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How does divorce work? How is everything organised?

7 replies

spookysal · 07/01/2013 11:14

h was forced to leave after a DA incident involving him threatening me with a knife last year.I had asked him to leave a number of times before, he always said he would but never did.

After the last incident he had no choice because I was scared and phoned the police. I didn't take out an injunction as long as he found somewhere else to live.

However he hangs around the house like a bad smell and it's difficult to get rid of him as he says he cannot have the dc where he lives as he only has one room in a shared house. So in order to see the dc, he has to come to the house.

He pays child maintenance but nothing towards the mortgage. I get help with the mortgage through SMI mortgage benefit assistance but I still have to find £400 a month towards the mortgage.

I was forced to give up work when he left as he refused to continue looking after the children and my shifts meant childcare was impossible.

I want a divorce. I want to be free, financially as much as anything else. I cannot work atm as I would lose the SMI benefit. In order to pay everything I need his help with little things. I hate this and I hate that he has this hold on me. I also hate not being able to work. I feel trapped.

When we were together he ran up a lot of debt. Most of it in his name, some of it in joint names. We are currently in a DMP paying it off (one of the things I am still tied to him with)

There is no equity in the house. We may be lucky to break even if we sold and paid off the fees involved in selling. More than likely we would be left with a shortfall.

There are no assets or savings. Just a big pile of debt.

What would happen in a divorce? Is there anyway out for me?

OP posts:
olgaga · 07/01/2013 11:22

You really need legal advice - take a look at this information, you'll find lots of links to organisations which can help you.

spookysal · 07/01/2013 11:28

That is a really good page with all the links.

It makes my head fizzle though. I have been putting off doing it because I find it all so complicated.

I just want to know the basics. Regarding what will happen to the house, the debt etc

OP posts:
olgaga · 07/01/2013 11:36

I'm afraid no-one can tell you that without sitting down with all the paperwork!

Start slowly - work your way through the information, get your papers all in order and then perhaps get some advice here about how to handle the debts.

Soconfusedwithallthis · 07/01/2013 12:33

The debts are a payment plan so are as organised as well as they can be.

I just need to phone payplan and separate my debt from his. Which is easy except I cannot afford to make my separate payment because of paying for the mortgage which is why I haven't done it yet.

Soconfusedwithallthis · 07/01/2013 12:34

I namechanged btw!

olgaga · 07/01/2013 14:46

Well that's your first step, separate out all the debts which are in his name only and get them off your payment plan.

Could you contact your mortgage provider and see if you can go interest-only until the house is sold?

Call in any favours you can. Could family help you out financially on a temporary basis?

I would tell him to arrange contact through a contact centre until he has somewhere to see them. If he's not willing or able to share the mortgage payments I don't see why he should enjoy the facilities!

Why not phone the Co-op Legal Services helpline and see what they can do for you?

STIDW · 08/01/2013 05:03

With very young children contact can be very difficult because seeing the children at home is often the most appropriate form of contact. HOwever your ex doesn't live in former matrimonial home anymore, it's your home not his, and under human rights legislation you have the right to privacy and family life. If the children are older would your ex agree to take them to the park or a play centre or perhaps even his shared accommodation for a few hours? My ex took in a lodger to help with his mortgage payments, the children used to go there for contact and they are still friends with the lodger now they are adults. Alternatively there is contact centres but some of them aren't particularly pleasant places for contact and if your ex feels forced into a contact centre he may well feel less inclined to help with the little things.

As far as the finances are concerned in the short term you need to ensure you are maximising your income. Working 16 hours or more, if you can find a job, would mean you are eligible for Working Families Tax Credits which would offset the SMI you would lose. You might not be any better off in the short term but the longer you are out of work the more difficult it is to find a job and the greater the loss in pay, promotion prospects and pension contributions. Being in work might also help when it comes to the divorce settlement. IT's worth checking out the amount of WFTC you would be able to claim and doing a bit of number crunching;-


As far as divorce settlements are concerned any assets (including pensions) are shared according to a checklist of factors is s25 Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. The priority is meeting the needs of children, in particular for a roof over there heads. Depending on the amount of negative equity and whether the former matrimonial home is too big to run there is the option of the property being transferred to a parent with the majority of care and the other spouse remaining on the mortgage until they can be released. HOwever if you haven't already done so you need to consult a solicitor to find out where you stand and what options there are.

At the moment you would be eligible for legal aid but that won't be available very much longer. Community Legal Services (google) can advise about legal aid and what free legal advice might be available to you.

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