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Decided once and for all to divorce my husband ... but he's burying head in sand. What do I do?

(7 Posts)
Whatdidyousay Wed 01-Jul-15 20:46:06

After six years of a largely unhappy marriage, with more misery and heartache (and lots of emotional as well as some physical abuse) I have decided I can't take it anymore and need to get a divorce.

Below I give the background detail but in short, even though my husband hates me as much as I hate him, and our children witness arguments each and every day, he has buried his head in the sand and says if I want a divorce then just do it. I ask if he'll discuss how he sees things working out in the future (with regards to the children, living arrangements etc) but he just blanks me and baits me with, ah you keep saying you'll do it but what have you done so far?

I am freelance and have done for the last four years, working from home, but at the moment I hardly make any money each month eg. not enough to even cover monthly groceries bill. But I am studying and will quality in the Autumn. It might take me time to find clients, but I'm determined to make it pay asap so I can still work flexibly around the children and because the cost of childcare (live in London) means that taking an office job, paying for commute travel plus wraparound childcare for two would mean I wouldn't have enough to pay a mortgage or rent let alone all the other things. I could move out of London but kids have just settled into school so I'm loathe to do that (although I appreciate I may not have a choice).

We live in a house that we own (both names on mortgage). Mortgage is interest only but we paid a large cash deposit, so would receive a decent lump sum if we sold the family home (I assume??). DH and his parents provided most of the deposit, but I did contribute a sizeable chunk.

Anyway, I appreciate I'm rambling a bit here so I guess what I really need to know is, what do I do next? And how do I get around the fact that DH won't get involved? I'm assuming that I can't go down the mediation route on my own (!) and that I should get a free half hour with a solicitor? If so, what should I prepare/collect in advance of this meeting? How do you know if they offer free consultations, does it just say on their website? I don't know all the financial savings information really because our only 'joint' account is in my husband's name and I have (had) a credit card - I say had because I lost it three years ago and DH has never applied for a new one for me. He's always refused to get a proper joint saving account, saying the system we had worked well (it didn't). All other savings are in his name (he has several savings accounts, which his well off parents deposit money into from time to time, but we have had to eat into them, I think, since I went freelance and ended up becoming more of a SAHM due to his long working hours/stress etc). DH does blame me for causing all the financial problems but the reason I took the decision to leave my office job and go freelance, is for the same reason he's just done the same (stress/depression). That said, it's looking like he'll get another job v soon. £50k+ salary.

I know it seems like I'm v into the finance side of things but, on the rare occasions my DH engages with the divorce topic, he just says well, where would be both live? We can't afford separate properties. So it does seem that it's the financials that are preventing him from instigating much-needed change.

Sorry again for rambling. I'm usually v well organised and decisive but I just don't know what to do for the best. (I also have a lot of guilt about how I've handled my emotions in front of the children, but I think I'll deal with that later, once I've sorted out the practicalities, because being organised and having a checklist/process to work through will - I hope - give me hope and focus for the future, something I don't have at the moment :-(

AskBasil Wed 01-Jul-15 20:52:09

Look it's not the finances that stop him engaging, it's simply because he doesn't want to. It's a form of control, he's keeping you persisting in trying to interest him in something important, buzzing round him, using your energy to try and make him participate in this important life event. Your attempts to get him to talk to you about it, are a power kick for him. Stop giving him that power kick.

Just go ahead and do it. Go to a solicitor and serve divorce papers on him.

Stop trying to make him engage. Accept that he won't, accept that you have to do this on your own and go ahead and do it. You will need all your strength and energy to get through this, so use it on the things it merits. Withdraw it from him.

Good luck.

Whatdidyousay Wed 01-Jul-15 22:28:28

AskBasil, thank you for your reply. Sorry for the tardy response but the children just can't get to sleep tonight in this hot weather ...

You are right. Of course. I think I knew this. With work, studying and everything else it just seems another thing to do on my own. That's been one of the problems, I'm always the one instigating any action around here. I'd hoped that this one, final time he'd work with me in order to make it less upsetting for us both, and the kids. But of course I should've known it would all be down to me again ...

Thank you very much for your wise words. The kick up the butt I needed, for sure!

Whatdidyousay Wed 01-Jul-15 23:08:40

Does anyone else have anything to share about their first visit to a solicitor? Am really nervous about even making the call to book!

lifebeginsat42 Thu 02-Jul-15 09:26:05


It sounds as if we're in a very similar position, both starting out on this process.

I have just posted a long message about my first meeting with solicitor yesterday and the plans it's helped me to put in place. My advice would be to gather all financial info etc in advance and a summary of your position and what you'd like to walk away with. I snuck around taking copies of statements, pension info etc. Your solicitor is nt allowed to take this directly from you - H must provide it - but it helps to know what is there.

I actually paid for my solicitor meeting as there is no way 30 mins would have covered it but the first session was at half his usual hourly rate and this has been money well spent as I am now clear where I stand. I am waiting for him to clarify everything my email to me by the end of the week.

Mediation will probably not be an option for us either as I believe my H will not enter into it willingly. We'll see. The downside is hoever that obstructive and difficult Hs means potentially large legal bills.

Try not to be nervous. They are there to help you.

Fancying buddying up and hand holding as it sounds as if we're both going to need some support through this? flowers

Whatdidyousay Sun 05-Jul-15 23:08:39

lifebeginsat42 thank you so much for sharing details of your experience. It's good to know I'm not alone and yes I'm more than happy to buddy up with you smile

How did you choose which solicitor to go with?

Namechanger2015 Tue 07-Jul-15 18:30:24

Do you fancy joining us here:

It sounds like we are all going through similar. My arse of an H swings between burying his head, and threats to take the children. You can start mediation alone - you'll need to do a miam course if you want to go to court, this will be used to demonstrate that you can't go through mediation as he was abusive.

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