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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34235
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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I would like your opinions on my rights in divorce proceedings.

Customer Question

I would like your opinions on my rights in divorce proceedings. I appreciate this can only be general until all circumstances are assessed. We have been married 10 years this July 2014, and have a 12 and a 10 year old child. I have been the main carer, effectively a stay at home mum, and my husband had been working away for the last 2.5 years, coming home at weekends. He is 38 years and I am 51. Our marriage has broken down due to constant arguments and disagreements. I, at this time am saying I do not want to divorce, but we have had numerous relationship counselling sessions and my husband now wishes to separate. I suspect he is interested in another women, but has not yet been unfaithful in terms of a sexual relationship.

He would like a 50:50 split, is happy to continue providing for and being involved in the children's life's, but does not want to provide for me. He is suggesting I work full time and care for the children (there are no relatives, such as grandparents who can offer child care if I were to work). He suggests I would live in a much smaller property, wanting to sell our present house, to split the proceeds. And, ideally he wants to have custody of the children as he is not happy with how I "mange them". I think he would try to deem me as an unfit mother, as I do have health issues; ME/CFS, which at times leaves me with lower energy. Also, due to our disagreements I have become very angry, but throughout I have loved and always been there for the children.

I would want custody of the children and as the main carer, I believed I would be most likely to have custody. I am concerned that I would be unable to support myself and the children though, as I have only been working very part time and considering my age and circumstances of an out of date skill set and fore mentioned health would certainly have difficulty earning any where near the equivalent as my husband. A point possibly worth making is that my husband has me as Director of his company that he has started and developed during our marriage.

 

Thank you in anticipation of your valued advice.

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How much is the house worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage?
What other assets and debts are there?
What income do you each have - and what earning capacity do you actually have?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Our house was bought for £460,000 and we estimate in four years is probably £525,000 maximum (we live in south east, where prices are high). £263,000 remaining to pay as of August 2013, with monthly payments of £2000.


From our first house we made a profit of £100,000, but I initially put in £40,000, released from a property that I half ownered with my mother. She now has ownership of this property.


We each have a car, but both are in my husbands name.


I have an ISA worth approx £4000.


Neither of us has pensions.


My current bank account has about £1000. We transfer money to and from each others accounts as needed to pay credit cards and other expenses.


My husband pays £9000 a year into my account, which I spend as I wish, generally on children's activities, tuition, some house expenses and my living expenses.


We do not have any outstanding debts.


 


My husband earns in excess of £100,000 per year before tax.


I earn £13 per hour and at the most work 12 hours per week .


I am a qualified nurse, so I should be able to earn equivalent if I were to up date my skills and work more hours. Full time work without considering child care I estimate I could earn £27,000.


 


Thank you

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi Caroline
How much would you need to buy a three bedroom property in the same general area - and how long have you been living with your husband
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
We are already in a three bedroom house. In the same area the minimum is £375, 000.
Within 5 miles there is a main town and there is a possibility that £275,000 may buy a three bedroom. It would be in the roughest area and a bus would not be available for my son to get to school each day.
Also, we need to stay within our present area until december 2014 for our daughter to get a into Grammar school. Neither my husband nor myself wish to jeopardise her chances.
Up until the end of the year, we would prefer not to declare our intentions to the children. My husband wishes to sleep in his office at weekends until then.
We have been living together for exactly 12 years.
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Since you are the main carer of the children and your husband works away there is little doubt that in the event of a dispute over the care of the children it is unlikely that a 50/50 shared care arrangement would be seen as realistic - although of course the children will be spending some of their time with him
The priority is the housing needs of the children - so if the house was sold you would clearly need the uilk of the proceeds of sale to purchase another property - but you would need to give him "his" share when your youngest is 18.
The eventual share is likely to be 60/40 in your favour - more if you do not pursue your clear claim for spouse maintenance
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for the advise. I have a few other questions I would like answering please.
My husband is prepared to go back to place of work within daily commute of home if he has custody of the children. Would this strengthen his case?

Also our son's health is not good and is requiring him to have one or two days off school every few weeks at the moment.
If I am unable to work full time due to my son or my health problems then what financial support is available?
Thank you
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
The court tends to favour the Status quo - which is that you are the main carer
You will have to choose between a much larger share of the equity - or ongoing spouse maintenance if you are not able to work I am afraid
Clare