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How long is it going to take?

(18 Posts)
She70 Sun 30-Dec-12 08:16:00

I realise there is no absolute answer but I feel like I am going crazy.

My now x-h left the family home six weeks ago. In all honesty he probably left the marriage years ago. It hadn't been good for ages but we had been in counselling for a year and I stupidly thought that things were improving. It wasn't perfect but it felt like we had made some progress. I then, by accident, found out he had been gambling and had secret debts I had no idea about. With that our entire marriage fell apart. He told me he had never been happy, he was glad I had found out because he could now leave, he cared about me but never loved me. It went on and on but after all the revelations there was no going back. He left. We have two dc, aged 5 & 2 and I no longer work.

I am struggling so much. I have wonderful friends but they of course have their own busy family filled lives. My family isn't a great support. My mum is quite a controlling person who if you don't do as she says is totally incapable of showing any empathy or sympathy. If I were to do as she says I would sell the house immediately and in her words "just move on". Its not that easy and the finances are complicated. We have a large house, a very small mortgage and my view is that I have to live somewhere. Do I really need to sell the children's home etc in the current climate when there is not a lot to be gained for doing so. My ds is in school and I don't want to upset him any more than I have to by moving him to a new one. I've worked out that what I could perhaps get in equity (70/30?) wouldn't buy me very much in the area we live in. I cannot get a mortgage because I don't have any income. Its all so complicated.

My x-h was being fairly reasonable over finances but I suspect after spending Xmas with his family he came round yesterday all guns blazing demanding I sell the house, saying he wants 50/50 which given I put in 65% when we moved in just doesn't seem fair. The worse of it is for me is that he is apportioning all blame for the breakdown of our marriage on me. Its so hard to hear the hatred in his voice when he tells me what a horrible person I am. How I ruined his life, stopped him seeing friends (not true), stopped him drinking (true because he verges on being alcoholic I think. He doesn't drink everyday but when he does he doesn't have a stop button and has gotten himself into some very dangerous situations in the past. He also becomes verbally abusive when he has been drinking). He said I'm stopping the children speaking to him which again is totally untrue. They don't ask to speak to him and I've been trying to walk a fine line in keeping them oblivious to what is going on and I don't want to keep reminding them that their daddy has gone by constantly saying " do you want to phone daddy" etc. It feels like I have enough going on in my life without defining his relationship with the children as well. He surely has to have some part in that.

I feel broken and overwhelmed by it all. I am not coping and wondered if anyone had any advise on how to cope? How do I come out of this a stronger person my children can be proud of rather than this emotional wreck? My future looks so bleak and unsure. I need to get a job but don't know how easy this is going to be with a 5-yr old and 2-yr old. He only wants to pay me what the csa calculator has told him which only covers the mortgage and the council tax. How can this be possible? Our mortgage is tiny £300pm, so how do people manage on what the csa say he should pay? I can't possibly just go out and get a job after 5-years not working then pay childcare, a mortgage etc out of whatever salary I do secure.

How long is it going to take before I feel marginaly better about things? I thought I was going ok then I saw him yesterday and completely lost it. He makes me feel so inferior to him by belittling and patronising me and I just see red. I went to our Counsellor when this first happened but I'm now to scared to spend any money so can't justify the cost of her in case he cuts down the money he gives me.

Please help if you can!

Anniegetyourgun Sun 30-Dec-12 08:31:59

You need legal advice, and you need it fast. XH is not necessarily entitled to 50% just because he says he is. The marital home is not always sold - sometimes the children and primary carer get to live there until the youngest is 18 before it's sold and the equity divided - and a spouse who has given up work to care for the children may be awarded spousal maintenance for a short period to give them a chance to find work. It's worth exploring these avenues, with a solicitor who specialises in divorce/family law. Don't be bullied into anything you may regret later.

susanann Sun 30-Dec-12 08:34:16

Im so sorry you are in this situation. Have you sought any legal advice? Try the CAB or local solicitor. You need to know where you stand legally. You will feel upset, frightened and overwhelmed-thats normal . Sounds like you will be much better off without him if he belittles you etc. Also the drinking is a red flag. You need to be kind to yourself, almost think of it as a bereavement. You need to grieve for the loss of your relationship. You are not weak, youre upset. You can and will get through this, and be stronger for it. You could suggest to the children that they speak to him on the phone, they will need/want some contact with him I would think. In years to come they may look back and say you didnt encourage them to stay in contact with their Dad, so maybe an idea to instigate a call. Unless they dont want to speak to him. Hope this helps. x

DumSpiroSperHoHoHo Sun 30-Dec-12 08:34:19

I think the first thing you need to do is see a solicitor asap in the New Year.

