How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask JimLawyer Your Own Question
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 10479
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
JimLawyer is online now

I filed for separation in November 2019 I am looking to get

This answer was rated:

Hi I filed for separation in November 2019 I am looking to get free advice on next steps etc as I cannot afford a lawyer
JA: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in family court?
Customer: Yes I did file the paperwork
JA: Family Court normally sits in a local County and Magistrates' Court. Do you know the location of the court? If not, what county do you live in?
Customer: So when I sent my paperwork I received a call from the southampton court
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I have filled out and submitted form D8 I have an 8 year old daughter and i need help on understanding my rights as a mother
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
How long does it take before someone contacts me?

Hello, this is Jim and I am a dual-qualified lawyer (UK and Republic of Ireland) and happy to help you today.

What would you like to know specifically?


Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I am finding it difficult to understand what my rights as a mother are. My husband asked me to leave the house as I was the one to file for separation but I don’t want to leave my daughter with him. I want to understand what happens if I don’t agree to leave?

You are married so have a legal right to live in that house. He cannot make you leave. You also have a daughter so if the court decided then it is likely you would be allowed to live there with your daughter and your ex to move out.

A legal separation means you are still married but legally you can live apart. You can also ask the family court for a financial order if there are assets to split.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
If we did not involve solicitor etc is there a way I can get him to leave the house?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
My ex refuses to go through the family court for financial order

It'd be the case that if there was some form of abuse (physical, psychological) then you can apply for an occupation order to the court meaning the court can order him to move out. Your ex may refuse but you can still apply - an order would be imposed on him if he didn't agree

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
He wants to co parent which I understand but that to me only means making joint decisions not him having our daughter

I presume you are both on the deeds to the property. So does he want full custody where your daughter lives with him? How old is your daughter?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Daughter is 8
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I am paying half towards the mortgage
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
all the bills

If custody is to be considered then the welfare checklist of the child is relevant :

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
There was physical and psychological elements but he claims I provoked him and I hit him instead of the other way around

Thanks, ***** ***** you pay towards the mortgage then you can ask the court to recognise your contributions - if you wanted a share from the house so you can move on then you can apply to the court.

Were the Police involved with the abuse?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
No the police were never involved
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
There have been wider issues with racism from his parents and brother
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
this is why I don’t want our daughter to be raised by him or have anything to do with his parents
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
You see I am originally from India. I have a brutish passport based on my employment and residency here for 16 years nearly

Thanks, ***** ***** claim sole custody if there is a dispute as to who your daughter should live with.

I suppose the most pressing issue is what happens next with you living there. You can still live there and he cannot kick you out. This is the case despite the fact you applied for a separation. It may be an idea to try mediation but it doesn't sound like he would entertain that. If not and as the Police were not previously involved, you need to at least contact a mediator - if your ex does not engage then you can apply to the court for a financial order or a custody order (or both).

To find a mediator in your local area, use this site :

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thank you for all the information
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
This is useful
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
One last thing what happens when I get the decree nisi?

If he makes life difficult then you can apply for an occupation order with a non-molestation order (a type of injunction).

At decree nisi the court agrees you can divorce (for a separation the equivalent is a decree of judicial separation).

You would then need to apply for decree absolute after decree nisi (to make the divorce final) but to ensure you have a share of the former matrimonial home and any other assets then you should apply for a financial order before decree absolute.

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 give a positive rating by clicking 5 stars (at the top of your screen), I can answer any follow up questions at no extra charge and I will be credited for helping you today.

Many thanks,


JimLawyer and 2 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thanks Jim this is all very helpful. If I do have any further questions I will reach out to you.

No problem, thanks, ***** ***** good day