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leaving the family home, advice needed please

(8 Posts)
MindingMum Sun 24-Aug-08 15:32:55

My very good friend has just told me that she is leaving her DH and although I have offered her all the emotional support I can, I am fairly ignorant as to the practicalities and said I would post on here for advice.

A bit of background - they have been married 8 years and have 2 DC. The relationship has always been turbulant due to the fact that over the years he has given her reason not to trust him over a number of different issues.

She has now decided after his latest selfish behaviour that she definately wants to leave him.

The problem she faces is she doesn't have anywhere to go and doesn't know where she would stand moneywise if she didn't take the children (issue here is that he works from home and she goes out to work part time)

She says she wants her own place to live her life without her DH but will go 'home' to take the children to school in the morning and will continue to collect them everyday as normal.

Would she be entitled to benefits when she had left of her own accord and doesn't have custody of the children?

Would she have to rely on her wages to pay her rent and feed the children when they stayed with her?

I think this is all in the short term until they decide what to do permanently.

AvenaLife Sun 24-Aug-08 15:42:45

She'd be in exactly the same situation if she were a man leaving. She'd get nothing. She'd be able to claim working tax credit if she worked more than 30 hours and was on a low paid job, all the child tax credit and child benefit would go to the person caring for the children. When a mother leaves the family home without the children this mostly doesn't go down well if a custody suit is brought. If her husband agrees to share the care then she may be entitled to a portion of the benefits poviding the children spend 3 nights with her per week (I think it's 3).
She can also get assessed for maintenance for the children.

I'm sorry if this isn't what you expected to hear.

MindingMum Sun 24-Aug-08 15:47:10

No AvenaLife - I expected to it hear it exactly as it is - thank-you. I have tried to persuade her to stay and kick him out so it is more favourable for her but she is determined

AvenaLife Sun 24-Aug-08 15:49:12

Staying really is the best option. Or separating the house in 2. I've known couples do this, they still live in the same house but have seperate bedrooms and separate lives.

Leaving really isn't a very good idea.

Kally Sun 24-Aug-08 18:22:35

Leaving without the children is not a good idea. Things are hard at first, its never easy and there is a price financially, but only at first. Things do sort out, although it takes a while. There is a system out there that helps single parents, ie, rent, benefits, tax credits. It is minimal but does allow you to gradually get functioning.
AS for rent, depending on what she earns she can claim housing benefit, but she will have to first find a place to rent (sufficient for her children) and find the downpayment money, (usually a months rent), then if she is working they will pay whatever % they calculate as per the norm and if she is not working they will pay her all of it, child benefit, income allowance, and child tax credit. Its not easy but it can be a start. I know, I'm there right now.

staypresent Sun 24-Aug-08 19:52:15

Hi MindingMum, maybe your friend is so desperate now that she needs a break from him. (I remember the feeling so well).

But I agree it would be better for her to stay in the home with the children in case of future custody problems also benefits etc. Has she asked her husband if he will leave? I have been through this - 2 year anniversary of him leaving this week...

MindingMum Sun 24-Aug-08 21:55:50

Thank-you kally and staypresent, I have just come from her now and have relayed what you all have said.

her husband refuses to leave as he feels he has done nothing wrong (now there's a surprise hmm)

I admire you all coping on your own but I know she won't be able to do it alone so hopefully tomorrow I will be able to talk her out of it - help her rearrange the house etc so they can live together, seperately.

It's times like these when i realise how lucky i am. My DH and i live completely seperate lives, communicating via a calendar on the kitchen wall but it suits us and we get on fine, neither of us wants to leave the house or the children, so have worked round it. I cannot imagine how my friend will do this when deep down she loves him and unlike me, wants a relationship with him sad

queenrollo Mon 25-Aug-08 08:03:46

i left the family home (because my ex runs a business from there) and we have shared custody of our son. I had to make the hard decision of saying that ex is the 'primary' carer so that all the benefits are paid to him, and i'm responsible for all my own bills. I was getting tax credits but that was all. It's worked for us mainly because the split was amicable and we get on very well.....there is no maintenance arrangement, we just sort ds needs between us.

Even though there has been no animosity at all between my ex and I it has still been very hard, financially and emotionally so she really does need to think this through very carefully indeed.
I do get some shocked reactions that i 'left' my son......and that i have him at weekends rather than during the week as per the 'norm'......but at the forefront of every decision we've made has been ds welfare and happiness and so whatever others think i know i'm doing the right thing.

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