the beginnings....how scared should I be?

(29 Posts)
nosferatu Fri 30-Nov-12 18:47:53

I have basically lived in a 10 year marriage which has been awful, so my husband and I have started talking about splitting up last year and we are now on some sort of agreement that is the only way. We have two kids, 3 and 9. I have been a housewife and he is self employed with around 70K annual profit. We have 2 properties, one without a mortgage.
I have just found out some e mails he has been to solicitors and he is "not in such a bad position as he thought". He has taken me out for dinner trying to persuade him to leave him the big house we have just moved into last year ( we have a smaller flat too). I didn't agree to anything but gave him an indication I also do want it amicable and less money goes to lawyers, the better.
now he is working behind my back, I need to make first steps. i have been to CAB twice, but didn't get my turn as it is busy. I know some solicitors give 30 min free, as I am swimming in the dark at the mo, I would appreciate someone gives me some idea of what I need to do. For example; I do not work, I am desperately seeking work, but is that going to work against me?
Things like this I need to ask lawyers. But I have no idea how much things cost , so I will try and go to CAB again first, but, all my accounts are joint, and I can not pay a solicitor.
Any any advice on how much things can cost, would be appreciated, as well as is CAB advice any good? I am adamant I want the girls for majority of time because I have been a full time mum for 9 years. House is less important to me. He also has super rich brothers, and I have not a penny on my own. I have found disgusting correspondence where he is writing to all his family what a horrid bitch I am and blaming me of all things he is guilty about. They stopped contacting me with no other reason a year ago. Finding out he is playing behind my back has really upset me, so I need to go and arm myself with legal help.

Athendof Fri 30-Nov-12 22:11:18

Even if you were the horrible person he says you are, this has no bearung in the separation of assets.

My divorce was remarkably expensive, but I don't regret spending thst money in solicitors as if I had not dine so, my ex would have left DS and I totally destitute.

Get a "the Which Guide to Divorce", that could savf you thoudands of pounds in solicitor fees ( if you read the basics before instructing a solicitor. Having said that, you might be entitled to Legal Aid. i ghink that it eould be unlkely for a judge to suggest a 50/50 split of the assets, you can be given up to 75 depending on the circumstances. Bear in mjnd that if

Considering what you say, you ay have a case for a modest joing lives spousal maintenance, perhaps a Mesher order about the house. But be aware that it will be very essy for your ex to hide his real income so, if he hasnot removed his paperwork from home so far, try to have a look at his P60 and bank accounts.

olgaga Sat 01-Dec-12 12:18:36

Don't be scared. When you go to a solicitor you will find that you are in a better position than you thought too! Don't agree to anything he suggests right now. And do get good legal advice!

I have put together a details advice post but unfortunately I'm having real problems with the formatting and hyperlinks, and can't post it without going through and editing all the links each time.

I have PM'd you.

nosferatu Sat 01-Dec-12 13:36:48

thank you girls, I appreciate it very much.
All the papers are here. I can copy his statements easily. I am so so hoping it doesn't turn into a war. I really hope we resolve it as amicable as possible. We still talk and function on day to day basis.

nosferatu Sat 01-Dec-12 13:41:10

I have read about Mesher orders but I have a problem with that- as I have no income, I stand no chance of paying the bills here even if he was to cover the mortgage. it is a big house with expensive bills.

nosferatu Sat 01-Dec-12 13:41:47

olgaga thank you so much- you must be in the profession! x

Springhasarrived Sat 01-Dec-12 14:08:39

Firstly do not be scared at all. There is a lot of support out there, from the most surprising sources.

I am a long way down the road on this (going to 2nd financial hearing very soon) and that has several similarities to yours so hear are my thoughts.

Step 1 is to get a good solicitor.(see Olgaga's advice and also try word of mouth. Nothing better than a solicitor who comes with a personal recommendation.) Dont let anyone frighten you about what you might or might not get on or off these boards. Every situation is different but rest assured you will be well supported by the law. Dont even think as far ahead as Mesher orders and the like. That will come in time. I thoroughly recommend that Which? Gude to Divorce too.

Step 2 is to now regard this man as the enemy and everything he does with suspicion. You can worry about a good relationship post divorce for the DC's sake after the divorce has happened not whilst he is trying to bamboozle you into agreeing to stuff you shouldnt agree to.

The best general advice I can give you from my experience is to take one day at a time. You are at the start of a very long hard process and worrying about next week, next year etc does not help. Keep you children happy and be kind to yourself. Dig in for the long haul.

