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Wise MNters, I need your help - Leaving emotionally abusive H

(20 Posts)
PeppaIsBack Thu 28-Jul-11 21:47:27

Ok so I have finally reached the point where I am ready to leave H. Turning point was a couple of days ago when my counsellor pointed out to me that H was emotionally abusive and that it obvioulsy had been going on for years....

Having said that she also warned me not to do anything in a rush and to think and plan so to protect myself (financially, emotionally etc...). No DV (but I did have an incident where I got scared he would lose it completely. That was a day when I pushed him into a corner where he didn't want to be and leaving would be a similar situation).

So what would be the steps to go through?

In my mind I have
-See sollicitor. I was hoping to go for a separation at first and an agreement on financial ground (Idea being that it would be cheaper) but beginning to realize this might be a bit naive from my part and that i might need a divorce to protect myslef.
- Copy documents (wage slips, bank statements) but how far should I go back?
- Copy of house deeds (with our names on) and morgage certificates
- Have name on car changed (complicated story but atm both cars are in his name)

Also what would you advise re letting him know? public place or at home?

JosieRosie Thu 28-Jul-11 21:52:15

Peppa, first of all, well done on making a very brave and tough decision. It sounds like your life is about to get a whole lot better! I left my abusive DP (no kids, no shared mortage) 7 years ago and was TERRIFIED about going it alone. It honestly felt like being released from prison. The freedom to go where I wanted to, speak to who I wanted to, wear what I wanted to was truly wonderful and I am still thankful for those freedoms several years on.

It sounds like you have the main documents you would need but someone else wil be along in a sec with more practical advice. I guess where you let him know depends on whether you think he may turn violent and whether you are planning to stay in the home and kick him out. Either way, have a good friend on standby, either in the next room or on the end of the phone if you need him/her. Good luck xxx

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Thu 28-Jul-11 21:56:27

Are the two of you also in couples counselling? If so, telling him could take place there, giving the counsellor advanced warning.

Have somewhere to go to after you tell him, preferably accompanied by a supportive friend. It's probably unlikely that he will agree to leave the home, so you will probably be looking at being the one to move out. This is a point you should trust your gut on.

I don't know what your working and bank situation is, but if you work make sure that your salary goes into an account only you have access to. Find out how to get rid of joint accounts. Have money set aside.

Separation then agreement probably is naive, yes. You also know to avoid mediation with an abusive man, right? They are master manipulators. Your split, whichever legal avenue you choose, will be the last battleground for abusive powerplays (unless you also have DC). Best to insulate yourself from those as much as possible.

Good luck. You will get through this.

PeppaIsBack Thu 28-Jul-11 22:06:52

God no, counselling is on my own. he doesn't even know I am going!

We have 2 dcs which is why I would like to stay in our house. Not because of the house but because I don't want them changing school (They've just started and settled down in this school a year ago).
Otherwise, as far as I am concenred, a house isn't something I am particularly attached to. But being self employed, not a lot of money in the business atm (just starting) so very unlikely I would get a morgage in my name only. I can however pay this morgage in full if I stay.

Bank issue is OK as I've always had my own account (from before we were married). Child benefit etc.. on it.

I will remember to avoid mediation too.

garlicbutter Thu 28-Jul-11 22:17:46

Well done, Peppa. It sounds as though you picked a great counsellor, and are at the right place mentally to put your own wellbeing first for a change.

Expect him to play dirty. Get copies of ALL marital finances & property, including things like cars, holiday home etc, savings, any other investments and pensions, any real valuables and artworks. Don't attempt mediation or a collaborative divorce. Do have at least one emergency backup plan in place, with friends or family members who will support you in person and have you to stay if needs be. Don't worry over-much about stuff around the house, but you may want to squirrel away any things of great sentimental value to you.

Do ring Women's Aid for a sensible talk.

Unless you're a gifted actor, he might realise something's changed in you. He's likely to respond to that with rapid nice-nasty cycles, so be ready with all the detachment tools you learned in counselling!

Good luck, and give yourself a massive pat on the back smile

Pickadaytocelebrate Thu 28-Jul-11 23:11:15

Passports and children's birth certificates. Contact banks, mortgage lenders etc to freeze the accounts so he can't withdraw any joint money. Otherwise you might find he tries to clear out your accounts.

Admiraltea Fri 29-Jul-11 06:50:02

unfortunately divorce "protocols" changed in april and mediation now has to be gone through... however if he does not comply or turn up there may be a way to avoid it. My xh was not a person to negotiate with but the mediator I had was very tough and kept everything in line. Best of luck.

notsorted Fri 29-Jul-11 10:39:11

Dear peppa
have a look at the emotional abuse thread. There are lots of people who are in similar situations and are at different stages or leaving/having left emotionally abusive partners. And lots of links to good sites.

cestlavielife Fri 29-Jul-11 10:46:51

is the house in both names?
where do you expect him to go to if he leaves?
what if he refuses to leave? are you prepared to do so? can you do so?

only tell him when you ahve everything in place.
but if you planning for him to leave the jointowned property that is going to be v difficult i he doestn accept there is a aporblem
also he may get violent on being told.
only tell him with third person there for witness/support

PeppaIsBack Fri 29-Jul-11 12:54:30

Thank you all.

