Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Decision made

(764 Posts)
adorably2014 Mon 08-Sep-14 13:33:42

I posted here in June. I can't seem to be able to link to my old thread. After a summer of ups and downs I have decided I don't want to be married to my husband anymore. He has no idea and now the children are at school again I have more time to plan.

My fear is that because what is happening is always in private, how can I possibly document all this and be believed in the divorce courts? For example this summer he had bought me two really expensive pieces of jewellery which he presented to me in front of the children as a kind of I love you gift, only for 5 days later to do the stuff that has made me decide to leave. So he will easily seem like the wronged man with a gold digger wife. I am also concerned what to say to the children when a split is initiated. I don't want them to know exactly as it would be too awful for them but then again is it going to be possible to protect from everything? I also worry that if I talk about what has been going on then my H could potentially be in trouble which I don't want, selfishly I just don't want to have to live with it anymore.

For the moment I am focusing on my course and work experience where I asked if there was possible paid employment. My boss said they were very busy and would probably have two projects I could help with in October and be paid for. I hope it materialises. In the meantime I am putting as much money as possible into my own account. My H has not got access to it but knows the account details. Is it OK do you think or should I set sth he knows nothing about. For choosing a solicitor is it best to take a WA solicitor or one of my own? I reckon my H will get someone really good and expensive so I need to make sure I have someone very very good.

I tried to find a counsellor before the school holidays but it wasn't that easy. I also found that talking about all the stuff in a way made me freeze and reflect so much that I couldn't act if that makes sense. I think when things are over I will then hopefully find the space to talk ... So for now I am trying to get on with practical stuff like following advice on getting paperwork together before contacting solicitors. My H has loads of paperwork. I know because I sometimes do his filing. There are share certificates, pension stuff etc... Do I need to copy everything? If so,does it need to be recent or can I take copies now even if I don't start anything in 6 months' time.
Sorry I sound like such a cold calculating b** here. I am mostly terrified of putting the children through such an upheaval but then I keep reminding myself our eldest saw something was wrong with me during the holiday and didn't really believe the explanation that 'mummy is tired'.

Anyway apart from my few questions not sure entirely why I am posting, for support I guess and to update on previous thread after this long gap.

Lweji Mon 08-Sep-14 14:02:17

AFAIK WA can recommend a solicitor for you, but they don't have solicitors as such.

Good for you for making a decision. smile
Don't worry about how you will be perceived. You have every right to end a relationship that is not good for you at any time.
If he really doesn't have access, then I'd leave the account, as otherwise it might look as you were hiding it.

Fingers crossed for you.

hellsbellsmelons Mon 08-Sep-14 14:57:54

Here is the link to previous thread.
I'll have a good read now.
link here

hellsbellsmelons Mon 08-Sep-14 15:01:21

I'm very glad to see you are making an exit plan.
He sounds awful.
Contact WA and they can put you in touch with a good family solicitor.
I hope you get away soon.
Good luck OP.
It's a brave decision and the right one!

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 08-Sep-14 15:07:25

Divorce these days is mostly done on a no fault basis. There's no need for evidence of unreasonable behaviour, for example. No-one has to prove infidelity or similar. It's enough to say 'we didn't see eye to eye' and that's the end of the story.

That said, if there is abusive behaviour or bullying present, if you are intimidated or feel under threat, then certainly make that known to your solicitor and, at the same time, prioritise your safety.

OvertiredandConfused Mon 08-Sep-14 15:41:53

I remember your last thread OP. So glad you feel ready to take the next step. Do you have somewhere safe to keep paperwork, passports etc?

adorably2014 Mon 08-Sep-14 20:04:41

Thank you for the replies.
I don't feel intimidated now but would do if he found out, hence the secrecy and the fact I want to have sorted out somewhere to go or have money I can use.
I can keep the documents at home but again don't feel I should, just in case. Where else can I keep them as I can't see myself giving them to a friend? It feels so scheming though

Does it help to keep a record of what happen(ed)/happens? Or does it make no difference. Again I am not sure if it's a good idea in case my husband accidentally stumbles upon it. I will phone WA again. Sorry to be so stupid but what does AFAIK mean please?

