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Where do I stand?

(22 Posts)
AlexRider Tue 28-Aug-12 16:55:17

May be long but I'll give you the background, 10 years ago DH had a dream that he wanted to move to France with me and three DCs. We moved to Normandy bought a house, after a couple of years he didn't like it couldn't find work, so he went back to UK and lives in a flat in Kent that we bought before the move. Me and DCs stayed in France living in mortgage free house, but total wreck and DH did it up a bit at a time at weekends but hasn't done that much really. I work a little, get paid about £10k a year, DH in UK on £38k, my money is earned in the UK and it would go into the UK account and DH would give me some of it to live on in France, he kept the rest as said it was needed to contribute to mortgage on UK property, his travelling costs, stuff for DCs that he bought in UK.

DH's visits to France have been getting less and less. Last Sunday afternoon he called me and in a phone calling lasting less than five minutes told me that he wanted out of the marriage, he followed this up a couple of days later with an email laying out my faults as a wife.

I emailed him back saying I'd spoken to CSA and they recommended he should pay £128 per week for both children. I said I didn't want this much but could he give me £300 but then contribute half towards the DCs after school activities and I'd pay the other half. I also said that when he came to visit the DCs I was too hurt from the way he'd ended our marriage to have him stay at the house and I expected him to stay in a B&B for the time being. I heard nothing until today.

Today I get, that he has spoken to a lawyer and that he's been advised he pay £400 a month but that's it, however he only sent £300 by bank transfer. That I should cover all the activities from this amount. That he thinks I'm being unreasonable demanding that he contribute 50% and also that I'm unreasonable asking him to stay in a B&B and he WILL be staying in the house at the weekend albeit sleeping on the sofa. Also, that we will not be telling the children of our separation and just carry on as we have been. He's already told me in the email where I was a crap wife that he had looked on but was too tight to pay the registration fee. So basically, he's in the UK on the hunt for a new partner and living a single guy's life but expects me to be here in France living like a hermit. I'm not looking for another man but maybe in the future I'd like to go on a date. Looking at his Facebook page it seems that there is someone else in the background anyhow.

I've emailed him back and said I'm hurt about the way he ended it and I really don't want to spend time with him and I want him to stay in a B&B this weekend, that this could change with the passing of time but at the moment I want space between us. I've also said that we will be telling the DCs because I will not facilitate a lie.

How do I go about keeping DH out of the house this weekend? I really don't want to cause a scene but I don't want him here. I did also mention to him that I wasn't running a B&B and couldn't afford to feed him while he was here - he eats twice as much as the rest of us.

He seems to think I'm making these unreasonable demands for money when in theory I'm just asking him to maintain the DCs lifestyle and contribute the same amount as me per month. I don't think I'm making unreasonable demands considering he does earn four times as much as I do.

Sorry this is very long, I just needed to vent. I got ridiculously upset this afternoon at the thought of DCs having to give up scouts which they love because I can't afford to pay for it up front. They have other activities too and I'm going to have to sit them down and ask them which ones they want to drop.

AlexRider Tue 28-Aug-12 16:56:51

Sorry I suggested £300 a month, not a week.

Spero Tue 28-Aug-12 17:00:31

Sorry. What a horrible shit and sad situation. What a coward he is.

I don't know how it works in France, but in England you can get a court order keeping someone out of a property they own. But this is obviously the nuclear option - you would need to apply to court and prove that there is a risk of serious harm to you or the children if he was allowed in, if he was harrasing you, being violent etc.

What he is doing is being a nasty insensitive twat of the highest order. Anyone with any shred of decency would respect just how upsetting it would be for you and would offer to stay in a B and B or at least discuss with you how you are going to tell the children.

Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to make him a decent human being. Do you have any friends or family who can support you through this?

I would also crack on and get the divorce/finances sorted out asap. You need to be able to make a clean break from this person.

Twitterqueen Tue 28-Aug-12 17:01:08

IME - Do NOT try to be kind or reasonable. You will only regret it and he will take you for everything he can. I made the mistake of thinking we could be civilised and that he would do what he said he would. Then he refused to pay child support, maintenance, either of 2 mortgages etc etc.

