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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 24625
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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Im in a complex situation. My husband of 11 years came to me

Customer Question

JA: Hi. How can I help?
Customer: im in a complex situation. My husband of 11 years came to me with no financial security, just debt. He was unemployed and it took 7 yrs to pay it all off. My house valued at 240 k is in my name only and earmarked for my daughter. My marriage is toxic but my husband threatened to take half of all I own if I separate from him.
JA: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in family court?
Customer: No, my counsellor suggested I speak to a solicitor to find out where I stand
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: I’d rather not go to court at this juncture, I just want to know, one way or another, whether half all I own will be given to him should we separate? I live in lincolnshire
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I don’t think so. My long term plan is to try and secure the property as a trust for my daughter
Submitted: 18 days ago.
Category: Family Law
Customer: replied 18 days ago.
I’d rather not talk as my husband can hear me
Expert:  Stuart J replied 18 days ago.

Hello. Thank you for the question. It is my pleasure to assist your with this today.

Please bear with me and I will be online and off-line from time to time and therefore, may be delayed getting back to you. You will receive an email when I reply.

how long were you together and married in total?

is he coercively controlling and abusive? and he is threatening you?

do you wish to divorce him and get him out of property?

Customer: replied 18 days ago.
We’ve been married since October 2010. He has only contributed to his share of the bills, basically as a lodger but married. He has been aggressive. We are receiving relate counselling at present. I don’t want to dissolve the marriage right now until I’m sure of my legal status. He is manipulative and dishonest
Customer: replied 18 days ago.
He had not told me had debts and he was living sheltered housing where he also owed monies!
You’d think a woman of my age would know better.
Customer: replied 18 days ago.
He is angry that I have a larger pension and won’t let him have access to it, a
So that I did not put his name on the deeds.
Expert:  Stuart J replied 17 days ago.

Although the old vow, “with all my worldly goods I thee endow” doesn’t apply literally, it does apply to a certain extent and whilst you have bailed him out, you didn’t get married so you went into it with your eyes open and it was only after it went pear-shaped.

I don’t how long you would together before marriage but the total time you were together would be taken into account.

With regard to the division of finances, you can ask for all this to be taken into account to reduce the amount that he gets but it’s not going to reduce it to nothing although it’s unlikely he’s going to get half.

You would not be the first person who’d stayed in a marriage because they didn’t want to lose everything they have built up.  Catch-22.

A person who believes that they are being bullied or who has been a victim of domestic violence or coercive controlling behaviour, can apply to court for a non-molestation order to prevent the other person coming within 100 m of them and an occupation order for the alleged perpetrator to move out of the house.

Here are the government webpages on exactly this subject.

A range of people can apply to the court: spouses, cohabitants and ex-cohabitants, people living in the same household (but not employees), tenants, lodgers, boarders, and certain relatives such as parents grandparents, in-laws, brothers sisters, and engaged couples.  So basically people who are in a close relationship either physically or family or living together whether that’s in a relationship or just the same house.

There doesn't actually have to be physical violence per se because there can be coercive behaviour for example as you will read in this excellent article: D

If living arrangements are involved, it is very often impractical to live in the same house and it would very often be allied to an occupation order which defines or regulates the rights of occupation of property by the parties involved.

Many landlords will not change the name of the tenancy agreement for example without a Occupation Order.

It always helps if a report was made to the police recently because that is good evidence that this actually happened.  The reason is that to report something to the police which hasn’t happened is a serious offence of wasting police time and/or attempting to pervert the course of justice which potentially carries a short jail sentence.  So the civil court will take more notice if it has been reported to the police.

Having said that, the civil court will normally err on the side of caution and grant the order.  However if the order is applied for based upon fabricated facts and that comes out in the wash, that is also perverting the course of justice and contempt of court and also potentially carries a jail sentence.

It is one of the few areas of law which legal aid is still available in certain circumstances so it is certainly worthwhile contacting the solicitor in the first instance.

As there is usually some urgency with these kind of applications, it can be done on an emergency basis and there is the facility on the form to do that.  An applicant can also attach a Certificate of Urgency (a letter with that heading) explaining why this should be in court on an emergency basis, usually within a day or so.