Assuming you are in the UK, the CAB should be able to give you a list of ones that do legal aid and/or you can look in your local paper or Yellow Page & find.a couple that do a free half hour consultation. Make appointments with at least 2 as if your Ex has already been on the case anyone he's seen won't be able to represent you.

Contact your local Surestart Children & Family Centre. If they are like ours, they will have a rep from the Job Centre who comes in every couple of weeks who can advise you how to approach the finding work situation and also info about training and if you are entitled to any benefits in the meantime. Even if they CFC don't have someone on site they will be able to point you in the right direction & provide general advice & support.

Make a GP's appointment, explain what is going on and the situation with the counselling and ask if they can refer you to a counsellor on the NHS.

Otherwise, look after yourself and try to take things one step at a time. Unfortunately this isn't something that can be resolved quickly so there is little point worrying about everything at once (easier said than done, I know). Make the most of your lovely friends who I'm sure will be happy to support you and maybe have a but more time to help out now Xmas is over.

Best of luck.

BelleDameSousMistletoe Sun 30-Dec-12 08:37:00

What Annie said begin the practical stuff (which it might be helpful to focus on) and you will start, gradually, to move on.

The emotional stuff will depend on you and your attitude. If you are mooching about and wanting him back (and we've all done it/do it) then it will take a lot longer.

Not sure this site is going to feel very appropriate at the moment but it may do soon. It honestly sounds as if you've had a lucky escape...

minmooch Sun 30-Dec-12 08:55:43

You need to see a goid family solicitor. You should come out of your meeting with a good idea of what you can expect to come out of a divorce with (take to solicitors as much info as possible, length of marriage, job history, salary info, pensions info, savings info, what money you have out into house at beginning, etc etc).

Go to the CAB or govt benefits entitlement page and work out what you could expect to receive in benefits (may pleasantly surprise you).

The more knowledge you have the more powerful you will feel. Plenty of women have left before you and managed. You can do this too.

Good luck

She70 Sun 30-Dec-12 10:50:43

Thank you all for your advise. You are all right, I do need to seek legal advise.

I went to a solicitor in the aftermath of finding out about his gambling as I needed to know how liable I am/was for his debts. His sister has cleared his debt but very reluctantly and she made him sign a loan agreement to try to ensure that the debt to her became "joint marital liability". She basically wanted to make sure I pay half of it out of a divorce settlement. No consideration for me or more importantly the children at all.

Another complication I have is that I have savings and my ex is wanting half. I saved this money before we met and have been paying into an endowment for almost 25years. I've been financially dependant on him since we had the children. Before that I more than paid my way as the main bread winner. If he wants half and gets half i have nothing to fall back on which terrifies me. I'm also worried that he will just gamble it but I suppose I can't stop this if he gets awarded the money. I use this money to pay for things like new cars (he has crashed 2, one due to drink driving), to pay for maintaining the house such as boiler repairs etc etc. I am not out leading a frivolous life with it! His monthly income paid for our monthly living with not much spare.

It is true that many women have been here and come out the otherside. I think its easy when you are in the depths of despair to lose sight of this and think I'm actually in an ok situation in comparison to some. I do know that. I just feel so overwhelmed with everything.

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Sun 30-Dec-12 11:36:55

"If he wants half and gets half i have nothing to fall back on which terrifies me."

You need to explain all of this to your solicitor when you talk to them. Be as detailed as possible regarding how much you brought into the marriage and what contributions you have made, supported by statements if you still have them. The starting point is that all assets are split 50/50 but if you can reach a private settlement, you may find that there are some trade-offs you can achieve. For example, when I divorced my ex agreed to sign over the whole of the house to me in exchange for me not pursuing him for half the joint debts. It's for this kind of thing that solicitors are really worth the cost.

imtheonlyone Sun 30-Dec-12 13:12:11

Grrrrr - I've just spent half n hour typing a response to you and lost the lot!!!!! I will PM you later and try to remember all the things I said.
Hope you're ok! Take one step at a time - gutted I lost my post - I've been through a 'heated' divorce it's not easy. I will message you later! Take care x

She70 Sun 30-Dec-12 15:39:55

Thank you Imtheonlyone. It helps so much to hear what other people have been through not least because I am the only one of my friends to go though this with young children. I have no rl people to discuss how they dealt with things or how their divorce settlement was reached.

