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Leaving wife

(58 Posts)
oldshilling Fri 27-Sep-13 11:14:28

I'm a man, I got married young, I never really lived on my own (except uni).

I've been married for 10 years.

We have two children.

The marriage is a sham, my wife has a succession of emotional affairs on Facebook, which she thinks I don't know about (I have found out in the past).

She acts like things are normal, and gives no indication of what she's doing.

I have made threats to do stuff in the past, but she has seen enough times that I don't carry through. There's no point in me confronting her again, because I'd just look stupid having done it so many times before.

What do I do?

perfectstorm Sat 28-Sep-13 17:00:57

No, Curlew you could be right! I could just not know of the new dicta; I'm not exactly reading the journals anymore.

And I absolutely second the SEE A GOOD LAWYER! Advice.

perfectstorm Sat 28-Sep-13 16:59:21

Though if you can prove financial contribution, you can prove some entitlement. Payments towards the mortgage is the classic example. I'm pretty sure there was also a case where a guy lied to his partner and told her she couldn't go on the deeds because she was under 21 was taken as evidence of a constructive trust (maybe proprietory estoppel? Sorry, too long ago!) at any rate, it proved he knew she thought the house was equally shared and that he had told her that himself, so she was entitled as they had demonstrated the existence of an equitable right (in legal terms, not meaning fairness by the word) to the property. But that's a bit different to most situations. Again, the law changes so fast we had to bin textbooks that were 3 years old so I could be hopelessly wrong, but I've not heard of any new regime. And I will relish it when I can read of one.

The law is so ready for change. I would love it if lawyers could drop into the thread to tell us things are now different. It's so clearly unfair in many situations.

curlew Sat 28-Sep-13 16:54:26

That's why everything we own is in joint names. But I thought there was case law now. My mistake- sorry. Ignore me....Apart from when I say

"OP- get a lawyer. On Monday"

perfectstorm Sat 28-Sep-13 16:50:59

Yeah. One of the research studies - by Rebecca Bailey-Harris, from memory (again a decade old, so unreliable! And meaning the study is even older) found that over 60% of the UK population think there is such a thing as common-law marriage, giving some property rights to longstanding cohabitants. There aren't. It's why I wince when women have kids with someone they aren't married to, give up work or go part-time, then come here after ten years because he's met someone else and wants her to do one. They're fucked, basically. Career down the Swanee, house in his name, they've paid for the food maybe from part-time earnings and holidays etc but no mortgage contributions... and then people advise women whose partners want kids, want their gf to work part-time after the maternity leave, but "don't believe in marriage" not to worry because it's "just a bit of paper". It will change in time, but not yet - and it's actually quite hard to set a line in the sand on when reciprocal rights/obligations should begin, as the Australian de facto laws demonstrate. Though I think most of us would agree a decade and kids are well over that line, in terms of natural justice.

Going part-time to look after the family, or curtailing career prospects to make sure the kids have an available parent and to support the other person's career, when unmarried is potential financial suicide.

curlew Sat 28-Sep-13 16:36:53

Sorry- I'm not a lawyer and am speaking from a position of compete ignorance, but I thought there and been some "palimony" type cases where an unmarried partner proved that they had contributed to the family money and were therefore entitled to a share. Happy- well, unhappy actually- prepared to be wrong.

perfectstorm Sat 28-Sep-13 16:27:43

(Genuinely interested - I did my post-grad research on this area, but it was a decade ago now which makes it legally irrelevant, obviously. If things have changed I'd really be interested in reading the relevant judgements.)

perfectstorm Sat 28-Sep-13 16:26:12

Not necessarily- they have been together 10 years......she will have a good case.

Curlew unless there has been recent dicta to the contrary (which I absolutely concede is entirely likely) then unmarried couples are not entitled to more than child support, and a share of whatever they can prove they contributed to monetarily. There have been cases of couples together decades where the unmarried homemaker was entitled to nothing when they split.

Can you tell me what cases you've read recently that have altered this situation? The Law Commission have been advising change for a very long time but no legislation that I know of has been passed.

