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, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34902
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Clare is online now

Hello Clare, I hope you can help with some initial advice as

This answer was rated:

Hello Clare, I hope you can help with some initial advice as to what to do next.
I was married to an Austrian from 1988 to 1999 when I left him due to violence. I obtained a residence order when back in the UK in my favour but he has had regular access to the children (now 8,19 and 21). Although it was a struggle after a while he agreed to pay child support of 275 a month, and has done so. We had a house bought in the marriage but my name is ***** ***** it as this, at the time, was not possible as I am a UK citizen.
After moving to the UK, I eventually bought my own house. There has never, for various reasons, been a legal separation or divorce.
My daughter will start Uni in September, and he has just emailed me to say he will no longer pay me anything but will be paying 250 euro a month directly to her. This does not surprise me but my question is, can he do this. I was advised at the time I left to take him to court (austrian lawyer for a settlement and full maintenance) but I wasn't capable of that fight at the time. Also I didn't want him to be forced to sell the house as I wanted the children to have their home in austria intact, and he knows this. I now feel though that he is putting my security and home at risk because the children are now 'grown up'. I still have to provide a home for 2 of them though. Not sure what to do next as am a bit in shock. Hope you can advise. Thank you. Tracy Minhard
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Are you now willing to consider divorce proceedings?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare, Yes I am. I have wanted this for a while, but could not afford legal costs and the years have gone by. Due to the circumstances of the split I have always remained intimidated by him. He said in his mail he wants to divorce now and 'sort his life out' but the tone of the mail is not conciliatory. Tracy

What do you know about his financial position?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi again,

I believe he has a lot of debts and has definitely remortgaged at least once - although the house is worth a lot more than when we bought it.

He has his own business, which is one of the reasons I have accepted the agreed amount of child support as I believe that if I had made a proper claim he would plead poverty. I would at the very least like to try and protect the house for the children (he has lived with another partner for around 10 years). He has always promised that it will only go to the children, but I am now realising I can't trust him (and know I can't trust her). I am very annoyed that he has 'arranged' this deal directly with my daughter with no thought for our sons to whom has has never given anything. Part of me says just get a divorce and move on, but a big part feels this is not right. Thank you.

I am afraid that since your youngest child has now left Secondary Education your ex no longer has any liability to pay Child Maintenance to you
There is no reason why you shoudl not start divorce proceedings here in the Uk now and bring this matter to a conclusion.
Clearly you retain an interest in the former matrimonial home so far as the courts are concerned - but the extent of that interest will depend on the extent of the assets that you each have and your respective incomes.
Please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for clarifying. May I just ask, would he be able to make any claim on my house, bought jointly with my mother 7 years after the separation? Tracy

It will form part of your assets for consideration by the court - and may reduce the amount that you receive in respect of the Matrimonial home - but you will not be forced to sell it!
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you