Please do get a solicitor. don't commit to ANYTHING until you have had a chance to think about things. You may think you can manager now on £300 a month - I promise you won't be able to when they're a few years older.

izzyizin Tue 28-Aug-12 17:17:26

Firstly, don't panic. Secondly, get yourself a UK based lawyer to begin divorce proceedings - to this end I advise you post on the Legal matters board for recommenations.

With regard to your h staying in your French marital home this weekend, I'm not proficient in the law of France but my guess is that, as in the UK, if his name is on the deeds he has a right to come and go as he wishes unless varied by a Court order.

However, that doesn't mean you have to feed the bugger while he sleeps on the sofa for a few nights. Make sure that your cupboards/fridge are bare (hide anything edible in an old suitcase under your bed or similar) and email him a list of supplies he'll need to pick up in a supermarket en route if he expects to eat en famille.

As for asking the dc what activities they'd be prepared to drop, say nothing to the dc until this coming weekend when you can sit down with them and your h and let him put that question to them.

Aw honey, it's always 'cherchez la femme' in these cases but once you've got the finances properly sorted, it'll be onwards and upwards for you.

Btw, as a matter of urgency, get your UK earnings, child benefit, etc paid into your own individual bank account - you can set up an account with an online banking service and can draw on the funds wherever you may be in the world.

happyAvocado Tue 28-Aug-12 17:28:50

If he wants to get out of the marriage - you will follow up with extracting his presence from your life.
Make sure that you include in that agreement how often he sees the kids.

Definitely sort out your financial dependency. Apply to CSA. He has to pay 20% off his netto income for your kids.

So if he earns 38K - he brings home around £2300, so you are enditled to ~£450/month.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 28-Aug-12 17:34:21

Second the suggestion to get your own lawyer as quickly as possible. This one is not going to end amicably and, if he is rolling out the big guns, you need bigger ones. He may be entitled legally to have access to a house he owns on paper but no french police officer is going to enforce that in practice. You are, however, entitled to be safe in your own home ... so get some extra bolts on the doors or change the locks and don't let him across the threshold.

AlexRider Tue 28-Aug-12 17:34:46

Thank you all so much, your kind words have made me cry. I've done really well until today and held myself together but this afternoon has just been a barrage of tears. Fortunately he's just emailed me to say he can't afford to come out this weekend so crisis averted for the time being. I've been trying to open a UK bank account but they all say you have be permanently resident in the UK or have a minimum of £5,000 in the account. I don't have either.

Although I'm self employed I do have a lovely boss in the UK and she has suggested I open up a Paypal account and she'll pay my money into that so only I have access to it. I'm just waiting for Paypal to do the small amounts of money thing into my bank account so I can confirm the account.

I also can't get a lawyer because I can't afford it, all my money was paid into the UK and then he just transferred what I needed to the French bank account. I don't have a bean. Fortunately I get child benefit in France so he's never been able to touch that although he told me to use it for the DCs clubs.

AlexRider Tue 28-Aug-12 17:36:53

I don't think the CSA would be able to get involved because the DCs are not resident in the UK.

Lueji Tue 28-Aug-12 17:48:23

Can you get some form of help with the divorce costs in France? Or your children to claim for maintenance?

izzyizin Tue 28-Aug-12 18:00:20

That's good news - gives us more time to take the wind out of his sails plot and plan before you have a face-to-face with him grin

If you're waiting for PayPal verification it seems you have your own bank account? How do you receive child benefit? Does it go into your bank account or a joint account you share with him?

On the basis of where there's a will there's a way, it's time to do some creative thinking, honey. You jointly own a wreck house in France free and clear, and a mortgaged flat in the UK - is the house and the mortgage for the flat in your joint names?

Do you have friends/relatives in the UK who'd be willing to let you use their address for postal purposes?

With regard to having no money for a solicitor, some divorce lawyers are prepared to defer their fees until such time as marital assets have been divided, financial matters settled, and decree absolutes issued.

Do please post on the Legal matters board as it may be that, with a little guidance, you can get the divorce ball rolling yourself and put the fear of god in him begin resolving issues that may ordinarily require solicitors' letters/mediation.

