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Advice needed for divorce after reading another thread

(38 Posts)
NoInspirationForNewNC Tue 26-Jan-16 13:21:02

Just looking for advice really.

Was reading a different thread think it turned out to be a troll about what someone is entitled to after divorce. The advice scared me. Slightly different for me as stbxh and I have 2 children together. But the house was all his. The house was sold (repossession) but there is still £160k floating around somewhere. He doesn't have it (he is in hospital), I don't have it (my name not on anything) I have spoken to a few solicitors with the free half hours but they can't say much apart from it will cost me £2-£5k to go down this process of a financial settlement. I don't have that money. I don't have the £500fora divorce. I don't receive maintenance from ex. He is voluntarily in a psychiatric unit - has been for 3 years this march.

This sounds awful I know. I am struggling to separate the emotion from everything.

Can anyone suggest where I go from here or what I do?


NoInspirationForNewNC Tue 26-Jan-16 14:11:37


lifesablessing Tue 26-Jan-16 14:35:58

You would be better going on Wikivorce on the Internet and posting on forums there, they have solicitors answering threads and give some very valuable advice.

bilbodog Tue 26-Jan-16 14:36:04

Can't offer you any advice I'm afraid but hope someone else can. Can citizens advice help at all?

financialwizard Tue 26-Jan-16 14:39:02

You really need to speak to a solicitor or post on Wikivorce. Do you have free legal X on your home insurance or are you a member of a union? Sometimes the free legal advice from those sources cover family law.

NoInspirationForNewNC Tue 26-Jan-16 14:42:14

I have spoken to a few solicitors. They all say it is an unusual situation. I should be entitled to something for the children. Now please pay £xxx on our account and we can advise you further.

I have no home insurance (was homeless until 3 months ago). CAB haven't been great, just pass me to Community Law who don't seem to know what to do with me.

Thankyou for answering though flowers

goddessofsmallthings Tue 26-Jan-16 14:55:19

Is £160k your estimate of the equity due to your h at the time the property was sold? When was it sold and do you have the name of the mortgage lender who obtained a repossession order as it's probable that all of the proceeds of sale was paid to them. Are you 100% certain that whatever part of the proceeds was due to your h has not been paid to him?

Although your name may not have been on the deeds, any equity in the house should be split between you and your h as part of a divorce settlement. In the normal course of events, depending on the age(s) of your dc the probable starting point would be a 70/30 split in your favour but if your h's present incapacity precludes him paying child maintenance and/or spousal support in the near future you may be advised to claim a higher share of the equity.

There's also the question of what pensions rights your h may have accrued if he has been employed at any time prior to becoming incapacitated and whether he has any savings and/or other assets such as vehicles, valuable artworks/objects, jewellery etc that he acquired during your marriage.

Although you have referred to your 'stbxh', it appears that you have not as yet petitioned for divorce. If you can reach agreement with your h in relation to the division of assets, childcare arrangements, etc, you may not need solicitors and can petition for divorce online on payment of court fees at the current rate of £410.

However, before giving any consideration, to proceeding you are best advised to speak to your h's consultant psychiatrist in order to establish that he has mental capacity as a voluntary inpatient who, presumably, entered a pyschiatric unit of his own free will. Out of curiousity, is this a NHS establishment or a private psychiatric facility?

If your h does not have mental capacity matters become more complicated and, although he may be entitled to legal aid, whatever is expended on his behalf may need to be repaid and his costs will rise when/if the Official Solicitor becomes involved.

NB. The above information may only apply if you are in England/Wales.

Are you named as your h's next of kin at whatever facility he resides in? Has your h granted power of attorney to you or to another party?

It can be hard to achieve, but you are wise to endeavour to separate the emotion from what is essentially a matter of due process that is required to take place before a decree absolute is granted and your marriage is irrevocably ended by a court of law.

I suspect you have a long backstory to tell and if you are lacking support in rl do please use this thread to offload anonymously as you won't find any shortage of willing hands to hold yours as you continue to do your best to keep everything together for your dc.

NoInspirationForNewNC Tue 26-Jan-16 15:00:43

160k equity is after talking to the mortgage lender "hypothetically" and seeing online what the house sold for. I know what the mortgage was.

H has capacity. He is in hospital voluntarily.

The reason I know stbxh hasn't got the equity is because his brother was quite abusive and accused me of selling the house from under stbxh feet and running off with the money. He was told on no uncertain terms I don't have the money!

I am still stbxh next of kin (according to him) .I spoke to him 2 months ago (after not knowing where he was for 18 months) I have left messages to speak to his named nurse before I discuss divorce with him but they have not called me back.

NoInspirationForNewNC Tue 26-Jan-16 15:02:18

House was sold for 220K in August 14. Mortgage at the time was 60K. According to Nationwide (who the mortgage was with) they would charge 3k max for repossession.

Shutthatdoor Tue 26-Jan-16 15:05:59

You really need specialist advice for this tbh.

I'm not sure anyone will be able to help you. It is such a specific case.

Even if he is in their voluntarily, you haven't spoken to him in a while so you have no way of knowing what his MH is now like.

NoInspirationForNewNC Tue 26-Jan-16 15:25:11

You are right. Unfortunately I can't afford specialist advice. when i last spoke to him he was in complete denial about everything. I think I am just tired and frustrated. Ds1s dad died and left no provision for him until he is 18. Then this.

I will carry on carrying on smile

goddessofsmallthings Tue 26-Jan-16 15:58:15

It's Catch 22; you are potentially in line for a large sum of money that you are in desperate need of, but in order to access it you must first find a sum of money that you don't have and, if you are able to scrape together the necessasy sum, it may transpire that the large sum was given to your h who's given it away or blown on some pie-in-the-sky scheme or other.

