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Harris, Law Specialist
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2851
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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I left my marital home last year with my 2 children, there

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I left my marital home last year with my 2 young children, there was a domestic violence inncident where the police were called as my ex threatened me and my family with a gun, however the gun was never found as he hid it somewhere by the time the police caught up with him so we weren't able to charge him. He has got previous though and has been to prison, he's also been on numerous driving bans due to his dangerous driving. He has zero respect for the law and is a very vicious person.
My marital home is in mine and my mothers name as he wasn't able to get a mortgage due to his bad credit, he did pay towards the deposit and paid the mortgage (which was always in and out of arrears).
Since leaving the home, he has barely kept up with the mortgage payments and it is now 6 months in arrears. He has put a notice on the Land Registry stating that we can't sell it without his permission as he had a financial interest in the property.
He recently told me that he plans to financially ruin my mother and I, he wants the house to get repossessed and for the house to go into negative equity...only then will he be happy. He has no intention of letting me sell or making any mortgage payments. I cannot afford to pay the mortgage as I am a stay at home mum.
I currently get Legal Aid but my solicitor says that there is nothing I can do until we begin divorce proceedings. The reason the divorce proceedings haven't begun is because we got married in Cuba in 2012 and my ex "misplaced" the marriage certificate so we do not have a marriage certificate. It may take up to 2 years for the certificate to arrive!
Can you please tell me there is another option? Surely the law cannot condone such cruel and mallicous behaviour? There must be something I can do?
What if I was to pay the mortgage arrears and then place the property on rent so the rent can cover the payments? My lawyer said that we can't because it's the marital home so he has rights to it even on though his name isn't on the deeds.
How can I get his notice removed from the Land Registry? If I explain my circumstances, would they remove the notice? My lawyer said I have to ask him to remove the notice which I already have done but obviously he refused.
With regards ***** ***** visitation, I have been very fair and he sees them on a weekly basis but now I don't think I want my kids to be around such a venomous person. I don't want them to grow up to be anything like him, what is the minimum visitation I can give him? The kids are 3.5 and 1.5 years old and the youngest refuses to go for night visits with him. He thinks that because I put them in nursery 3 days a week, he can request to have them with him instead and the judge would prefer the kids to be with a parent rather than at a nursery. The only reason I put them into nursery is for their social development and a change of scenery. I am lucky enough to have family that help towards the nursery fees...will a judge pass his notion and allow them to be with him instead?
Please help me as I am at my wits end.
Kind regards,

Hi, thank you for your question. You raise a few issues and I will deal with these separately:

Hi, I note you have left a negative rating. Please could you confirm what you are not happy about so that I can provide you with all the information you require to resolve this matter.


Given that you were married abroad and the marriage certificate has been misplaced, you are able to apply for leave to proceed with a divorce simultaneously with the divorce petition using form D11 and a £155 court fee. You will need to accompany the application with a statement explaining the steps you have taken to obtain a certified copy, if you have a photo of the certificate or a photocopy then this can be attached and you will need to prove that a marriage did take place by outlining this in the statement.

Matrimonial home and Finances

As the property was the former matrimonial home he has matrimonial home rights arising out of the marriage which can be registered on the title - which he appears to have done. This remains on the property until divorce is finalised or a financial settlement is reached and unfortunately cannot be removed before this.

Despite this, if he is no longer living there you are free to rent it out if you wish. The only impact the home rights have is that he has a right to occupy the property until divorce unless there is a court order stopping him returning.

If he is living there and you have left, you can apply for an occupation order to return to the property immediately and the court will assess whether such an arrangement is suitable.

If he is working or has assets then you should seriously consider pursuing an urgent application to court for maintenance pending suit (this is spousal maintenance until a final decision is made regarding the finances). This can be done immediately and even before divorce petition is issued. You can also pursue a financial relief application to deal with the wider matrimonial finances to include the former matrimonial home.

Child Arrangements

The children have a right to a relationship with their father and this can only be reasonably restricted if there are child protection concerns - which you have raised. If you stop contact and there is no order in place it would be for him to make an application to court to see the children and formalise the arrangements - at this point due to the nature of the domestic violence allegation, the court may seek to have this investigated and for an assessment to be carried out to ensure that he is not a risk to the children.

