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6months pregnant, H asking for divorce - can he do this w/o my concent?

(22 Posts)
HugATree1 Sun 03-Nov-13 00:22:22

Hi All, i have been married 4 years and am pregnant with my first child. Husband has decided he is unhappy in the marriage and wants a divorce. I left the house to live with my parents for the past 3months while trying to get my head around things. He has been trying to put a lot of pressure on me to sell the house, which i cannot do right now obv being pregnant and having nowhere else to live. After seeking legal advice we both found that i have a right to live in the house with the baby, so I am planning to move back into the house. He has nowhere to go & since things have ended amicably we have agreed we will both live there in separate rooms until the baby is born and we decide next steps. The house is in both our names and we equally pay the mortgage but we will not get enough money if we sell to buy another place each.

He is now wanting me to start divorce proceedings, but i am reluctant to do this now as I am pregnant and have way too much i am dealing with with the breakdown of our relationship without having to learn about divorce, the process, my rights etc. Can he do anything without my consent? I dont want to sign anything now or agree to anything while my head is so confused with trying to deal with everything!

Any advice very much appreciated!!

Cluesue Sun 03-Nov-13 00:34:16

No advice sorry bumping for you xx

Artesia Sun 03-Nov-13 00:40:03

Am no expert, but think the answer is no, he can't do anything without your consent until you have been separated for a number of years, so don't feel pressured into rushing anything now- you have more than enough to deal with at the moment.

On a less practical note, so sorry to hear you are in this situation, and hope you have supportive friends and family around.

Mellowandfruitful Sun 03-Nov-13 00:40:07

I'm not an expert but from reading other threads, it seems odd that he wants you to start divorce proceedings. Sorry to raise this, but I think from a recent discussion that this was something tried by a bloke who had started an affair and wanted his wife to be the one to initiate proceedings as then he could get a quicker divorce by being named as the guilty part IYSWIM. He wouldn't have had the grounds to do it to her. Could this be an issue for you - has he been seeing someone else?

I would just stick it out, and say what you have said here - you have got enough on your plate right now so you have not got running around starting legal proceedings at the top of your priority list.

HugATree1 Sun 03-Nov-13 00:50:46

Thanks both. Sorry to clarify he is not wanting me to start the proceedings, i think he is happy to do the filing for the divorce but basically wants me to agree to everything right now, including how we are going to split our assets. He keeps insisting he should get 50% which i keep saying i cannot agree to that as the child will be living with me so it is beginning to get quite complicated. He wants to get divorced because he says we are like best friends but don't have the sexual chemistry. I dont think he can really use that as unreasonable behaviour so i can imagine we are going to have to have a long debate on what grounds we get divorced too.

I'm just worried he can start the paperwork and force me to have to get legal advice and i am not sure if i can just ignore the letters etc until after the baby comes or whether i am forced to start dealing with it now...

MirandaWest Sun 03-Nov-13 00:51:43

He can't make you initiate a divorce.

He could initiate a divorce himself on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour. The definition of it is very vague (am not saying you are unreasonable by the way, but that other than adultery it would be his only way to divorce you now).

AdoraBell Sun 03-Nov-13 00:53:29

Also not an expert here but I believe that no one can Get a divorce just because they want one. So unless he can state a genuino reason then he probably has no right To a divorce unless it's by mutual consent IYSWIM.

Stick To your guns and deal with what you feel able To deal with now. Legalities can come later when you feel ready.

Very sorry you are going through this at such a delicate time.

AdoraBell Sun 03-Nov-13 00:57:34

X post. Being extremley cynical, could he be pushing so as To finalise a divorce before the baby arrives and therefore Get moré out of the assets?

you can see I'm a hard nosed cynic, so Apologies if I'm off base.

McKenzieFriend Sun 03-Nov-13 01:01:13

Hi Hug a Tree

There are 5 grounds for Divorce:

1) Adultery: Your husband or wife had sex with someone else of the opposite sex, and you can no longer bear to live with them.

Note ** You can’t give adultery as a reason if you lived with your husband or wife for 6 months after you found out about it.

