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Husband set up surveillance

35 replies

Iz123 · 23/12/2016 23:24

Hi, im just quite upset and worried, i recently found out my husband fitted a recording device in my house so he could listen to all conversations and also had a recording app installed on my phone so all calls would be sent to him so he could listen private conversations.
I found out what my husband did while i was in labour giving birth to our son, as my husband was threatening to deal with me later. (He heard me bitching about my inlaws and is acting like i have commited a major crime) he left me in labour while he attended a wedding so i was very frustrated and in pain and vented to my sister, he herd all this as he had recording devices in my house.

Social services & police got involved and told me i was not allowed to remain with my husband as he was very controlling and maniplutive and they didnt feel me or the baby would be safe. He controlled every element of my life who i could and couldnt see, finances, what i wore etc

Now he has filed for divorce instead of getting treatment for his trust and childhood issues, he is making the divorce process very difficult, he is trying to get me to pay his legal fees, he wants 50/50 residency for our son even tho he has no relationship with our son, and i dont trust he will be safe if ever left with my husband, he is very calculating and controlling and has already threatened to take my son abroad where i cant find him.

Im not sure what to do, i dont want to lose my baby, its hard ever trusting any1 i have become so suspicious always assuming my calls are being recorded he really knocked my confidence what kind of help is out there for people in my situation? ....

OP posts:
NameChange30 · 23/12/2016 23:31

Sorry to hear your husband was/is abusive and controlling.

Did the police refer you to any domestic abuse support services such as an IDVA or your local Women's Aid? If not I suggest you contact Women's Aid - the helpline number is 0808 2000 247 and lines are open 24/7. They can offer advice and support and should be able to put you in touch with local services.

Have you got a solicitor or any legal advice at all? If not I suggest you ask Women's Aid about legal aid and if they have a list of local solicitors that specialise in domestic abuse. Some might offer a free initial consultation. There is also the free Rights of Women family law helpline.

Do you have any real life support from close family or friends?

Iz123 · 23/12/2016 23:37

Hi Emma,

I have been enrolled on to a course to recognise signs of domestic abuse in january, ive been on their waiting list for 3 months so am looking forward to speaking to them.

I have had some initial advice from a solicitor who said because my husband has filed for divorce 1st he looks like the victim and may push for me to pay costs, i can argue against this but it just makes the process longer.

It just seems like it will be a very long and exspensive process.

OP posts:
GettingScaredNow · 23/12/2016 23:49


Can't help with the stuff about solicitors and costs. I willingly paid the costs to get out of my marriage.

My husband bugged my home. He was/is a nasty calculating control cunt. And I'm well shot of him.
I've just completed a course about abusive behaviour. It did wonders for me.

I bug swept through my home, I didn't trust anyone or anything. Am still struggling. I bought a new phone, laptop, iPad everything cos that was the only way to be sure they were clean of bugs.

We have 2 dc together. 2&4 and he sees them. He tries all sorts to knock my confidence. It's insane.
But, my dear, stay strong.
Stay so strong.
I don't believe him filing for divorce looks like the victim at all.
Contest the divorce reasons if you can.
Get onto benefits (are you uk?) and you will get help with the fees. I had my filing fees refunded from the court.

So sorry this is happening to you.
My husband threatens to take the kids away but I have come to realise if he does he can't control me and crush me anymore. And that is his whole purpose in life. He's hooked on me. Not the kids.
It takes a lot seeing it for what it is.

Flowers for you. Hope your ok

GettingScaredNow · 23/12/2016 23:53

Women's aid are fabulous. So is Mumsnet.
If it wasn't for Mumsnet I would still be there in my marriage I'm sure of that.

Try your local children's centre. I know that sounds nuts but if it's a surestart just go in.
I did. In floods of tears. I just showed up. They were amazing. Truly.
Cos surestarts are funded by councils they use the centres for all sorts of outreach and women's groups.
It's worth a try.
They can help you get into the right phone numbers or departments or whatever. Mine was great.
Often there's community midwives there.

MrsBertBibby · 24/12/2016 09:03

Hi OP, I'm a family solicitor.

Lots of stuff in your post. I'm assuming this is very recent and your baby is still very young? Stick to your guns about contact, and about the threat to abduct your son abroad.

Tackling the practical issue of the divorce, it really doesn't matter to judges who divorces whom, it's pretty common for the stated grounds to bear little resemblance to the objective truth. What does matter is the costs claim. What you need to do there is to object to paying costs and send the court your account setting out your reasons why the split is his fault. Put in all you have said here. Contesting the divorce costs a lot of time and enefgy for little actual gain to you. So you state in your account that you are happh to be divorced, and reserve the right to defend his claims against you if raised in any other context (ie disputes over money or children)

Don't agree any contact. Let him issue an application. The Court will access all the police and social services information. That won't go well for him.

