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Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34272
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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I have been with my husband for 22 years and married for 7.

Customer Question

I have been with my husband for 22 years and married for 7. We have two children of 2 and 10 years and the house is owned jointly.

My husband earns a lot of money (about 60,000 per year at a guess, it could be more) as he runs two businesses which he set up in the time we have been married. I worked right up until last year when he said it would be more cost effective (due to childcare costs)to give up my job, and help him with the administration work of the businesses (so i did).

The problem is that my husband has become increasing more difficult to live with as he has a problem with cocaine which he takes 3-4 times per week, making him aggressive, suspicious, and argumentative, sometimes losing his temper and this has increased to pushing and shoving, calling me names, waking me up in the middle of the night, and on occasion smashing things in the home etc.

My question is this…
I have no income, i do not want to walk out of the house with my children, as at the moment i have managed to keep a lot of it away from my ten year olds eyes. Yet i do not think my husband will leave the house voluntarily, as he does not see the problems are as big as they are.
If we divorce what am i entitled to? Can i stay in the home? Can i receive maintenance? What am i entitled to if i divorce him?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How much is the house worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage?
What other assets are there?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The house has a mortgage of about £225,000 and our next door neighbours just sold theirs (two bedroom, ours is a three bedroom) for £340,000, so at a guess ours is worth about £350,000.


 


There are no other assets, neither of us have pensions. The only other assets are the contents of our house.


 


I own a car which i bought for £600 my husband leases a car.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare,


 


We owe £220,000 on the house as it is an interest only mortgage, and our next door neighbours just sold theirs (which is a two bed) for £340,000, so i guess ours is worth about £350,000 ish.


 


There are no other assets as my car was only £600 my husbands car is leased.


 


We have no pensions.


 


Hayley


 

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Relist: Incomplete answer.
no response
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
My apologies for the delay - your question fell off my list when you reposted it so I was not aware that it was still unanswered
How much would a cheaper three bedroomed property in the same school area cost to buy?
How much could you earn if you went back to work?
Could the businesses be sold as going concerns?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare,


 


We are currently in the cheapest part of Bexley in this area for schools, Blackfen. We are surrounded by more expensive areas such as welling, Sidcup, Eltham, Bexley and Bexleyheath. I suppose there are some three bedrooms around for say £250,000 but without a job, i would not get another mortgage, and even with a job, would not be offered this kind of mortgage on my own. I have looked at the price of three bedroom flats but they are scarse, and are still around the £230,000 figure. I also considered a part buy part rent option, but again three beds are hard to come by, and i do not know if i would be eligible.


 


Before i left work i was working 9.30 - 2.45pm and taking home around £800. But childcare was costing us around £450 per month which would leave me nothing for mortgage after paying for food, travel to work, childcare, children's clubs, clothes etc.


 


I do not think my husband would sell his businesses to help me, intact he would probably try to hide his earnings by going bankrupt or something similar (which is what my friends husband did (who was also self employed) and she ended up with nothing but the house being paid for by the government, and benefits.


 

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
I appreciate that he may not be willing - but are they businesses which COULD be sold?
If so any idea of potential value?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes one of the businesses could be sold,but i have no idea about value, at a guess, £100,000?


 


 


 


 

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Allowing for Child Maintenance of say £900 a month could you manage to remain in the current property on your own with the children
There may also be a possibility of spouse maintenance?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

It would be difficult as our mortgage is £886 per month.


 


So this would cover the mortgage, but if i got a job, i would also have to pay for childcare.


 


What would happen to the proceeds of the house if we were to sell it?


 


 

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
The starting point for the division of all the assets - given the length of your relationship and the age of the children is 50/50 - this includes the business
In addition the priority for the court is the safe and secure housing of the children until they are 18
Coupled together this means that you are still likely to receive the equity in the house and he will keep the company.
You will also get child maintenance - and Spouse maintenance.
Spouse maintenance is needs based rather than a set percentage of his income - but given his income I would expect it to be sufficient for you to remain in the house - possibly reducing once both children are in school
You will need to try and discuss matters with your husband using Family mediation (www.familymediationhelpline.co.uk)
Please ask if you need further information
Clare
Clare and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Clare,


 


Your advice has been great and the service fantastic, could not recommend you more!


 


Regards


 


Hayley Trindade

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Ty for that - I hope all goes well
Clare