Practical advice on leaving DH (maybe I should just say H)(8 Posts)
I need some practical advice. I plan to leave DH. I doubt this will be a surprise to him. It doesn't matter why and I don't wish to say enough to reveal my true identity to any lurkers. But I really need to know what I should be doing like what paperwork I should collect, where do I go to find a lawyer, what will this realistically cost.
We rent our house and don't have any substantial assets to split. So I expect this to be fairly straight forward. We both work full time. We have two children. Both are in full time school (primary). I don't think he'll fight for custody. Even if he did, I think he'd lose. Shared custody is fine. I wouldn't object but I don't think he will seek it.
Please someone tell me where to begin. I am in the UK. We have been married for 8 years. Are there any aspects of divorce law that will depend on how long we have been married?
Also, how long does the divorce process take and would I get child support during the process.
wishing you the best of luck. A useful list is here
wikivorce and ondivorce websites
Divorce for Dummies book (mine is available in teh local charity shop )
if you have children it will be a bit complicated even if it is amicable
find a lawyer in the yellow pages - phone up any specialising in 'family law', ask for prices (have a strong drink to hand) and ask for an initial half hour meeting to see if you suit
the more you can agree with H without solicitors the cheaper it will be
collect copies of everything to do with finances and marriage certificates, kids birth certificates
you will need to agree maintanance for dcs before dh moves out - check csa website for standard calculations but for 2 dcs spending no nights with dad he will pay flat 20% of net income for the children
time to divorce is not the issue - it's time to agreeing finances, which aren't the same thing
time to divorce depends on grounds you choose and how quickly you get your act together. if yo go for adultry or unreasonable behaviour it is quifck; if two years' separation then obviously it takes 2 years +
My ex-DH and I didn't involve solicitors at all - like you, had few assets, no house ownership, no real pension provision and were in agreement re the DCs (went for shared custody). I rang the local courts and asked for the forms to apply for a divorce - there's one for the divorce, one for child arrangements etc. The forms come with a handy guide re filling it in. Cost was minimal and went through quickly and smoothly.
will he be able to pay the rent where you live alone and pay you child maintenance?
you may be jointly liable for rent there if your name is on the tenancy agreement
Was thinking we would initiate separation/divorce/move-out when the lease ends so he can go his way and I'll go mine and no one will have to pay rent on a big house that neither of us wants/needs/can afford.
Where would I find a list of what grounds there are for divorce? There is no adultery or physical abuse. Neither of us is a drug addict or alcoholic. He just has no interst in any aspect of my life. We literally lead separate lives, right down to our finances which I guess makes it all very easy to split up. Anyway I guess it would be something along the lines of irreconcilable differences.
As stated above by missingtheaction there are two grounds for divorce upon which you can issue proceedings immediately. These are his adultery (which you've said is not an option) or his unreasonable behaviour. Failing that you would need to wait until you'd been separated for 2 years if he consented, or wait til separation for 5 years (or his dessertion for 2 years which is a rare ground) In my experience, I'd say that around 70% of divorces are on unreasonable behaviour and the grounds are tailor made to suit your circumstances. It is preferable for the grounds not be become a 'mud slinging' excercise, but be just enough to satisfy the District Judge considering your petition that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. You would need a minimum of around 4 or 5 examples (although it does vary from Court to Court) and some can be quite basic, such as in recent years you have grown apart as the Respondent (DH) has stopped spending time with you/taking you out socially/not taken you on holiday/shown no interest in family life. If there are any specific incidents you can recall, ie name calling, forgetting your birthday/christmas then that could be included. Some of the particulars can be quite vague and going back a little while but you must have something a bit more recent.
If you don't think he will defend the divorce and you can deal with it amicably between you there is no reason why you shouldn't act in person. You can collect the necessary forms (divorce petition and statement of arrangements for children form) from your local county court who will give you guidelines to complete the forms but cannot give you legal advice. The forms then need to be submitted (with copies for service upon him) together with the court fee. I've been out of practice for the last year or so, so can't tell you what the current court fee is but the court staff will tell you this. If DH is 'ok' about it and agrees to the divorce it may be a good idea to go through the particulars (examples of his behaviour) and agree it with him before you issue.
If he is not happy with a divorce at this time, you could either go ahead anyway and hope he doesn't defend (to be honest, many men claim they will defend but when it comes to it, they don't as it will cost them a lot of money!) or you could consider perhaps a separation agreement (if he would agree to that) This document would set out that you have agreed to live separate and apart and would usually include details such as payment of bills, maintenance for kids etc.
hope this helps.
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