I look forward to getting your pm! I'm sorry it got lost. That has happened to me and it is so annoying!!!

badinage Sun 30-Dec-12 15:48:53

You urgently need to see a good solicitor with experience of family law and a record for achieving fair divorce settlements. Shop around and get some recommendations, but please act quickly as your ex sounds like someone other than his family is yanking his chain.

With this in mind, has any OW emerged from the shadows yet? I'd be willing to bet a tidy sum that as well as being financially unfaithful, your ex left for someone else. Men who are this weak, exit suddenly, have form for telling lies and then turn nasty are usually unfaithful too and only ever leave when there is another bed to go to.

She70 Sun 30-Dec-12 16:39:14

No badinage so far no other ow has emerged but I know exactly what you are saying. I too think its quite possible that there is someone else. He left way too quickly and easily and my first thought was that was because he had somewhere else to go. To be honest at this stage good luck to her. He has intimacy and emotional problems that run deep and on my stronger days I do believe I am better off without him. He was dragging me down towards the end but I continued fighting for the marriage because I felt we owed it to the children. I think if i could get some sort of financial security for the next few years I can move on and deal with the emotional side of the separation but at the moment I am consumed with worry about how we manage and where we could end up.

I will start asking around for solicitor recommendations. Dods anyone know what one should cost? The one I saw initially charged me £319 for 1hr and 12mins of her time. I just cannot afford that sort of money!

HappyNewSkyebluesapphire Sun 30-Dec-12 16:43:52

Yes, starting point is 50/50 if mortgage is in joint names. He can't force a sale unless house is too big for your needs, you may be able to stay there til you gets child 18.

All assets would need to be argued over who gets what.

I second going to your Sure Start centre where you will get lots if help and advice. Also ring tax credits to see what you could get if you were working.

You will almost certainly have to go back to work if you want to keep your house. My XH only has to pay me £37 a week. My mortgage is £700! I am in the process of remortgaging.

badinage Sun 30-Dec-12 16:45:43

Yes good luck to her as you say. She'll learn.

I was on a thread yesterday though where the OP's H had done very similar - made a hasty exit for another woman, but the OP's sol advised that as her H was now providing for the OW's child, her own children's financial settlement would suffer. Another poster confirmed this to be normal practice, which shocked me. So although emotionally it might not matter if he's someone else's problem now, it might be better to know if he's got new financial commitments that will affect his ability to pay you what's due. Forewarned is forearmed....

Sorry, no idea what sols cost. But a good one could be a spend to save option, just like a good accountant.

Spero Sun 30-Dec-12 16:49:50

The outcome the courts want to achieve is 'fairness'. They measure fairness against a 50/50 split and there are many reasons why it is fair to depart from 50/50, the most obvious and compelling being the needs of young children.

The courts first consideration is the welfare of any child of the family under 18. The fact that you have damaged your earning capacity to care for them is also very relevant.

He can't assume he will get half of all available assets and even if gets half he might have to wait until children are adults to realise it.

Please don't panic, see a solicitor ASAP. Try not to let him get to you.

Spero Sun 30-Dec-12 16:53:18

Btw he is going to find it difficult to plead financial obligations towards anyone else's child. That child has parents who are expected to pay for him/her. His obligation to his own chidren will come first - i think it highly unlikely he could argue that you have to sell house to help him pay for someone else's child.

She70 Sun 30-Dec-12 17:41:42

Oh my god I had no idea that if he moved in with someone else and she had children that could effect the amount he has to pay to us! I am totally shocked that someone else's children can come before your own. How is that possibly considered fair?!

happynew see I am worried about this. The house we live in would be considered too big for mine and the children's needs. Although it swings in roundabouts because I have a large spare room which could be rented out, create an income so reduce his maintenance costs perhaps? I don't know if that would have any bearing. on that decision though.

How can £37 a week possibly be fair with a £700pm mortgage? I have no qualms about returning to work. I had wanted to anyway but in the current climate its not so easy to just walk into a well paid job. I have our 2-yr old to consider and also drop off and pick up for our 5-yr old. I assume I'll have to pay for child care, child minders to do the school run etc in which case I need to find a pretty well paid job to fund these expenses. I don't know, it all seems so overwhelming and so much to think about.

I am really starting to think there is probably an ow. Yesterday he started making noises about me meeting someone else and how then he wants to pay me less money for the children. That is the last thing on my mind but perhaps he was using some kind of reverse psychology and its him who actually has someone else!

Spero Sun 30-Dec-12 17:52:12

Someone else's children are highly unlikely to come before your own. They have their own parents to take financial responsibility for them. The court's first consideration is the needs of the children ofyour family. This is a statutory obligation.

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