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Access to FMHome by wife whos left??

  • jony
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18 Aug 07 #2150 by jony
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Help/comments very much appreciated, my first post, a great site.
Wife of 22 yrs walked out about 6 weeks ago now, total suprise, been having affair for a couple of months.
Move out was a bit unplanned, first went to her sisters for a few weeks, now cohabiting in rented flat with new guy (60 miles away).
I'm in FMHome with a 13yr and 17yr who want to stay with me, good news for me so far is that she also wants them to stay with me (but I don't know if she might change on this?)
Was still going through the shock of it all over the last weeks and she kept turning up at the house to see the kids and pick things up, unplanned sometimes, although she doesn't have a key, just walked in at least once.
I found this very difficult personnaly, spoke to my solicitor who advised me to diplomatically remind her that we (me particualrly!)need privavcy and space, that its our home still (although of course she owns a good proportion of the house etc)and that she has access but as arranged through me, hence no need for key.
She wants things to be ammicable as possible, but solicitors letter today demands she has a key saying its her right. Is it, or does she just have free right of access , ie through me by arragement, but without key?
As I'm working and she isn't I don't particulaly want her around the house when I'm not and spending days here through the school holidays when I'm at work
( or am I being too unreasonable here, I'm not wanting to stop access to the teenagers, but at the same time want my/ our home / access etc respecting, shes left it and us!?). Theres no real valuables, furniture etc that I'm bothered about and no hiding of any documents etc that I'm trying to do, its more about privacy and trying to adapt to new home arragements for us all etc that I'm bothered about. There are personal effects photos etc but I've previously said we can sort all these out ( her solicitors letter says she needs a key for access to these as is her right, or words to that effect). Wifes stopped talking to me now, contacting the kids direct (I had asked her to discuss with me re contact arrangements etc).
My solicitor seems quite aggressive on everything, but maybe thats in response to seeing me in a state of shock about it all,not knowing what the long term situation will be with kids,finance,house,kids,job etc, and preparing me for firm and direct approach to divorce.
Maybe I will need such an approach from my solicitor over the mext few weeks / months as things progress??
Although I'm aware how quickly things can deteriorate from an amicableish start.
I'll be discussing this and all the other things with my solicitor at the end of next week.
But any advice on this ?? Anything I need to watch out for?
I am also trying to as 'amicable' as possible, don't want to upset my kids, but also wanting to look after my long term interests and re build my / our lives!
Thanks in advance jony

  • Rog.
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18 Aug 07 #2152 by Rog.
Reply from Rog.
I'm no solicitor, but I think if the house is owned jointly then she unfortunately has a right to a key. Decency and simple good manners should require her to give you some notice of when she is planning on returning to the house though.
My soon-to-be-ex-wife still has a key, but so far has always asked when she wants to come and pick something up. To be honest I think we both prefer it if I'm out when she's here. Like you, I'm not bothered about her taking anything or going through my stuff - but at times like this it's the little things that wind you up: I came back the other day to find she'd used my phone - only a few pence at most, but she moved out, it's my home now! At least, until we have to sell it, because I can't afford to buy her out.
Good luck.

  • divwiki
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18 Aug 07 #2158 by divwiki
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I'm in the same boat re access to the property and feel for you both, although mine is the council's and she has given 4 weeks notice, but she can legally waltz in and out when she likes which creates a feeling of paranoia in me.
I have the door latched when I am in.
Also on another thread, I think you mentioned the possibility of mediation before litigation - especially now as you and she are not talking. if you can get her to agree to mediation you might be able to include access to the FM Home as part of the discussion. Any agreement you reach is not legally binding, but you would both commit it to paper and agreeing in front of a third party might add weight.

  • Shelia
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18 Aug 07 #2163 by Shelia
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Just wondering, divwiki, have you put yourself on council housing list to be rehoused? I know it would probably be long, but it would be a step in the right direction. Thought of renting privately and leaving her to it? You probably don't want to leave your home, but at least you would feel secure.

I seem to answer your posts and blogs a lot. Hope you don't feel 'stalked' by me! But what you are going through does strike a cord with me.

If you wish me to stop just let me know. I would hate to add to your distress in any way.

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19 Aug 07 #2165 by divwiki
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Sheila Hi,

showing an interest in someone else's distress, particularly when you have empathy for their situation, isn't stalking; it's humanity. I very much appreciate your comments and welcome them.

I have, grudgingly, applied to go on the housing register because the council say if I don't I would be homeless if they evict me as a result of my x2b's decision to give her notice. With the application form I included a letter pleading to stay in the FMH and citing my current health state as mitigation.

Another has suggested that I privately rent or even buy, but if I do either I will lose all council housing rights and my x2b can move straight back in again whilst also claiming a higher settlement via the court for having "lost" her home, work that one out! Also I have what might be an erroneous fear - but nobody's managed to assuage it yet - that if I buy whilst still tecnically married she could be entitled to a share in the equity. I know that she is entitled to a share in the savings that I brought into the marriage (which is frustrating enough) but that's only money - I don't want her having a say in my property after the marriage. That's why I'm trying to get her to agree a cash, Clean Break Consent Order.

Whilst I may not be here much longer, she will only be allowed to gain access to the property until 17th September when her notice period runs out. I'm counting the days...

  • Gogg
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20 Aug 07 #2195 by Gogg
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Hi Jony

I understand your frustrations at her coming and going.

When I split up with my husband I asked him to leave, he still had a key, after several months he started going through my things and coming round when I was out. This obviously stressed me.

After the initial anger and emotion I came to the conclusion that I really wanted to keep the split as amicable as possible. I tried to think of the areas that I didn't want him to go into, my bedroom and the office where I kept all the finances, and I planned to have locks put onto these rooms to help me regain my privacy.

I am glad to say that we are now passed that stage and I have a locked cabinet where I keep all my bank statements etc, but he still has a key, and I allow him access only for the children, he doesn't keep to this 100% but probably about 80% of the time.

I now own the house fully so could take the key off him, but as my children are young have decided that he can have a key until they are older or I find a new man, and want more privacy!!!

I hope you manage to sort this out and try not to get too stressed - we've all been there.

Good luck


  • scottishlady
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20 Aug 07 #2198 by scottishlady
Reply from scottishlady
I'm not sure if this helps.... but my Solicitor told me I COULD change the locks on our family home, even though the house is in my X2B's sole name.... and I did not have to allow him to enter the house....
I think it may be that each case is different... for example... my X2B disappeared over a month ago, wiping out all our savings as he went...
I thought that because the house was a) in X2B's name only, I couldn't really do anything regarding access to the FH.... and b) I was under the impression that I had to allow him access to the FH...... but, according to my solicitor, that is not quite the case.... she said that 'because of my X2B's behaviour it was not unreasonable for me to change the locks and deny him access (if I so wished)'.....
but, again, I stress the point that I think each individual case may be different... perhaps, if there is 'contact' between the parties involved, the 'advice' given may be different...

Kindest Regards & Best Wishes

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