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Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33319
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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My wife is an alcoholic and I want us to separate. There is

Customer Question

My wife is an alcoholic and I want us to separate. There is care plan in place with social services whereby my wife is not allowed to care for my daughter alone. We have a joint mortgage and she says she will never move out of the house and in fact threatens me that if I move out and take our daughter she will commit suicide.
I need to get out of this relationship as soon as possible and am willing to move into rented accommodation in order to get out of the house. The problem I can't pay rent and the mortgage and I don't want to jeopardize any future legal cases or my credit rating by stopping paying the mortgage. What are my options in getting a resolution to this?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Thanks for using JustAnswer. My name is Claire, I will do whatever I can to answer your question
How much is the house worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage?
What other assets and debts are there and what income do you each have?
How old is the child?
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Child is 5 (6 in August). Social services have me as the responsible adult and for the past 18 mths I have had to put childminding in place for after school, and anytime I go to do anything. I've had to work flexible hours so I can leave my daughter to school and work at home at night to catch up etc.


House is worth about 90k with outstanding debt of 70k. She has lost her job and is now on the middle rate DLA for depression. I earn 28k.


My wife has been taken into care 3 time in the past 18mths once for detox and twice for both detox and her own safety after self harming or threatening to kill herself.


I have always paid the mortgage and my wife paid the electricity and rates all other bills are split.


I had to remortgage about 5 years ago to take out 30k to cover personal debts that were not related to my wife.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
How long have you lived together?
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

In the marital home about 12 years, lived together for another 2 years before that.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Are you willing to actually start divorce proceedings?
Has she been violent at all?
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Not violent, just constant verbal/metal abuse and hassle e.g. when I get a childminder to mind my daughter when going out etc.


I hadn't really though about starting divorce proceedings straight away but I certainly wouldn't rule out if it was the best option. I was thinking to renting somewhere for me and my daughter first and then taking it from there.


I could maybe pay a small share of the mortgage but don't think she would be able to keep the house for long on her own. I know she has quite a bit in savings so financially she could prob keep the paying the mortgage for a year or so maybe but mentally/physically not sure if she would be able to keep living on her own.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
The priority for the Family court is the safe and secure housing of the child until the child is 18.
Since there is no doubt that the child will have to live with you then within the financial side of divorce proceedings you will be awarded the right to remain in the property until your child is 18 and your ex will have to leave
You could try discussing matters with your ex using Family Mediation - although it seems unlikely that this will resolve matters.
Alternatively you could move out temporarily whilst this issue is resolved
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

My wife refuses to go to mediation. The problem I have is that I cannot have a reasonable conversation with her. Once I raise this issue she will get angry start shouting around the house in front of my daughter and and within a day or two will self harm or take an overdose. This is what has happened in the past when I tried to talk about separating.


How long would divorce proceedings take until she would have to move out and also roughly how much this would cost me?


 

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Is she likely to be taken into care again then?
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yeah, that's what happened before, but only for a week to 10 days and then sent home again.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
The next time it happens you need to make an immediate application for an Order excluding her from the property on the basis that it is placing your child at high risk of emotional harm
Given the history and the involvement of Social Services then this is likely to be granted
You can issue Divorce Proceedings as soon as you wish - and must seek face to face advice as soon as possible
Claire

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