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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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There I am writing about my son who needs legal

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Hello There
I am writing about my son who needs legal advice.
Two months before Christmas she decided she had had enough of being married and wanted "some space"
She is now making his life a living hell verbally because he will not let his daughters boyfriend move in with them as he is a drug addict and does not want him near his other children.
He wants to know his rights. I have told him that neither of them can force each other out - but she is trying to get him on the violence issue as she threatens him with calling the police every-time he tries to talk to her. I am worried about his state of mind.
They have a joint mortgage
1 child under 18 two others live there but do not work
my son is the only breadwinner
Hi, thanks for your question.
Just a bit more information required to fully answer:
- Has she now moved out of the property? Who is the main carer for the children?
- Is he pursuing divorce proceedings?
You are right in saying that they cannot force each other out of the property. The property is the matrimonial home and without a court order both of them are entitled to live there. He also has the right to refuse the boyfriend moving in given the concerns raised.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
She refuses to move out She wants him to move out I just want to know what his rights are regarding the bills and paying the mortgage and protecting his half of the house
If either of them were to move out then this would not impact their claim to the property as they would both be entitled to it as it is arising out of the marriage. It is common for whoever remains in the property to meet the outgoings and mortgage and this should not increase their claim to the share of the property.
Again, neither can force the other out. However, if she were to continue her verbal abuse or if it were to increase to physical abuse he can make an application to court for a non-molestation order (to protect and prevent further abuse) and an occupation order (to exclude her from the home). This can be done under Form FL401 to the local family court.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Sorry for the delay. Would he have to pay anything to her and the child?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
and what would happen to his half of the house if she got into a lot of debt?
If she is the main carer then she would be able to submit an application for child maintenance which would be calculated based on his gross income and amount of time the children stay with him overnight each week on average - if you provide me those details I will be able to provide confirmation of the amount. In relation to the other two children, if they are aged between 16-20 they must either be studying A-Levels or on an approved government training course for him to be liable for statutory child maintenance.
In relation to spousal maintenance she can pursue an application to court for financial relief arising out of the marriage and this would be more complicated to calculate as this depends on her income and reasonable needs.
I would suggest that if he leaves the home and pursues divorce proceedings that he attempts to agree to there being an order for the property to be sold when their youngest reaches a certain age (eg. finishes education) and for proceeds to be shared at that time.
In relation to her getting into debt then this will need to be investigated as if it is for the purposes of providing for the family then he may be liable to share this, whereas if it is not then he will not be.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
sorry again for the delay I am a carer and have to keep leaving the computer.
My sons wages are low and if he left the family home could not afford to run two dwellings he's willing to provide for his small son but the other two are aged between 16 and 21 If he left there would be three people of working age at the property His wife has never worked either. the youngest is eight. Would this have to be gone through in court? he cannot really afford this as my husband and I have been trying to help as well. He is self employed at approx gross £350.00 per week
No worries about the delay in responding and thank you for the further information.
In relation to child maintenance, this is done through the Child Maintenance Service. He will not need to pay maintenance for the 21 year old, but if the 16 year old is in A-Levels or an approved training course then he would be liable to pay. If the children stay with him less than once a week on average he would be liable for £56 per week child maintenance for the 8 and 16 year old. If the 16 year old is not in A-Levels/an approved course the liability would be £42 per week. The more nights on average the children stay with him the lower the liability would be.
In relation to spousal maintenance for his wife, if they cannot agree between themselves then she could make an application to court. Such an application will look at the full extent of both their assets and incomes so that there is a fair split, and that each of their needs and the children's needs are met. If a spousal maintenance order is made the court would not order for this to be indefinite and would want his wife to demonstrate that she is maximising her own earning capacity. The court will look at the following criteria when deciding how to divide assets or make a financial order:
1. The income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future, including in the case of earning capacity any increase in that capacity which it would in the opinion of the court be reasonable to expect a party to the marriage to take steps to acquire;
2. The financial needs, obligations and responsibilities which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;
3. The standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the marriage;
4. The age of each party to the marriage and the duration of the marriage;
5. Any physical or mental disability of either of the parties to the marriage;
6. The contributions which each of the parties has made or is likely in the foreseeable future to make to the welfare of the family, including any contribution by looking after the home or caring for the family;
7. The conduct of each of the parties, if that conduct is such that it would in the opinion of the court be inequitable to disregard it;
8. In the case of proceedings for divorce or nullity of marriage, the value to each of the parties to the marriage of any benefit which, by reason of the dissolution or annulment of the marriage, that party will lose the chance of acquiring.
In the circumstances I would suggest that he considers making a referral to an independent mediator (you can find local ones here: The mediator will assist them both in reaching an amicable agreement.
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