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Lynn T
Lynn T,
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 51
Experience:  legal and compliance at Sabinet
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I married my husband in South Africa, then moved to the UK

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Hi, I married my husband in South Africa, then moved to the UK with him for 5 years. In Feb this year I came back to south Africa on holiday, when he told me he wanted a divorce leaving me practically destitute in South Africa. We came to an agreement that he would send me spousal maintenance. He has said he won't be sending me any money this month. He has also refused to send me my personal items, like clothing which I desperately need in order to find a job. He is also holding my cats hostage and trying to blackmail me using them as leverage. This is causing me untold stress, depression and anxiety. He refused to give me the opportunity to return to the UK to collect my cats and personal items. He was mentally and emotionally abusive during the marriage, forcing me into a severe depression and making me suicidal. He was aware that I have a bipolar disorder. While married, he refused to allow me to open a bank account. All monies I earned went into his account. Can you help me? I was a few months away from applying for my final permanent residence visa. He is also refusing to assist me to get basic necessities like a bed and clothes.
JA: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in family court?
Customer: I have requested that he either send me the necessary marriage certificates, my identity book etc to start proceedings here, but he has refused to do that for 9 months already. He also refuses to start proceedings in the UK. He said I must pay for and do everything. I was unemployed during 2019 as I broke my foot badly as was in plaster until January of this year. I'm finding it impossible to find a job here, as my age and race go against me due to the affirmative action policies in place here. He's trying to blackmail me, using my cats as leverage
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: He lives in Shinfield in Reading and I am now stuck in South Africa with no way of getting back to the UK
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: He does not send me enough maintenance to survive and now he says he won't be sending anymore. I have rent to pay, medication I have to buy and I don't even have a bed to sleep on. He's says he's not paying maintenance or a settlement. We were married for five years under community of property. He also forced me to sign a occupants document saying I won't try claim any of the home we bought together. I hope that's everything, but its been a total of 7 years of lies and abuse from him. He knows that keeping my cats is not only causing them anxiety, but is causing me severe mental and emotional distress. I have nothing, 4 items of clothing, a blanket and 3 pairs of shoes. I can't even afford to go buy a pint of milk or loaf of bread.
Customer: replied 18 days ago.
Following on from my previous question, can I lay charges of theft and blackmail against him. He has point blank refused to send NY cats back and my personal items.


I am an attorney based in South Africa. I am reviewing your question and respond shortly with the required advise.

Kind Regards


Please advise if you are a South African citizen ? If you were married in South Africa your marriage will be governed by South African law and not UK Law. If you are married in community of property you are entitled to half of all assets but also liable for half of all liabilities. My advise is that you send him a legal letter in an attempt to get him to comply with the matrimonial laws and advise him that you will institute divorce proceedings in South Africa and request that all assets be transferred to your name, if he is not here to contest the divorce it can go ahead undisputed. He would either have to travel to South Africa for the divorce proceedings or hire an attorney here which will cost him money. With this in mind he may be more forthcoming to your demands to settle this matter. Do you have his contact details? This platform is to answer legal questions and I would not be able to offer legal services through this platform however if you would like me to assist you please e-mail me on***@******.*** and we can discuss the way forward and the related costs. Kind Regards

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