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Stuart J
Stuart J, Property Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 25095
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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My wife left our property in August after i discovered she

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My wife left our property in August after i discovered she was having an affair and a large argument broke out between her and myself and 2 eldest children. The police told her to leave the property. Shortly after I told her she had to knock before entering the house she stopped paying any bills / rent on the property.I am living with our 3 children (17, 15 and 11) in our housing association property. She is now arguing that she wants to live in the property instead of me. Where do I stand here? The two eldest children do not want to live with her. the youngest is ambivalent.

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.

In who's name(s) is the tenancy?

and are you considering separation/divorce?

Customer: replied 5 days ago.
Tenancy is in joint names
We want to divorce
Customer: replied 5 days ago.
I do not want a phone call thank you

<span style="font-size:10.5pt;font-family:"Helvetica",sans-serif;
mso-bidi-font-family:Helvetica">You have probably seen a pop-up offering you
the chance of a telephone call at an extra cost.  It is up to you whether you have a telephone
call or not but do bear in mind that a 15-30 minute telephone call covers an
awful lot of ground and you can get an awful lot of information in that
time.  So you can ignore it or go ahead
or go ahead later.  It’s your choice.

<span style="font-size:10.5pt;font-family:"Helvetica",sans-serif;
mso-bidi-font-family:Helvetica">Meanwhile, we can carry on on here.

<span style="font-size:8.5pt;mso-bidi-font-size:11.0pt;
font-family:"MS Sans Serif"">

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

<span style="color:windowtext;text-decoration:
none;text-underline:none">https://www.gov.uk/divorce

<span style="font-size:8.5pt;font-family:"MS Sans Serif";
mso-bidi-font-family:"MS Sans Serif"">Although you can agree finances between
you, it doesn’t draw a line under it unless you have a financial order

https://www.gov.uk/money-property-when-relationship-ends

And
if have children under 18, <span style="font-size:8.5pt;font-family:
"MS Sans Serif";mso-bidi-font-family:"MS Sans Serif"">and you cannot agree who
they live with and who sees who and when, then <span style="font-size:
12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman",serif">you need a child arrangement order
(which includes Specific Issue Orders:

<span style="font-size:8.5pt;font-family:"MS Sans Serif";
mso-bidi-font-family:"MS Sans Serif"">

<span style="mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;
mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;mso-bidi-font-family:Calibri">To confirm that
something can happen

<span style="font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;
font-family:"Times New Roman",serif">and a Prohibited Steps Orders

<span style="mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;
mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;mso-bidi-font-family:Calibri">To stop something
happening

https://www.gov.uk/looking-after-children-divorce

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 divorces 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.

<span style="font-size:8.5pt;font-family:"MS Sans Serif";
mso-bidi-font-family:"MS Sans Serif"">Please note that a legal separation is
not the first step or precursor to a divorce.
It is virtually the same process but it doesn't dissolve the
marriage.  However it draws a line under
the relationship formally.  The
difference between a legal separation and divorce is basically that you cannot
get remarried again.  The reason you
would have a legal separation, rather than a divorce is you can get divorced,
for religious reasons for example.

Stuart J and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you

<span style="font-size:8.5pt;font-family:"MS Sans Serif";
mso-bidi-font-family:"MS Sans Serif"">

<span style="font-size:8.5pt;font-family:"MS Sans Serif";
mso-bidi-font-family:"MS Sans Serif"">

<span style="font-size:8.5pt;font-family:"MS Sans Serif";
mso-bidi-font-family:"MS Sans Serif"">

<span style="font-size:8.5pt;font-family:"MS Sans Serif";
mso-bidi-font-family:"MS Sans Serif"">

<span style="font-size:8.5pt;font-family:"MS Sans Serif";
mso-bidi-font-family:"MS Sans Serif"">There is no restraining order or
non-molestation order preventing her coming to the house, then she is free to
come and go as she wishes.

<span style="font-size:8.5pt;font-family:"MS Sans Serif";
mso-bidi-font-family:"MS Sans Serif"">

<span style="font-size:8.5pt;font-family:"MS Sans Serif";
mso-bidi-font-family:"MS Sans Serif"">You are going to need a Child arrangement
order

<span style="font-size:8.5pt;font-family:"MS Sans Serif";
mso-bidi-font-family:"MS Sans Serif"">

<span style="font-size:8.5pt;font-family:"MS Sans Serif";
mso-bidi-font-family:"MS Sans Serif"">Fortunately, there is a lot of
information on the Internet about Child Arrangement orders and the government
have actually produced a guide on the subject which is here.

