I'm becoming increasingly desperate within my marriage (6.5 yrs, DS is ten months), and want to divorce my husband but am feeling hopelessly trapped as I'm a 'Stay at Home Mum' with a ten month old baby and am completely financially dependant on my husband.
I was working for him before I had my baby, and want to go back to work (not for him obviously) at some stage down the line when DS is older, but I feel at the moment that he is too young to be left without me and I want to remain his primary care giver. The reasons for our marriage having fallen apart are too endless to go into now but I have consulted a solicitor who says I have grounds for a divorce citing DH's unreasonable behaviour. My biggest concern is of course the welfare of my son but second to that is money - I have none and am at this point entirely financially dependant on DH. He is unhappy in our marriage and we have discussed the possibility of divorcing but he is adamant that he will only give me and our son as much as he is made to do and I know it will be a battle to get anything out of him at all. DH is South African and I actually think it very likely he will pack up and leave the UK altogether so as to avoid paying anything at all towards our son so I feel I must plan on the assumption that DH will give me nothing. As I said, I want to work and provide for my son but I can't see it being possible until he is in nursery.
I have supportive parents but they, whilst being very sympathetic, ultimately think I should just put up and shut up and that my doing so would be best for our son. I know this probably sounds so selfish but I just can't tolerate being in this marriage any more and the thought of being financially worse off doesn't deter me but I'm scared of what the future holds for me and my son and what will happen. I can't stay with my parents as they just don't have the space for us, so I would immediately have to find somewhere to stay once I file for divorce (as DH wouldn't move out of our (rented BTW) home), and I have no idea how I would begin to pay the legal fees anyway.
I just feel so trapped and so desperate and would be so grateful for some advice from anyone who has been through this.
I'm sorry you are in this situation. I can pass on what I have found out. Divorce for you as petitioner costs £1255 (inc VAT and court fee) from a private law firm. If you have under £8000 savings you may get Legal Aid, which may need to be repaid if you gain financially from the final settlement. If your (by then) ex-H by has left without paying you, presumably you wouldn't need to pay it back. I would ask a Legal Aid Specialist to assess your finances and advise. And I would go to a Welfare Benefits advisor/CAB for broader advice on housing and other benefits. The hardest time is feeling scared and stuck, dependent. Arm yourself with information, (a lot you can get online) and start building up a picture of what you are aiming for, where you could afford to live...If you have to rent in the private sector in a less than ideal place for the first few years, when you are earning again you can get a mortgage, perhaps buy a place with a spare room to rent for extra income. If your income then is limited but about £12 000 you could still buy a shared ownership place. You would qualify being a single parent. The first leap will be the hardest as there is usually a delay in benefits being paid, so any loan you can get would be helpful for that bit. Would you share with another parent and child if you saw an ad for that? Might be cheaper. I am sending you all good wishes.
I ended up on income support and housing benefit for a short while when my marriage collapsed. It is an existence but can be tough at times to make ends meet. My ExH lost his job at the time and gave me nothing.
I'm now back at work, kids in school and I'm so glad we're no longer together.
See the CAB, start in investigating. You will be ok, even if it's tough for a while.
Thank you so much for your replies! I will call the CAB on Monday. I really appreciate your thoughts so much, thank you. It's very reassuring to hear from those who have managed to get through it and come out the other side x