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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22385
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street Practice
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My husband has sent me divorce papers after 10 years of separation

Customer Question

My husband has sent me divorce papers after 10 years of separation I did not previously even know where he was he walked out leaving children, mortgage and many other debts, he was also very physically cruel and mentally cruel to myself and the children and he never paid anything towards the household, now he wants half the house in which I still live as a divorce settlment. Now I know where he is I would like to divorce him and cite all the things mentioned above. Please advise. Thank you
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.
Why do you need to divorce him?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I want to divorce him now I actually know where he is and do not think he is entitled to half of the house as he did not pay anything towards it and also I do not have the finance to settle with him and am not ready to see the house

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

OK service

Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.

But he is divorcing you it seems, or have I missed something?

Do you want to cross petition? Why?

Do you have children?

How long together and married?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

What advantage to me would it be if I let him divorce me?

There were children at the time he walked out and he never supplied any maintenance

We were married in 1985

I want to cross petition and cite him on all the things I put in my first response I do not think he should be able to claim half the house which he has never once paid anything towards. I have paid mortgage, council tax ultility bills everything and it has been a struggle I have had to work many long hours to be able to afford to do so

Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.

Thank you.

I assume that the children are now 18 or over

I must suggest that you do not cross petition. Courts do
not like it as it is a waste of their time and is unnecessary in this day and
age. You could well be criticised by the judge.

Unfortunately, your husband got in first . You were
always at liberty to find him and issue a petition against him.

Generally, the respondent (you at present) pays the cost
of the actual divorce itself but you could agree not to cross petition of
defend it (no point after seperation for so long) if he doesn't ask the court
for costs against you.

Regarding the division of the marital assets. It doesn't
matter whether he divorces you or you divorce him or what the reason is. The
financial split is exactly the same.

It also doesn't matter that you are not ready to sell the
house because, unless you can pay him off the house must be sold because he is
entitled to something from it.

You ere always entitled to pursue him for child and spouse
maintenance. CSA would have found him if he was working

Therein lies the problem deciding exactly what he is
entitled to. You had the benefit of living in the property in the last 10
years, would you have no doubt you did towards capital repayment, without him.
You would be responsible for its bills.

You need to revisit the situation 10 years ago.

What does he earn and what do you earn?

What does he want?

Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22385
Experience: PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street Practice
Stuart J and 3 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

None of that seems fair when he paid nothing, treated everybody in the house like shit and then disappeared, how could I have got there 1st as you put it when I did not know where he was. I may have had the benefit as you also put it of living in the house but I also had to pay for it as I had done before he left. He is not working he has never worked just scrounged... his whole life I really want to take him to court and cite him for extreme mental and physical cruelty and lack of payment to the martial home whilst he was in it and surely it can not be right for someone to walk out leave all their responsiblilties then 10 years later demand compensation from the place he walked out on. If that it the law then it is wrong. I have struggled all my working live since being in that house to provide a home for my children whilst he did nothing and paid nothing

Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.

You were always at liberty to try to find him and tracing
agency is able to find anyone who has not deliberately gone into hiding, for
under £100. I instructed one only this morning on a completely different

I am afraid it is conduct before he left is immaterial.

Whilst he may have kept you short of money and that may
be grounds for unreasonable behaviour in a divorce and married spouse cannot
take action against a husband merely because he takes her short of money. In
order to bring such action, it has to be done as part of divorce proceedings.

The fact remains that it was the marital home in (it
seems 18 years), and he is entitled to some of it, although it seems unlikely
that he will get 50%, but a smaller percentage. He will not be eligible for
legal aid (nor will you) as it disappears in April for everything apart from
child abduction and physical violence issues, so unless he has some money to
fund the legal costs, you are in a better position to call the shots.

I would suggest that you saw a family Solicitor who can
take detailed instructions and advise you in depth and perhaps send a minimal
offer to your husband.

The problem comes if he thinks that he is entitled to
50%, and wants to nail his flag to the mass in that respect.

You might want to suggest family mediation

it is quicker and less confrontational than court it isnt necessarily cheaper
if disagreements ensue

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