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JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 10633
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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My husband wants a divorce. I had an affair 8 years ago and

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My husband wants a divorce. I had an affair 8 years ago and he can not deal with it. I am not on the mortgage although have a standing order every month to his bank account for the mortgage/bills and I have registered interest in the property. If I moved out as it is affecting my health where would I stand with everything legally?
Assistant: What steps has your husband taken? Has he filed any papers in family court?
Customer: Not yet. We do not have joint bank accounts and my step daughter who is 20 no longer lives at home. I just want to know if I move out would that be the wrong move. I would not be able to pay anything towards the marital home only the rental property
Assistant: Have they talked to a lawyer about this yet?
Customer: Yes but he has not told me what has been said
Assistant: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: My husband has done this twice before and he throws the affair back at me in an arguement. I have spent the last 2 years being made to feel like he does not want to spend time with me

Hello, my name is ***** ***** I am a qualified lawyer happy to help you today.

You have an interest in the property (the former matrimonial home, or FMH) - you are not on the mortgage so you have registered home rights (from your question), which is good. It means he cannot sell the property before you divorce or obtain a legal separation and a financial order. Your contributions to the mortgage would be taken in to account and you can claim a share of the house.

The marriage is not classed as a short one as it is more than 5 years, so a split of assets is likely as opposed to a clean break. There are two orders available: a clean break order (if there are no assets to split) and a consent order.

You can sell the property and that would give you each a fresh start. You can either apply for a judicial separation (and then a financial order), or a divorce (if you want to dissolve the marriage) and again, apply for a financial order. A legal separation means you remain married, but can live apart from your husband legally and you can also get a financial order to deal with the FMH.

If you disagree and cannot come to an agreement, you can ask the local family court to assess a split of the finances and also to deal with the property. Assuming your husband eventually agrees to a settlement then you can have a consent order drawn up to bind the parties to the agreed terms.

The court will consider the factors contained within Section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 when it assesses a financial settlement. Therefore your ages, length of marriage, any children under 18 (not applicable here from your question), your earnings and earning potential (same for your husband), the assets including the former matrimonial home and pensions if applicable, any debts, financial and non-financial contributions to the marriage, your standard of living enjoyed before the marriage breakdown, your financial needs in future and your housing needs, and so on.

The starting point is 50% but if there is a disparity in earnings or you have paid more in the way of mortgage/rent, etc, you can ask for more than 50% of the former matrimonial home. It would be worth speaking with him to see if he would agree to any split without having to involve the court.

If nothing can be agreed then you would need to issue financial remedy proceedings once decree nisi comes through (if you start divorce proceedings), or obtain a decree of judicial separation, so you ask the court to become involved in a financial settlement as well as the divorce.

Before you involve the court with the finances you need to contact a local mediator which is compulsory before you ask the court to intervene in the financial aspect. You can find a local mediator here :

Assuming mediation fails or your husband doesn't agree to mediation then you will need to issue financial remedy proceedings and you would need to complete and send two completed copies of Form A (one copy is attached) to your local family court and pay a fee of £255 payable to HMCTS. If you are on a low income or have low savings you can ask the court for help with the fee here

The court will then list a first appointment and give directions for a financial dispute resolution hearing (FDR) where the judge will give their opinion on a likely settlement - which usually prompts a settlement at this stage. The court will ensure the parties make full and frank disclosure of their assets and liabilities to ensure the financial positions of you both are known and to allow the court to make a settlement decision. If the case does not settle, further directions will be given and a final hearing may take place if neither of you can agree to settlement terms.

To apply for a judicial separation, the site is here:

To apply for a divorce, the site is here:

And for information on a financial order:

Finally, if you need money before the divorce finalises you can apply for “maintenance pending suit”, which means you ask the court for an order that your ex pays you support to help with bills and so on before the case finishes. You will need an application form under Part 18 of the Family Procedure Rules 2010 and the fee is £155. You would need to attend a hearing for this.

I hope this helps - if you can please accept the answer and give me a 5 star rating (there should be a button at the top of your screen to do this), I can answer follow up Q&A's at no extra charge and Just Answer will credit me for helping you today.

Many thanks,


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