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Probably separating from husband - would appreciate help on where to go from here?

(20 Posts)
smileyhappymum Sat 10-Mar-12 15:57:09

I'm new here, and registered for some advice and also support from others who are or have been through separation and divorce.

Background: Married for 5 years. I have two young children - 3 and 7 months. We have a mortgage, in both names, but paid for by him because he works and I'm a stay / work at home mum. I'm registered self employed and get maternity allowance at the moment, but this will end when the youngest is 9 months.

Once we decide to separate (we haven't had the conversation yet but it's inevitable) what should I do first? Or is there anything I should do now, even before a final decision is made? He's told me that the kids and I will have to leave the house (I only contributed a few £k to buy it) - is this right? I don't want to stay in the house really, but at the same time I do have to think of the children, eg. the eldest is at pre school nearby and is still in the settling in stage. Do I definitely need a divorce lawyer? And does this cost? Or if we can agree things between ourselves, can we do it online? What if he wants custody of the children? Do I have any rights, since I've been a the main carer for most of the time and I'm still breast feeding the youngest?

I'm also concerned about how I'll financially support me and the kids as a single parent. When I worked freelance at home, I only managed to get a few projects. Now the situation is even more challenging because my youngest won't take bottle/cup/formula, which will make it difficult to go to networking events to find business and also to attend any briefing meetings, should I actually get given some projects. Would I be entitled to any government help, even though I'd have to be honest and say I wouldn't be able to apply for a job (for reasons relating to baby above)?

As you can see, I don't have a clue so any help gratefully received.

ThisIsNotMyLife Sat 10-Mar-12 16:05:41

You need a solicitor. I wouldn't leave the house either. Look at it this way; it's primarily a family home so the family, ie the kids, stay in it. Whichever parent is going to do most of the parenting stays with them.

Boston2Step Sat 10-Mar-12 16:11:32

50/50 residency is becoming more common now... Is this what he's likely to want?

Also, as far as benefits are concerned, you could claim income support, but your work would have to atop. Unless you carry on with work and claim wtc.

Boston2Step Sat 10-Mar-12 16:11:47

*stop

FreckledLeopard Sat 10-Mar-12 16:41:38

Is the house in both your names? And as joint tenants or tenants in common?

I wouldn't worry about who's paid the mortgage - there is no automatic presumption that you will need to move out. Stay put, get legal advice.

smileyhappymum Mon 12-Mar-12 20:29:50

Thank you everyone. It's in both our names, but I don't know any more than that. Will try and find out. Thank you.

SnapSnafu Mon 12-Mar-12 20:33:34

Have a look on www.adviceguide.co.uk - it's the CAB website and has lots to say about relationships breaking up.

bumbums Mon 12-Mar-12 20:47:05

I asked this question not so long ago on here and advice I was given was to book an appointment with a solicitor. The first half hour or appointment is usually free. To this appointment it would be useful to bring as much financial info as possible. Mortgage agreement, bank statements, Pay slips, house hold bills.
He will have to pay 25% of his salary for each child and you'll get benifits. The house will probably be sold and you'll split what ever is left after paying the bank back.
I would urge you both to have marraige counselling first before deciding to divorce. You owe it to your kids to try your best to make your marraige better. If there really is no hope then I wish you luck.

AllQuietOnThePippisFront Tue 13-Mar-12 19:45:35

checking in for later...

Smum99 Tue 13-Mar-12 19:51:48

On the housing situation - is there a possibility that the house could be sold so that you could release equity that could be used to buy separate houses?

Your dc's are very young so it's likely that contact with their dad is during the week and every other weekend but as the children get older it is in their interests to see both parents on a regular basis. Your H will need to find a property so that the dc's have a home with both mum and dad.

Not sure what the issues are and if the marriage has definitely ended but it would be worth trying counselling before separation.

izzyizin Wed 14-Mar-12 00:34:58

What your h has told you is wrong; you will not necessarily have to leave the marital home nor will it necessarily have to be sold.

What bumbums has told you is also wrong; it is highly unlikely that your h will be required to pay 25% of his salary for each child - i.e. hand over 50% of his salary to support his 2 dc - and, given your self-employed status, your entitlement to certain benefits may not be automatic.

Whether or not you are able to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement with your h and proceed to divorce online for relatively little cost, you very definitely need a divorce lawyer to appraise you in person of your legal rights and entitlements. It's possible that you may be eligible for legal aid but, if not, a solicitor may advise you to ask the Court for costs to be paid by your h when/if you file for divorce.

