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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34908
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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My marriage appears to have broken down, with my wife

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My marriage appears to have broken down, with my wife insisting this morning that I leave the family home today whilst paying all bills and she controlling access to our children, which includes forbidding them to see any relative of mine and only letting me see them under her supervision. I have heard her this morning having a conversation with her daughter from a previous marriage telling her not to contact me in anyway and that our marriage is over.
I feel like I am being blackmailed over access to our children to ensure I comply with her wishes.
I am not sure where I stand ... I would like to send her an email, face to face discussions never progress very far ... saying that I don't want a divorce, could we try relate or someone similar, but if she is still intent on a divorce then I would move out when we have an agreement over finances and the children.
I don't know legally where I stand on her demand that I leave home and see the children on her conditions.

Thank you for your question

My name is Clare

I shall do my best to help you but I need some further informtaion first

How old are the children?

How much is the house worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage?

What income do you each have?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
5 years old twins
house value is around £725,000, mortgage is around £300,000We have been married for 7 years and have 5 year old twins, the house is in both our names but my wife brought the house to the marriage. The breakdown of our marriage is primarily to do with financial matters, we recently remortgaged and both agreed to extend the mortgage to £300,000 and in doing so provide money for repairs and to repay some credits cards, I though had a large tax bill and instead of paying credit cards paid the tax bills. This is the crux of the breakdown and the reason she will give for the divorce, the marriage though was not in a firm position before this as I felt that my wife had not been paying attention to our marriage whilst she progressed her political and school governor careers.My wife has a fulltime post but currently in agreement with her company only works 12 hours a week, I believe her fulltime salary to be in the region of £50,000 per annum.I am an IT contractor and work through a limited company where I am the director and sole employee. On average, after tax, I pay myself £6,000 month.Our household bills, are living expenses are in the region of £4,500 a month and I have credit cards in my name on which the minimum payment is roughly £1,300 a month. I pay these.

How old are the other children in the house?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
there are no other children in the house, they are grown up and left home.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I would like to send my wife an email stating that whilst I do not wish to divorce and would prefer to try counseling first, if this is what she wishes then I will move out of the home but only after we have an agreement over finances and our twins and that in the interim we should agree to live separately in the home (I am already in the spare bedroom), respect each other, and come together around the children's needs.

How much does a cheaper three bedroom property in the same school area cost to buy?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
around £600,000

How much was the Tax Bill - and what reason did your ex give for you needing supervision around the children

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
the tax bill was £22,000 - we borrowed an additional £50,000 on the house, my wife took around £25,000 paid credit cards in her name and I believe has around £7,000 remaining to pay for house re-decoration.the reason for seeing the children under her conditions is that it is what I deserve for paying the tax bill and still having credit card debt - this is her house and I should leave, pay all bills and then she will allow access to the children under her supervision
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
in her previous marriage the mortgage and house was solely in her name and she locked her husband out of the house, her children were older though (late teens) so could still see him - i am worried she will do the same to me but I won't be able to see our twins - if I could afford to leave and be guaranteed so see the our twins, have them come and stay with me alternate weekends and holidays then I would but the finances don't work out as they are at the moment and my wife wants to control when I see the children
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
i have looked at renting studio / 1 bedroom flats in the area and the cost is around £750 to £1000 a month - it maybe that I could survive moving out for 2-3 months but it wouldn't work long term with the finances as they are
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have told her I would move but need assurances over seeing our twins and having them over but she says I am blackmailing her and it's not my decision on seeing them

The first point to make is that it is not up to her when you see the children.

As parents you and your wife are expected to agree how your children will share their time between you using Family mediation if necessary,uk

If no agreement can be made then the court will make the decision.

The law says that the chidlren have the right to spend time with both parents and the courts will enforce this if necessary.

Unless there is some reason why you cannot keep the chidlren safe whilst they are with you then supervised ocntact will NOT be ordered (but to start with grab anything she offers)

If your working hours allow alternate weekends Friday to Monday and one night in the week plus half the school holidays is not unreasonable

With regard to the finances you will have to pay roughly 16% of your gross income as child maintenance - possibly a little less if you have the chidlren more than 52 nights a year.

There may also be some limited time spouse maintenance to be paid - but you certainly will not have to continue paying all the bills

I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry just one more question. I have read online that I should stay in the house but this to me seems unworkable. I could spend a week or so with my parents and whilst there make arrangements for somewhere else to live and seeing the children. Would moving out be a mistake in terms of seeing the children etc

Not at all - that advice is given because once you leave it can be hard to return!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok, thank you again

You are welcome - let her know it is either Relate or Family mediation!

Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you