2) Unreasonable behaviour

Your husband or wife behaved so badly that you can no longer bear to live with them.

This could include:
physical violence
verbal abuse, eg insults or threats
drunkenness or drug-taking
refusing to pay for housekeeping

3) Desertion

Your husband or wife has left you:
without your agreement
without a good reason
to end your relationship
for more than 2 years in the past 2½ years

You can still claim desertion if you have lived together for up to a total of 6 months in this period.

4) You have lived apart for more than 2 years

You can get a divorce if you’ve lived apart for more than 2 years and both agree to the divorce.

Your husband or wife must agree in writing.

5) You have lived apart for more than 5 years

Living apart for more than 5 years is usually enough to get a divorce, even if your husband or wife disagrees with the divorce.

It appears that your H. wants you to commence proceedings on the grounds of (1) or (2). Of course you don't have to do anything. You will find that you have significant 'protection' being pregnant and within the Marital property.

There are many issues that you will need to consider in slow time with a lot of thinking about what is best for you and your child. Much of the direction that you may decide to take is likely to depend on your marital assets and what is available in the short, medium and long term in terms of securing your needs.

The bottom line is that the process of Ancillary Relief will help to determine what is in your best interests. Mediation is also a good start.

You may also both consider if the marriage is retrievable and seek counselling.

If in the interim, living with your husband becomes emotionally and or physically intolerable then you can apply for an 'occupation order' for the house and also to seek 'temporary maintenance' to support you. Being pregnant you are likely to be fully and reasonably supported in securing a stable environment for you and your baby during this difficult and very emotional time.

Hope this helps. Happy to provide more info if you would like.


HugATree1 Sun 03-Nov-13 01:04:35

I am not sure, according to the limited legal advice that i received it should not make a difference if we were to divorce now or when the baby comes as either way the courts will look after the interests of the baby, that it needs a home to live in, which means i need a home too.

I think initially this could have been his plan which is why he was trying to push me to the sell the house asap, but after i found out that i am entitled to live there with the baby and really thought about my options i realised i would be on maternity leave & couldnt get a mortgage by myself or have anywhere to live if i sold it. Thanks g-d we didnt sell it a few months ago.

I am so angry he is putting me in this situation and not thinking about my health or the baby...and somehow he makes me seem like the uncaring one who wont help him move on with his life or put plans in place for his future by not selling the house

viperslast Sun 03-Nov-13 01:06:34

Unreasonable behaviour is very lose so you can pretty much put anything you want in, it's the quickest solution if the divorce is likely to be uncontested. He can start proceedings any time he likes however it certainly isn't a quick process and you should be able to draw things out until after baby arrives without being difficult but don't ignore paperwork. With all things legal there are reasonable time constraints.

My advice would be to seek legal advice now. I know it's not what you want to do but you need to know where you stand in terms of your rights before and after baby, it may make a difference it may not but you need to know, factually, what your options are.

My only thought wrt before or after is that you will probably have more energy and reserves to deal with this now than after baby arrives. It can be pretty full on for a while. Either way knowledge is power and no matter how amicable things appear people can be very self serving when the chips are down. Arm yourself with good advice and go forward from a strong position, this is no longer about him and you, it's about you and your child. Best of luck smile

Allalonenow Sun 03-Nov-13 01:09:46

You need to consult a solicitor to find out in detail your legal rights re the property, do not sign anything at all.
Why does he want you to divorce him, since it is him who wants the divorce? Do not do this yet, take legal advice first.
As you both agree, you could move back into the house ASAP, it is the family home for you and your child, though if there is any threat of violence you must put your own and your baby's safety first.
There are on-line calculators that will help you work out how much you might receive in tax credits, benefits etc, so have a good look at those before you make any decisions.
There will be months of negotiation re finances etc, you have plenty of time to find out what you are entitled to, and to make sure you get it.

You sound brave and strong, and I'm sure it will all work out well for you and your baby.

AdoraBell Sun 03-Nov-13 01:12:50

He's guilt tripping you.

You can step off his rollercoaster.

