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Husband has been cheating, what to do? Can anyone recommend a solicitor?

(26 Posts)
confused66 Wed 02-Jan-13 14:42:16

Just before Christmas, I found out that my husband cheated on me last year, the affair lasted 3 months and they continued texting each other for another 3 months after it ended. It also seems that my husband has been regularly visiting strip clubs for the last couple of years and blowing an average of £1000 each time on booze and lap dancers. To add insult to injury, my husband works for a top investment bank and could loose his job for indecent behaviour putting at risk our children's livelihoods as I was so stupid to give up my job in order to support him with his career.

I don't know what to do, he is full of remorse and volunteered me access to his phone, email accounts etc in order to regain my trust but can a wife really forgive and forget or will I never forget what I once forgave? I have two children aged 2 and 3. Anyone been through this?

Also, it is my understanding that if I want to file a divorce on the grounds of adultery, I have to do it in the next 6 months. Do I stand a better financial and custodial outcome if I file on the grounds of adultery or unreasonable behaviour (for being a borderline alcoholic and the irresponsible spending), can I state both? Any advise on this would be much appreciated.

Also, can anyone recommend a good solicitor in the London area? Cost is not a problem.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 02-Jan-13 14:57:56

I tried to forgive my exH for something similar and we did get back together for a few weeks. However, the relief at things being back to normal quickly faded, I started to despise him and realised I would never be able to forgive. Others have different experiences... all depends on what's best for you.

You won't get a better outcome to the divorce settlement if you cite adultery rather than something more vague. However, it may affect the access arrangements if he is deemed to be unstable or a danger to the DCs

Try the Law Society website for a family law specialist or ask friends for a recommendation.

BelleoftheFall Wed 02-Jan-13 15:09:07

Many lawyers give a free half hour consultation. I would write down your most important questions and set up a meeting with one pronto. Know exactly what information you want to come away with and take a notepad. I would write down a list of things you want to know (Do I stand a realistic chance of getting x amount of custody) and put ticks or crosses next to it based on what they indicate, as you may feel overwhelmed by what information you're getting and find it impossible to write everything down.

You won't get anything more if you file for adultery.

If you do opt for a divorce, go for a lawyer you have confidence in and trust to do battle on your behalf. Not all lawyers are good. Trust your gut.

BelleoftheFall Wed 02-Jan-13 15:12:24

Sorry, just realised that custody questions was a bad example. Custody isn't entwined with petitioning for divorce. Argh, this is why you need a professional to talk to, even for a few minutes. It's a complicated process.

IfYoureHappyAndYouKnowIt Wed 02-Jan-13 15:18:45

I don't think the divorce grounds will affect the outcome. I filed for adultery more than a year after the adultery discovery having asked XH to leave one week after discovery. So because he left within the six months it was ok.

I would ask for solicitor recommendations on the three legal board and be a bit more specific on the geographical area.

Sorry to hear you are going through this.

worsestershiresauce Wed 02-Jan-13 15:42:11

I can recommend (I'm not connected in any way). Favours a non aggressive approach to negotiations, but will make sure the outcome is the best possible for you. Very kind, and reassuring. He handled the divorce settlements of two friends (the first friend recommended him to the second), one case was far from straight forward as the husband had hidden assets etc, the second was amicable. Both friends rate him highly.

confused66 Wed 02-Jan-13 16:09:31

Many thanks for the recommendations, much appreciated.

I've read somewhere that in cases of adultery the outcome for the 'innocent' party tend to be better because the adulterer agrees to less favourable terms for themselves because of guilt.

As I've already mentioned, he is incredibly remorseful, even depressive, but I'm so fed up of his lies, I don't know if I can forget what he has done. I don't want to rush things but am concerned that if I wait too long to make a decision, his feelings of guilt will fade away and he will be less willing to give in.

There's also the children, whilst he didn't engage with them much because he was often too tired and hangover, he's an affectionate father and the children adore him, I only want what's best for them even if I have to do a sacrifice.

