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EU passport - SEN child - separation nightmare? Any advice?

(12 Posts)
SleepIsForNinnies Mon 04-Jan-16 17:09:14

I'm not sure what to do. My DH is a very unhappy man, because of a job he hates. He has no alternative career options apparently. He's ratty and lashes out, I know it's stress. I've tried to be very supportive and patient but I find it difficult that he finds me & the children so irritating so much of the time.

We're a patchwork family so have a child from a previous relationship each (his - aged 16, lives with the mum, and mine aged 11, lives with us) plus a joint child (aged 6). It also turns out that my eldest has a SEN, which makes my DH's home life extremely diffcult. They clash constantly. I feel like I have ruined DH's life.

My eldest's SEN means I can't go to FT work (I'd never get childcare). I work from home PT but I don't even meet the tax threshold. So if we separated my only option would be benefits....

I also have a European passport so if we were to separate I'd be able to claim benefits for three months, then I'd be expected to "go back", even though the children are British and I've lived in the UK for nearly 25 years and have always paid my taxes etc here.

Whichever way I look at this, it seems the only option is to stay in a marriage that is making my DH so miserable. Divorce would take the children away from him entirely. I can't see a way out or a way to make the marriage/ family work.

babybarrister Tue 05-Jan-16 07:47:46

I am not an immigration law expert but this does not seem correct to me - I suggest that you repost on the legal threads and see if someone can give you better advice on the immigration aspect

titchy Tue 05-Jan-16 07:55:42

I'm pretty sure the three month benefit then return only applies to recent immigrants. Presumably you've had child benefit and therefore NI paid for you.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SusanDelfino Tue 05-Jan-16 11:05:57

I hope that's not true. I'm in the process if splitting from my H and I have an EU passport. Two pre-schoolers and will need to claim benefits for a while. My understanding was that we are treated as uk citizens. In fact, if you have British children with a British partner you wouldn't even be allowed to leave the uk without your husbands permission. Well, you could but only without the relevant child. Where did you get your information from?

SleepIsForNinnies Tue 05-Jan-16 11:06:35

Thanks for your replies. I did a search on the .gov website and there is a very vague mention of being allowed to claim benefits if you're considered "habitually resident" and have school-age children. The downside is that there is no clear rulebook for "habitually resident" - so they may turn my application down anyway, depending on who's assessing the case.

You really would be surprised by how much the rules have been tightened for us immigrants in recent years!

I could actually apply for citizenship - but it costs over £1000! Plus I just hate the idea of applying for a citizenship just in order to claim benefits. That just feels wrong. But maybe I shouldn't be so fussy under the circumstances....

On the positive side I've been paying NI myself for several years now as I'm self employed.

SusanDelfino Tue 05-Jan-16 11:07:08

Also getting a uk passport costs 1k + so not possible for everyone...

SusanDelfino Tue 05-Jan-16 11:09:19

op, you are definitely a habitual resident. Your children are British residents. I'm sure about that bit.

SleepIsForNinnies Tue 05-Jan-16 11:43:53

Yes, I think we would be OK with that bit. It just terrifies me to start the process of applying for benefits in case they decide I won't be entitled to some/any. For example the rules for housing benefit now seem to be different for EU citizens than Brits. I can't afford a lawyer!

SusanDelfino Tue 05-Jan-16 12:10:48

Well, I'll be trying it out within the next 3 months. I'll let you know.

What is your plan at the moment?

SleepIsForNinnies Tue 05-Jan-16 12:22:41

Good luck with the application, SusanD!

I just can't decide what to do for the best TBH. I don't want to put the family through divorce (again) and I definitely don't want to be a single mum (again). But I seem to be making my husband miserable and I feel guilty about my failings as a wife and a mum.

SusanDelfino Tue 05-Jan-16 17:35:43

I am terrified of being a single mum (my H likes to intimidate me with it too). A year ago I couldn't see myself leaving because I thought I wasn't strong enough. Now I think, it'll be hard but we'll be fine.

Do you actually want to split in your heart? Does your husband want to split? Or is it something that can be worked on?

I feel like a total failure as a wife and mum too. But in my case because I want to leave...

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