Were you living in the property prior to its repossession? Have you rung the mortgage lender as Mrs X, wife of Mr X who is in hospital and has asked you to make enquiries as to what's happened to the sum he was expecting to receive following the respossession and sale of no. x, y street, z town? It may be worth try on the basis of you won't know if you don't ask.

While he may have mental capacity as a voluntary patient, presumably that could change if he attempts to leave against medical advice and is sectioned, which fact also adds to the --stress- complexity of your situation.

If there is any history of domestic abuse in your marriage which has been logged with your GP or the police, you may be entitled to legal aid. Otherwise, some firms of solcitiors have set up finance schemes to aid those who don't have a spare £5k swashing around at the back of the sofa and I would suggest you search the internet for solicitors who specialise in divorce and family law in your area who offer payment by instalments or without, for that matter, as after the intitial consultation communication is normally conducted by email, phone, and snail mail and will be worth undertaking a long-ish journey on one occasion if it means you can get the ball rolling.

RealityCheque Tue 26-Jan-16 16:42:51

Goddess, you really should not assume that because of stbxh's mental health that OP could go for more than usual. In fact given the very issue of his mh and his future needs the courts may well have the complete opposite view. The settlement must look at both partners needs after all.

In any case, this is SO specific that OP does really need proper advise. Although I suspect finding someone that has seen this type of situation before may be a challenge in itself.

You should be able to enquire with the mortgage lender as his wife. Additionally, if the solicitors are confident that you are due some significant monies, they will often allow you to pay the full account once it has settled.

NoInspirationForNewNC Tue 26-Jan-16 16:55:33

I certainly don't want to go for "more". I was advised by cms that if he is on disablility (?) benefit then I would be entitled to £7 per week per child. That would make a huge difference to us over the month.

I am worried for him as well you know. He is 52, his previous job was as a psychiatric nurse - obviously he will never go back to that. So what will he do when he comes out?

But by the same token when we met I was due to start a nursing degree as a single parent ( I already had 1 ds) we agreed I would stay at home so we could start trying for a baby as he felt time was against him (he is 13years older than me) I, over the next ten years, did various jobs ie morning shop work, cleaning - all to fit in with his shifts. BUT The reason there is so much equity is because him and his brother sold their parents (dead - left to them) home so we had a bigger deposit to put down when we moved house. So that money should be his.

So as not to drip feed - I moved into HIS house after he lived in mine (was a HA house - he rented out his owned house) for 3 years.

I did speak to the mortgage lender hence my post above. Because my name is not on any of the documents they would only talk to me hypothetically.

No logged history of domestic abuse. Apart from when he tried to strangle me a couple of weeks before he was sectioned. That is logged. But that is nearly 3 years ago now.

lavenderhoney Tue 26-Jan-16 18:19:48

I've sent you a PM, however if it is logged re the strangulation you are entitled to free legal aid because of DV. you'll have to google to find a famiky lawyer who offers this, not all do.

Bubblesinthesummer Tue 26-Jan-16 18:29:34

was advised by cms that if he is on disablility (?) benefit then I would be entitled to £7 per week per child. That would make a huge difference to us over the month

If he is/has been in a psychiatric unit he won't be getting benefits.

DLA/PIP stop when when you are hospitalised for more than 28 days I believe.

NoInspirationForNewNC Tue 26-Jan-16 18:33:52

I am not entitled to legal aid because the incident was nearly 3 years ago.

So he is entitled to no benefits? Me and our dc aside - forget about us for a minute - i know he goes out and about and is encouraged to go to the shop etc - where does his spending money come from?

Never mind us - i am genuinely he is being shafted now.

NoInspirationForNewNC Tue 26-Jan-16 18:35:15

*concerned he is being shafted now.

NoInspirationForNewNC Tue 26-Jan-16 18:43:27

Thankyou. Have reposted in Legal smile

Bubblesinthesummer Tue 26-Jan-16 19:09:24

So he is entitled to no benefits? Me and our dc aside - forget about us for a minute - i know he goes out and about and is encouraged to go to the shop etc - where does his spending money come from?

Maybe he gets a little something or maybe the money comes from the hospital?

I know that if you are in hospital as I was for my spine for 28 days it stops. The money you get is to pay for extra care etc which you don't need as that is being provided by the hospital iyswim.

goddessofsmallthings Tue 26-Jan-16 22:18:42

Goddess, you really should not assume that because of stbxh's mental health that OP could go for more than usual

Can you please point out where I have made this alleged assumption, Bubbles?

Mandatorymongoose Tue 26-Jan-16 22:32:06

Not all benefits stop when you're in hospital. You can still get ESA / incapacity benefit / income support (possibly some others - they keep changing the names) but DLA / PiP stop after 4 weeks.

Bubblesinthesummer Tue 26-Jan-16 22:36:16

Can you please point out where I have made this alleged assumption, Bubbles?

I haven't said anything confused

goddessofsmallthings Tue 26-Jan-16 22:42:57

Please accept my profund apologies, Bubbles, I'm going cross-eyed as my question should have been addressed to *RealityCheque who appears to have read something into one of my earlier posts that isn't there.

goddessofsmallthings Tue 26-Jan-16 22:53:26

In your conversation with the lender did they hypothetically tell you what happens when a repossession results in monies being due to the mortgagee and how it long it takes to process the payment, OP?

As your h was employed by the NHS he has presumably built up a pension 'pot' which should be taken into account in any settlement.

Was your h in receipt of any benefits prior to going into hospital? As a long term hospital inpatient he may have claimed and been awarded income support, but as the amount of equity that was due to him when the marital home was sold is over £16,000 any such payments should have stopped when/if he declared this sum as 'savings'.

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