MyLittleFirebird Wed 02-Jan-13 16:12:32

Do I stand a better financial and custodial outcome if I file on the grounds of adultery or unreasonable behaviour (for being a borderline alcoholic and the irresponsible spending), can I state both?
No, neither financial arrangement nor your children's future relationship with their father will be affected one little bit by the grounds for divorce, nor anything else you say about him in the petition. Grounds and content of the petition are, and should, be utterly irrelevant.

You and he should be aiming to work together to arrange those, but if you can't manage it then the courts will get involve and be guided by the children's best interests only - not your personal break-up grievances.

MadAboutHotChoc Wed 02-Jan-13 16:17:18

Of course he is full of remorse - he's been caught. Sounds like he is an entitled, selfish and arrogant twat who thinks buying women's bodies is acceptable and has chosen to cheat.

You are right to strike while the iron is hot and he is willing to go along with your wishes. Be warned though that he won't stay sorry for long so I would start getting financial documents discreetly - mortgage, pensions, statements etc.

CarlingBlackMabel Wed 02-Jan-13 16:27:27

So sorry you are in this situation - horrible for you sad angry.

A good time to take stock of your options.
Do you still love him? Do you think he has any love for you, albeit that he has acted with such betrayal, irresponsibility and lack of respect? Or is he just selfishly licking his wounds and expecting you to help?

IF you were to be able to forgive, I would think that 3 things need sorting out:
His drinking - no-one can have a successful relationship with an active alcoholic
His infidelity - probably couples counselling to see what on earth he means to do in his relationship with you, and to make sure he understands whast he has done and how he will never do such a thing again
His attitude to women: the lap dancing and stripping etc - yuk.

Good to find out all the facts re a divorce.

fwiw I would leave him. The whole infidenlity / drinking / lap dancing / using money like that while you gave up your career to support him would make me beyond wild. I am so fed up with these bloody men who do this to loyal partners.

Leave him, get enough divorce settlement to hire a great nanny and get back to your career and be a self sufficient WOHM.

mrslaughan Wed 02-Jan-13 16:33:42

What really matters is do you want to try? If the answer is yes, then this would be my approach
-get him to move out , so I had time to get my head around what had happened- I would need space for this, but still go on dates, ..... He could even just move into the spare room.. I just know I couldn't act as if nothing happened and would need some space
Go to counseling , he probably needs to go on his own - so he understands his motivations, you also need to do couples counseling
See a lawyer so you know where you stand
I don't know if I could get past this , but I would want to try for the sake of the kids

GoGetGone Wed 02-Jan-13 16:38:52

MrsM - why would you want to try for 'the sake of the kids? '

What do you think happens to children who grow up in loving, one parent environments with regular visits/stays with their father and learning valuable lessons from their mother that we do NOT allow ourselves to be treated in this way?

zipzap Wed 02-Jan-13 16:56:47

Only thing I've heard is that if there are several good solicitors near you, then visit them all for the free half hour. That way your dh won't be able to use them as it will be conflict of interest...

CarlingBlackMabel Wed 02-Jan-13 17:04:18

Some people might want to try for the sake of the kids and because they still had some love, enough to try and save the marriage.

Sometimes it happens. Sometimes people do terrible things, and then genuinely repent.

No one is suggesting that the OP endures a loveless, hollow marriage with a philandering drunken twat for the sake on anyone.

But sometimes people take a second look at what would be required for the mariage to be repaired.

My parents did that and have just celebrated a Golden wedding, at which my Dad declared that he loved my Mum now more than he did on their wedding day. He didn't ever behave badly again after his betrayal.

But she did kick him out. For about a year. And then reconsidered in the cool light of day when he asked if they could try again. 25 happy years later: Golden wedding.

MadAboutHotChoc Wed 02-Jan-13 17:16:46

Just in case you do decide to try again remember that:

* he needs to do all the hard work in helping you recover

* he needs to address his own issues/flaws that led to his cheating, drinking and buying women's bodies

if he isn't prepared to do any of this, cut your losses and walk away - recovering from an affair is very tough, certainly one of the hardest things I've ever had to endure.

