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I've told DH I want to separate, what do I say/do next?

(37 Posts)
OhThisIsJustGrape Tue 11-Dec-12 16:28:35

Long history but things really came to a head this weekend and that's it, I've had enough.

Told him this morning that I want him to leave after Christmas - I am not putting the kids through it before then. He told me I was going to be responsible for blowing the kids world apart which I really didn't need telling - they are the only reason I have stuck it out with him for as long as I have. It's the only part that is breaking my heart.

Anyway, practicalities. I know he will want to talk when he gets home tonight. He will ask all sorts of clever questions such as how will I support myself, how will I afford x, y, z. How he will pay maintenance for the kids but I won't get any extra out of him. We've been here many times before and he just laughs at me and says I could never survive without him financially.

I'm a SAHM, no qualifications. He runs his own, £1million+ a year turnover business which I am not a partner or anything in. We own our house, smallish mortgage but still too big for me to ever have any hope of taking over on my own. Reasonable amount of equity but not enough to buy two houses out of.

4DCs, youngest is only 2 so would need to pay childcare if I was to go out to work.

Please help me by telling me what I can say when he comes out with all these questions so he can't belittle me. I need to be strong and not back down and I cannot have him think I won't survive without him.

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Tue 11-Dec-12 16:34:28

Tell him that you are not discussing it with him and he will be hearing from your solicitor. Go and see a solicitor as soon as possible. Do not listen to your H if he says it can 'all be sorted out amicably' as this is what men say when they intend to shaft you in a divorce. You are married, and you have children - a court is likely to rule that you and the DC remain in the family home and the H moves out and they can and will enforce this.

I think you may benefit from a chat with Women's Aid as well as your post implies that this man is psychologically abusive and possibly financially abusive as well - he laughs at you, belittles you and, by the sound of it, keeps you short of money.

You have every right to leave him and he is legally obliged to contribute to the DC's upbringing. Before he gets home, see what you can lay hands on by way of bank statements etc - printouts of online banking, and put copies in a safe place. Abusive men often start trying to hide money if they think their wives are trying to escape their control.

AlexanderS Tue 11-Dec-12 16:38:26

The Gingerbread website has lots pf practical advice for single parents.

If I were you I would try not to get into a discussion about finances with him. I mean, it's none of his business now, is it? As long as you don't neglect your kids when you've got custody of them because you've got no money for food or something. And it's going to take you a while to get it all figured out anyway. Tell him to get stuffed. All he needs to know is that you've made up your mind to leave.

OhThisIsJustGrape Tue 11-Dec-12 16:38:47

Thank you. I can't access any of his financial affairs as he just pays a set amount into our joint account each week. Fwiw I don't think he has thousands squirrelled away.

I do want to talk to him, I feel I owe him that at least. I'm hoping things can be amicable between us, I don't hate him but he will be very angry and that is the sort of stuff he spouts when he's angry.

AlexanderS Tue 11-Dec-12 16:39:40

Sorry, lots of.

AlexanderS Tue 11-Dec-12 16:42:40

If he gets angry it's not your fault. You are not responsible for his feelings. It's up to him whether or not to respond reasonably and so ensure the split is amicable. You owe him jack.

OhThisIsJustGrape Tue 11-Dec-12 17:13:11

He won't be reasonable, he'd happily stay in the relationship forever if it meant he could come home to his children every night.

I feel sick at the thought of him coming home tonight sad

TalkativeJim Tue 11-Dec-12 17:25:33

Say you don't want to discuss anything right now and aren't going to.

Then find a solicitor who will a. accept payment once you get a settlement and b. will go for spousal maintenance.

You are a SAHM with no qualifications BECAUSE YOU'VE STAYED AT HOME TO RAISE THE CHILDREN... SO THAT HE HASN'T HAD TO.

He will support the children, but not you? Implying that the money he earns is somehow 'all his' and not family money, because he is the one going out to work?

Well by that logic, the children should be 'all yours' and him never get to see them again after the divorce, because they were the equivalent 'job' that YOU did. Right? smile

Exactly.

Family children, which he will still see and have a relationship with after the divorce despite him never having put in the hours you did and sacrifice career and pension to do so.

Family money, which you are still entitled to share so that you can both live post divorce, despite you never having gone into his office to earn it.

Talk to Women's Aid. Go to every lawyer in your area for a free half hour, as once you've done that, none of them can act for him smile

You should be able to get spousal maintenance until you retrain or the children are X age (you jointly agreed you should stay home with them until they were in school, yes?) and more than 50% of your joint assets as primary carer. You should be able to stay in the house until the youngest is 18.

AND YOUR HUSBAND KNOWS THIS... which is why he's desperate not to split.

Good luck smile

OhThisIsJustGrape Tue 11-Dec-12 17:38:55

Thank you Jim, that is really useful advice.

One of the things that worries me is that long term I wouldn't be able to afford to run the house. Even if he paid the mortgage it's a large house and utilities bills are a small fortune. However, if he bought me
Out - which he would do, he wouldn't want to sell as its next door to MIL - my share of the equity wouldn't be enough to buy somewhere else. However, having that amount in savings would leave me over the threshold to claim benefits. I know this sounds wrong but I feel as though I will come out of this marriage - in which I have done all the child raising etc alone - with nothing and will en up living off that lump
Sum whilst he effectively gets to keep the house. No way round it I know but it seems so unfair.

likeatonneofbricks Tue 11-Dec-12 17:43:26

OP, he is obliged by law to support you, not just dc after divorce. Even a spise without dc would be supported UNLESS she works and earns a good salasry. It will be either a lump sum or monthly maintenance based on how much you were getting from him during the marriage. The longer your marriage has been the more you will get. If you start a job the amount may be adjusted later, and if you get re-married maintenance to you personally will stop - some women opt for the lump sum for these reasons.

