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Marriage is over. If I leave, will I compromise my financial situation?

(14 Posts)
alikat724 Mon 01-Jul-13 21:46:18

I had a lightbulb moment tonight, after a really horrible couple of weeks (or years, tbh) with a man I now recognise to be very emotionally abusive. So I'm going to leave. Would really appreciate advice from anyone who has knowledge as to whether, by leaving our jointly owned home, I will compromise any financial settlement? I desperately wanted to keep the house as I really love the property and am very happy here, but now I realise that he will want to keep it or force a sale just to spite me, and therefore I will walk away and cut my losses rather than stay/engage in such a soul-destroying and expensive battle. We both separately own properties we held prior to our marriage, but the family home was purchased jointly with him contributing about 15% more to the deposit monies. If I leave, will he hold more cards, so to speak? Will a court look negatively upon my decision to leave? (We have a 19 month old DD.) Any advice greatly appreciated!

Purple2012 Mon 01-Jul-13 21:48:37

Get advice from a specialist solicitor before you do anything. Good luck.

alikat724 Mon 01-Jul-13 22:12:44

Thank you Purple, yes I will do that, but was hoping for some experiential advice to tide me over until I can arrange it! smile

toosoppyforwords Tue 02-Jul-13 09:44:06

I'm not legal but i believe the general advice usually is not to leave the home although i'm not sure if it actually puts you at a disadvantage - i wouldn;t have thought so. I'm sure someone legal will be along to advise

He can't force a sale 'to spite you'- if you cannot agree a split of the assets between you with your solicitors, the courts however, will look at all joint assets inc pensions, length of marriage, both your ages and earning potentials and whether or not you can afford to keep the house, first by keeping up the mortgage on your own, and also whether by doing so there is enough in the pot for the other party to receive a settlement and suitable alternative housing. (you mention there are other properties which will also form part of the assets of the marital pot)

The priority will be housing your child and agreeing residency and care for her.

alikat724 Tue 02-Jul-13 14:19:21

Thank you toosoppy. I spoke with Wikivorce, who were very helpful, and advised that I shouldn't leave; of course, he will receive the same advice from whomever he speaks with so I guess we'll be cohabitating until the divorce is final. Oh joy joy!

DonutForMyself Tue 02-Jul-13 14:30:10

Oh lovely, that sounds like fun!

Well done for making the leap, its not easy but you know you're doing the right thing. This is the start of the rest of your life.

I think moving out of the family home only puts you at a disadvantage if you actually want to continue living in it. If he will be pushing for a sale anyway and you're not too attached to the house, you might find that you would be better off moving out (depending on your financial circumstances you might get help with rental costs if you find somewhere new to live) and claiming for other single person help will be more straightforward if you are not under the same roof.

If it were me I would be tempted to live in one of the other properties or find somewhere else to live as this is the worst time IME, when you know you're divorcing but still living together - the day my X moved out it physically felt like a weight lifting.

alikat724 Tue 02-Jul-13 14:52:37

You are exactly right Donut, I do need to stay there if I want to remain in the property but TBH last night I actually realised that I don't care about the house either way anymore - fortunately we both have the means to make ourselves comfortable there or elsewhere. I actually don't care either way - whether we sell, I buy him out, or he buys me out - but of course neither of us wants to be ripped off by the other and as nothing is legally binding until the divorce is final, we are going to be stuck until that time, which is going to be AT LEAST 4-5 months....arrrggghhhh!!! How long were you stuck under the same roof before your X left?

HeliumHeart Tue 02-Jul-13 15:23:27

I'd seek advice from a solicitor rather than take much heed of Wikivorce. Nothing against them, but if you're looking at having to cohabit OR have a bit of a chance of some semblance of happiness living somewhere else on your own, it's worth getting some expert advice! From my own experience, I was advised not to leave the marital home, but that was because in the long-run I wanted to be able to stay in it. Once I'd left with the children, there would be no argument for me not uprooting the children and it would become more of a generic asset than 'the place the children are housed' which carries importance of its own.

I'm not a lawyer (clearly) wink but I can't see how it would disadvantage you financially (in terms of the actual split of assets) for you to leave. My H and I had to cohabit for a few months until he eventually moved out and it was sheer hell!

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 03-Jul-13 08:37:54

I would also strongly suggest a solicitor you have mentioned at least 3 properties so your divorce is financial along way from straight forward as value of properties debt on them etc all need to be taken into account. I was in a similar situation with additionally pensions linked to a fourth property and a business.

DonutForMyself Wed 03-Jul-13 09:27:14

We decided to separate in April last year and by the start of June the snapping and bickering was awful. He said he was fed up with it and I told him "well you know what to do about it then, find somewhere quickly and F off!" within 2 weeks he'd signed a contract on a rental place and moved out and my life began!

As a SAHM (he works shifts so his time at home is sporadic) I have the DCs most of the time so it was obvious that if anyone was staying in the house it would be me, even with a massive mortgage it is cheaper than renting (although it does mean I don't get housing benefit, which I could apply for if I rented) but it has meant a stable home for me and the DCs.

When we finalise the divorce we will talk about how to split the equity/whose name will be on the deeds/mortgage etc but I think if I had options and wasn't too attached to this house (I am) I would have happily moved out to prevent those last couple of months. They were amongst the worst of my life, up there with both parents dying!

Sharing a space with someone who used to be my partner but being unable to even look him in the eye, watching him schmoozing the DCs and pretending to be dad of the year, not knowing whether he should eat with the rest of the family or I should leave him to make his own food etc. It was horrible! I hope it passes quickly and painlessly for you!

RedHelenB Mon 08-Jul-13 15:33:46

I kinow someone who left & she is now back in the family home as her ex was not prepared to move out & living there was unbearable.

RedHelenB Mon 08-Jul-13 15:34:11

Court ordered that he should move out & she move back with her child

STIDW Mon 08-Jul-13 22:17:19

Every case is different and it's always wise to check with a solicitor where you stand before moving out. Living in two homes is more expensive than one. Many couples run up debts so there is less to share at the end of the day. Also if one spouse has sole use of the former matrimonial home they may be in no rush to negotiate a financial settlement.

If someone rehouses their needs will deemed to have been met and that may affect the settlement, although depending on the particular circumstances it may not make very much difference.

worsestershiresauce Wed 10-Jul-13 21:43:55

I was advised that it made no difference. Apparently the courts used to assess on basis of need, so if you moved out into a small place then they could rule that all you needed was a small place. Apparently the rules have changed now and look at maintaining your current standard of living. Please double check with a solicitor though, as I received that advice a year ago, and things change.

However, moving out does mean you have no control over how he treats the house. He could turn it into an absolute pigsty, damage it, sell off contents etc if he turns vindictive.

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