House is in both our names.
Re bank account, I am not sure what I can do. Basically we have one joint account. I have one of my own and he doesn't any on his own name.
All our savings are now in his name only so as soon as I've told him, I won't be able to access them (I am sure he will think about changing the password for the inetrnet access). So there isn't a lot that i can 'freeze' iyswim. I will though have a copy of all the saving accounts so there is a proof what there was (not a lot unfortunatly as we have just changedhis one of our cars).
Some savings are in our children's name under my name iyswim. Of course, i wouldn't want to touch these but things come to the worst it's still some money I can have access to.

Re leaving the house. This is probably the main issue.
In the best world, I would like to stay put for the dcs. I don't have a stable income to present yet so private renting will be hard. The other thing is that he will be able to get a new morgage if he wants. he has a steady reliable income and is earning a nice wage. I am not, so even if we were to sell the house and split the money I would still not be able to buy a house because I won't get a morgage. I would also end up in a situation where I would have some consequent savings and my understanding is that it would stop any tax credit. Not the place where I want to be.
This is a very practical issue, not because I am particularly attached to the house. So there is room for a lot of different organization there.
I suppose the answer is that I really need to go and see a sollicitor to check out what I can and can't do.
Having said all that, I know that in the worse case scenario, my parents will be able to step in to help. Just want to avoid that as they have already done sooo much much for me.

Re mediation. I don't have a problem as such but does it mean that there is much more leaway (sp??) on settlement ie when one spouse would before have recieve let's say 65% of the house, he/she might feel he/she has to settle down for 50% because it is a negocating process and the other spouse is pushing hard for it.

notsorted I had a look before and though 'This is what is happening to me' and followed it (even though I've never posted). Then I though that your stories were far far much worse than mine... Until my counsellor pointed out the abuse to me which has made e think again. I will have a look again.

garlicbutter Fri 29-Jul-11 15:51:30

Do have another read of the thread, Peppa smile

The reason for advising against mediation is that mediators can be easily manipulated by abusive types (mine was.) The mediation process aims to achieve a settlement with both spouses' co-operation. It's the opposite of game-playing, and unreasonable to expect the mediating solicitor to call abuse.

PeppaIsBack Fri 29-Jul-11 17:31:47

No no garlic. I get what you are saying re mediation. But someone else has being saying that it is the route you have to go through. Do you mean I should just avoid it right from the start and just use a sollicitor? Could it be an issue with the new guidelines?

PeppaIsBack Fri 29-Jul-11 21:06:58

Bump for this evening.
Does anyone know what is the situation re divorce now? Do you have to go for mediation first before anythingelse?

notsorted Fri 29-Jul-11 21:29:05

Hi peppa
talk to womens aid and see what they say. I don't know re divorce and financial things and check if your solicitor does family law. But abuse and mediation should ring alarm bells in a good mediator.
And talk to your counsellor about what she/he knows. It's a big step recognising the abuse so you now need to work out where you are vulnerable. I'm dithering over this issue myself ...

garlicbutter Fri 29-Jul-11 21:43:57

Oh dear, Peppa, from a very quick search it does seem that mediation is now compulsory sad I'd strongly second talking to Women's Aid. They'll know how to handle this, whether it can be waived where there is abuse ... and can recommend a seasoned lawyer.

I'm sorry I was out-of-date.

PeppaIsBack Fri 29-Jul-11 21:54:13

You know this idea of ringing WA, I've had it before but it feels like it's not 'bad enough' for me to bother them (or more that I might take time from them that could be used for someone in a dire situation, let's say DV).
Saying that, it's probably me not having fully acknowledge the situation yet (just asI was not acknowledging the EA until my counsellor got very clear it was and she was worried for me).

I am not going to do anything until I can see my counsellor again (end of August). I know some lawyers are specialized in family law but can not remember the name of the 'group'. Can anyone help on that one?

Also worried about the cost of it. a few £1000 as I understand.

PeppaIsBack Fri 29-Jul-11 21:57:16

notsorted I think this is one of the things she wants to go through with me too.
Funny because I went to see her with a very precise idea of what I wanted to achieve (finally finding the courage to leave an unhappy relatioship). When she talked about 12 sessions, I though it would be really too much. Now I am thinking I might actually need her help for longer!

garlicbutter Fri 29-Jul-11 22:03:29

If you feel bad about using WA, make a donation. Then you'll be helping them to help someone else smile

I envy you, having such a great counsellor! I generally end up educating mine about abuse ... confused

Keep talking and reading. You're doing well, Peppa.

notsorted Fri 29-Jul-11 22:22:00

I spoke to respect who gave me good advice too - they run programmes for men who recognise their abuse and want to change, so they are pretty good at knowing kind of tactics men who continue to abuse use.

PeppaIsBack Fri 29-Jul-11 22:27:56

Thank yu both. I will have a look at those.

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