As to the house - if it's really large ge may have a clain to splitting it but then you will still have more than 50% share to house FOUR dc! it's not entirely reasonable to lleave him homeless so it's likely you'll have to move. you get another house out of the sale, and he gets a flat or if he wants another mortgage then it's his issue.

likeatonneofbricks Tue 11-Dec-12 17:46:09

OP talk to a lawyer - there aer finer points that you really can't be knowledgeable about but you aer in very good position, being with 4dc and no job. As i say (even if he buys you out of the house) he will still have to support you or pay ANOTHER big lump sum if you don't go for monthly manitenance.

OhThisIsJustGrape Tue 11-Dec-12 18:04:50

Sorry, can you clarify what you mean about having more than 50% share to house four kids? Do you mean my share of the equity if he bought me out? Would he have to give me enough of it to buy somewhere else? There is about £140k of equity so I would need all of that to buy somewhere big enough (and would need to move to a cheaper area).

gettingeasier Tue 11-Dec-12 18:17:34

OP you need to talk to a lawyer. There are no hard and fast rules in divorce each and every case is considered on individual merit.

As likeatonne said though you will probably be in a better position than you or he realises

My advice will be to listen to his rhetoric about how you wont be able to manage without him etc and not waste time arguing the toss with him.

The law is the law and doubtless like so many before him he will thinks hes above the law or it somehow doesnt apply to him , let the lawyers break the news to him.

As an aside make sure you get a family law specialist

gettingeasier Tue 11-Dec-12 18:24:20

In answer to your OP just stick to the simple fact that as far as you are concerned the marriage is over. Everything else will follow on from that and at this stage your concern is managing the split as amicably as possible with your DCs as a paramount concern.

Having gone through this myself I would say try not to get drawn in to tirades about you ruining the DCs lives or how he'll never give you a penny. They are just thoughts in his head not reality

TalkativeJim Tue 11-Dec-12 19:44:38

But you won't just be entitled to the equity- you'd be entitled to more than 50% of the value of the whole house - so he'd probably have no choice but to sell. That would be (hopefully) enough for you to buy a smaller place outright. Ok, children would have to share rooms, but then you'd have fewer running costs etc.

You would probably be looking at a situation where you negotiated spousal support whilst you retrained for a period of x years, or possibly support full stop unles you remarried. Seriously, he has no choice in this. The reason you don't have the means to support yourself now is because you sacrificed getting those skills so his career could take precedence. The law recognises that.

As far as he is concerned, just keep repeating that there's nothing you want to discuss with him directly right now, you can't see any point to that. Broken record time.

TisILeclerc Tue 11-Dec-12 19:53:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

balotelli Tue 11-Dec-12 19:57:31

Jeez Half of £140k would buy you a rather decent house up here in the north.

If you can prove that you were supporting him in establishing the business by staying at home to raise your children then I am reasonably sure that you are entiitled to a percentage of his income from the business. I know that this works with celebs when they divorce so may do with you.

Dont go for the amicable bollocks. I did and got totally fucked over by my exdw so go for the throat and make sure you squeeze every last penny out of the git.

Good luck, stay strong, you can do it though I dont envy your xmas with this hanging over the family........

ChippingInAWinterWonderland Tue 11-Dec-12 20:02:01

Really, don't discuss how you will cope financially. Just tell him that it is over and you will find a way to cope. End of. Don't let him talk you into a state or worse still make you feel like you have to let him stay.

You need a lawyer for all the finer details, but it will get worked out.

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Tue 11-Dec-12 20:32:26

If he becomes aggressive (which he might do if he is not able to persuade you to shut up and obey him) don't be frightened to call the police if necessary. This man is not your owner and you do not need his permission to divorce him.

sunshine401 Tue 11-Dec-12 20:38:51

He has a Million £ turnover but you still have a mortgage?? That is weird.

However go through court and you will get half no problems.

OhThisIsJustGrape Tue 11-Dec-12 20:41:50

It's done. He hates me. I can't stop crying.

ZenNudist Tue 11-Dec-12 20:45:12

Something else to think about (but say nothing to your h). You are likely to be able to claim half the value of his company, or at least a proportion of the change in value since your marriage. The courts won't force him to sell it but he will have to pay you the money over time. Definitely don't let on to him about this because the husbands always try and make the business look to be worth less if they can.

ChippingInAWinterWonderland Tue 11-Dec-12 20:45:42

<<hugs>>

It sounds like you have put up with a shitty situation for a long time. I'm sure you've done the right thing. Now you just have to stick with it.

It will get better
x

TisILeclerc Tue 11-Dec-12 20:50:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OhThisIsJustGrape Tue 11-Dec-12 21:10:39

Yes, instated turnover just to point out really that it's a big business/big production iTMS. I may not make much sense as I have rather hit the vodka so excuse any typos.

I have no idea what profits are, it was hit hard by the recession but is rapidly picking up. I'd say profits could be as high as 20/

He's just asked me how I can sit back and watch the kids
Smiling at Christmas knowing what's coming. He's right, I can't. Having said that, he's such a miserable bastard at Christmas that I doubt the kids will even notice.

What a mess.

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