It's his decisión To end the marriage, he knows full Well you are carrying his child, there ain't a lot of moving on that he has any claim To at this point.

concentrarte on what you need To do in terms of your/baby's Health. Does your midwife know about the situación? GP? People like that can help you.

Get some good legal advice and don't let him pressure you.

HugATree1 Sun 03-Nov-13 01:14:38

Thank you Phil, that is very helpful advice.

You are right, i think option 2 is the only option as as far as i'm aware he has not cheated on me. That is relief to know there is not much he can do atm to force me into anything and that I have options if things do get too hard living with him.

holidaysarenice Sun 03-Nov-13 01:17:18

I think their are implications if he is still ur legal husband when ur child is born, re parental rights, naming on birth certificate etc.

Could that be what he is trying to manipulate. Eg getting out of maintenance/not automatic assuming father/claiming not his baby. This changes in the laws eyes with whether ur married or not.

Sorry its not clearer - I'm sure someone knowledgable will explain it better smile

TreaterAnita Sun 03-Nov-13 01:23:13

I'm actually not sure that he has grounds for divorce if you've not been separated for 2 years (though living separate lives in the same house for financial reasons is considered separation I think) and him not being in love with you anymore, if that's all he can come up with, doesn't sound like unreasonable behaviour on your part. It sounds to me like he's trying to get you to agree an ancillary (financial) settlement which may not be in the best interests of you or your baby. I think you need to get some legal advice before you're parenting a newborn on your own and too tired to think straight.

VanitasVanitatum Sun 03-Nov-13 01:27:17

He will have parental rights either way. He does not need your consent to start divorce proceedings. It must be incredibly hard for you but you really need to go and talk to a solicitor, and get some clear professional advice.

McKenzieFriend Mon 04-Nov-13 18:49:53

To clarify differing opinions I ave read re parental responsibilities:

'A mother automatically has parental responsibility for her child from birth.

A father usually has parental responsibility if he is:

married to the child’s mother
listed on the birth certificate (after a certain date, depending on which part of the UK the child was born in)
You can apply for parental responsibility if you don’t automatically have it.

Births registered in England and Wales
If the parents of a child are married when the child is born, or if they’ve jointly adopted a child, both have parental responsibility.

They both keep parental responsibility if they later divorce.'

As you are 6 months pregnant, there is no possibility that a Divorce can become 'Absolute' in the time given so he will have parental responsibility.

It isn't any advantage to him or disadvantage to him through the Ancillary relief and divorce process. He will still be financially responsible for the child in the eyes of the law. Parental responsibility just gives him certain rights in relation to your child.

Hope this helps again.


AnandaTimeIn Mon 04-Nov-13 19:00:59

i think he is happy to do the filing for the divorce but basically wants me to agree to everything

Bastard! Bullying you while you are pregnant...

Stop listening to him for now. Take a deep breath and go and find out your rights. You owe it to yourself and your baby.

itwillgetbettersoon Tue 05-Nov-13 16:12:06

You might like to post on the relationships board where you will find additional information and it also has more traffic. Good luck. Sounds like you need legal advice to advise you on your rights. However with this advise you could then sit tight until you have the baby.

Beccawoo Tue 05-Nov-13 20:33:21

My understanding is that even if he files for divorce, you can sit on the papers for as long as you like. I filed to divorce my XH cutting adultery - he was living with OW and wanted the divorce too, however he still chose not to complete any firms/sign for about 6 months, during which time I just had to wait.

perfectstorm Sun 10-Nov-13 03:43:40

Unreasonable behaviour is a subjective and not objective test, so basically you can't really contest it with any hope of success. It isn't "is the respondent unreasonable" in reality, but "can this petitioner bear to live with this respondent". Almost anyone can succeed on those grounds, no matter how lovely the person they're divorcing. sad

It doesn't really matter much, tbh, because grounds for divorce have no impact on settlement. I'd just let him get on with it - it's perfectly reasonable to ask him to back off until the baby is here and you've got yourself organised. Does he have some reason for wanting such speed - another relationship, for example? Or are you just very vulnerable and more likely to give in to pressure? Not pretty on his part in either case.

I agree you should post on Relationships, and also that you should seek proper legal advice.

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