These applications are usually made “ex parte” which means that the other side doesn’t get notice.  What I mean by that is that they are not told “if you do this again we will make an application to court”.

The first they know about it is when the applicant gets the order and they are given the order.

The effect of the order is exactly the same as a restraining order to restraining order is something applied for by the police/CPS through the magistrates court (or exceptionally the Crown Court) whereas a non-molestation order is through the family/civil court.

Section 1 of the Domestic Violence, Crime & Victims Act 2004 May the breach of a non-molestation order a criminal offence.  It’s serious stuff.

What will happen with regard to the division of marital finances is that everything will be lumped in together including pensions.  With regard to pensions you will need a Cash Equivalent Transfer Value (CETV) which converts the pension to a lump sum for the mathematical calculation.  You cannot get hold of that money but it converts it to a theoretical cash equivalent.

All the value of the assets are then lumped together and there is a division which starts off at 50-50 and it would then be adjusted in favour of one spouse or the other spouse depending on the needs of the parties, how long they have been married, where the money came from, et cetera et cetera.

Not just the length of the marriage would be taken into account but also any length of time together before marriage because it would be unfair if the couple were together for 29 years and only married for one year before splitting up (not uncommon) to be treated in the same way as a couple who had a whirlwind romance got married, were married for 12 months, and then split up.  So the whole length of the relationship would be taken into account.

It’s largely a mathematical thing but does look at needs after divorce.

Even if everything is being divided down the middle, it’s not really a case of dividing it down the middle, all the assets wouldn’t be split 50-50 but, for example  one person may keep the house and the other for example could have the savings and the pensions.

The fact that his name is ***** ***** the deeds doesn’t affect his financial claim.  It’s the same whether it’s in your name, his name, or joint names.

With regard to the house,

The potential problem you have here is that you have dependent children.

Parents are under a duty to provide a home for dependent children until they reach 18 and therefore, unless there is a lot of equity in the property, sufficient to release enough to the non-resident parent and provide a home for the resident parent and the children until the youngest reaches 18, it’s unlikely that the non-resident parent is going to be able to force a sale of the property.

The only good news is that the party that remains in the property is responsible for the mortgage and the bills.

The situation would be completely different if there were no children and it would be infinitely possible for the person wishing to sell to force a sale of the property if necessary under section 14 of the Trusts of Land Appointment of Trustees Act by applying for an “order for sale”.

Dependent children, under 18, change all that.

Thank you for letting me assist you with your legal question.  I am glad that I was able to help.

I am not certain whether that answers the question for you or not, but I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

It will be my pleasure to help you again either further with this or any future questions you have

Kind regards

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
Thank you
I do not need a court order re safety.
I was duped with regards ***** ***** financial circumstances…he did not inform me of his debts! I only found out after we were actually married! I knew he had little income at the time, but nothing about huge debts for accommodation. He lied. We only lived together for three weeks before marrying. It went pairshaped from the time I found out about his debts.
Everything he owns apart from his books, has been paid for by me. He is capable of getting back into housing and surviving on his pension without taking anything of mine. After all he has not contributed to anything that is mine…house or savings! All of that i have has been attained by myself.
I therefore think it very unjust that he has even a small amount from me. He reneged on promises and vows. If a woman did what he has done she would be considered a gold digger!
Customer: replied 17 days ago.
A bit of confusion. I don’t have dependent children. I want my daughter to inherit what I have, not a man who has given nothing!
Expert:  Stuart J replied 17 days ago.

The reason I mention the non-molestation order is because you said that he is aggressive.

I fully appreciate what you are looking for, for your daughter to inherit but unfortunately you got married and husband has a substantial claim on your finances, you married a man who had nothing and he will certainly go out with a substantial something, even if it’s not 50%.

Whilst you didn’t know about his financial situation at the time, once you found out you still stayed with him.  That’s potentially the problem for you.

If you are looking for him to walk away with what he came in with, nothing, then I’m sorry to say that’s not going to happen.