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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34895
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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My niece - who has been with her verbally abusive partner for

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My niece - who has been with her verbally abusive partner for 18 years - since she was 15 - and has 3 sons aged 18, 16 and 9 - recently told him that she started to be friendly with a divorced man whose son goes to the same school as their 9 year old - and that things went further than they were meant to.
He was apparently quite calm about it until she told him she no longer wanted to be with him - and since then he has hurled a torrent of abuse at her - calling her the most appalling names in front of their sons - telling them not to speak or have anything to do with her and to let him know everything she says and does. He also loudly calls the names in the garden and following behind her in the street in the presence of their 9 year old - and also bars her way when she tries to talk to him so that she can't see their son.
He has on 4 separate occasions taken him out of school without her knowledge in order to look around and change his school - and has threatened to take him out again if she is not in when he gets home. He has also enrolled him into clubs at times which will make it difficult for her to go and watch him and has torn up all the photos that she had of the children.
He does very little in the house and has never worked - on the basis that his own workaholic father had paid enough taxes - and has made it difficult for her to work. He has always made it difficult for her to see her own family and she feels very isolated as she can't speak to us properly when he or their sons are around.
She does not want to lose her sons - but does not know what to do.
I know that she would like to work and keep her sons with her. At the moment the housing benefit is in her name - but the house is rented in both name (they never married and she can't get legal aid)
What would her position be if either:
1. She left the family home taking her youngest and any of the other boys that wanted to go with her.
2. She stayed where she was and tried to get him to go - how could she go about this?
Also - I was a guarantor when they moved into this house in 2007. I spoke to the agent at the time and told them I would be due to retire and would not always be able to afford to pay anything. I was told not to worry - it didn't matter as it was only so that they would be able to move into the house. They do pay part of the rent and it has always been paid. The Landlord has since dispensed with the agents' services. But I still need to know for certain how I stand.
I would be very grateful for any advice that you can give me on all the matters I have stated - and hope that this request is not too long.
Thank you.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Has there been any direct violence at all.
Will the older boys stay with their father?
is the father named on all the birth certificates
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare

She did say that he had not been physically violent - but said that she felt that the mental cruelty was just as bad or worse. Although I now remember that he did push her and the middle boy had to intervene and tell him not to hurt his mum. He had also said that he had friends who he could get to "beat her up"

The middle boy may be a bit tied as his father drives him to his judo and rugby competitions and matches - which he is very good at - and has told him that if he interferes he won't take him anywhere -although I feel that he would not really want to stay otherwise. I'm not sure about the elder boy - I feel he has always been a victim of the verbal bullying and may not want to stand up to it - but not really sure - I know he is 18 but he has not got a very well paid or full time job. It's difficult for me to find out quickly as we can't speak much and I am living 300 miles away.

The father is named on all the birth certificates.

I agree that the mental abuse is just as destructive.
Does she actively wish to remain in the property?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Because I have not been able to speak at length to her I don't really know. I think that she wouldn't mind as long as he isn't there. But she would also - if she had to - take the youngest and any of the older boys that would come. I know she does not want to leave her boys.

I am due to speak to her tomorrow if I can - but it's not always possible. I can't even text her as if he is there he may hear the text and she has had to hide the fact that she has a mobile phone. Is it ok to wait until tomorrow to see if I can speak to her and let you know then?

I am happy to wait for the information as it will give me a clearer idea of the best way forward for her - but do give her this number as a start
They understand that not all violence is physical
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare - thank you for the web address - which I have passed on to my niece.

I was able to speak to her this morning and she said that ideally she would like to stay in the property as it would be better for all of them - her elder boy in particular finds change difficult at this stage - and she would prefer her partner to go.

That's good - just one point - how long has this behaviour been going on?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I think this particular behaviour started round about May this year - but has been really bad since July.

I do know, though, that he has always been very verbal.

When is the tenancy term due to end or is it a rolling term now?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I believe it is a rolling term

Does your niece get on with the landlord - or is it a distant relationship?
(just checking all the options)
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I think it is just a distant relationship - she doesn't contact him that much - only when she really has to.

The way forward is not easy - but it is possible.
There are two options.
The first is that she finds somewhere else to live and gives Notice to the Landlord so that she is released form the tenancy - leaving it up to her ex whether he take sit on or not.
She then moves with the children - and if her ex tries to remove the youngest child from her care she applies to the court for a Child Arrangement Order setting out how the child's time is shared between them.
The other option is for your niece to remain where she is and apply to the court for the Transfer of the Tenancy into her sole name
Details here
She may also still need to apply for a Child Arrangement Order.
If there is any physical violence she will need to apply for an urgent order excluding her ex from the property.
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you very much for the information you have given to me. It has been very helpful.

I did also ask how it would affect me as a guarantor if she was to leave. Could you please let me know.

Thank you

I am afraid that you remain liable until the tenancy ends - so if she leaves your niece needs to give notice to terminate the tenancy as well
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you - just one more question - as the tenancy is in both their names - although the housing benefit is in hers - if she leaves and he stays how does that leave me? Presumably she can end the tenancy in these circumstances. They did tell me when I said in the beginning that I would not be able to afford anything after I retired that I shouldn't worry - it was only so that they could move into the house - also the landlord has dispensed with the agents services so would this still apply?

I am afraid that you were misled - unless the landlord has released you from your Guarantee then you are still liable - and will be until the lease ends
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

But if they are both tenants and she leaves can she end the tenancy - or say that the tenancy has now changed because she is no longer there?

When she leaves your Niece will need to give Notice to end the tenancy - it will then be up to her ex to negotiate anew one - with a new Guarantor
Clare and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Bless you for your kind words - I hope all goes well for your niece