Lweji Mon 08-Sep-14 20:07:25

As Far As I Know.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 08-Sep-14 20:17:48

If you are this frightened of reprisals, please contact Womens Aid and ask them how they recommend you proceed safely. If 'what happened' included aggressive or abusive behaviour and it was reported to the police, for example, then that can influence things like qualifying for legal aid or the co-parenting arrangements. If it's something crap but legal, like infidelity, it won't make much of a difference to the outcome. Let your solicitor advise you.

Anniegetyourgun Mon 08-Sep-14 20:32:09

What Cogito said (as usual!) Bear in mind that a divorce court is not like a criminal court. You only need to prove that the marriage has irretrievably broken down in your opinion, and you are asked to give around half a dozen examples of behaviour that you personally can't live with. It can be quite mild stuff that someone else wouldn't have a problem with. I know of a wife who put as an example of unreasonable behaviour that her husband was too tidy.

It was quite funny (in hindsight) how XH tried to rebut my petition by stating what a dreadful wife I was - thereby increasing the proof that we were indeed incompatible! I think he expected the judge to say "Mr Getyourgun, you are some kind of saint for putting up with this woman for so many years. I hereby award you sole custody of her and her bank account for ever." He was disappointed to find it doesn't work like that.

tipsytrifle Mon 08-Sep-14 20:34:06

oh wow yes, i recall your last thread! I'm so glad you've made the Decision. Others are offering excellent practical advice, i'm here to offer support ...

As far as document storage goes do the post office do boxes you can use for this? Would your bank do it? Just quick thoughts ...

mstumble Mon 08-Sep-14 20:50:20

I remember your post... I'm so glad you've made this decision, you are being incredibly brave and definitely doing the right thing. I would set up a separate bank account if you can, good idea to put away as much money as possible. None of this is scheming just sensible. Have you any close friends you can confide in?

hopeforawonderfullife Wed 10-Sep-14 07:54:24

dear Adorably,

I kept an eye on your thread hoping one day you would return and let us know you have decided to break free. I know it must feel overwhelming right now but I also believe you realized there was no way you could possibly change your husband's mentality and once you reached that conclusion by yourself everything you are doing now makes perfect sense.

You should make copies of all relevant documents whether old or new and keep them somewhere safe where you can access the papers if by chance, you decide to leave your home in haste (yes, I mean outside the house). Also, try to save as much money as possible and have some of the jewelry with you or together with the documents (I’m thinking perhaps a deposit box in a bank or somewhere) …. once your husband will learn about your intentions he will prevent you from accessing any available resources and information. Be honest to your solicitor about the reasons for divorce. Personally, I doubt your husband will risk his reputation & all the rest by dragging you through court while you expose his behavior. However, he will not give you & the children up without a fight, therefore best would be you prepare for the worst. Start looking for a permanent job even if only part-time. Remember, you are doing everything for you and your children.
You were, at one point, saying you had a sister. Regardless of how close you two are right now, since she is your sister, perhaps you can ask her for support, if only moral would still make a difference.
There is something else ..... when you decide to let him know about your decision you should expect first he will turn into the most symathetic, gentle, reasonable, loving, husband you could think of, he will try his best to become whatever you wish him to become, DO NOT BE FOOLED! second, after he realizes you will not change your mind, he will become despicable!