Ensure you get the police to press charges. Get their advice on getting your devices checked for spyware. If there is any ongoing trouble, think about getting a non molestation order, you can get legal aid for that, if the solicitor you spoke to doesn't do legal aid, find one who does (say if you need help)

EnormousTiger · 24/12/2016 09:35

Your solicitor's advice is actually not quite as described. If your husband divorces you you do indeed have to pay the court fee. That is usually a tiny tiny part of divorce costs so don't worry about that at all. It is unlikely to mean you pay his solicitors' bills.

Do remember there is no fault in English divorce law so it does not really matter what each of you say on the petition - just about any marriage even a good one can get the stuff you need to list for unreasonable behaviour. It tends not to matter what is written there as stated above.

Most divorces are best settled amicably without court hearings, police or social services and most child contact works best by agreement between parents. I know you know he is controlling and awful but just about every sensible divorce solicitor will agree with me.

Most couples reach agreement on finances (ours took 7 months and we lived together during it) and we had no court hearings, just agreed with compromise on both sides the sum I paid him (I earned more).

What are the basics of the position now - do you live in a marital home you both own? Is there equity in it? Do you both work full time?

Iz123 · 24/12/2016 09:43

Hi Mrs BertBibby,

Thank u for your advice above. Yes my baby is 3 months old at the moment.

The police want me to press charges which i havent done yet, it is something i am considering. Can my husband use my private call recordings in court?

Im struggling to get legal aid as i have a house which is half on my name, however its on mortgage and that means i cant get legal aid.

Gettingscarednow - yes i am in the uk british born. I am ao sorry to read what u have been going through, i thought i was the only 1 married to a psycho but i guess not.

Did u agree to let him see the kids or did u try and make it difficult for him?
My husband and his family are of the opinion women should be seen but not heard ...i cant have my son growing up thinking that is ok.
I will try and get out in to the community more i just feel like a faliure, i havent told every1 about the pending divorce yet.

OP posts:
Iz123 · 24/12/2016 09:49

Enourmous tiger- thank u for your message. I currently live with my mum and dad i was forced to leave my marital home by social services. My husband moved his sister in to live with us as another form of surveillance to keep an eye on me while hhe was at work. Social services didnt feel comfortable with that and sent me and my son to my parents.

Our marital home is in my husbands name. We were only married a year.
Id be happier dicussing child arrangements with him if he got the recommended treatment, i cant risk him controlling our son aswell. He has a way of making himself look superior and every1 else is stupid and insignificant. He had a teoubled childhood and has sum wharped ideas on disciplin.

OP posts:
Iz123 · 24/12/2016 09:51

My husbands house has 100k equity. I also own a home full mortgage. I left work as that was pregnant and he did not want me working anymore. I was stupid to listen to him.

OP posts:
NameChange30 · 24/12/2016 09:59

Are you claiming Maternity Allowance? You should be entitled to MA, Child Tax Credits and Child Benefit.

You could offer your STBXH supervised contact at a child contact centre. That would probably be the most appropriate type of contact in the circumstances. I can completely understand that you don't want to allow unsupervised contact (and I think you should trust your instinct as well as following the advice of the police and social services).

Please do talk to Women's Aid if you haven't already.

GettingScaredNow · 24/12/2016 10:01

I don't make contact difficult, he does.
He flatly refuses any schedule. Wants it ad hoc as and when he demands it.
Bullies and is aggressive until he gets what he wants. Then smug as fuck.
Although nowadays I only give in if it actually suits me.
However, I have slim concerns of him not returning the dc and was advised not to block contact as there is no documented abuse towards them, so the courts would frown upon me making it difficult.
I'm essentially waiting for him to slip up and then I can withhold them.

Shame about legal aid . I don't qualify despite being on income support as he was arrested but not charged so I don't merit the legal aid.

So sorry he and his family have such an archaic view of women. I didn't know with my husband who he was until after I was pregnant.
Thought he was a French national who was 6 years older then me, turned out he was an Algerian illegal immigrant who was 10 years older then me. These men are liars. Don't believe a word of it.

abbsisspartacus · 24/12/2016 10:01

Press charges it will be better for you

NameChange30 · 24/12/2016 10:04

"Most divorces are best settled amicably without court hearings, police or social services and most child contact works best by agreement between parents. I know you know he is controlling and awful but just about every sensible divorce solicitor will agree with me."
I disagree with this, or at least I don't think it applies to the OP. Most relationships are not abusive but some are - including this one. In most cases, police and social services don't get involved, but in this case they already are - not in the divorce itself but there will already reports etc that can and should be considered in any legal dispute (about child contact for example). I don't know what you mean about "every sensible divorce solicitor" Hmm but those with experience in domestic abuse will be able to offer the OP sensible advice that is tailored to her situation - rather than the situation of "most people".

