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Planning to leave DH. What do I need to prepare in advance?

(10 Posts)
JammyC Sun 13-Jan-19 21:30:06

I think my marriage is over. He is emotionally abusive to me and we argue or ignore each other most days. We have 2 DC (5yrs and 8 mth). I am not sure where to start really with what I need to have in hand before I ask him to leave. Apologies in advance this is a ramble as I think of things....

The mortgage is in my name, but we both contribute 5050 to it and have done since it was purchased. We are married too so it is obviously his marital home. No idea how this is resolved? Would I have to sell up and give him cash? What about the DC’s home? I think he would agree we need to split but he will say why should he be the one to go and that I should move in with a mate. But I need to care for the DC (see next bit).

In terms of custody, I work part time and care for the DC on my days off. He works FT mon-fri. He does help with childcare runs and weekends but I would be fighting to keep them in their home in their own beds if at all possible. In my head I’m happy for him to maybe have them 1 overnight and every other weekend but I have no idea how to even start the discussion on that. I guess it depends on where he lives - if I kept the house he would be in rented and on his income he wouldn’t afford a 2 bed place.

Money. I earn significantly more than him. I am worried that he will claim against my pension which isn’t much but more than his. Also worried as all the household bills, credit cards etc are solely in my name not even joint names as he had bad credit rating. So I worry he’ll feign ignorance and say none of it is his liability. Savings from the monthly income are in my ISA but I guess he could claim half of that?

I know I need legal advice and am taking steps to do so.

But I guess before I take the leap what do I need to have sorted?

I’m worried he’ll ask me to move out instead of him going (even though I do the lions share of childcare and it’s be a huge upheaval for the DC to move) so maybe some savings tucked away of my own for rental deposit etc?

Any tips for a very scared newbie to all this?

I’ve been bumbling along with him since before DC2 was conceived but the EA is ridiculous now and I dread the weekends as I just don’t like being around him. Something has to give.

OP’s posts: |
over50andfab Sun 13-Jan-19 22:02:49

As you said, the first thing to do is get some legal advice.

The most important thing taken into account is the welfare of any children, in terms of where they live etc.

Re finances, in the case of a long marriage (over 10yrs), the starting point of all assets is a 50/50 split, after which various things are taken into account. In a shorter marriage there is more of an argument to retain any individual assets (pension etc). Google Matrimonial Causes Act section 25 to get more of an idea of what is taken into account. Use ynisto make bullet points to show your solicitor, ie:

Married x no. yrs
No of DC and ages
What you both earn
How old you both are
Approx value of assets - house, pension, savings erc.

As far as custody is concerned, this is something for both of you to discuss. If he is able, there is nothing to stop him going for 50% care (though that seems doubtful from what you say)

JammyC Sun 13-Jan-19 22:08:44

Thanks for replying! Yes I know I need to speak to a solicitor. But knowing in my mind a little how it might pan out may help me take the plunge as at the moment I’m so scared.

We’ve been married 6.5yrs but lived together for 5yrs before that. In arguments when we have almost split he says he thinks I’ll have to sell and split the equity. He often tells me he can’t wait to get his hands on his cash.

I don’t know how anyone decides custody. One DC is in school so I don’t want her moving to the other side of the town and having to move school. I very much doubt he could look after both on his own full time. He is very much a Disney dad - can play with them, go out to a park or soft play, but ironing uniforms, doing homework, cooking healthy food, keeping on top of birthday parties, hobbies etc is all me.

OP’s posts: |
Moneymachine Sun 13-Jan-19 23:15:14

Such a useful advice from over50andfab! Thank you as i am in similar situation and dreading what future holds.
Good luck JammyC - we need it!

over50andfab Mon 14-Jan-19 09:23:58

It’s all very much a learning curve and it’s really good to be prepared when seeing a solicitor so as not to focus on the less important stuff.and waste time/money. You might be able to get a free first session and it’s worth seeing more than one sometimes.

OP, I believe that if you’ve lived together for a number of years before getting married, he can make more of a case for 50/50 as you will have co-mingled your assets for longer.

