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Thinking of divorce/separation - where to start?(7 Posts)
I was really happy when I got together with DH. But even before we got engaged I realised there were some challenges. He stopped having sex with me after about nine months (this was when I was 28/29) and eventually it transpired he was addicted to porn. Sex was never really that good (although he did get counselling with some revival after he told me) and over the last six years geared entirely around conception. We now have three children and have had sex once in 54 months. He’s very very controlling, about everything - how I load the dishwasher, washing up, what we/I eat. He’s the heir to a small estate in Scotland and our whole existence has been compromised around saving money for the estate, despite the fact that we both have good finance jobs. Moving up there is a challenging prospect in many ways (isolation, weather, constant money worries, challenges holding on to jobs...) but the biggest challenge is that his parents expect to live onsite and are some of the most despicable people I’ve ever met. We’re expected to move up there from London and take the place on, but they want us to do it exactly the way they have done it and constantly provide criticism. We spent lockdown up there and we had to pay full rent. They are horrendous people in so many ways (infamously so, everybody hates them, MIL tells me to F off repeatedly in front of my own children), but despite this we thought of staying up there (I had school places sorted) as so much better for the children than our tiny terraced house in London (especially in a pandemic). In the end we left as they were so abusive to both of us. The problem is DH is a doormat after years of abuse from them and won’t stand up to them. He’s made it clear that the estate is more important than us (ie he wouldn’t think that the risk of losing his wife and children was a reason to tell them to do what they want with their estate). DH chronically depressed, drinks too much, tight with money (because of the estate). We’re just going nowhere. We admitted we didn’t love each other four years ago.
It’s been a really tough six years as our eldest is autistic (really hard work although getting better with more understanding although in-laws have told me he’s autistic because I work) and I was diagnosed with two autoimmune diseases via a stint in ITU on a ventilator five years ago. I’m steroid-dependent and suffered hugely with PTSD after my diagnosis and time in a coma.
The last few months have been so traumatic.
I’m not sure if I can do this for the rest of my life. I’m 37. I’m grateful for staying with him in order to have had my children but the future? I just feel like I’m staring down the barrel of a gun. I think it would be better just to be single rather than to be so totally unimportant to the person I live with.
Make an appointment with a solicitor. As soon as humanly possible. Life shouldn't be this horrible, op, and you have a lifetime still ahead of you. Don't waste another day.
My mother has suggested the same. We’re getting a couples counselling appointment on Wednesday evening via Zoom at 1930 (will the 1, 3 and 5yos be in bed??). I do everything for the children almost (food, school stuff, childcare when we need it, bed time, bath time, clothes etc etc). My DH has anger management issues, especially with my 5yo who has a few quirks related to his autism. I am terrified of losing the children: does anyone have any experience with this? What would be the chances of getting a favourable custody arrangement? I’d like to move closer to my family who are our key support network as a family (particularly with my health issues as well). But I suspect he would want to move north. I can’t imagine losing the children.
Get a good lawyer as that money you've been saving for the estate is 50% yours and given what you've said, he'll sacrifice everything for the land, so likely to play dirty.
I can't advise on custody. But do you think he'd actually want to go up north and live with the kids and his parents? Or is he the sort to be malicious and seek to do that just to punish you?
I guess it's good to get a strong divorce lawyer in any case.
Do not move!!
Scotland is a different jurisdiction for child arrangements.
Get copies of all the financials. Are all savings in joint names?
How do you tell whether a divorce lawyer is good or not? How do you choose one?
In terms of savings, we actually never have had any joint accounts...we’ve just kept our current accounts with salaries going in, our own savings accounts and our own assets (I’ve held onto my flat from before we were married and let it). I’m not sure how the law looks at that kind of thing. The only thing we own together is our house (which he put the money into).
I accept the fact we’ll both be poorer, but the thing I really worry about is the custody arrangements. Seriously my husband doesn’t have very much of a clue and I’d worry leaving the children with him.
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