Harden your heart for the tough ride ahead, but know that there's always mumsnetters around 24/7 to hold your hand here on your thread.

JustFabulous Tue 28-Aug-12 18:05:03

He has been shafting you from when he said he needed to keep most of the money YOU earned so get the best advice you can to get as much money as you can out of him.

Only do what suits you and the children.

I am so angry for you that yet another fucking man is treating his wife and mother of his kids as worthless and disposable than I can barely type.

Get yourself angry, he has treated you and the kids appalingly.

Xales Tue 28-Aug-12 18:09:16

You need to get tough and hard, fast.

This man is weeks ahead of you in planning and preparation. Get all the information you can about bank accounts/mortgages/savings etc as soon as you can.

Do not trust him an inch. He knows where he is going and has it all planned.

No idea about the situation with you being in France.

Good luck!

travailtotravel Tue 28-Aug-12 18:20:58

Do you still have a parent in the UK, could you use their address as your home address for a bank account.

Also, your marriage should really be dealt with in the country of the marriage, presumably England. You should consider also the issue of divorce in France but that has more implications for children and access.

Do you want to stay in France, or do you want to move back to the UK long term? Think about that a bit now as it could make a difference to things like access. Also, will you both be required to consider the house an asset and do 50/50?

I am so sorry, he is obviously a total arse and long term you're better off etc ut this bit is quite painful for you.

tallwivglasses Tue 28-Aug-12 18:23:14

Christ, does this man not have a conscience? Take no notice of his criticisms of you, youve been a saint- he's just trying to justify
his cuntish behaviour to himself. Take him to the cleaners

oldraver Tue 28-Aug-12 18:46:52

I cant believe he earns that amount and keeps some of your 10k to fund HIS lifestyle.....the cheek. Get advice and a new bank account pronto

AlexRider Tue 28-Aug-12 19:04:40

Again thank you all, today is the first day I've discussed any of this with anyone. I thought I'd got it all sorted out in my head but then when I phoned my two closest friends to tell them. I just broke down. I feel a bit drained now but starting to get back on track again.

I do have a bank account in France, funnily enough until last year because DH worked in the UK we got child benefit paid there into the UK account. I never saw it, and I was constantly struggling to make ends meet. In the end I took it into my own hands, opened a French bank account in my own name and got into the French child benefit system. Seemed like a good idea particularly as I pay tax here in France. When DCs go back to school here you get a big chunk of money to buy all their stationery and school needs with it. DH has just emailed me this afternoon and told me to use that to pay for the activities. I've emailed him back and broken it all down for his info, three months school bus, 200 euros on necessary stationery, food because I had run out of money because he hadn't transferred enough for me this month. I've told him it's the last time I'll justify how I spend my money again.

I've also explained to him that out of the 300 euros he sends every month I have to spend 200 of that on school fees and school dinners. 100 euros doesn't go far feeding 3 growing children.

My parents and brother have both emigrated from the UK. I do have a sister who is still there and I might ask if I can use her home address to set up an account. It's the family home so she shouldn't have too much of a problem with it.

The reason I have a bit of a bee in my bonnet about the activities is that DD1 has ASD, dyslexia and dyspraxia, every activity she does has been picked because it has some benefit to her. Piano to help with co-ordination and concentration, scouts and theatre because it helps her become socially involved with her peers and interact with other children and swimming because it's the only things she's good at and it gives her confidence a boost. All of these things have contributed to the loving and warm child she is today.

I think I have found a lawyer on the internet, I'll give them a call tomorrow. I might not be able to afford a full blown divorce, but I can certainly afford a letter setting out the facts and how I expect things to be from now on. Also, it will give me a good idea of how I stand for the time being.

Another long one, sorry.

ImperialBlether Tue 28-Aug-12 19:11:17

I think lawyers' fees for both come out of joint funds, OP. Is there a lawyer here who can confirm that. It's not fair that he can have a lawyer and you can't, when you are married.

Do you want to stay in France now?

Do you know someone who he could stay with when he comes over?

He sounds really awful - I'm so glad you've got rid of him.

izzyizin Tue 28-Aug-12 19:43:16

Please don't just go with a random lawyer you've found on the internet, honey.