Re custody - well it would be great if you could decide that amicably and be reasonable. I think that as little upheaval as possible would be recommended for the DC. As said, a roof over their heads is a priority.

Can he rehouse himself? Can he afford rent or what is his mortgage capacity? Is your house just sufficient for your needs or would something smaller/cheaper be sufficient? Could he or you earn more? Could you increase the mortgage to give him his share?

I’m not expecting answers to these questions, rather pointing out things to take into account. Sometimes if you are both willing, it can be useful for you both to see a mediator, who can help with all this, though they can’t advise as such.

Btw I’m by no means an expert on any of this - and my DC were much older. But I did do the solicitors, mediator and court thing (the last of which I self repped for as I wasn’t getting anywhere otherwise). So DYOR and good luck smile

wakeupsmelltheroses Mon 14-Jan-19 20:57:14


How was it self representing for final hearing ?

I may have to and dreading it > TIA

over50andfab Mon 14-Jan-19 21:35:49

Luckily we didn’t get that far. After procrastinating for well over 2 years, and I think having had some sense dinned into him by his 2nd solicitor, (and from one of the forms I noted he’d also seen a barrister) he caved just before the 2nd hearing and negotiations were actually relatively simple with his solicitor. The judge then asked when the CO would be typed up by (XH’s sol said the following day), and the judge then asked me if I would like her to sort out the decree absolute grin

I think what really helped was the fact that it was costing him a fortune and me nothing after I applied to court. He knew it was making his life way worse than mine. Ok he didn’t know how shit scared I was though!

If it had gone to a Final Hearing I’m not sure what I’d have done. I think you have to be really well prepared and organised and know what you are doing. You also have to be sure of what is a “fair” settlement on both sides and what the parameters are. Also show you are not scared (as much as you are able). I did wonder if I’d use a direct access barrister if it came to it. It is also so helpful to have a lot of support - preferably of the knowledgeable kind.

I hope it goes well wakeupsmelltheroses

wakeupsmelltheroses Mon 14-Jan-19 21:56:21

Yes , I agree .

Inside I’m bricking it outside I appear fierce like a lion protecting my cubs .

I’ve already spent about £15k and had barristers for 2 hearings but that’s it I’ve used all the money I could find , beg borrow or steal (joke ) but felt like it ! Ex is do controlling and the proposal is his way or no way hence final hearing .

I just don’t see no other option or just accept the deal and walk away.

Bluemascara4 Mon 14-Jan-19 22:56:57

Hi JammyC

I too am at the same stage as you ( for same reasons) but have seen a solicitor.

She was really reassuring as I also work part time and the mortgage is in H's name only . I have a primary school DS and constantly worry about him and the effect it will have. Although not seeing his mum stressed and in tears is always a bonus!!

What on earth do I tell my DS as H refuses to talk about divorce??????He says I must put my feelings aside and think about the money we must invest in our sons future hmmhmmhmmhmm

MissedTheBoatAgain Wed 16-Jan-19 09:08:28


If there is sufficient equity in the house to satisfy the housing needs of you and Ex then courts may Order that house is sold. If you wish to remain in the house you will have to buy him out of his share of the equity and take over the mortgage in full.

Equity does not have to be split 50:50. It depends on many factors.

On the assumption you will be the main carer and there are 2 children aged 5 and 8 months that would go in your favour for arguing you should receive a larger share. However, that you earn significantly more than he does and have a larger pension will go against you.

Any savings that have accrued during the marriage will be considered Jointly owned, but obligation for the Courts to split 50:50.

Outstanding debts on Credit Cards that are in your sole name could be a problem. Credit companies will seek payment from you only.

That you were prepared to let your husband use Credit Cards that were in your name even though you were aware of his bad credit rating may be seen by the Courts as a risk that you were fully aware of and therefore must accept the the consequences.

Might be worth trying to clear the credit card debts with help from husband before you file for divorce. Some might say that is underhand, but if part of the credit card debt was from purchases made by himself then he should pay towards the costs.

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