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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 just going through a break up with my wife. She has

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I am just going through a break up with my wife. She has started to dictate when and for how long I see my son.
I need to know how I start divorce proceedings?
How do I get access to my son?
I have a lot of money tied up in our home from an inheritance which paid for our extension. She is refusing to sell n split equity am I entitled to the £90k I put in

Hi, thank you for your question which appears to have ended early. Please would you complete the a background and kindly confirm:

-How long you were married?

-How old your son is?

-How long you have been separated?

-All assets and pensions, together with values?

-Your respective incomes?

-How old you both are?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We have been together for 8 years
Married since 31/08/2013
Son is turning 1 this thursday
Seperated for 2 week
Assets house worth £325 k approx. Purchased it for £149k. Got £127k left on mortgage so looking at just under £200 k equity following my investment of £90k from inheritance from my mum and dad.
My income 24350 pa / partners income varies as she is self employed
I am 34 / wife is 32
There is no one else involved in the break up no affairs and there has never been violence

Thank you for confirming. In order to pursue a divorce now you will have to state facts of unreasonable behaviour by her that led to the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. If you are unable to state any of these you will need to be separated for two years and seek her consent after this time to divorce. Would you be able to rely on any unreasonable behaviour?

In relation to the children and financial matters:

-Have you discussed with her any arrangements to see your son?

-Who remains living in the former matrimonial home and how many bedrooms does it have?

In the meantime if you found my information provided helpful please could you rate my response positively using the stars at the top of this page as I will not be credited for my response without a positive rating.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My wife remains in marital home 3 bedrooms
I have tried to sort access with her but it is proving to be very difficult
The break down of the marriage is due to constant arguing and the fact that this has driven me to brink of depression. Also approx 3 months ago I even considered taking my own life due to some of the verbal attacks my wife has thrown at me.

Thank you for confirming.


What you have stated would be considered reasons of unreasonable behaviour but you would need to state this in the divorce petition and make a list of at least the first, the most serious and the most recent incident. Your wife will be served with the petition and can defend the divorce if she thinks that the marriage has not broken down.

Children Matter

In relation to your son, he has a right to a relationship with both of you and this can only be restricted if there are child protection concerns.

In the circumstances I would suggest that you make a referral to an independent mediator (you can find local ones here: The mediator will assist you both in reaching an amicable agreement that is in the children's best interests. If mediation does not help, then you will be able to pursue an application to court under Form C100 together with a £215 court fee to your local family court for a child arrangement order and the court can make a decision regarding the matter. For your information the Court will take into consideration the following when making a decision regarding the application:

1.The wishes and feelings of the child concerned
2. The child’s physical, emotional and educational needs
3. The likely effect on the child if circumstances changed as a result of the courts decision
4. The child’s age, sex, backgrounds and any other characteristics which will be relevant to the court’s decision
5. Any harm the child has suffered or may be at risk of suffering
6. Capability of the child’s parents (or any other person the courts find relevant) at meeting the child’s needs
7. The powers available to the court in the given proceedings

Finances and Home

In relation to the finances and the home, either of you can proceed with a financial relief application against the other in relation to income, pensions, property and all other finances. As the home is a three bedroom, you have good argument that it is beyond her and your son's needs and you can pursue for it to be sold and proceeds divided in order to rehouse both of you. This does not necessarily mean that you are both entitled to purchase a property, and it is usually reasonable to expect parties to both rent after divorce if there is not enough money to rehouse everyone in purchased property. In relation to your inheritance, as there is no other property it is difficult to ring-fence this especially as you have brought it into the matrimonial assets by funding the purchase of the family home.

Again, as stated above the first way to attempt to settle this is through mediation and you can request for the mediator to assist with both children and financial matters. If a settlement is agreed this can be submitted to court under a consent order (together with a D81 form outlining your respective financial positions).

If mediation does not progress you should then proceed with an application to court under Form A for financial relief once the divorce petition has been issued.

You will both need to provide each other with full and frank financial and income disclosure, as well as disclosure of your reasonable needs. The Court's starting point is a 50-50 split of all matrimonial assets and ensuring that both your needs are met in relation to both assets and income. The criteria considered is:

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.

If you have any further questions regarding this please let me know. In the meantime if you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating using the stars at the top of this page. I will not be credited for answering your question without a positive rating. Thank you

Hi, this question remains open. If you found my information provided helpful please could you rate my response positively using the stars at the top of this page as I will not be credited for my response without a positive rating.

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