If you cannot solicit a personal recommendation from friends/family, visit www.womensaid.org and search for your nearest branch. Give them a call and ask them to point you in the directon of solicitors who specialise in divorce and family law and who offer a free half an hour initial consultation.

Although the Divorce Courts process many thousands of divorces each year, every case is different. As you have dc it is particularly important that you seek professional legal advice specific to your circumstances as any advice given here can only be general and cannot be taken as gospel.

treadwarily Wed 14-Mar-12 00:55:30

That advice guide is a really good place to start.

All the best to you, tough time xx

mumblechum1 Wed 14-Mar-12 01:16:25

Hi, I'm a family lawyer and my first bit of advice is to get this thread shifted over to Legal, where there's an active coven of family solicitors and barristers (BabyBarrister, MumOverseas, Collaborate, Prh47 Bridge, STIDW et al).

2nd bit of advice, find out whether you're entitled to public funding by doing the online eligibility calculator on the Legal Services Commission website.

3rd, find a local family specialist lawyer on www.resolution.org.uk. Once you know whether you're entitled to public funding aka legal aid, you can choose the right lawyer for your free meeting. Lots don't do public funding any longer.

4th start to collate documentary evidence inc. your accounts for the last 3 years, your bank statements for all accounts for the last 1 yr, get 3 valuations of the house, a mortgage statement and any other stuff you think may be relevant. Do a list of the joint assets, your own, and your husbands assets inc pensions, savings etc.
Use this list as a brief pointer to help your lawyer understand the financial situ in short period at your free half hour mtg.

5th see if your husband will agree to go to mediation. This isn't an absolute requirement but is encouraged by the courts and can be a useful and cost effective way of sorting out the finances.

Do not, under any circumstances leave the house or indicate to your husband that you will do so. The only exception is if you are in immediate physical danger and even then you should immediately go to your lawyer for help in obtaining a restraining order/injunction. It may well be possible to get the house transferred into your sole name either altogether, or with a charge back to your husband when your children have grown up. This is less usual where the children are small, but at worst, you are likely to receive more than half of the sale proceeds assuming that your income is significantly less than your husband's.

rockinhippy Wed 14-Mar-12 01:23:00

Here is meant to be a good site for free divorce advice - forums as here, but dedicated to legalities

good luck

AllQuietOnThePippisFront Wed 14-Mar-12 07:41:06

Mumblechum may i ask you, what is so bad about leaving the marital home? (not in a running away sort of way but in a verbally agreed one?)

mumblechum1 Wed 14-Mar-12 07:52:50

Because once you've got a rental sorted out (often at a rock bottom rent for somewhere not equivalent to the marital home), it's easy for the other side to say that your housing needs are met and so you don't get as much as you would normally expect.

Also if a sale is inevitable but the OP moves out early, she may find the husband drags his feet to sell the property as he's sitting comfortably, meanwhile the OP can't get her share of the equity. It's not at all uncommon for the resident partner to not make any effort at all to sell, get it ready for viewings, be available to the estate agents etc, and the estate agents have a bad habit of not keeping the person who's moved out informed of offers etc.

AllQuietOnThePippisFront Wed 14-Mar-12 08:18:08

Yes it makes super sense. I am just so naive on the ways people will behave after a split...sad. Thanks.

Divorcedand2teenDDs Wed 14-Mar-12 21:27:32

I can't give legal advice but on the emotional side I would say think about who your friends are as you will need support; practical and emotional. When my ex h left me out of the blue after 24+yrs my women friends were absolutely amazing. However ok you feel there will be some tough times ahead. Strangely the most useful book for understanding my varying emotions was actually about bereavement (On Grief and Grieving by Elisabeth Kubla-Ross). Good luck. Life will be better in the end and right now doesn't last forever.

smileyhappymum Mon 09-Nov-15 12:09:11

Oh dear, it's 2015 and I'm back ... and still in the same situation as I was in 2012, except my children are older, have been subjected to an awful atmosphere and I'm definitely leaving my husband.

I'm so sorry for not coming back and thanking you all for the advice three years ago. I think the law and the way divorce is handled in the courts has probably changed but mumblechum1 I think your advice and support links still stand so I'm going to start working through that list.

JessicaLuis232 Sat 03-Sep-16 07:41:14

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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