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Want to leave husband- advice on kids and house please?!

(14 Posts)
AmberLilly Wed 22-Dec-10 18:26:16

My husband and I have been married 3 years, we have 2 boys -aged 2 and 6 months. My husband has always been a heavy drinker and it has always caused problems between us but recently it really has got out of control and I can no longer trust him with the children or bear to be in the same house as him. I had an affair as result of his drinking early in our our marriage and he thinks because of this i have no chance of divorcing him... as i was the adulterer.

Our house is in both our names but he paid the 25% deposit and I pay the mortgage and all monthly bills- He says if I want to leave I have to go as it is 'his house'and I have to leave the children too. - Over my dead body!

If I move out I cannot afford to rent anywhere as already paying almost all my salary on the house, also if the children are with me (which they will be!) why should they be frightened and disrupted?

What are my rights? Can I force him to sell? Can I divorce him on grounds of unreasonable behaviour ?

LaurieFairyonthetreeEatsCake Wed 22-Dec-10 18:28:30

Anyone can get a divorce, it'll just take longer if he's obstructive

No you can't force him out and if he's obstructive when you come to sell you'll have to get a court order to sell.

RockinSockBunnies Wed 22-Dec-10 18:31:03

Do you know if you own the house as tenants in common or joint tenants? If the former, does the paperwork specify what shares that you own the house in (i.e. does it say that he owns a larger share than you?)

I don't know much about divorce law, but I do know that if things are acrimonious and you go to court, the judge has the power to divide the assets as he/she thinks fit. So could say that you are to stay in the house with the children and that your husband must move out.

Can you get an appointment with a solicitor ASAP?

cestlavielife Wed 22-Dec-10 19:23:32

is his drinking documented?
have you called the police when he has been drinking or 999 to take him to A&E?

unless you have some offficial record of his drinking then you wont get residency of the children on your say so with regard to the children's welfare.....he could turn up sober to court and say it's all lies - espcailly if you are the one who had an affair. be very careful.

if you and DC are scared of his behaviour when he drunk you need to start calling the police on him - so it gets recorded.

if you move and rent and stop paying mortgage will he cough up the money? is he working?

you could ask about switching to interest only or a payment holiday?

AmberLilly Wed 22-Dec-10 19:28:29

Yes, i will try to see someone soon as i can

we are joint tenants- the deposit came from his father and he had to write a letter explaining what it was- said it was a gift to the both of us so technically he doesnt own more than me but we always agreed that he could have that back if we ever split because it was a sort of inheritance from his mother

what about the kids? i acknowledge they meed equal access to their parents but i would want them to live with me until i could be sure they were safe with him

AmberLilly Wed 22-Dec-10 19:31:22

celavielife- no record of his drinking- ive been trying to cover it for a while- i couldnt call the police because he's never violent- ust drinks litres of vodka in secret so never know if he's capable of driving etc ad he often passes out so no question of him being trusted with a baby

prh47bridge Wed 22-Dec-10 19:54:29

You can get a divorce on the grounds of his unreasonable behaviour. Unless he contests the divorce it should be fairly straightforward. He could file for divorce himself but if he has known about your affair for more than 6 months he cannot use your adultery as grounds as he is regarded as having condoned it. He certainly cannot use your affair as a way of preventing you from divorcing him.

It is not "his" house. The house is one of the assets to be taken into account in determining the financial settlement. That would be the case even if it the house was entirely in his name. The court can force a sale of the house if necessary. If he is obstructive and refuses to sign the necessary documents the court can sign them on his behalf.

Regarding the children the courts prefer parents to try and arrive at a suitable compromise between them. If you cannot do so it will be up to the courts to decide. If you have provided most of the care up to now there is a good chance the children will live with you but there is no guarantee. He is likely to get substantial unsupervised contact unless there is evidence as to why this shouldn't happen. Your affair is not relevant in determining the arrangements for the children. Past behaviour by the parents is only relevant if it suggests that the children will not be safe in their care.

You need to consult a solicitor who specialises in family law as soon as possible. Many will give you an initial half hour consultation for free. I would recommend using one who is a member of Resolution.

AmberLilly Wed 22-Dec-10 20:07:44

thank you so much- i feel there is light at the end of the tunnel!

i have found a law firm specialising in family law near me- they offer fixed price, no obligation appointments to give advice on your position - is this a common practice? are they worth trying?

AmberLilly Wed 22-Dec-10 20:08:54

'they' = that type of appointment (sorry, not clear)

Resolution Thu 23-Dec-10 09:57:16

I would echo what prh47 says.

Also, there are some alcohol testing procedures available - not completely reliable, but if you go for hair strand analysis, CDT (blood) and liver function, together you should get a pretty good idea that courts usually rely upon in residence disputes. Have a look at the Trimega website. They offer liver test, CDT, FAEE and ETG bundled up for I think £800 plus vat. That includes sample collection and a written report.

Not cheap, but if it saves contested court hearings then worthwhile.

cestlavielife Thu 23-Dec-10 20:59:24

"until i could be sure they were safe with him"

how are you going to be sure they will be safe? what would be the proof?

you need to get his drinking witnessed, out in the open...

but speak to solicitor.

all this takes a long time by the way... if you go to court a few months to get a first hearing...

Resolution Sat 25-Dec-10 01:36:42

first hearing will generally be within 6 weeks, but it does vary from court to court

StiffyByng Sun 26-Dec-10 14:49:52

My husband had to have an alcohol hair strand test as part of residency proceedings. In his case, the accusation was malicious and slightly ludicrous (78 bottles of port a weekend...) and it all came back clear of course. But it was part of a wider dispute.

The court can also order your husband to move out - my husband's ex-wife had this happen to her, although in her case, it was so my husband and the kids could move back in - ie her presence in the house was leaving the kids without a home. I'm not sure how common it is in cases like yours, but your solicitor will know.

Starting from NOW, keep a record of any incidents with him relating to the kids that you would want a court to consider. This sort of diary can be invaluable. Also any communications from him that demonstrate any sign of bad parenting.

As Resolution says, you should be able to find a firm that will do an initial consultation for free, rather than a fixed price. Good luck.

Gonzo33 Mon 27-Dec-10 14:45:00

I would just like to add that if the mortgage is in both names do NOT stop paying it because the mortgage company will chase you for the debt equally and I can assure you it will not look good if you have defaulted on a mortgage or had your home repossessed when you go looking for a new mortgage or rental property.

Also do NOT change the locks and kick him out. It is his right to live in that property, even if you are living separately from each other, unless he has been ordered by a court to leave.

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