I've seen a good family lawyer this morning and acquired some very useful information regarding the financial side of the divorce in my situation. It's certain that we all have our own unique cases but I hope mine can at least shine some lights into your situations.
Here's a quick outline of my case, which I'll skip the irrelevant problems but only concentrate on the financial side of my marriage. H has been successful with his own company with approximately 6-7k each month after tax. We have no joint account, and I have so access to his finance. He took advantage of my limited knowledge of UK law from the start as we met a year after I came to London from China, when he told me that people don't discuss salaries even within families in this country. We bought a house after marriage, which I contributed 40% of the deposit; however, the house was under his sole name as he told me that it worked better that way. He put his mother as the benefactor of his pension, and the child benefit of our DD is under his name as well. I am currently unemployed.
The lawyer was a bit shocked on hearing my case, given his over 20 years experience in the field, less than a dozen of Hs had done so. His advice to me, the most important one is, as soon as I made my decision of starting the divorce process, before doing anything else, I should claim my right over the house. Custody shouldn't be a problem but he did tell me to make sure the working hours of my next employment (I only started to work as a temp from last Sept and stopped last week) can fit around the childcare. The reason behind that is, as H is self-employed, he could argue on court that his work is flexible in terms of childcare. So, to strengthen my position as the primary carer, which he didn't think it would be a potential problem at all, I should file for divorce when unemployed or working part-time. Another thing he assured me was, regarding my worry of H hiding income, it's simply not that easy. The child maintenance is statutory while the only thing he could fight over is the spouse maintenance. He could rent a luxury flat, for instance, to reduce his remaining salary each month, which is the pot for spouse maintenance to be generated from.
According to him, the primary concern of the court will be putting a roof over me and DD's heads. He said, given my situation, it's likely that we would be able to stay in the house and H would have to keep paying the mortgage for a certain period time. The length of such situation would be negotiable. This is not certain but it is for me the best outcome I would hope for.
I feel quite happy with lawyer since the information he provided was much more comprehensive than the one I saw last time. I would like to hear your opinions as well...