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How to get divorced and sort finances if stbxh won't answer letters

(18 Posts)
LastLeaf Fri 04-Nov-16 09:48:39

As per title.

Stbxh doesn't open any mail. He is in a rehabilitation unit voluntarily and is self funding. There is no mental health diagnosis but he spends all day in bed refusing to engage with anybody. He will most likely be discharged from this facility in the next month or so as he refuses to engage in any treatment or therapy. We have been separated for 4years.
What do I do?

Arfarfanarf Fri 04-Nov-16 09:50:23

Talk to your solictitor. It is possible to proceed even if the other party is absent or refuses to engage. It's just longer and more costly.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Fri 04-Nov-16 09:51:43

I believe if you can't serve him papers, you have to wait until you've been separated for five years and can divorce without requiring anything from him.

That said, I'm not sure he needs to open or respond to the papers - have you tried to serve him, if you know where he is?

The financial settlement may be more difficult and I expect you'll need a solicitor if he refuses to engage; and the court will have to decide.

LastLeaf Fri 04-Nov-16 09:55:38

Thanks for replying.

I can't afford a solicitor.

The financial situation is what I need sorted - he has 150k in his bank from the sale of our family home and is spending that at a rapid rate to stay in hospital.

Arfarfanarf Fri 04-Nov-16 10:23:50

Have you tried asking at the cab?
Im not sure if you'd be able to freeze bank accounts or whether because it's medical care he'd be required to pay it regardless.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Fri 04-Nov-16 11:39:30

Is it a joint account, or just his?

I really think you're going to need legal advice for this. Did you authorise the money from the sale going into his account?

CAB as a priority if a solicitor really isn't an option but I'd try and find one that will accept payment from your share of the family home. It'll mean you get less but at the moment, you risk getting nothing.

If it's a joint account, freeze it now.

LastLeaf Fri 04-Nov-16 13:06:53

Am going to try CAB this afternoon. The money from the house (house was solely in his name) is in his own account (the house was repossessed)
We do have a joint account with a couple of thousand in but he put a stop on it.

On the plus side I heard from CMS and they are taking £7 a week out of his benefits for maintenance for our 2dc.

MooseBeTimeForSnow Fri 04-Nov-16 13:20:42

Doesn't sound right. How did he manage to get money from the house if it was repossessed? It would have gone to the lender.

MooseBeTimeForSnow Fri 04-Nov-16 13:27:30

You need to start divorce proceedings. Can you visit him? If you can personally hand the papers over to him, even if he does nothing with them, the divorce should be able to proceed. You can ask the Court for an order for the account to be frozen but you need the precise details - which bank, account number etc.
If you can't afford the fees you should be eligible for an exemption. Go to the Court Office and ask for the forms. You can also get them online www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/537215/ex160-eng.pdf

LastLeaf Fri 04-Nov-16 13:33:18

Moose It is right. I spoke to the lender. There was a lot of equity in the house, quite a small mortgage and their fees for repossessing aren't actually that much. They said the proceeds would be kept with a solicitor or court (can't remember which) but obviously he could get it quite easily. Obviously the lender only talked about it in general terms and not this specific case because I wasn't on the mortgage.

I visited him yesterday and he pretends he doesn't know me but slips up every now and then whilst we talk.

Can't get through to CAB.

KickAssAngel Fri 04-Nov-16 13:42:11

I have no idea if this would work, but could you get power of attorney granted as you're still legally married? Then you could take control of the finances.

Even if you can't do it (or it would be too expensive or slow to make it worthwhile) then could you TELL him that you're going to do it. If he isn't really ill (it sounds like you suspect he is acting ill just to spend all the money and prevent you from getting it) then that might make him change his behavior.

LastLeaf Fri 04-Nov-16 13:49:30

Kick I doubt it as he has capacity. He isn't spending any of his money apart from the nearly £1k a week to stay in hospital. He has just closed himself off from the world. I am going to see him again soon - the nurse is hoping that by me pushing him it might spark something off inside him. Otherwise he is getting to end up in a b&b with nobody to look out for him and then what happens when his money runs out?

KickAssAngel Fri 04-Nov-16 14:21:40

If he's not responding, whether by choice or medical cause, doesn't that mean a lack of capacity. I'm just wondering if you can use the idea of power of attorney to call his bluff.

LastLeaf Fri 04-Nov-16 16:09:02

Kick His nurse says he still has capacity. It is all such a mess.Will keep trying to get through to CAB and also have been trying the courts. Thanks

Alorsmum Mon 07-Nov-16 07:38:14

You need to use divorce proceedings. If he won't consent to 2 years separation do it on unreasonable behaviour as he can't defend it. And then a Form A to issue financial proceedings ASAP
You really should beg borrow money to pay a lawyer so that equity doesn't all disappear. Ask about litigation funding.

Alorsmum Mon 07-Nov-16 07:39:07

You're not going to be granted powers over his affairs even if he doesn't have capacity. Total conflict of interest as ex wife.

DelphiniumBlue Mon 07-Nov-16 07:47:58

How is he claiming benefits if he has that much in the bank?
Anyway, you can ask for divorce papetrs to be served professionally ( unreasonable behaviour) and ask for an order to freeze the funds.
You do need to act quickly - get down to the court and ask for their help.

LastLeaf Mon 07-Nov-16 13:21:59

Thanks both for your advice.

Delphinium Re the benefits sometimes it doesn't matter how much one has in savings - it depends which benefit is being claimed.

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