<span style="font-size:8.5pt;font-family:"MS Sans Serif";
mso-bidi-font-family:"MS Sans Serif";color:blue"><span style="text-decoration:
none"> 

<span style="font-size:8.5pt;font-family:"MS Sans Serif";
mso-bidi-font-family:"MS Sans Serif"">https://www.gov.uk/looking-after-children-divorce

<span style="font-size:8.5pt;font-family:"MS Sans Serif";
mso-bidi-font-family:"MS Sans Serif"">

<span style="font-size:8.5pt;font-family:"MS Sans Serif";
mso-bidi-font-family:"MS Sans Serif"">The different types of Child Arrangement
order are:

<span style="font-size:8.5pt;font-family:"MS Sans Serif";
mso-bidi-font-family:"MS Sans Serif"">

<span style="font-size:8.5pt;font-family:"MS Sans Serif";
mso-bidi-font-family:"MS Sans Serif"">1              A
Contact Order which specifies when parent sees a child, it is no longer
called "access".

<span style="font-size:8.5pt;font-family:"MS Sans Serif";
mso-bidi-font-family:"MS Sans Serif"">

<span style="font-size:8.5pt;font-family:"MS Sans Serif";
mso-bidi-font-family:"MS Sans Serif"">2              A
Residence Order to determine who the child lives with, it is no longer
called "custody"

<span style="font-size:8.5pt;font-family:"MS Sans Serif";
mso-bidi-font-family:"MS Sans Serif"">

<span style="font-size:8.5pt;font-family:"MS Sans Serif";
mso-bidi-font-family:"MS Sans Serif"">3              A
Prohibited Steps Order to prevent a parent doing something with the
child such as moving away either in this country miles away or taking the child
to another country.  Particularly
relevant if there is a chance that the parent would go to another country and
never return.  The parent wishing to
prevent the move would have to convince the court why it’s not in the best
interest of the child to move.  Friends,
support, school et cetera et cetera all taken into account.

<span style="font-size:8.5pt;font-family:"MS Sans Serif";
mso-bidi-font-family:"MS Sans Serif"">

<span style="font-size:8.5pt;font-family:"MS Sans Serif";
mso-bidi-font-family:"MS Sans Serif"">A Prohibited Steps Order is to prevent
child Abduction and it’s one of the few areas of law for which legal aid is
sometimes still available.  It’s often
therefore worth seeing a solicitor.

<span style="font-size:8.5pt;font-family:"MS Sans Serif";
mso-bidi-font-family:"MS Sans Serif"">

<span style="font-size:8.5pt;font-family:"MS Sans Serif";
mso-bidi-font-family:"MS Sans Serif"">4              A
Specific Issue Order to allow a parent to do something specific with the
child such as moving away to another part of the country or indeed to another
country.  .  The parent wishing to move would have to
prove why it’s not in the best interest of the child to move..  Friends, support, school et cetera et cetera
all taken into account.  It would also
encompass things such as changing school if the parents cannot agree, changing
the child's name, and anything other specific.

<span style="font-size:8.5pt;font-family:"MS Sans Serif";
mso-bidi-font-family:"MS Sans Serif"">

<span style="font-size:8.5pt;font-family:"MS Sans Serif";
mso-bidi-font-family:"MS Sans Serif"">

<span style="font-size:8.5pt;font-family:"MS Sans Serif";
mso-bidi-font-family:"MS Sans Serif"">The courts will not get involved in a
Contact or Residence order unless the couple have been to mediation first.  So the couple would have to try mediation
even if it subsequently fails and the matter proceeds to court.

<span style="font-size:8.5pt;font-family:"MS Sans Serif";
mso-bidi-font-family:"MS Sans Serif"">

<span style="font-size:8.5pt;font-family:"MS Sans Serif";
mso-bidi-font-family:"MS Sans Serif"">And as part of the divorce process in
occupation order for you to live in the property with the children instead of
her.

<span style="font-size:8.5pt;font-family:"MS Sans Serif";
mso-bidi-font-family:"MS Sans Serif"">

<span style="mso-ascii-font-family:
Calibri;mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;mso-bidi-font-family:Calibri;color:black;
mso-color-alt:windowtext">Thank you for letting me assist you with your legal
question.  I am glad that I was able to
help.<span style="mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;mso-hansi-font-family:
Calibri;mso-bidi-font-family:Calibri">

<span style="mso-ascii-font-family:
Calibri;mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;mso-bidi-font-family:Calibri;color:black;
mso-color-alt:windowtext">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.<span style="mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;mso-bidi-font-family:
Calibri">

<span style="mso-ascii-font-family:
Calibri;mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;mso-bidi-font-family:Calibri;color:black;
mso-color-alt:windowtext">It will be my pleasure to help you again either
further with this or any future questions you have<span style="mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri;mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;mso-bidi-font-family:
Calibri">

<span style="mso-ascii-font-family:
Calibri;mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;mso-bidi-font-family:Calibri;color:black;
mso-color-alt:windowtext">Kind regards<span style="mso-ascii-font-family:
Calibri;mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;mso-bidi-font-family:Calibri">