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ukfamilysolicitor
ukfamilysolicitor, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 861
Experience:  Divorce, Finances, Children, Domestic Violence, Care Proceedings
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My cousin married her second husband two years ago. It soon

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My cousin married her second husband two years ago. It soon became apparent that he was a violent man, and after several beatings (involving hospitalisation and the police) she was placed on the "at risk" register. After the last beating in December she was told that if he hit her again he would be prosecuted whether on not she pressed charges herself. I have been urging her for 18 months to get away from him, and last week she did, after he threatened to throw her through the window.She is now in a homeless women's refuge and scared for the future. She has not worked much in the last 20 years, due to caring for her children as her first husband worked all over the UK and often abroad, and latterly due to severe ill health. She has pension from an overseas employer of about £650 a month which puts her out of reach of state benefits. At the time of the break-up of her first marriage (about 4 years ago) her husband was in financial ruin, so she made no claim for maintenance or a share of assets as her daughter was still living with him. She therefore brought no assets to the second marriage, but did pay the whole of her pension into an account in her new husband's sole name and he regarded that as payment for her board and lodgings, and gave her little money for herself.My question is what, if anything, can she claim from the second husband following separation and/or divorce? He has a good job and salary, and owns 3 or 4 rental properties as well as the marital home (nothing is in her name). They could, of course, all be mortgaged, but he gets rental income from them. One of those properties was renovated almost entirely by my cousin, using his money, but she project-managed the entire process herself.Despite the short marriage, is she entitled to any form of maintenance, or a share of his assets, or any part of his company pension?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 1 year ago.
Hello Welcome to Just Answer I am a Solicitor and will assist you. I am sorry to hear about what your cousin has been going through. Please can I ask a few questions: - is your cousin considering divorce?- how many children does your cousin have? how old are they? any with her 2nd husband?- is the refuge that your cousin is currently residing in a refuge placement offered specifically as result of the domestic violence she suffered from her husband? Kind Regards Caroline
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She isn't at the stage of thinking about divorce yet, she is still in emotional turmoil from having to run for her life on Tuesday.She has two children by her first husband, age 19 and 17 (soon to be 18). No children with the second husband.I am not 100% certain about the refuge (she described it to me as "the homeless shelter". She pitched up at the Town Hall with her bags, gave her name and asked if they could help her, and was immediately granted a place in the refuge. They had all her records, they were familiar with her case. There have been a lot of incidents. But I am pretty sure it was offered as a result of the domestic violence, though I cannot say it is a place solely reserved for victims of violence, it might just be a general homeless hostel.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She has been told they will help her find more permanent accommodation within a month.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Though she has had two miscarriages with the second husband. After one of them, she got a beating from him.
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 1 year ago.
Hello Thank you for your responses. My apologies for my delay in responding to you. I am so sorry to hear this. Do you know if your cousins husband has ever been charged with an offence against your cousin? Kind Regards Caroline
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes, he has been charged at least couple of times (she doesn't tell me everything) and kept in the police cells overnight, but my cousin withdrew her statement.
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 1 year ago.
Hello Thank you for your response. The reason that I have been asking these questions is to establish whether your cousin would qualify for legal aid. Legal aid is only available when domestic violence evidence is available and there are only certain types that the Legal Aid Agency will accept. From what you have said - there should be no issues with your cousin obtaining a piece of domestic violence. One piece of evidence is that he has been charged with an offence against her. Another is that she had been admitted to a refuge. Your cousin should ring a family solicitor and explain about the charges he has had. They will be able to complete a police disclosure request to obtain further details. They will then assess your cousins income and savings and if she qualifies then they will be able to assist her in relation to the matrimonial finances. Although divorce is not yet contemplated - if your cousin did decide to divorce then she would be able to make a claim in respect of the matrimonial finances. Whilst I appreciate that the marriage has been a relatively short one - which often means that claims are more limited - it is still possible to make a claim and the court has a wide discretion in respect of the division of assets. The court will consider what assets are available and your housings needs. The first steps to dealing with the matrimonial finances and the husband will have to disclose all of his assets. This will help inform what a settlement should be. A family solicitor will be able to help your cousin with this. Please do not hesitate to ask if I can assist you further. Kind Regards ***** ***** you have found this service useful - please kindly remember to rate positively so that we receive credit for helping you today
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am sorry, I don't understand some of your advice. You use the phrase " a piece of domestic violence". What is that? A piece?What is a family solicitor? Where does she find one? Maybe the people at the refuge will help.I think there is something missing from your sentence which commences "The first steps to dealing with......" Please advise what you meant to say.Ha ha, there is no way he will make a disclosure of his assets or anything else. It is not his assets I am interested in, it is his income from those assets that my cousin facilitated.My cousin is virtually unemployable, so it is income that she needs. Would he not be obliged to pay her maintenance? She has had tremendous health problems in recent years (some self-inflicted due to alcohol abuse), others just bad luck.Two weeks ago she was hospitalised for gallstones. She has a criminal record herself for assaulting her daughter, aged 17 at the time. I attended the court case. It was a farce. Believe me, it was a farce. There is no way, from the muddled evidence provided by the prosecution, that she could have been deemed guilty of assault. The evidence of her husband and daughter was so conflicting as to be laughable, yet she was convicted of assault. Put simply, she was faced with a stroppy teenager daughter who had hidden the household phone in her bedroom. My cousin wanted to ring her 15-year old son on it. The girl barred the door and screamed at her. My cousin shoved her aside - ok, perhaps with some force - but still couldn't find the phone. The daughter claimed all kinds of physical abuse on that occasion, including that my cousin had tried to strangle her. The police were called and attended rapidly, and no examination was ever made of the daughter's neck to see if strangulation was a possibility. The daughter also claimed that her mother had pulled at her hair, but in the court case the girl seemed unable to recall whether her hair was in a pony tail (the pulling of which would not cause much pain) or loose around her shoulders. My cousin's husband also testified against her and he couldn't remember if her hair was in a pony tail or not. And I am unsure why he was even called to testify, cos he was on the ground floor of the house, and the altercation took place on the second floor of their 3-storey house. It all seems so unfair. There was..... well, you don't need to know all this.
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 1 year ago.
Hello Thank you for your response. I am sorry if I was not clear. This is a link to the Legal Aid website which details the Domestic Violence Evidence that the Legal Aid will accept:https://www.gov.uk/legal-aid/domestic-abuse-or-violence This link will help your cousin find a family solicitor in her area:http://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/ This sentence should have read:he first steps to dealing with the matrimonial finances is dislcosure and the husband will have to disclose all of his assets. This will help inform what a settlement should be. A family solicitor will be able to help your cousin with this. Disclosure includes details about his income aswell as his assets - he will have no choice but to disclose these. If he doesnt the court will make him - or they could commit him to prison for contempt of court if he doesnt. Please do not hesitate to ask if I can assist you further. Kind Regards Caroline
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for those links. She's already been assessed by MARAC.
Expert:  ukfamilysolicitor replied 1 year ago.
Hello Thank you for your response. Marac will be able to prepare a letter for her. Your cousin can then use to help her get legal aid to pursue a claim in respect of the matrimonial finances. Please do not hesitate to ask if I can assist you further. Kindest Regards Caroline
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