a very convoluted divorce(4 Posts)
hmmmmm, my first post This is a long one i am afraid and i am willing to take any advice (i won't be hurt so please be honest).
my situation.....my kids, a 17 yo and a 7yo. I am a divorced father, my ex wife has a mental health issue (and has had for all of the 17 years of my eldest sons life). It is not her fault, and i apportion no blame to her .
after my second son was born things got particularly bad, she was sectioned (section number 4) but support was reduced really quickly, things were very scary for all of us, the kids were not allowed out, lots of suspicion of the people around us, my family, her family (who ran for the hills), schools, neighbours etc. We as a couple began living seperately (in the same house) about 1 year after my second son was born. It then got to the point where she would snatch the phone from my son if he was talking to my mum, would stand in front of the car if we were going out etc. everything boiled over when she attacked me 3 years ago, i was punched, kicked all over, beaten over the head with my phone hard enough to draw blood. this was about 2 in the morning and my eldest son ended up having to pull her off me, this happened two more times in the night. She was sectioned again two days later and i started divorce proceedings (at that point i couldn't carry on). she was in hospital for 3 months and then came back into the house against my wishes (i was particularly worried about my eldest son at the time) but nobody would listen, we still live in the same house together nearly three years later, decree absolute was 18 months ago. She is much more well than she was but still she has difficulty allowing the kids to live their lives (if i don't take my 7yo to school he doesn't go, until i got him into breakfast club his attendance was 60% and he is a very anxious little lad)
she keeps saying she is looking for somewhere else to live but has recently said she is going to move to near her parents moving my sons school (I just think this would be so destructive), i know that if she did she would fairly quickly stop me from seeing him.
I had a solicitor but i can't afford to keep paying (thousands so far). Please any advice would be greatly appreciated. My self esteem is in the toilet and i am struggling, nothing is changing and i am so scared of losing my 7 yo.
were finances sorted in the divorce with a final court order? what was agreed with the house (ie who got it, was it to be sold and proceeds split etc) I would have thought that you would be able to take that back to court to enforce
Was residency sorted? TBH I think you should be going for single residency based on what you have said with her only having access (possibly supervised only) Is she under MH care team now, any medication etc. Based on your post (and this only) I cannot see how it is deemed to be in the childrens best interests to stay with her. That is not to say you cannot be around to support her but you need to be deemed priary carer with the children staying with you.
Have you looked on Families need Fathers website? I expect they can help point you in the right direction.
1. I don't think the court would split the 17 year old from the 7 years and I suspect the 17 year old will want to live with you (and presumably he is in sixth form and in the middle of important exam years and is old enough to make his own decisions).
2. It is probably too late to exclude your wife from the house on the grounds of recent violence to you under a non molestation order which at the time might have been the easiest way to get sold possession of the house and children.
3. I suspect despite decree absolute there was no final financial consent order sealed by the court so all that is ahead of you. Would you be able to care for your 7 year old alone? I work full time and had sole charge of 5 children so I know it's perfectly possible but you might need to hire a live in au pair or use more of the before and after school club if the children live with you not your wife.
4,. I assume you want the children mostly to live with you. Or do you want to share it? Some people split the house in two - literally using builders which can be an option if you could not afford between you to keep two homes.
5.You can do anything without a solicitor which you can with. If there is no court order about finances and children first you need to negotiate that with your wife and if she agrees you can get the orders stamped by the court. The starting point would be to house the 7 year old. Can one of you afford to buy the other out of a share of the house? Which of you earns the most?
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