Post on the Legal matters board and you'll get the immediate advice you need and recommendations for lawyers.

alexrider Tue 18-Sep-12 14:52:18

Just wanted to give an update on my situation. So it turns out DH was having an affair, the reason I found out, he blocked me from Facebook then changed his relationship status to reveal the woman's name - he did this less than a week after calling it a day on the marriage. After much hunting around I found out he'd opened an account on too so obviously had been looking for a shag for a while.

I actually contacted a lawyer I used to work for, she really calmed me down and divorce papers were issued on 12th September. He wanted to be the one who divorced me, so I'm so glad I got in before him, and got the basis of his affair as being the reason for the divorce.

He's bitching about money. I got him to pay up £300 last month and he's agreed to pay £400 a month for the DCs, but now he's already saying how people (which probably means his work colleagues and new girlfriend) say it's too much. I earned £10,000 last year, how on earth he expects me to support the DCs on that is beyond me.

He's being really aggressive toward me in emails I have no idea why. I don't respond to any of it, just one word answers or give him the dates of when the DCs don't have any weekend activities. He's visited once, I made him sleep out of the house, he says he slept in his car. I know he went round the house taking stuff that we had bought for the purposes of doing the renovation work, so basically he's taken anything of practical use to me. From now on he won't be allowed anywhere but the living room and he certainly won't be allowed in the house alone.

I've found out loads of stuff he's lied to me about, stuff he doesn't know that I know yet, so when the time comes I'll just use it to my advantage. I always knew he had a sneaky side to him but I'm gobsmacked that he has and still is lying to me so blatantly. I didn't let on to him that I knew he had a girlfriend, so when he came to visit the DCs and we were speaking, I dropped into the conversation that 'I realised the marriage had come to its natural end, that he'd known I'd been unhappy for years and that he'd just reached the same place, it wasn't as if he waited until he found someone else before ending it with me was it?' Well he agreed with me and said that was absolutely the truth, then as he was leaving the next morning, I just put my head inside the car, and told him I knew he'd had an affair, I knew everything about her etc. She was named in the divorce petition too.

So there we are, still on my own, but feeling relieved. Hopefully he will be a good dad to the DCs but at the moment he's not calling them that often, has only visited them once but is spending a lot of time playing dad to the OWs kids.

I think he's treated me so disrespectfully it's very hurtful. I've supported him through his depression throughout our marriage, trouble with the police that he's brought to the door, his falling out with our friends because he's tried to con them. I'm sure one day fate will smack him in the face and all being well I'll be there to see it and enjoy it.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 18-Sep-12 15:13:03

Don't count on fate, count on your lawyer. I find fate to be very fickle when it comes to rewarding bad people for crap deeds and his side-kick karma is often sadly lacking as well. Lawyers are far less sentimental. smile

Sorry you've had to discover exactly what a toad this man is. Often happens that once the can of worms is open, all kinds of other nasties wriggle out. Sorry he's being an arse towards his children as well but again, there is a particular type of shit for whom 'clean break' means pretending they are fully single again. No wife, no kids, no nothing.

Interesting personality you describe. Was he actually diagnosed as clinically depressed or was he just so deeply ego-centric that, if things weren't going his way, he went into a tail-spin, casting around for blame before descending into morbid self-pity? It would explain the aggressive e-mails and lies, you see. Along with the other people who got wise to his cons... the friends, the police etc... you're now 'the enemy' because you've seen through the fantasy. In an effort to ingratiate himself with the next woman, you have to be painted as some terrible creature, forcing him to sleep in cars or whatever.

kirsty75005 Wed 24-Oct-12 13:08:46


I know this is a old thread, but I have one comment to make : have you gone to your local caf to go through exactly what benefits you are available for ? I know you already said child benefit (which is for everyone) but especially for larger families there are many other ressource-based benefits. As you're on a low income, you may be able to get the RSA, the allocation de soutien familial (single parents who get no help from the NRP), complément familiale, allocation de rentrée scolaire, maybe other stuff depending on the age of your children. With three children, you can also get cheap rail travel.

I'm not an expert, but it might be worth chekcing out...

Best of luck,

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