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Harris, Family Law Expert
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2851
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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I am living in the Uk with my husband(British Citizen)

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Hi. I am living in the Uk with my husband(British Citizen) and two kids, (13) and (17), for 4 years now. I have just recently received my I.L.R so I know I do not need to rely on my husband for further stay in the Uk, however, I have been searching for work but have no job yet and my husband wants to leave and take the children. All, I know in an attempt to spite me knowing I have no job and no family here. I cannot live without my children and he has made every effort to try and convince them that they will never survive with me. Can someone help please?
Hi, thanks for your question. I am a qualified family law solicitor.
Please can you confirm the following information:
- Is he intending on leaving the UK, or intending on leaving the family home?
- Has he separated from you, and is he intending on pursuing a divorce?
- Has there been any domestic violence?
- Is the family home rented or owned, and whose names is it in?
I will then be able to provide you with advice regarding your options.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hello HarrisWe are currently still living together in the same rented house in both our names. I am not sure where he is going, he has just told my oldest son that he is leaving, that he wants to take the children with him and I am not taking any chances as he has been wanting to separate from me for a long time, he's cut me off financially in the past, opened up new bank accounts, is constantly aggressive, verbally abusive and has repeatedly told the children that they would never survive with me even though I have raised them all their lives. This is all in an attempt to make me feel destitute as I have no job yet and no family or any support whatsoever. We have been married for 15 years, 10 years together in S.A. I left my entire family in S.A. sold the house that was in my name and moved to the UK because it was what my husband wanted. Shortly after our arrival here, I discovered my husband was emotionally involved with another woman. Since then, the marriage went sour and he has threatened me with no home on several occassions, threatened to take the children from me and now I finally have my I.L.R and he is wanting to leave. He has in the past said he will apply for divorce once my visa comes through, but did not reiterate that again, just said that he is leaving and wants the children to go with him. I have no objection to him applying for divorce or him leaving but I need to know if he can in fact take the children away from their Mother, if he can in fact leave me with no home or help in any way in order to stay with my children and if I would be able to get any kind of financial help until such time as I find a job. He has also advised that because the rented house is in both our names, he knows he cannot kick me out but that he will be moving without me, taking the children with him to rent or buy another house, leaving me with no home. Again, all in an attempt to make me feel helpless and unable to provide for my children
Thank you for the further information.
In relation to the children, the children have a right to have a relationship with both parents. You cannot stop him from separating and moving out, however, there has to be provision for your relationship with your children to continue. It will depend on what you wish to argue - whether your husband is to be their main carer and for you to see the children regularly, or for you to be their main carer, or for their to be shared care arrangements. As the children are 13 and 17, the 17 year old will not be part of any court application due to the age, however your 13 year old can be. However, as the child is 13, they can make their voice heard and provide their wishes and feelings regarding any arrangements.
In relation to the financial matter, as you are married, you have a right to make a claim for spousal maintenance until such time that you are able to support yourself. This can be pursued once a divorce petition has been issued and consideration needs to be given to your needs, your husbands needs, your children's needs and your husbands income.
I would suggest that the first point of call is for you to make a referral to an independent mediator to assist you both in reaching an agreement regarding these matters. If mediation fails, you will then be able to pursue applications to court. You can find local mediators here:
Please let me know if you have any further questions regarding these issues.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hello HarrisSo what I need to do first is to consult a family mediator and then partition for divorce and take it from there? What if he cuts me off financially whilst still in the house? In the past, I wanted to leave and return to S.A. but he kept telling the children they wouldnt survive with me because I have no job, making them fearful of the idea and expecting them to choose between us and I couldnt do that to them nor could I imagine my life without them. When I realised that this is in fact what he wanted, was for me to leave of my own accord and file for divorce first, I left the ball in his court. Now he is trying everything to get me to leave on my own and when I wouldnt do that, he threatens me with no home, no finances. I have raised the kids all their lives, done all the housework, including all his washing, ironing and cooking every day for him. I have seen to all the kids needs.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Im sorry for all the questions but Im really stressing here. I know that appointments to get a family mediator involved and further divorce partitions will take time. What if he actually moves out of the house in the meantime and leaves me distitute knowing I cannot provide for the children on my own, which in turn will make the children fearful of living on the streets or in a sheltered home. He will not communicate with me at all when I attempt to sit down and have a discussion about what the children need and what we should both do.