Ememem84 Sat 28-Sep-13 16:19:52

If you are worried about the money, I would suggest moving as much of it as you can to an offshore jurisdiction, and settling it into a trust, or a private limited company. In other words, get it out of your name. If you don't own it. No one else can touch it. Put some in trust for your kids for their education, or for them to access when they reach a significant milestone (30th birthday or wedding day).

Depending on where you are, seperation/divorce laws are different, however, I think the courts generally split all assets held at the time of separation. so move the money.

curlew Sat 28-Sep-13 16:12:26

"And please bear in mind that having the marriage declared invalid (you're right on the impact on financial claims, of course, at least in this country"

Not necessarily- they have been together 10 years......she will have a good case.

Lawyer. On Monday.

perfectstorm Sat 28-Sep-13 16:00:35

OP, please just go and see a good lawyer.

And please bear in mind that having the marriage declared invalid (you're right on the impact on financial claims, of course, at least in this country) may have a huge emotional impact on your children. They are the product of that marriage, after all. In fact as a rule of thumb the more conflicted any split is, the worse it is on the kids. I'd also point out that £15k is ten grand a year below the average wage in this country and well below the poverty line, too. Is that really how you want your ex to live, given her role in the children's lives? ofmiceandmen is driven by vengeance and bitterness, to judge from his posts, and that is a shortcut to very damaged children indeed.

Again, a good lawyer. And the CBT sounds a good idea as well, though I'd also ask your GP to refer you to a psychologist privately (you're not ill, so won't be eligible for NHS treatment) for a more general chat. CBT can be great for changing damaging patterns of thought, but if you are trying to work your way through this kind of situation then someone to talk it all over with would be helpful too, I think. Counsellors can be great but are far more hit and miss, and if you have the money a GP-referred psychologist would IMO very possibly be a lot better.

gybegirl Sat 28-Sep-13 15:40:21

In certain countries, if you are not married the father has NO rights over the children!

curlew Sat 28-Sep-13 13:18:35

"If the marriage is not valid, then we were never married. In that case she has few rights."

That is absolutely not true. You need good legal advice and quickly.

oldshilling Sat 28-Sep-13 13:16:36

If the marriage is not valid, then we were never married. In that case she has few rights.

curlew Sat 28-Sep-13 12:54:59

"I would also investigate the legality of our marriage while I'm out there. It's possibly not legally valid."

Why is this relevant?

oldshilling Sat 28-Sep-13 12:46:58

Thanks for your perspectives. ofmiceandmen's POV is not one I'd follow all the way, but I thank him for it, just for showing me the other side of the coin, so I can come to a sensible compromise in the middle.

I'm not actually sure if my wife would ask for half the money anyway, so it's just a perspective.

I took the kids out swimming yesterday after school, and I was musing the situation over in my mind. My kids get long school holidays and I was considering taking them away with me, to her country. Just me and them (although I know a family who is also going there).

She's only been working for a little over a year. Last summer was pretty miserable, we didn't go anywhere, because she was working. Last Christmas we didn't either, because she had to work up to Christmas and the only flights are expensive (normally I like to leave the earlier part of December when it's much cheaper).

So I'd leave her behind and have Christmas in the sun rather than spending the holidays at home in the cold + dark.

I think it would surprise her, she probably doesn't think I'm organised enough. She'd be jealous though.

I'd take the kids to see their grandmother. I like my mother-in-law. She's a good person, even if she is haphazard.

I would also investigate the legality of our marriage while I'm out there. It's possibly not legally valid.

Actually I have been thinking about therapy, separate to this, for a while. I emailed a CBT psychologist on Friday, but she hasn't replied yet. I'm hoping it would better equip me for coping without my wife and just not being the loser in this situation.

My wife earns £15k. I don't know how much you need to get by any more. We used to manage on around £30k, with the occasional holiday.

TheCrackFox Sat 28-Sep-13 12:14:55

Living like paupers, even. Bloody autocorrect.

