Hello and thanks for your question
Once a divorce petition has been filed at court, either party can make a financial and/or property claim against the other to ask the court to decide how the matrimonial assets should be divided if they can't agree between themselves. You do have a financial interest in the former matrimonial home by virtue of being a spouse, even though your name is ***** ***** the title deeds and you haven't made a financial contribution. Your contribution to the marriage by looking after the children and the household is deemed to be just as important by the family court as the financial contribution made by your husband. Your financial interest in the property is not affected by whether or not you are living there, so you will not lose it if you decide to move out. However, you do need to protect that interest, to avoid the risk that your husband would try to sell the house before it has been decided what your share of the matrimonial assets should be.
You need to lodge Form HR1 at the Land Registry, which is the application for registration of a notice of home rights. Here's the form:
with some help in completing it.
This notice once on the Land Registry entry for the property will alert potential purchasers to a matrimonial dispute, which should put them off going ahead with the purchase. There's no fee to register the notice of home rights.
I should stress that you are entited to a fair share of ALL the matrimonial assets, not just the house. The court will consider the assets all together, not just the house in isolation.
If you and your husband can negotiate an agreement, either between yourselves, or via solicitors' correspondence or via mediation, that agreement can be made legally-binding if it is drawn up into a draft consent order which you both sign, which is then sent to court for the court's approval.Once approved and entered onto the court record, it is as binding as an order made following contested proceedings.
If you have no income, you will be able to apply for benefits as a single parent once you have separated from your husband. The citizens' advice bureau is the best place to get help and advice with benefits. And they are free. Here's where to find your local CAB:
You should also consider claiming child support from your husband. Here's a useful website which includes a calculator:
If your marriage is over, then I advise you to file your divorce petiiton at court as soon as possible, because the powers of the court to make orders in relation to matrimonial property and finance only come into play once a divorce petition has been filed at court. Unfortunately, there's no legal aid for the divorce itself - but a person may qualify for legal aid for court cases concerning children, or property & finance associated with divorce, if they have been the victim of domestic violence from the other party to the case within the last 2 years.
You mention the atmosphere in the house. If your husband's behaviour to you or the kids has been really bad - violence or threats of violence or a lot of verbal abuse, you may be able to get an occupation order. This is an emergency and temporary order that suspends someone's property rights for a period eg 3 months or 6 months, while the court considers what a suitable permanent solution should be. An occupation order can require someone to leave their home for the period stated on the order. Obviously it's a draconian measure which the court is reluctant to apply, unless the behaviour of the respondent is bad enough - but if you were sucessful in convincing the court, you and the kids could stay in the house and your husband would have to move out.
You might like to talk through what you have been through with Women's Aid. Their free 24 hour number is 0808 2000 247 and their website is:-
In an emergency, they can find you & the kids some temporary accommodation.
I think you should get some face-to-face legal advice as there is so much to consider in your situation. Here's where to find a specialist family law solicitor:
I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck.
Thanks and best wishes...