From a practical point of view, if he has made his intentions clear that he wishes to leave and provide you with no financial provision, and mediation does not work/he does not attend, then you will need to issue an urgent divorce petition and a Form A application for financial relief - these can be submitted simultaneously given the possible urgency and seeing as you have no income you should not need to pay a court fee for these - you need to complete a fee remission form under EX160.
In relation to him leaving immediately, if this happens you can apply for housing benefit and this should assist with your rent if granted. Your landlord also cannot immediately evict you - the eviction process can take months as the landlord will need to go through the court process and you can only be evicted once a court grants a Notice of Eviction stating the day you have to leave by.
If you do not think mediation will work, you can make the financial relief application (Form A) together with the divorce petition, and fee remission forms (you need to submit two separate forms for each application) immediately and to bypass the mediation requirement you can state that it is urgent and under Section 3(b) confirm that it will cause you severe hardship.
Harris and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hello HarrisMy husband has previously advised me that, knowing he cannot evict me from the rented home, that he will give notice himself and find alternative accommodation, knowing that he does not need me or my signature to find alternative accommodation or to give notice and knowing that I have no job or money to be able to move into a home of my own, so requesting housing benefit help in order to stay in the house would not help me. I would just be homeless and he would do this without my knowledge. He would give notice to the Landlords with the intention of moving into a different home before I could do anything to help myself. This is what concerns me.Also, where would I find these Forms you have mentioned?
The form A is here:
Divorce petition is here:
Fee remission is here:
Given that he may give notice without you knowing, you should let your landlord know about this as soon as possible. To prevent him giving notice, you may want to submit an urgent application for an injunction and to transfer the tenancy to your sole name (under Section 7 of the application). This can be done under form FL401 here:
There is no fee to pay for the above, and given his potential actions it may be best for you to pursue this first, and then proceed with the divorce and financial relief applications, once you have secured the accommodation.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hello HarrisWith regards ***** ***** children. My husband has made many attempts to turn them against me. What will happen with my 17 year old who is not his biological son and if my youngest son 13 decides he wants to live with his father, will I still be left with no home and no financial help until I can get on my feet?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I know that the children want to live with and see both of us but since my husband has brainwashed them into believing I will not be able to provide for them, i can understand their concern.
As part of your application to court for a child arrangement order, a CAFCASS officer will ask you, your husband and your 13yo son about his wishes and feelings and report this back to the court, and hopefully your son will reflect his view that he wishes to see you as well. The CAFCASS officer will assess if there is any risk from you towards your son, and in the absence of risks and concerns there should be a recommendation for there to be provision for you to see him.
In relation to your 17yo step-son, unfortunately, given his age there is not much you can do about it as the court will not consider arrangements for him as he is over 16.
None of this should impact your housing situation as this, and financial relief, will be dealt with separately. However, if the children or your son are in your care then this will support your housing position.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So which do you think I should apply for first, given my circumstances?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So my oldest son can just decide who he wants to live with?
Yes, given his age he can decide where to live and whether he sees you as child arrangement orders only last until 16, or in exceptional circumstances until 18.
I think that given your urgent housing situation, and to prevent notice being given by your husband, an application for an occupation order under FL401 should be done immediately and then to pursue the divorce and financial relief application thereafter.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Excuse my ignorance. Where can I find the FL401 Order?
You should accompany it with a statement outlining the issues and what you seek from the court (namely, preventing him giving notice and transfer of tenancy to your sole name).
You need to take three copies of the application and statement with you to your local family court.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Can I find this information you have sent me, the links etc when I log back into my account?
Yes, it will all still be here.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your help. One last question... where can I find the local family court?
You can search it here:
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you very much for your help. I hope I am able to get help
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Is our conversation over and will I be billed the £57 now?
No worries, and good luck. If you are satisfied with the response, then yes this question will be closed by an administrator. Please do come back if you have further questions.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I am satisfied with the response. Thank you
Thank you.