I hope this assists you. If you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating using the stars at the top of this page. I will not be credited for your question without a positive rating. Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello,Many thanks for your response.With regards ***** ***** house, if I was to pay off the current arrears and then start paying the mortgage myself (either repayment or interest only)....then when we do eventually sell...will I have an argument to have a bigger share of the amount because I had to take on the mortgage payments but don't actually live in the house. What percentage do you think I will get on the house because I also have the 2 kids? I originally offered 50/50 if we sold now but as he is playing a sick game by wanting the house to get repossessed so he can "ruin" my mother and I....I would now like to get the maximum I'm entitled to.He has also bought a house (apparently in his name but I can't be certain). He bought it after we I have any rights to his house as we are still married?I just want to know exactly what I am and aren't entitled to? He has me cornered so I just need a way out of this mess please?Thanks,

Thanks - unfortunately, as you are married it is not as straightforward as being compensated for your contributions as there are various factors that a court will need to consider when dividing assets, such as needs of children and both parties at the time of the application. The starting point for a court is a 50-50 split of all matrimonial assets and initially for this to be departed from based on needs - therefore if you remain the main carer of the children it would be expected that your needs will be greater and therefore the division should be more in your favour.

His new property will need to be disclosed as part of negotiations or financial proceedings and this will be used in order to meet the needs of children or both of you if required.

You will both need to provide each other with full and frank financial and income disclosure, as well as disclosure of your reasonable needs. The Court's starting point is a 50-50 split of all matrimonial assets and ensuring that both your needs are met in relation to both assets and income. The criteria considered is:

1. The income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future, including in the case of earning capacity any increase in that capacity which it would in the opinion of the court be reasonable to expect a party to the marriage to take steps to acquire;
2. The financial needs, obligations and responsibilities which each of the parties to the marriage has or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;
3. The standard of living enjoyed by the family before the breakdown of the marriage;
4. The age of each party to the marriage and the duration of the marriage;
5. Any physical or mental disability of either of the parties to the marriage;
6. The contributions which each of the parties has made or is likely in the foreseeable future to make to the welfare of the family, including any contribution by looking after the home or caring for the family;
7. The conduct of each of the parties, if that conduct is such that it would in the opinion of the court be inequitable to disregard it;
8. In the case of proceedings for divorce or nullity of marriage, the value to each of the parties to the marriage of any benefit which, by reason of the dissolution or annulment of the marriage, that party will lose the chance of acquiring.

If you have any further questions regarding this please let me know. In the meantime if you found this information helpful please provide a positive rating using the stars at the top of this page. I will not be credited for answering your question without a positive rating. Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
if his ability to get away with everything is because we were married....surely without a marriage certificate can he prove that we were actually married? What if the wedding in Cuba wasn't even legal?If he isn't able to produce a marriage certificate to the Land Registry, can we not request for the notice to be removed as he has no proof that we're still married.

I do not see how this would be possible as you would be deceiving the land registry which is a government organisation given that a marriage has taken place and the only issue is that the marriage certificate is not available. Nonetheless as the property is in joint names with your mother, he would only be able to pursue a claim for a share from your share, unless he can demonstrate that your mother's share is actually your interest.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok, you seem like a very decent person and I like that. However, I just need you to put on your "ruthless lawyer" hat and tell me a way to cause him as much difficulty as he has caused me.The law seems to be supporting his cruel and nasty motions a lot more than my honest and fair ones so I am left with no choice but to fight fire with fire.Tell me what I can do to stop him getting away with ruining me and my mother?Can I sue him for causing us so much stress? My mums blood pressure is very high due to his underhand antics.
We are a decent family that do not deserve this, I need someone to find me a way out of this...IWhat is the minimum child visitation I can allow him? I don't feel my children are safe with a venemous person like him, also I am weary of him driving with them due to his previous driving convictions.I look forward to hearing your "ruthless" advice :)Thanks,

Thanks - from what you have said you will need to seriously consider making a return to the family home with your children which can be done if you obtain an occupation order to remove him from the property and prevent him returning - this can be done using form FL401 to your local family court. When you return to the property you will be able to consider applying for benefits to meet the interest payments on the property - depending on what benefits you are receiving and your circumstances at the time.