I promise you, when this is over; your life will be a million times better! There is a bright future ahead of you and a lot of wonderful surprises waiting for you out there. Good Luck!!smile

adorably2014 Mon 22-Sep-14 13:12:37

Thanks for your replies. I am trying to put money aside every month and when my course is finished I will be able to work more.
It's difficult to know how my husband will react. The stuff that has gone on or still goes on is really sexual coercion. It's not always like this but he did sth over the summer that just showed me that he will never get it and just doesn't want to know. He wants his way and is quite perverse with it. I feel I will be able to discuss it with someone once I have left but discussing it makes me feel weaker and vulnerable and I find this quite paralysing. But I imagine I will have to tell my lawyer what happens as I think I will need them to be aware that an order or such like might need to be taken. I talked to WA who said they can recommend solicitors with a lot of experience of cases like this. I went for a free half hour with a solicitor I had seen recommended but I just froze, I didn't mention the real reason why I want out so came out with some advice but just standard stuff that doesn't answer all my questions. It's like a vicious circle. I am so worried the children will think I am the bad guy in this but then I can't even think of them getting a whiff of what their dad is like ... I gave an appointment to see a WA lady and I think maybe I will write things down and give them to her as I don't want to talk about it ... Would that be ok to do that? Sorry for the ramble. It's like tiny steps and yet it seems to take up so much of my time and headspace.

Lweji Mon 22-Sep-14 14:20:12

Would it help if you took a trusted friend with you to the solicitor?

I think you can explain why you are separating to the children without getting too much into the details you don't want them to know about. You don't have to slag off your STBX either, but keep it factual. Essentially explaining that you don't want to be married, that it's bad for you, but that he's their father and he (presumably) loves them and will always.

adorably2014 Mon 22-Sep-14 20:52:45

I haven't told any friends in real life and I don't have anyone close enough to tell. Well I did tell some of it to a friend from my country who lives here but she was quite dismissive and seemed to think it was no big deal. So I haven't really talked about it since. I just feel so ashamed.
Also to cope it's like I have 2 lives, my everyday one where I am a fully functioning young woman/mother and sometimes wife, the other this dirty secret where my husband just plays with me and when he has finished just let's me get on with life again. Because he is so good at lavishing gifts and attention on me when there is an audience, I worry people won't really believe that this man who gives his wife expensive jewellery and seems to dote on her is the same person who forces her to do things she doesn't want and gets a kick out of it. When I talk about it my head goes all over the place and if I want to leave my head can't be all over the place so I am just getting on with my "double" life.
I talked to WA and I have an appointment with someone but I just get so stressed about talking about it. And yet if I don't talk about it no-one is going to understand why I want a divorce.

adorably2014 Mon 22-Sep-14 20:56:36

And no I don't want to slag him off at all to the children. But I am worried that he might decide to do just that about me. For now I just want to be left alone sometimes, and have a peaceful life not one where having sex for hours on command is the norm ...

Lweji Tue 23-Sep-14 00:11:11

You do need to go.
At some point he will need more to get his kicks.

All you need to do is tell people and your children that you were not happy. At a push, you could say that he didn't treat you well in private. And leave it at that. People will respect it.

But he knows you are ashamed to talk about it. Most people would. And he's banking on you keeping it a secret.

Only you can find the strength to break free. We can't do it for you. But we believe you and understand where you are coming from. People from WA will have heard many other similar stories. You are not the only one, sadly.

NettleTea Tue 23-Sep-14 00:17:54

Can you show WA/solicitor the previous thread?

justiceofthePeas Tue 23-Sep-14 00:24:27

Keep the documents at your work?

Could you write down what you want to say to solicitor? Or keep it vague. I found often all I had to say was "he really was not very nice to me" and people knew what I meant.

Is it something you want to log with 101? Or could you tell a doctor? They may have someone who is trained in DV.

And are you going to be requiring legal aid?

And don't be surprised if people actually see him publicly giving lavish gifts as backing up your version of events. He is buying off his guilt. People may well see that.

well done. Good luck. Stay strong. You CAN do this. And soon you will be free.

Darkesteyes Tue 23-Sep-14 00:24:46

"people will respect it"

And the ones that dont arent worth knowing or having in your life.

justiceofthePeas Tue 23-Sep-14 00:25:36

Yy to nettles suggestion. Maybe just print of part(s) of it.

WellWhoKnew Tue 23-Sep-14 00:41:46

I'm in the divorce process (being divorced as it goes) and I can assure you really don't need to 'prove' anything. The minute you decide you want to leave the marriage it is all but over bar the legal bit.