I would buy two books: Linda macdonald's How to Help your Spouse Heal - this is a short hard hitting book aimed at the cheater and Shirley Glass's Not Just Friends for you both to read.

badinage Wed 02-Jan-13 17:22:35

There's too much in the way of behaviour here that shows it's endemnic to the absolute character of the man.

He's one of those 'loadsamoney' wanker bankers who thinks that women are put on this earth to give them sexual pleasure and if they can't get it for free, they'll just buy it anyway.

I'd be arranging a trip to the GUM clinic and a divorce lawyer.

mrslaughan Wed 02-Jan-13 19:06:42

Badinage - what a load of cods wallop - you haven't meet him. That is a huge generalization.

financialwizard Wed 02-Jan-13 19:18:36

If you don't want to go the relate route and try and counsel your way back to a good marriage (if you even feel that is possible) then definately see a good solicitor and go for the divorce. Your solicitor will advise you every step of the way and you will get what you are entitled to.

However the one thing I will say is if you can keep it as amicable as possible for the children then that is also important. I found myself in a situation where that was not possible, and twelve years on I still struggle to bite my tongue in front of my son but it is hard for him to feel like piggy in the middle (which is where exh puts him every time).

Good luck OP. It is a difficult road, but if you are sure it is the one you want to take then make sure you have good support and representation.

badinage Wed 02-Jan-13 23:24:00

Ha! I wouldn't want to meet the sort of misogynist wanker who spends £1000s of family money on the sex industry. You don't need to have met this man to know he is a disgusting liar and cheat......

The really good thing about Mumsnet is that there are women who won't say: "you should stay together for the kids" especially when a man's behaviour has been this atrocious and the OP would be far better off as a single parent who is able to meet a much better man (if she wants to) one day.

confused66 Thu 03-Jan-13 10:59:06

Many thanks to all for sharing your points of view. I'm finding it very hard to make up my mind, but so far I've agreed to see a counsellor. I've also made him move to the spare room and told him that even tough we live under the same roof, I consider myself separated from him, have taken my wedding ring off and have a hot date lined up (which I've told him about).

I'm also following the advice of MadAboutHotChoc and getting financial documents together, that's a very good point, it may be difficult once he's gone. I will also arrange to see a local solicitor to discuss my options.

I've also been thinking of hiring a solicitor to draft a Post-nuptial agreement to be enforced in the event of a divorce. He said he would be willing to sign anything in exchange for a second chance... Has anyone done this?

cazemma Thu 03-Jan-13 15:04:15

Hi there is no such thing as a post-nuptial agreement, only a divorce settlement if you decide to go down the divorce route, if that is what you mean.

confused66 Fri 04-Jan-13 10:04:41

Yes, there is:

Alittlefreakedout Fri 04-Jan-13 10:18:12

sorry confused this is an awful thing to go through but you sound smart adn strong. i couldnt forgive my xh after his affair but then when i asked for access to his phone/fb/email he flipped out and claimed i was trying to 'destroy' him (which in hindsight i think meant the affair was probably still going on). maybe if he is truly remorseful you can find a way forward, i don't know.

SarahBumBarer Fri 04-Jan-13 10:49:06

If you have "hot date" lined up then what's to stop him divorcing you/cross petitioning for adultery/unreasonable behaviour? I don't think that is helpful thing to do either for you. your marriage or your children.

confused66 Fri 04-Jan-13 10:54:21

I have no doubts about his feelings of remorse, my question is, how long will that last? My husband is easily led, that's the problem.

I'm making arrangements to meet a local solicitor in order to discuss my options. If the post-nuptial agreement stands a good chance of being enforceable in the event of a divorce, I may give him a second chance, I think that the thought of me parting with 60% of his assets and taking the children to my country of origin, could be very persuading if he ever has the temptation to stray again.

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