With regard to the job, it would be a good idea to continue to look for one as it is very distracting but dont push yourself too hard. I got very downhearted when I didnt get a job I was expecting to get and it set me back a lot. Ultimately you will be expected to find some work but dont make it the be all and end all in the early stages when you are still reeling from the shock.

Athendof Sat 01-Dec-12 18:19:27

The mesher order can be a good or a bad thing. I was very sad when I didn't get one but I now know that it was for the best.

The bills may look unsurmountable if you are not working, but if you find a job for at least 16 hrs a week you may get enough in tax credits to manage.

I fought for the house big time. I think that it was worth it. Yes I do have a mortgage to pay but knowing that I could rent a room, rent it in the future, or sell it if needs be, it is very reassuring.

Things I would have liked someone to tell me at the time of the split:
- make an appointment with the lone parent advisor at the job centre. They can calculate your entitlement to benefits (including legal aid) and let you know of other schemes that may help you during this difficult time.
- get to the benefits calculator in entitledto.org.uk, that was very reassuring!!!
- get a job, any job. If you are working, no matter how badly paid a job is, you are entitled to other benefits and some of those include help to pay for childcare expenses. It may also distract you from all the drama and will give some blessed routine to your weeks and remove some of the financial worries.

And even if you don't get a job, it is worth it to keep applying and to keep a record of all applications. When my ex claimed at court that I could have a good salary and was not working out of choice, showing the record of my job applications to the judge really swayed the judge in my favour.

SlinkyPebbles Sat 01-Dec-12 19:30:06

Get those emails printed out and stored at your solicitor's too.

olgaga Sat 01-Dec-12 20:03:51

Hi nosferatu I'm not in the profession, but I have a dear friend who is 18 months into a really nasty split. I have done tons of research and drafting for her, and share it here wherever I can. I am happy to help anyone in a similar situation! I do feel for you.

The future might look bleak right now and it's perfectly understandable to feel that way. However, you'll get loads of help here, and there's lots of help outside too once you know where it is and how to access it.

You've definitely come to the right place, take heart.

Athendof Sat 01-Dec-12 22:16:23

I think I have the record of the longest separation of assets dispute in the whole county, it took several years. I came out of that with a lot of knowledge (and a lot of bitterness) and have helped 3 other people through their divorce process, but as somebody pointed above, all cases are different and much depends on the impression you and your solicitor make on the judge.

Every process has a lot of little battles, neither party wins the war. The trick is to chose the battles wisely, and avoid getting into those whose cost of battling is considerably higher than what you can get out of it sad

olgaga Sat 01-Dec-12 23:08:14

Athendof what you say about choosing your battles is so true. What's needed is an "intelligent friend", someone who can help you through the crap in an objective way - which is what everyone imagines a solicitor will do. However, some are a lot better than others!

Athendof Sun 02-Dec-12 11:03:44

I think I was lucky in having one of those solicitors, but I could also see that when you are angry, the tactful comments of the solicitor can easily be ignored or overlooked, or even be seen as if the solicitor is against you.

I think the main thing is that divorce processes are not about apportioning blame or make the other pay for bad behaviour. They are simply about spliting the money in a way that both parties can go ahead with their lives without going into huge financial difficulties, at the end of the day the pot of money/assets available is the same but now there would be teice the expenses.

With regards to the children, I wish someone could say that children are not like money, the goal is to take a step back and ensure that whatever is done is done putting their best iinterests first (which doesn't mean let a little child make decisions that have a huge impact on his life at a time they cannot even comprehend the problems and consequences of their wishes) and most importantly to try to protect the communication between both parents as that is the only way that you can parent a child presenting a united front after separation. The sooner this is sorted the better.

Athendof Sun 02-Dec-12 11:18:07

Ps. And when you consider the cost of a battle before embarking on it, consider also the associated emotional cost, sometimes is better to give up rather than ruining your life by having to carry a lot of bitterness with you for the rest of your life. Protect your emotional being, on that depends how good is your life can be rebuilt once the divorce process is behind you.

Mothercathy1973 Sun 02-Dec-12 12:31:42

I'm just in the process of sorting out my divorce settlement. After getting divorced nearly 5 years I've finally come round to selling the house. My ex h cheated on me whilst pregnant twice. I finally got the courage to end the marriage as he was very controlling. I have since met someone is wonderful and we are planning a new life together. My ex is adamant he will get 50 percent of the house. He still tried to control me now and is very manipulating. I will get easier. Tiny steps first. Get the right advise as knowledge is power. Find a solicitor who gives a free consultation. Your ex will spit his dummy. Be prepared, be strong.

nosferatu Sun 02-Dec-12 17:38:07

Thank you so so much I will let you know with the progress!
Today we both went to theatre with kids and if you were too look at us from outside, we seem a normal family. It is the hard part, knowing that we can turn and we likely will turn into enemies over some things at least. Being under the same roof is really really hard , knowing it will end and thing are done behind my back. I nee to see him family for x mas but they haven't spoken to me for a year because of bad press he has given me. it is all horrible!