The quickest divorce is a 'fault' divorce based on one spouses' unreasonable behaviour. It doesn't even need to be true! So don't worry about having to prove it.

You (and that means he too) also cannot in all but the most exceptional cases, contest a divorce. The example my solicitor gave me of the two times she has successfully contested divorce was a woman who was set fire to in her kitchen by her husband, who then went on to file for her unreasonable behaviour.

That was considered sufficiently contestable and his petition was thrown out.

The legal bit is all about separation of the finances and arrangements for the children. Who did what to whom is not considered at all. You don't get 'compensation' for having a shit husband.

You have two ways forward: A so-called DIY divorce, whereby you agree the separation of the assets and the arrangements for the children between you, and then apply for the court's consent. This can also be done through mediation as well. Most people opt for this because it's much cheaper and there's not much by way of assets to divide/argue over.

Or a solicitor-led divorce. This is clearly the expensive way (cost 5K - 10K on average - but some are a lot more if they go all the way). Most divorces don't go all the way.

If you have a solicitor-led divorce, then you can choose to mostly use them to negotiate the finances/arrangements for the children, or they can apply for what's called a "Timetabled Divorce". This means the court puts in the key dates whereby you have to make full and frank disclosure of the finances/and make arrangements for the children. You go to court and your solicitor will tell the judge what issues are remaining to prevent settlement, and a judge will advise what needs to be done next. This is called an 'FDA'. If, after that, you still can't find any agreement, you go back to court for an 'FDR' - this time a judge will make recommendations of what he thinks each party will get should they not agree terms. If you then, still can't agree terms, you go to a Final Hearing. On this occasion, a judge will decide who gets what, when and how.

The vast majority of divorces never get much beyond the FDA.

I strongly recommend a book called 'Family Law Made Simple' by Gordon and Slater which explains the divorce process quite well.

It truly is nothing like you see in the movies where your character is attacked and you're cross examined by a ferocious rottweiller of a Barrister.

It is just endless arguments of how to split the finances and to make arrangements for the children.

I suggest your first step is to make an appointment with a solicitor, taking with you any financial documents in your name (but none that at in his name) and any knowledge you have of his finances (but nothing in writing). They will tell you what you're likely to receive in a divorce and whether or not, you should apply for an Occupation Order (on the house), a Non-Molestation Order (if he's going to be aggressive), a Spousal Maintainence Order (if you're financially dependent on him and he can afford it).

It sounds like you are absolutely right to be making the decision as you have. I wish you the best of luck getting out. Can I point you in the direction of two threads by a woman who is currently plotting to get away from an abusive relationship to inspire you.

Scarletohello Tue 23-Sep-14 01:26:39

I have read your previous thread and am so glad you have decided to leave. I am however worried what he is going to be like when you tell him you want a divorce. You have described him as 'ruthless' ( in work) so you need to be prepared for him to play dirty. You need a shit hot solicitor! Get every single piece of financial paperwork you need and hide it somewhere. You will need to be strong to get away from him but you can do it!

adorably2014 Tue 23-Sep-14 10:55:07

Thanks so much for your replies.

I will have a look at the book.
Yes I think he will play dirty - or he will go on a charm offensive initially. This is what happened in July when I started speaking out. He was Mr Nice and then 3 weeks later he showed me I was his plaything again. That's why I decided I needed to go. But if he sees I mean to leave yes he will use all sorts of tactics I imagine.

WellWhoKnew thanks for the efficient summary. I've skimmed your thread and wow it's crazy the lengths he is prepared to go. This
I think if there is no solicitor I would come out with nothing. Yes the solicitor I saw said I needed things with my name on.
Sounds that I need to detach detach and detach even more. I think I need to tell the solicitor though so they have an idea who/what they are dealing with.
Will try to cut and paste from my other Mumsnet thread and add what happened in the summer so I can just show people instead of having to go through the same again and again. I will ask the WA lady this week. It's my first face to face meeting with them.
Thank you all.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now