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Advice for this horrible horrible situation

25 replies

Rory786 · 13/06/2017 11:58

A friend of a friend has just been divorced and her husband has buggered off to Pakistan. She has 4 children and a newborn (1 week old) She is looking into getting a council flat but I'm wondering why SHE should be the one to move out. The house is under his name, but if she's married to him surely she must have some rights. She has limited English and I feel so sorry for her, anyone with any advice, esp legal advice. Thanks

OP posts:

statetrooperstacey · 13/06/2017 12:02

If there is a mortgage can she pay it?


MumIsRunningAMarathon · 13/06/2017 12:02

Yes if she's married legally then she will have rights. And she should push for the house

She won't get a council flat

She will need a large enough house, but they are thin on the ground. Where in U.K. Is she?


Gini99 · 13/06/2017 12:02

Was she actually married to him (as in a legal marriage and not purely a religious marriage) and has she had a legal divorce?


MrsOverTheRoad · 13/06/2017 12:03

Is it a rental or owned?


Rory786 · 13/06/2017 12:04

She doesn't work, she is from Pakistan with a very basic education. He has married her as a baby machine but now wants out. I want her to be empowered and fight back!

OP posts:

MommaGee · 13/06/2017 12:06

Do you know what right to remain she has etc?


Rory786 · 13/06/2017 12:06

I will find out the answers to these questions, thank you for your replies.

OP posts:

Gini99 · 13/06/2017 12:11

There is no substitute here for time with a specialist family lawyer who can get all of the details and give her tailored advice. The cost in the short term might be an issue for her but the long term consequences of not getting proper advice can be huge. There are so many variables that there's not an easy answer that you can get from the internet

Do get clarity on the question of whether she's married in English law (I'm assuming she's in England?). Quite a few women in her situation have had a religious marriage but not done anything to make it a legal marriage and then only discover the problem in a situation like this when it is too late.


TestingTestingWonTooFree · 13/06/2017 12:14

Maybe see if you can help her identify a solicitor who speaks her language?


BrambleandCuthbert · 13/06/2017 12:18

If she only had a religious ceremony then whether or not it is recognised in English law depends on where that ceremony was conducted. If it was here, as PPs say, it won't be legally recognised. If it was in Pakistan, or another country that recognises Shariah law, then it will.


diddl · 13/06/2017 12:23

If they are divorced, wasn't it sorted out who would live where?


SaucyJack · 13/06/2017 12:28

There's nothing wrong with a council flat.

Better to have an affordable tenancy in your own name, than an unaffordable mortgage in someone else's name if he's likely to mess her around with money.


astoundedgoat · 13/06/2017 12:34

Why does she want to stay in the UK? Under the circumstances I'd be heading straight back to my family. Her life in the UK, with little education or English, and no money/home is not likely to be an easy one, and depending on where she is from in Pakistan and what her family is like and their attitude towards her divorce, she could have a far higher standard of living at home.

How long has she been in the UK? What does SHE want to do? Do you have any idea if she is legally married?


zzzzz · 13/06/2017 12:35

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JsOtherHalf · 13/06/2017 12:46

It might be worth contacting the muslim womens helpline?

I believe they offer support in various languages?
10am to 4pm (Mon to Fri)
0800 999 5786 (free from mobiles and landlines)
0303 999 5786 (Usual call rates apply)

I wouldn't be at all surprised if the house is in someone else's name though, despite what his wife may think.


onalongsabbatical · 13/06/2017 12:51

Muslim women's helpline. You or she can contact them for advice and help. Good luck. To the poster above who thought she should go back to Pakistan - really? Any idea how an abandoned woman with a clutch of children might fare there? Usually very badly. IMHO.


onalongsabbatical · 13/06/2017 12:52

Ha, cross post!


tigerskinrug · 13/06/2017 12:56

Why does she want to stay in the UK? Under the circumstances I'd be heading straight back to my family. Her life in the UK, with little education or English, and no money/home is not likely to be an easy one, and depending on where she is from in Pakistan and what her family is like and their attitude towards her divorce, she could have a far higher standard of living at home.

And where would she be getting financial support to raise 5 children with in Pakistan?

OP get legal advice ASAP and get her as much practical help as possible. I would assume if the husband has left he will need to return at some stage to pay the mortgage?


expatinscotland · 13/06/2017 13:09

'There's nothing wrong with a council flat.'

No, but depending where you are, or where you want to be housed, they are impossible to get if you need 3 or more bedrooms.

Also, she may have visa issues.


SantasLittleMonkeyButler · 13/06/2017 13:17

Your friend definitely needs independent legal advice OP. If she is legally married then she may well be able to keep the house for now. However, if it is a private rental the LL may decide not to renew her tenancy on the grounds of not accepting Housing Benefit. If it is mortgaged, the length of time she would be able to stay in the property would depend on how long the mortgage kept on being paid. If her H has gone back to Pakistan, one could assume he isn't intending to pay & I'm unsure of the HB entitlement rules for mortgages.


Rory786 · 13/06/2017 13:55

Thanks for all the messages.

I'm trying to get hold of her but she's busy, lots of other people are getting on board now too to help her, which is good.

Just to clarify, nothing at all wrong with a council flat but I just thought why should she have to move and uproot her kids.

He doesn't want the kids.

Legal advice def needed to sort out this horrible mess, thanks for all the replies.

OP posts:

Rory786 · 13/06/2017 14:28


She is not legally married
The house is freehold and in his name.
Police say she cannot force her way in because property isn't hers. He's locked up and gone to Pakistan. Her things are in there.

The council are helping and will provide temporary accommodation.

Its so sad. The plight of some women governed by men. And all of this being observed by her poor teenage daughter....makes my blood boil.

OP posts:

onalongsabbatical · 13/06/2017 14:51

Thanks, Rory. That's bad news, but not the end of the matter, I'm sure. Has the Muslim Women's Helpline been contacted? (I know you might not know.)
Really hope she gets a better life sorted, for both herself and her children. The teenage daughter might respond by becoming a shit-hot militant feminist, wouldn't be the first time!
Flowers to the woman and her children, and all of you helping her are Stars.


Gini99 · 13/06/2017 15:07

Oh dear, it is often the women who are most vulnerable who end up in this position. IS she absolutely sure that she's not legally married? As someone said upthread, a marriage that is entered into legally abroad is generally recognised here and so if she had a religious marriage in Pakistan is might be a legal marriage here.

In any case it is most definitely not the end of the matter but she needs to get proper advice. I would certainly want to explore a Children Act claim in relation to the house but (at the risk of repetition) she should get proper advice on that.


SleeplessByTheSeaside · 13/06/2017 15:13

The house may be in his name, but it's his children's home as well, does she really have no rights to enter the property to even get her belongings back?

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