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UKfamsol
UKfamsol, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 560
Experience:  Very experienced specialist family law solicitor, qualifed in 1994
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My friends husband has threatened her with harm and physically

Customer Question

My friends husband has threatened her with harm and physically attacked by putting his hands around her throat last night. I have been with her to see a solicitor in February as she has signed an agreement to say she is a Tennant in her own home. If she was to leave the house she would not be entitled to anything. The solicitor advice was to divorce her husband but she has no money and is in fear of reprisals. Please could you advise me on how to help my friend.
Thank you.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  UKfamsol replied 4 years ago.
Hello and thanks for your question.

There are 2 questions here:

1. Your friend's safety
2. Her financial position if she leaves her husband

1. Your friend's safety is more important than anything. She needs to inform the police by dialling 999 of her husband's assault against her - because he has committed a criminal offence. It is important that this goes on the police record, even if the police do not do enough on this occasion.Women's Aid can help her deal with the police. They can also help her find emergency accommodation at a secret address if she needs to get out of the house NOW for fear of reprisals before she reports the assault to the police. This is their website:

http://www.womensaid.org.uk/

Women's aid have a free 24/7 telephone number which is:

0808 2000 247

Once she is in a safe place, women's aid can help your friend find a good solicitor to obtain a non-molestation order (also called an injunction)against her husband. If the court accepts what your fried says happened, and the order is made, it is served on the husband and a copy lodged with the police. Any further incidents will then be a breach of the order, and a breach is a criminal offence which on conviction attracts a sentence of up to 2 years in prison.

It's important that your friend reports the assault to the police as soon as possible, because having it on the police record will help her get legal aid to cover her legal costs in making the application to court for a non-molestation order. The court will also expect her to have made the report to the police.

She needs to see a specialist family law solicitor as soon as possible to help with the application to court. Here's where to find a good solicitor:

http://www.resolution.org.uk/findamember/

2. Your friend's financial position if she leaves her husband. The fact that she has been bullied into signing a pretend tenancy agreement does not mean she IS a tenant and nor does it end her financial interest in the property. Once a divorce petition has been filed at court, either party to the divorce can make a financial and/or property claim against the other party.

The court starts from the position that all the matrimonial assets (which includes any pension entitlement of either party) should be divided equally, unless there is good reason for a less equal distribution eg is one person has a significantly lower income, or they are to care for any dependent children, then either of these reasons would enable them to argue for a more than 50% share eg 60%, 65% or even more.

Filing a divorce petition at court and making a financial /property claim all takes time of course. In the meantime, once your friend has left her husband, if she is not working, she can make a claim for benefits in her own name, to include housing benefit to cover her rent. Women's aid will help and advise with claiming benefits and applying to the local authority for housing on the grounds of being a victim of domestic violence.

Your friend will not lose any of her financial interest in the former matrimonial home just by moving out, so there is no need for her to stay in a dangerous situation just to protect her financial position.

I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck.

I hate to specify - but please rate my answer ok, good or excellent - or I get nothing for my time!!! (so the website keeps all).)

Thanks and best wishes...