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Harris
Harris, Family Law Expert
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1763
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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My husband is asking me divorce which I do not want.

Customer Question

My husband is asking me for a divorce which I do not want. We have been co-habitating since 2003 and got married in 2006. From me, there is no adultery and he also admits there is no "unreasonable behaviour" on my part. Tonight, he asked me to sell the jointly owned, family home which I also do not want to do. We have two children, 7yrs and 10yrs and we relocated from France to England last year. Uprooting the children again would not be a good thing. I am a stay at home mum and he has a good salary but he's now realised that the money left over for him is not as much as he hoped. Basically, he wants me to apply for all of the benefits I can get so that he doesn't have to pay as much for the house and kids. He also says if I rent, I can get rent relief but I don't want to get off of the property ladder. My questions are this: Can he force me to sell? Can he file for divorce with no grounds? How do we best draw up an agreement to pay the bills until we end the separation and get a divorce (if I'm forced to do that)?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Hi, thanks for your question. I am a qualified family law solicitor.
I am sorry to hear about your family issues. Usually, in these circumstances it is always best to sit down and talk things through to reach an amicable agreement, which is best done using an independent mediator. You can find local mediators here: www.familymediationcouncil.org.uk
In relation to the divorce, it is usually the easiest option for petitioners to rely on unreasonable behaviour and he will likely attempt to rely on factors that have happened throughout the marriage, ending with something recent which he will rely on as the last straw. The court will need to agree that the marriage has broken down irretrievably based on his statement. You will be able to defend the divorce, however this is usually not advisable as it will be costly, time-consuming and the divorce will likely succeed. It is usually therefore best to focus on agreeing a financial settlement and arrangements for the children.
Regarding the finances, he cannot force you to sell. If the financial matter proceeds to court, the court will look initially at your children's needs. As they are both young, they will require somewhere stable to live which will likely be the family home. Therefore I would suggest that you do not move out or enter into any agreements regarding the home. Regarding the wider assets and income, the court will consider whether there should be any provision for spousal maintenance from him to you, given that you do not work. You can also pursue an application directly with the child maintenance agency, as the court will not deal with child maintenance issues unless the CMO does not have jurisdiction.
Therefore, the best way to proceed is to attend mediation in order to draw up a separation agreement for the short-term, after which if he pursues divorce proceedings you will need to consider a financial application to court regarding the finances, if matters cannot be agreed.
Expert:  Harris replied 1 year ago.
Hi, this question remains open. Please let me know if you have any further questions. If not and you found the information provided helpful please could you rate my response positive so that the question can be closed.

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