TheCrackFox Sat 28-Sep-13 12:13:59

Yes, nothing says "I love you" more than by living like papers, then putting them into boarding school and divorcing their mum. Still, the Op could use the money he saved on the divorce for all the therapy the children will need as adults.

curlew Sat 28-Sep-13 11:38:24

"my aim is to present a balancing perspective as the advice prior to this was very 'kid gloves'

Balancing? Putting the children in boarding school then lying to the court? Wow.

ofmiceandmen Sat 28-Sep-13 11:25:11

I actually agree with curlew

treat my advice with circumspection

my aim is to present a balancing perspective as the advice prior to this was very 'kid gloves'

Best of luck

LordLurkin Sat 28-Sep-13 11:23:06

mice are you fucking serious? You are advocating him to be hugely dishonest and corrupt and also to place himself on dodgy legal grounds?

Also you can get statements going back 6 years from the bank and all 1 year of frugal spending on the same income will do is boost the expected savings pot.

TheCrackFox Sat 28-Sep-13 11:21:12

I really think you need to get some proper legal advice not just some randoms on the internet spouting off.

TBH it sounds like your wife has had more than an emotional affair.

50/50 would be fairer on your children. Their childhood should be a happy one and not some pawns in a long drawn out battle of attrition. However, the trust fund for their education (don't forget university too) is sensible even for people not splitting up.

curlew Sat 28-Sep-13 10:57:34

Oldshilling- treat ofmicenadmen's advice with circumspection............

ofmiceandmen Sat 28-Sep-13 10:38:06

Op - I didn't magically guess that she was foreign and yes I read between the lines you were the main child carer. I've been there.
You have most likely blamed your W's detachment as PND or something or rather and came to the rescue so that kept you on a high long enough but reality has dawned and the excuses and tinted glasses are off.

keeping it 'truthful'-
you will most likely eventually lose in the courts ref the DC. she will get primary-residential custody. you may get 50% time but she will be nominated as the residential parent.
Why you ask?
1. the courts - esp magistrates - sadly still see women as the 'mother' figure and are reluctant to remove children from the mother - see baby P, daniel pelka etc

2. you are the main bread winner - magistrates want to retain a family set up and subconsciously they will feel if they gave you the kids your earnings could suffer, or that she will be out in the cold

3. She is foreign -
I eventually lost as they felt I was denying the DC her culture and language WTF! (considering I speak 4 other languages incl spanish, italian and french)
so big tip! communicate to the courts that you want to encourage regular visits to her country so the children experience it and language exposure.

4. Public perception- in front of a judge you will always win. facts! but once on front of magistrates you will be a faceless man who mirrors all the twunts that MNers are constantly on about.

your child care = controlling
you main earner = financially controlling
her depression = awww shame
her cheating = she was looking for a way out
her not looking after the children = PND but miracle she has recovered or is getting help
you main earner = she will be a penniless divorcee awww bless we cant have that.

So prepare for it, fight tooth and nail, but be ready for it to happen.

Good luck

curlew Sat 28-Sep-13 10:23:53

Establishing a trust fund to enable the children to continue their current education is prudent, sensible and just.

"Squirrelling away money" to enable you to "play the pauper" isn't.

perfectstorm Sat 28-Sep-13 10:06:04

I agree you're in a very strong legal position because you're primary carer for the children. Contrary to common belief, that is what matters - not gender. Honestly, go and see a very good solicitor and sooner rather than later. Primary carers are the usual main beneficiaries in any split because housing and caring for the children is the courts' priority, and there is rarely enough for both sides to carry on living as they did when a family unit. But at the same time, leaving your wife really struggling is not fair on the kids. I'd try to ensure she has some provision, at a reasonable level. It hurts them when one parent is really impoverished - my brothers have been so distressed by that with their own mother.

In these circumstances I wouldn't blame you in the slightest for establishing a trust fund for the kids, and if you're self-employed/a freelancer and they're being privately educated it might actually be a pretty prudent thing to do, anyway. You never know what the future holds, after all.

Finally if you work from home and have really low confidence that's a bit of a self-perpetuating cycle. Polo seems a ridiculously expensive (and very macho) hobby for most, but if you were to think about your main areas of interest (Music? Theatre? Cinema? Books? Football? Anything at all that you have a genuine interest in) and try to look for a group dedicated to that interest, that could be a real opening to some new friends and a new life. I know it's cliched advice, but a book club was so good for a lot of people I know. Like many cliches it's oft-repeated because it's true on many occasions.

This is such a horrible situation. I hope things resolve for you less painfully.

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