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 F E Smith Your Own Question
F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 14503
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
Type Your Law Question Here...
F E Smith is online now

I have seperated from my wife about 6 months ago.. I am

This answer was rated:

Hi, I have seperated from my wife about 6 months ago.. I am looking to start to rebuild my life but I am still paying the majority of bills, rent, energy etc.. I didn't really think about it at the time because my 2 children and wife are still living in our rented property but I moved out 6months ago.. I didn't mind paying as I knew they would struggle and I was suffering quite bad with depression so it was something I didn't want to concentrate on.. But now I need to think about rebuilding my life.. Contact with the kids hasnt been easy and there's question marks about the paternity of our 2nd child.. I don't really know where to turn now so I'm looking for some professional advice on what I should do. I have no intention of returning to that life now I've had a long time to decide...
Assistant: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in family court?
Customer: I've not taken any steps this is the first
Assistant: Have you talked to a lawyer about this yet?
Customer: No
Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No I think that's all for now

Good afternoon. I will assist with your question - be aware this is an email not chat service therefore maybe delayed in replying.

how long were you together in total?

why do you think theres a potential paternity issue?

how old are the children?

whos name(s) on the tenancy?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
We was together approximately 10years but married for nearly 3 years.She had an affair during this time the second was conceived she has also threatened shes not mine if I where to take this route and I would loose all access...
8yrs and 1 1/2yrs old
I'm pretty sure my names been taken off the tenancy so just hers

Thank you. What exactly is it that you want to know about this? You haven’t asked a question. Thank you

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Well what am I suppose to paying in terms of bills etc? What do I do if she refuses me access if I pay less and what are my rights to finding out the paternity of our 2nd?

A person is not responsible for the mortgage or rent or the bills of a house that they do not live in although they remain liable to the lender or landlord if the other person stays in the property and doesn’t pay the mortgage.

In that case, the non-occupier would be entitled to recover any mortgage or rental payments made by the non-occupier, from the occupier within the finances of the breakup of the relationship/marriage.

You are responsible for child maintenance at the CMS rates: which are here

Do read the whole document but the basic rates start at the top of page 18.

Child maintenance is reduced by 1/7th for each 52 nights that the non-resident parent has the children.

There is a possibility of a liability for spousal maintenance, maintenance paid to keep a spouse , as opposed to children. Although most commonly paid from husband to wife, that is not necessarily the case. Spousal maintenance is based on both incomes, ability to earn money, previous lifestyles and most importantly, need. It is not about equalising incomes. There is no exact formula, but these links will give some reading..



And here is an interesting and informative article with regard to the division of finances in general

And finally, here is an article what happens to inheritance in the event of a


Can I clarify anything else for you?

I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

Please take a moment to look at the top right-hand corner of the page and rate my service by clicking one of the stars at the top of the screen.

You may need to login again to use the rating service.

It's important that you use the rating service because that gives me credit.

It doesn't just give me a pat on the head! It's what gets me paid!!

There is also an experts incentive scheme whereby the more 5 star ratings I get I do actually get a pat on the head!

All you need to do is press Submit.

Thank you.

If you still need any points clarifying, I will still reply because the thread does not close.

Best wishes.


Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Well how do initiate any of these? There's many references to the court, but how do get there exactly?

If you have not started divorce proceedings, you start with that. Provided that at least one of the people wishing to get divorced lives in England, then getting divorced in England (& Wales) is infinitely a do-it-yourself job. (I am not familiar with the system in Scotland)

Save yourself a whole load of money: the government website have a do-it-yourself guide

Although you can agree finances between you, it doesn’t draw a line under it unless you have a financial order

And if have children under 18, and you cannot agree who they live with and who sees who and when, then you need a child arrangement order (which includes Specific Issue Orders:

To confirm that something can happen

and a Prohibited Steps Orders

To stop something happening

In the United Kingdom, we do not have “irreconcilable differences”. That is a thing in the United States for the time being at least. The rules are changing here shortly to get rid of the following 5 grounds of divorce and to get rid of the fault issue but that has yet to be enacted. To be honest, in my opinion, it’s going to make very little difference because the big arguments are over finance and children not the actual divorce itself.

It doesn’t matter who divorce is who or why, the financial issues are exactly the same. The court has not apportioned blame with regard to the division of marital finances for many years.

Grounds for getting divorced are:

1 The couple have lived part 2 years or more but less than 5 years and they both consent to the divorce.

2 The couple have lived apart for 5 years or more, regardless of whether they both consent or not.

3 Desertion. Not common.

4 Adultery. Very difficult to prove unless there is unequivocal evidence or an admission.

5 Unreasonable behaviour. Most common and relatively easily to put together a petition on these grounds. For example:

A spouse wants an unreasonable amount of sex/never once it.
Lack of personal hygiene/obsessive personal hygiene.

Obsessively tidy/extremely messy and untidy.

Gambles to excess/it’s tightfisted with money.

Never interacts with spouse or children/obsessive with children.

Violent or bullying or intimidating.

Excess alcohol.

Lots of grounds.

F E Smith and other Law Specialists are ready to help you