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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 13590
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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My husband and I have agreed to separate at our final

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Hi, my husband and I have agreed to separate at our final counselling session this week. We have a 7yr old son. We will live in the same house until we decide what to do. He is suggesting that now we are ‘separated’ but still live together, all bills should now be split 50/50 from now. I don’t earn as much as him. Can he do that?
Assistant: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in family court?
Customer: No. We agreed to become separated this week
Assistant: 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: Yes I’m northamptonshire
Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No

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

how were the bills paid for before?

how long were you together and married in total?

what is your preferred outcome?

Customer: replied 3 days ago.
Both of our salaries went into a joint account to pay all our bills and savings. The remainder was split 50/50. Which was about £150 per month to spend on personal items.
Together 20 years married 16 years
He wants to keep the house and buy me out but that could take around 6 months.
I would like it to remain the same arrangement until we physically move out. I work part time for child care reasons so my money would not cover all the bills if I went to 50/50 payment now.

You can do what you like and he can do what he likes and until you have started divorce or legal separation proceedings, the court will not get involved in marital finances.

You can simply refuse to pay anything and so can he.

I would never encourage anyone to get divorced but if you want these finances sorted sooner rather than later, then it’s something you are going to have to get on with.

Absolutely no reason why you cannot DIY and save a load of money.

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.

Can I clarify anything else for you?

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

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Thank you.

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

Best wishes.


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