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James Mather
James Mather,
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1390
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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Hi! I am looking for assistance with a family law situation

Customer Question

I am looking for assistance with a family law situation - not sure if this is covered in this section, or is more a personal issue but here goes.
Married lady Jo***** *****ves with husband of 12 years Jeremy and 2 children (6+9).
Jeremy has racked up substantial debt including £40,000 tax bill - nothing dodgy I believe, just too much spending and business downturn.
They have both lived in rented accommodation since they got married, but are now having to move in with Joanna's mother as they can no longer afford the rent.
Jeremy owns (or his medical practice does) commercial premises and a residential flat above a surgery - not sure of value or mortgage outstanding.
Joanna has been unhappy for years, but feels trapped as she is stay at home mum and puts her children's immediate needs first. She wants a way out of the relationship but is afraid of the legal and financial consequences. Joanna's mother is happy for her daughter and children to stay for as long as necessary, but has given Jeremy a 6 month deadline to sort himself out. This is perhaps a common, but still difficult scenario and hence quite a few questions. I appreciate that it is not easy to provide answers to all the queries, as each person's situation is different, but some helpful guidelines and advice would be appreciated.
Jo wants to break from Jeremy to allow her the space to make proper long term decisions about her future - which may or may not involve Jeremy. She is concerned that Jeremy will use financial pressure to prevent Jo leaving him - what are Jeremy's financial obligations to her and the children, given Jo has not worked since the children were born?
Joanna wants to live in her own place with the children - Does Jeremy have to provide financial assistance for this to happen if they are just separated and not divorced?
What are the potential legal situations for Joanna regarding the debt which is in Jeremy's name?
How difficult is it for Joanna to divorce Jeremy on the basis of there being 'irreconcilable differences' and he contests the petition?
Would Jeremy becoming 'voluntarily' bankrupt be a possible good outcome for Joanna?
What are Joanna's rights regarding accommodation if she voluntarily does not want to live with her mother or Jeremy?
Joanna would like Jeremy to have involvement with the children on her terms - to what extent has Joanna got control over this?
Jeremy likes to get his own way at all times, so Joanna is scared he will try and contest everything that Jo wants. What legal protection has Joanna got to ensure that she is provided for until she is able to have more financial independence?
Can Jeremy prevent Joanna taking the children abroad for a family visit that is already booked for next year?
I think that's it for now!
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
My name is ***** *****
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
What is the extent of the Capital assets and debts and what income does the husband have