PS Has any of you felt that you stayed in your rotten marriage longer because you thought no one is truly happy and that grass is not greener over there? Like, you stick to the devil you know because you think you will meet an A**hole? It is this passivity and also financial stability that effectively stole 9 years of my life. I am a young attractive woman and I am so stuck with this thinking since I lost my career. But you are right, I am going to apply for few jobs but it i snot a burning issue. I have applied for 100 so far the court can see it.

fortyplus Sun 02-Dec-12 17:42:28

Hi - I'll keep an eye on this as I recently left dh - which I thought was a fairly mutual decision but it seems he holds me entirely to blame. Everything would've been fine if I had changed... hmm

nosferatu Mon 03-Dec-12 19:11:58

ah yes, I am to blame too. snap.

nosferatu Sun 09-Dec-12 21:33:00

I have just received a threat that If I do not turn up at the mediation appointment at his solicitors, he will screw me up and I will receive a letter.
Can he do such thing?
I am still stuck as I have no money on my own- I am going to try CAB this week again and if not then I have no idea how to afford one. All the money is his.

nosferatu Sun 09-Dec-12 21:35:36

also does it make a lot of difference who files for divorce? Should I get in there first?

Athendof Mon 10-Dec-12 01:44:19

I don't think it does, really. The divorce is a separate process from that of the separation of assetts and the arrangements for tge care of children. It doesn't matter I would say.

One impotmrtant thing with solicitor letters. read them, put them away for a couple if days, read them again and then start working in a reply. There is nothing worse than answering one with a hot head.

With time you will learn that solicitors letters are just letters written in fanciful language by some very expensive hand. They do reflect only the views of your ex. Forget about trying to convince your and his solicitor that the other one is in the wrong. It doesn't matter, most of ghese letters won't even be checked by court.

nosferatu Tue 11-Dec-12 18:12:18

ah, i haven't realised that sort of letters exist, what is the purpose? persuasion?

Athendof Wed 12-Dec-12 20:29:47

Meant to say "these" letters, not 'ghese" letters... I need to stop using my phone to post...

The purpose of the letters is to get to an agreement on something, although they are often used to intimidate the other part. ie. My ex used to send letters in the likes of "if you don't do x by y date, I'm taking serious steps to (fill the blank).

At some point I realised he had no way to enforce the threats as nobody could force me to do things as he wished, particularly if his requests were bang out of order.

senorita02 Thu 03-Jan-13 22:08:04

yeap, in the same boat too!
PM me please wanna know how did you get on?

New Year, New You only Stronger!

Milly22 Mon 07-Jan-13 20:10:15

Is his business a limited company? If so then you can get company information, accounts and annual returns etc from their website.

Milly22 Mon 07-Jan-13 20:14:48

Sorry, meant to say get his company information from Companies House website, www.companieshouse.gov.uk

DgrMse Tue 15-Jan-13 19:35:01

Hi, just been reading through these posts -olgaga can you let me have a look at the documents you drafted too? I'm just starting down this road and any advice/help you can offer would be great. I don't want to make things more difficult than they need be but do want what I'm entitled to. Difficulty is my husband has control of the finances and is very secretive about them but guess he'll have to produce documentary evidence at some point?? If you are willing to share the documents that would be a great start. Thanks and good luck to everyone.

nosferatu Wed 30-Jan-13 19:06:08

Senorita I am still in the same situation. No progress either side. My husband wants me to go to his solicitor with him so we can sort it all "amicably" and with no conflict. I haven't agreed to it but I can see the point. I am still trying to come to terms it will have to happen.

senorita02 Wed 30-Jan-13 19:55:59

I have only had the 1st letter from his solicitor stating DH's intentions in dec. Last week i have seen the D petition in his bag which was basically asking for his signature to be submitted to court for further action. Meanwhile, DH agreeing to go out on a date with me for one last time than he took my payslip and denied that he had it and then i forced it out of him and he gave it back. DH texted me to say sorry for taking my salary slip but said he was angry at that time but his anger has turned to sadness. I am hoping for miracle! If there is still any sparkle left with us i hope it lights up pretty soon or else i will be loosing the love of my life! sad sad sad.

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