MrsBertBibby · 24/12/2016 10:20

OP please disregard every line of Enormoustiger's post. I have been a family solicitor for 20 years and I can tell you it's at best inaccurate and at worst downright dangerous drivel.

Iz123 · 24/12/2016 10:32

I went for free advice with a solicitor and he didnt mention anything about being amicable in my situation, as my husband is a narcassist and he has advised its very unlikely he will play nice. My husband tried to convince social services i had depression and mental health issues!!! Social set him straight on that, it was all lies.

I cant risk anything happening to my son and i couldnt cope if he kidnapped him, he really is all i have and iknow if he took my son id never find him again.

OP posts:
FeckTheMagicDragon · 24/12/2016 10:42

If you can't risk anything happening to your son - follow police advice and prosecute him. If at a later date you want to object to him having 50/50 (or more) you will have nothing official as a reason why if you don't.

AnyFucker · 24/12/2016 10:45

You are worried he will take your son away for good, the police want you to press charges, it will help you to get financial assistance and you are still "considering" pressing charges ? Confused

EnormousTiger · 24/12/2016 11:20

No family lawyer would disagree with me that most divorces are best settled out of court without court action of course. However I certainly agree where there is abuse it is different so support the comments above.

By the way (and this is not drivel) if the matrimonial home is in his name, not yours you need to register with the Land Registry your spousal right to the matrimonial home (as I am sure MrsBert can better tell us all) if not already done just so that if he does something silly like try to remortgage or sell the home a potential buyer is aware of that. It is cheap and easy to do and you do not need to involve your husband. I would guess costs £3.

GettingScaredNow · 24/12/2016 12:41

Press charges.
I understand your consideration. It is the fear that if you do you will make things worse. But the only thing my husband understands is that I am starting to stand up to him.

He would have killed me. He threatened it and I called the police. I wanted to press charges. Police dropped it as no proof.
If you have proof DO IT.

Once he sees he ant break you anymore he will lose interest.
Out of interest, which country is he from?

Iz123 · 24/12/2016 13:08

Yes its about making things worse, and having to give evidence in court its alot to deal with.

He is of pakistani origin, however he is british.

Plenty of evidence about what he has done, which is why i believe the police are wanting me to press charges.

OP posts:
WitchSharkadder · 24/12/2016 13:14

Please press charges. I understand it seems very daunting right now, but in the long term you'll be glad you did.

I know how hard it is to separate yourself from a controlling, abusive man but you can do it. It sounds like you already have the police and SS on your side, call women's aid too. MN is also brilliant at offering support in these situations, so do keep posting.

You've found so much strength to get this far, you can find a bit more to go the distance. Best of luck. Flowers

Keeptrudging · 24/12/2016 13:30

I think you can get a thing via solicitor which blocks your son being taken out of the country, think it was something like an 'all ports' order. I had one for my son, but law may have changed as that was years ago? Given the threats that may be something to get in place if possible?

EnormousTiger · 24/12/2016 14:24

Useful information coming out. (He should not by the way be able to register the same right over your house as it's not the matrimonial home, although he could get a freezing order of some kind over it and your other assets if any).

I agree on the court order to prevent your child being taken out of the jurisidiction particularly as it's Pakistan where although Sharia law is not the law of the land it does still tend to favour men a bit more than the UK.

I was wrong about the £3 fee, in fact it costs nothing at all. The procedure is here in relation to registering your right over the marital home. Check first as it advises on that link however that the house is in his name - it might be in a family member name to keep you away from claiming it.

If you own a home with no equity and a large loan and there is £100k in the marital home and neither of you has any assets and you have a child together I doubt the "short marriage rules" are likely to apply as they usually might (they mean in England you are put back to where you were on marriage rather than splitting assets - they are obviously sensible for very short marriages with no children). So on a divorce you might be starting with a 50/50 split of the £100k assuming no other assest, no jewellery or either of you having savings etc. If the child lives with you though you might get more in order to house the child. Your solicitor can advise. Be very very careful as unless you get legal aid (which you might if no money and violence from husband) then you could spend the whole of the £100k equity in the house between you on solicitors and barristers which is why in many cases lots of court hearings do neither side any good at all. It can be a bottomless pit of wasted money on lawyers.

Try to think about the end point you want eg that the finances are cleanly and finally divided and a court order makes that clear; that you have residence of the child and his contact is nothing if he's violent etc or limited; or what I would have loved 50/50 each etc.

MrsBertBibby · 24/12/2016 15:58

FFS, you really don't know what you are talking about, Enormous, so I can only assume you have some desperate yen to make yourself seem important. That's a bizarre mish mash of jargon cobbled together with no understanding of the law.

OP, get to a solicitor who can advise you properly, Women's Aid may be able to help you.

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