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Is there a thread or sticky about how to leave?

(16 Posts)
tonsiltennis Mon 24-Oct-16 16:38:02

The practicalities?

My friend is a SAHM, her husband is utterly financially controlling, he won't leave, she can't leave, and has no money. How do you start to unpick such a situation? She's seeing her lawyer soon but what other prep should she do?

tonsiltennis Mon 24-Oct-16 17:28:27


loobyloo1234 Mon 24-Oct-16 19:46:01

Hey .. didn't want to read and run ... has she been to CAB yet? It might be worth going to see them ASAP for some more practical advice?

tonsiltennis Mon 24-Oct-16 21:21:24

Thankyou for replying! No not as far as I know.
How does it work if he won't leave?

loobyloo1234 Mon 24-Oct-16 21:38:38

No problem at all ... I know there will be threads similar to this one where people have been more helpful. Unfortunately I've never been in this situation. BUT CAB have professionals that deal with this type of thing. Also - has she spoken to WA? If she is being financially abused, they'll also have people that can help and tell her what to do next

Sorry, I feel so useless but I really don't want to leave you hanging here thinking no one gives a shit smile

tonsiltennis Mon 24-Oct-16 21:39:38

Thankyou, you're very

loobyloo1234 Mon 24-Oct-16 22:12:09

You're welcome tonsil ... hope she gets the help she needed. You're a good friend trying to help her through this x

AcrossthePond55 Mon 24-Oct-16 22:47:04

Everybody's situation is different, but in general she needs to become knowledgeable about her and her husband's financial situation (income, expenses, property ownership/mortgage, and savings/investments), any benefits they receive and/or to which she may be entitled as a single parent, and she needs to get her legal position clarified. Once she has that information she'll be in a better position to understand what she can expect in maintenance payments and an eventual divorce settlement.

It's a matter of contention as to whether or not a SAH parent should start working before filing for divorce. The attorney my cousin saw told her emphatically that she should NOT increase her work hours (she worked one day a week) as it would decrease any support she was due. Other attorneys have told friends they should start trying to become self-supporting as it 'looks better' to the judge. Who knows?

In the meantime, if she can, she needs to start socking away cash where her husband will not find it. Ideally, it should be kept out of the house. Shave what she can off the grocery bills and do 'cash over' at the till. If he gives her an allowance, shave what she can off of that. My friend would buy something, say a small item of clothing or some towels, then return it and keep the cash. Look around to see if she has any personal items (not things that could be considered jointly owned) she could sell when the time is right. I kept this cash for a friend, we called it a 'fuck you fund', and I gave it back to her when she left.

She needs to start copying important documents both personal and financial, such as bank statements, deeds, wage slips, tax returns, and again, store them away from the house. Eventually she will want to move the original birth certificates, marriage certificate, passports to that safe place, but that will be immediately before she leaves. She needs to take a 'mental inventory' of items in the home that she may want to take with her such as heirlooms or mementos. If she chooses to make a paper list, it should be kept away from the home.

She may also want to take a 2-3 day supply of clothing for herself and the children, medications, makeup, etc and keep them elsewhere or hidden away in a 'bug out bag'.

A lot of this is written from the perspective of someone who has made the decision that it's worth it to leave if the husband can't be persuaded to. In most cases solicitors will advise her that it's in her best interests to stay put with the children in the marital home. But it's a long drawn out process to try and get him to leave, and if he hasn't actually been mentally or physically abusive she may not be able to actually make him leave. So it's always best to be prepared in case things become intolerable.

ShyCharles Mon 24-Oct-16 22:58:01

My Dh refused to leave but I was lucky enough to have borrowed/saved enough money for 1 months rent on a house. I filled in all the forms for housing benefit and tax credits although I don't think you can apply until you have actually moved in but they do backdate it when you get it.
I moved everything I needed myself in my car which took quite a few journeys but saved money.
I also made sure I had all the children's passports, marriage and birth certificates as he couldn't be trusted with them.
Once I was away from him I started the divorce and the house had to be sold. He got most of the money as he had huge debts which I knew nothing about but because they happened during the marriage apparently I was liable for them too.
Even though it is scary and there seems like a million things to do I have never regretted leaving and it's been 3 years now.

tonsiltennis Mon 24-Oct-16 22:58:08

Thank you, that's brilliant! X X X

AcrossthePond55 Tue 25-Oct-16 03:23:02

Quite welcome. I wish her the best.

One additional thing; digital security. She needs to be sure that she leaves no 'digital trail' on any joint computers, tablets, or her phone. That includes erasing browsing history of legal information searches, MN threads, emails, texts, just anything that could give her H an idea that she's contemplating divorce. Leave a few 'crumbs' in history like fashion websites, cooking websites, book reviews and the like. Same with texts and emails, generic messages. If it won't create suspicion, she should change any passwords for personal devices and be sure that they are screen locked.

AcrossthePond55 Tue 25-Oct-16 03:26:13

Correction: Same with texts and emails, only leave generic messages on devices.

tonsiltennis Tue 25-Oct-16 21:28:19

Thankyou that's incredibly useful

tonsiltennis Tue 25-Oct-16 21:28:54

Debts accrued in the marriage, they just come off the total pot to be split don't they?

AcrossthePond55 Tue 25-Oct-16 22:00:12

I'm in the US, so can't speak to the specifics of UK law. In the US in a community property state, yes, marital debt is either taken from marital assets or the debt is divided equally between the divorcing couple and becomes each party's sole responsibility. Debt contracted by one party without the other's knowledge or fraud is an exception. Debt accrued before marriage is not joint debt.

My understanding is that UK law isn't quite as black and white. Some debts are marital, some are considered separate debt. This is a question that your friend needs to ask a solicitor. In fact she needs to sit down and write a list of questions to ask the solicitor. If she has concern about specific debt (as in her husband has debt she doesn't want to be saddle with or lose assets over) I'd suggest she be prepared with the basics of that debt.

And I'd suggest if possible, that you go with her. These visits can be very emotional and it can help to have someone else's 'ears and eyes' open in case she forgets something or is confused as to what was said. I've done that twice for friends in the past.

Teabay Tue 25-Oct-16 23:28:43

Many UK solicitors will give her 30 mins free consultation so they get your business. I'd go with her to several of these, with questions & a notepad. Just knowing her choices will give her courage. Good luck flowers

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