How does separation and divorce affect property rights?

While separating, my brother and his wife sold their house and split the proceeds. He wants to buy again but if she divorces him will she be entitled to half the new house and his business?

Question: My brother is separating from his wife and they have sold their house and split the proceeds equally. She is going to rent a flat and he has put an offer in on another property. If she divorces him, will she then be entitled to have half of his new house and his business?
Answer: She may be entitled to make a claim in relation to any property that your brother owns and in relation to his business until matters are resolved by divorce.
If she decides to divorce your brother, the court would take into account all the circumstances of the case and, in particular, would consider the welfare of any children that your brother and his wife have who are under the age of 18.
The court has to have regard to matters such as the income, earning capacity, property and financial resources that each party has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future.
The court will also consider their financial needs and obligations; the contributions each of them has made to the welfare of the family (and is likely to make in the foreseeable future); the standard of living your brother and his wife enjoyed before their marriage broke down, and how old they are.
Your brother and his wife should try to agree a financial settlement that can be approved by the court as a consent order and would be legally binding on them, and so would provide each of them with certainty.
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If you have a question for Fiona McNulty, please email or write to Legal Solutions, Homes & Property, London Evening Standard, 2 Derry Street, W8 5EE. We regret that questions cannot be answered individually but we will try to feature them here. Fiona is legal director in the real estate group of Foot Anstey LLP in Exeter (
These answers can only be a very brief commentary on the issues raised and should not be relied on as legal advice. No liability is accepted for such reliance. If you have similar issues, you should obtain advice from a solicitor.

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