How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34589
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
13262538
Type Your Law Question Here...
Clare is online now

My husband left the marital home in September 2013. I am living

Resolved Question:

My husband left the marital home in September 2013. I am living in the West Midlands with our 15 year old daughter who is attending school, in year 11 doing her GCSEs. My husband now lives in Scotland. He hardly sees our daughter - recently not for 6 weeks. He has asked me to move to Scotland so that he can be closer to our daughter however accepts that this is impractical as she is halfway through her GCSEs. We have not decided if the marriage is irretrievable but he refused mediation so I want to apply for a formal separation, sole custody of our daughter and claim maintenance for myself and our daughter as I am currently not working. Does the fact that he is living and working in Scotland mean that he is governed by Scottish laws? What do you suggest as my best course of action.
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.
What Assets and Debts are there and what income do you each have?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare

I am not working now and have no income other than the amount I get from my husband each month. My husband has been employed for 4 months as a tax director with an accountancy firm in Aberdeen, earning £100k pa, net take home pay of £5,186. He has been paying me £2,000 per month which is intended to cover Steph's private school fees (standing order of £1,209pm and the balance being maintenance), and says he will increase this to £2,500 from next month. This will not cover my costs.

We have just sold our jointly owned property and after settling joint debts have £46,718 in our joint account. Since January, we have lived off credit cards and my pension refund, so as at today, I have credit cards/loans of some £15,000 and he has £42,000. He says he wants me to pay off my debts and retain enough funds to support my living costs whilst I am waiting for a gallbladder removal operation and searching for a job.

Thanks,

Sharon

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
May I ask why the property was sold?
What is your potential earning capacity?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The house had been rented out whilst we were living in Guernsey from 2007, and when we returned to the UK in Jan 2014, we agreed that we would move to Solihull as we had found a good school for our daughter here. We had lived here some 14 years ago so knew people and the area well. At this point my husband was saying that he would find a job here and move down. Whilst looking for a job, he moved into the house in Norfolk and was decorating it with a view to renting out again or sell if the market picked up. We both found jobs in June but by then we had borrowed so much on credit to fund living expenses (and his affair) that selling the house seemed the only sensible option as we needed the money and it seemed unlikely that we would live there In the short term. The reasons for this was the location of school for our daughter and our respective jobs. Also, possibly never again as a family as he seems to have no intention of ending the affair (since Nov 2012 I think) and owes a substantial sum of money to his girlfriend and her brother in law.

I was a tax manager at a local accountancy firm in Birmingham earning £45k however lost the job as I did not meet expectations. I had left my previous job as a senior tax manager in Guernsey earning £80k to support my husband in his pursuit of partnership at PwC (earning£150k) and take on home responsibilities including childcare in Feb 2012 when our nanny left - our daughter was 12 at the time. I had to accept that I was simply not up to the job as I have been out of the tax market and workplace for two & half years now, and am not as technically competent in UK tax as I used to be. I have also decided that it is very important that I am around to support our daughter as she had been self-harming so I am looking for a part time job doing anything that gets me home by 4.30pm.

Thanks

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
How much does a two bedroom property in that school area cost to buy?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi

This is an expensive area and we are a 7 minute walk from her school and 10 minute walk in opposite direction to the town centre. A 2 bed house in this area would be in the region of £450K+ however up to a 10 mile radius could see similar property (council estate) for £150k. Our daughter is at a private school so we are not limited to living in this area. We are renting a 3 bed unfurnished terraced house for £1,350pm. My husband is in a new build, 2 bed furnished flat for £1,100pm close to Aberdeen city centre.

Thanks

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Would you be willing to settle for the cheaper property?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes I would and have been looking around for something.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Does he have a private pension?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare

No he does not have a private pension however does have a couple of occupational pensions from previous jobs and is in the pension scheme at his current employment. All the rights, including death insurance and his death in service benefit name me as the beneficiary and are written in trust to me, as necessary, as he wants me to benefit nto a subsequent partner.

Thanks

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Are there any shared home ownership schemes in the area where you wish to live?
If so how much would you need?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare

No - there are no shared hone ownership schemes in this area. The nearest ones tend to be in poorer areas as the local authorities are trying to regenerate those areas.

My husband has said that he will help me buy a house and I think he will honour this.

Thanks

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi

There are no shared home ownership schemes in this area. My husband has said that he would support me in buying a property once our financial position is more secure ie now that the house has sold and he is permanent at his current employment (as has only been there a few months at the moment).

Thanks

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Are you willing to start Divorce Proceedings to achieve the right financial settlement - or would you rather not?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare

Hmmm that's a difficult question. I/We don't want to start Divorce proceedings because I think we have just hit a tough patch and we have agreed that we need time apart before we go down that route.

An informal separation is fine in principle but he is still having the affair so I want to make sure that I know my rights, specifically now that he is living in Scotland and may have his girlfriend move in with him. Our daughter is my priority and I need to know where I stand so thought a formal separation would give this clarity.

Thanks

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
There is a point for you to consider.
Now that he is living in Scotland he will be able in a few months to issue divorce proceedings up there - just as you can still issue them down here, and the Scottish family law system is less generous to wives than the English one.
Under English Family law there is a good chance that your ex will be ordered to help you purchase a house in the area in which you wish to live and to pay time limited Souse maintenance while you get a job.
He would be entitled to a share of the property when your daughter is 18 - or if you cohabit - but if you are willing to forgo spouse maintenance then it is possible that the only requirement will be for you to obtain his release from the mortgage when your daughter is 18.
The proper venue for this discussion is FamilY mediation - and if he does not agree you must think very carefully as if he issues in Scotland first then that is where the financial matters will be decided.
Please ask if you need further details
Clare
Clare and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare

Thank you for this. Very useful information.

Sharon