In relation to contact, if the safeguarding concerns regarding the father continue you are within your rights to stop contact until he can assure that there are no child protection concerns and it will be for him to apply to court for a child arrangement order to see your children. Given the seriousness of the concerns it may initially be appropriate for contact to take place on a supervised basis until he can demonstrate there are no concerns.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I cannot return to the family home as it is 3.5 hours away (in Horncastle, Lincolnshire) and we have settled in our current home with my family for the past year so I cannot uproot the kids and change their nurseries etc and live alone in a town that I hate. I would be a lot more vulnerable there and isolated so there is no way I can live there.However, in an earlier response you mentioned that I am well within my rights to put the house on rent? Can I apply for an order to keep him away from the property as I’m afraid he will threaten any tenants that move into the home? Without a marriage certificate he can’t prove that it was our marital home can he? so does he have a leg to stand on?I think it’s too late to insist on supervised visits as he’s already been visiting the kids for the past year….and for the past 2 visits, I’ve allowed him 1 over night visit with my daughter only (as my son refuses to go with him).I’m thinking of playing a mind game with him…I’m going to tell him that my mum and I have no choice other than to sell up her house (in Maidenhead) and move into a house in the midlands (as my family are from there and the houses are much cheaper so we’d get more for our money). He would not like this because then he’d have to travel 3 hours to visit the kids! Does he have any rights to prevent me from moving away? I’m hoping that these “plans” would force him into letting me sell my house so we won’t have to “move away”With regards ***** ***** notice he put on the property…..I came across this article which basically says that the notice shouldn’t actually prevent me from selling? Please can you have a read and let me know your thoughts? it was his mum that paid the deposit towards the house and she is the one that paid the mortgage most of the time (he made a few payments and so did I)….combined with the fact he has no proof that we are actually married (I can claim that the wedding wasn’t legal as I have tried to obtain online copies of the certificate but the Cuban Embassy comes back with no record of the marriage)….then surely we can have the notice removed? If we can get that notice off, then I will be sorted! Can you find any loop hole in the system to help me?Thanks,

Given that matrimonial home rights have been registered, to remove this registration you will need to prove that a marriage has not taken place. Again you should be aware that you cannot deceive the land registry - just because the documents are not accessible does not mean you can inform them that there was no marriage.

If you were to seek to return to the property to occupy it, then you have reasonable grounds to apply for an occupation order to remove him. However, as he has registered his home rights and is allowed to occupy the property, applying to court to force him to move out so that you can rent it may prove difficult as the court will need to assess his housing needs first before deciding whether to remove him.

The home rights notice does not prevent a sale, however the potential buyers of the property will be informed of the notice and the potential interest that he has in the property - it is for the buyer to decide whether to proceed with a purchase or not.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I will not by deceiving the Land Registry as I have genuinely tried to obtain some evidence that the marriage was legal but to no avail. Also – can I stress the point that he doesn’t even live in that property – he has bought another house in Essex that he lives in so if I was to place the house on rent – it wouldn’t affect him at all. He is trying to make my life awkward by putting that notice on…..nothing more.So if the buyer proceeds with buying the property after they are made aware of the notice…how would it affect them? If it has no affect on the buyers then how is the notice even relevant? Would it mean that the money made from the sale would have to sit in my solicitors bank until a financial agreement has been made? Because I can live with that!Also – please can you answer my previous question with regards ***** ***** away…does he have any rights to prevent me from “moving” to the midlands?Thanks,

I see, I was under the impression that he was living in the property. As he is not living there it makes it easier for you to sell and if the buyer proceeds, it will be at risk of potential delay in case there is a contested financial application arising out of the marriage/relationship and it is correct that the solicitors may hold the proceeds of sale until financial matters are settled between you.

If you move away and it impacts his arrangements to see the children, he can apply to court to stop this and it will be for the court to decide whether you should move with the children or not. As he likely has parental responsibility for the children (by virtue of marriage or if he is named on the birth certificate) then he must be consulted if the children are to change schools.

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