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ukfamilysolicitor, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1371
Experience:  Divorce, Finances, Children, Domestic Violence, Care Proceedings
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My wife left me at the end of October, just after i'd

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Hello, my wife left me at the end of October, just after i'd tried to commit suicide, following the loss of a granddaughter who was stillborn. I was depressed at the time of the still birth due to the loss of both my parents 2 and 1 years ago, but thought i was getting better as the doctor was weaning me off tablets.
From the time my wife moved out she has been removing large values of cash from our joint account (£12500 to date) . I have been told by her daughter that i am not allowed to talk to my wife or phone her and when my wife came around to the family home chaperoned to collect some of her things she said i could text her once a day to let her know what i was doing. I did this but my wife wouldn't respond for several days and then only very tersely even though i said it would be beneficial to my recovery if she could be positive in her responses. She has been very cold and unsupportive of my emotional needs. She eventually agreed to meet up with me to discuss how we could move forward and set a date for nearly 2 weeks ahead which was last sunday. When we met up she asked me what i wanted which i replied i wanted her and would do anything in my power to help get her back. I offered to go to relate with her. She said that she couldn't live with me any more and cited that i'd been regularly verbally very aggressive to her during our marriage. I have been verbally angry occasionally when she pressed my buttons which she clearly knew how to do as she is very good at being passive aggressive. We always made up and felt that our marriage was ok, we'd even had a great holiday together at the beginning of october which she said had been the best holiday we'd ever had together. She subsequently in an email said she removed the money to pay bills and to prevent me from taking it as she cannot trust my actions after i'd taken an overdose and run away from hospital. I have only spent very small amounts of joint money on food and that was with my wifes consent.
Sorry about the long preamble, but a bit of context may be useful.
A friend of mine says she is biding for time and by her actions with the money thinks she is probably planning something to take me to the cleaners. She said £7000 was to pay her tax and she has since put £1500 into my account to pay my tax liability from the properties for last year, but that still leaves a big chunk of money unaccounted for.
We have 7 houses in joint names including the matrimonial home which i'm currently living in. We also have a narrowboat which we own out right and is in joint names. One of the properties is owned out right, but the other six have mortgages.
At the meeting she had everything worked out on the finances and said i could have half the income from the houses minus the outgoings, that i had to pay half the mortgage and all the bills on the matrimonial home, anf that i could keep the benefits that i recieve from employment support allowance, but she is keeping all her salary. Esa is approx £290 pcm and her take home wage is approx £2400 pcm. We have no children together and she is currently living at her daughters. She has also taken the family car which makes it difficult for me to get around, having to rely on public transport.
My friend says i should divorce my wife as if she divorces me it will put her in a stronger position and that she could have me evicted from the family home and have a prevention order served all at the same time as divorce papers.
Is this true?
What are my rights and are they different if seperated or going through divorce?
Can my wife borrow against joint assetts without my permission and if she can would i be liable for those debts?
Should i Divorce my wife and if i did would lack of emotional support and coldness and taking joint money be sufficient grounds for unreasonable behaviour?
What am i entitled to?
If I don't do anything and trust my wife is doing things in both our interests are there any surprises she could spring if i'm wrong?
Welcome to Just Answer
I am a Solicitor and will assist you.
Please may I ask:
- how long have you been married?
- do you want to divorce?
Kind Regards
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
We've been married 12 years. I don't want to divorce, but have to be realistic that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. In such circumstances i would prefer it if we parted by divorce rather than it drag on for several years and then divorce after separation. Communication is very one sided (by me) and that is causing me considerable stress and the thought of this dragging on for years is unthinkable. I do not know if she is thinking of separation or divorce as she hasn't answered that question which i put to her 2 days ago by email.
Thank you for your response.
I am very sorry to hear about your current circumstances.
In reality - if either party issues divorce proceedings - then either party can make a claim in respect of the matrimonial finances. So if your wife issued divorce proceedings - then this would not stop you from issuing a claim in respect of the matrimonial finances.
If you did issue divorce proceedings then you have the control in respect of the divorce in terms of when to apply for decree nisi etc
Unreasonable behaviour is a subjective concept which does mean different things to different people. Reasons such as you have stated - lack of emotional support etc would be accepted by the court as reasons.
In relation to the matrimonial finances - there is a set process for dealing with the same.
Specifically in relation to your queries about the matrimonial home - as this is in joint names - your wife would not be able to 'evict' you - as you have a legal right to reside there. Your wife would not also be able to raise secured funding in respect of any properties that you have in joint names.
The first step of dealing with the matrimonial finances is to go through a process called full and frank disclosure. This includes the exchange of information in respect of all assets and liabilities and incomings and outgoings. You cannot start to negoiate in earnest until this has taken place. Your wife will have to provide information in respect of the monies that she has been utilising recently within this process.
The normal rule for division is 50/50. Although there are factors which can lead to a departure from this. The factors are set out in S25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act and include the earning capapcity for both of you for the future, future health needs etc
In your circumstances if your earning capacity is less and your health needs are greater ten you should argue a larger share. You could also consider claiming for spousal maintenance as your earning capacity is less.
First step is to refer your case to family mediation. There are lots of mediation services and there will be one local to you. Just google Family Mediation in your area and give them a call to get the ball rolling.
Family mediation will help you both in respect of disclosure and negoiation. If matters can be agreed at mediation - then you should submit a consent order to the court at the same time as applying for decree absolute - in the terms of the agreement. This prevents any future claims being made.
If your wife wont engage in mediation or matters cant be agreed - then you should apply to court for a financial order.
Please note that a financial order cannot be approved by the ocurt until decree nisi has been obtained in divorce proceedings.
It is important that no division of assets takes place until an order from the court is received or a consent order is approved.
I hope that this answer have give you the impression that your wife is not in charge and cannot make all the decisions by herself in respet of the matrimonial finances. You need to make sure that full disclosure happens and that any agreement is fair and reflects your needs.
Please do not hesitate to ask if I can clarify anything for you.
Kind Regards
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