“WOMAN YOU STRIPPED THIS HOUSE BARE I PROVED YOU A LIAR IN COURT YOUR GETTING **** ALL” This is the sign that 45 year old truck driver Robin Baker made and hung from his front bedroom window. The article was published in the Daily Mail on 1st April, but this was no April Fool.
It seems the wife of Mr Baker from who he has been Separated from for almost a year has ‘raided’ the house and removed all the house contents without Mr Baker’s knowledge or consent. His reaction was to display the message in full view of his street.
Mrs Baker has stated she will be meeting Mr Baker in Court shortly for the Divorce to be proceeded with and for a financial resolution to be reached. It seems therefore that Mr Baker will have no option but to share the Matrimonial Assets as both he and Mrs Baker will have to disclose their assets, liabilities, income and outgoings so that the Court can not only gauge their present and future needs but what is fair and why.
No doubt Mr Baker will adopt his stance of wanting the property repossessed but the Court are not likely to favour this route, and can and will order both parties or the party able to, to pay the mortgage until the house sells or it can be transferred to one or other of them. It is only in the event of neither party being in a position to pay the mortgage that it is likely it would be repossessed, and if it was put on the market for sale (assuming neither of them could take it on) then the Court may only make a suspended order pending sale, much depends on the equity in the house and if there are arrears due and owing on the mortgage account. It is therefore not correct to say that Mr Baker can decide who gets what. As far as the belongings that were taken without agreement – Mr Baker should roughly value these, giving second hand value not new for old and deduct his share from any lump sum his wife is to receive, both parties are entitled to share the household contents.
Mrs Baker should not have entered the property (despite an assumption of joint ownership) whilst Mr Baker was living there and helped herself to ALL the contents as this was bound to cause trouble with Mr Baker who was living there. What has happened now is that both parties are more ‘fired up’ and it will be harder to reach an amicable conclusion before or during court proceedings, making the process possibly longer and more expensive.
By Divorce Solicitor Caroline Harvey.
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