hello, i have posted on here once before and found the information very helpful:) i am just after any advice really, i am seriously considering divorce but don''t know where to start, our home is in my husbands name only and the advice previously was for me not to leave the home, if i did leave temporarily to stay with family could i go back? can he prevent me from returning? will i be entitled to anything from the home if its sold? would there be a possibility i could live there with the children for a number of years? i do not work and have three children under 6 and understand i would be entitled to some help/benefits if i was on my own. any advice/help would be greatly appreciated as i am unable to use the telephone and find this website and the information contained in it very helpful. many thanks
3star - I won''t comment on the house as I''m no legal expert but yes, the advice is usually to stay.
However, if you were to leave, I suspect you would be eligible for housing benefit, council tax benefit, Income Support, child tax credit on top of your child benefit. With three children, you''d have cash in hand of approx £1000 a month, plus your house paid for (although you might have to top up the rent - I don''t know housing benefit rules enough to really be able to comment any further). On top of that, if you were to find minimum wage work for at least 16 hours a week, you''d be better off as you''d also qualify for help with childcare and working tax credit. For any child under 4 that you have, you''d receive £3.10 a week in healthy start vouchers and you''d be eligible to claim child maintenance from your ex. Maintenance is not counted as income so you can have that on top of all the rest of it!
Your local council will possibly be able to help with a deposit for a privately rented property and you could put your name down on the housing list - it varies from area to area but you''d probably be entitled to a 3 bed property with 3 children. Where I used to live (in the south east) the wait was approx 5 years so private renting is probably your best option. Have a look on your local council''s website and give them a call.
To calculate use: www.entitledto.org.uk
and the CSA has a calculator on their site (or it might be on directgov these days, they keep changing it around!).
I suggest an appointment at your CAB in the first instance to check everything but I had three children under 6 (well 2, I was also pregnant) when my ex walked out and that''s what it was for me.
Hopefully that makes you feel a little easier. There are various payments that can be made to help you get back to work - a Lone Parent Advisor at the Jobcentre will be able to help with that. Just be aware that the expectation now is that once your youngest child reaches 5, you are expected to work - your Income Support claim would end and you''d end up on Job Seekers Allowance. It has recently changed from age 7 and I believe recently again from age 11 so just be aware of it - there''s a lot of confusion and people do tell you the wrong age (including people at the Job Centre!). Whilst on Income Support, you will get free legal advice and possibly some support towards studying so it really is an opportunity to look at your long term options and make the most of it. You can even volunteer in your chosen field whilst on Income Support, providing you let them know, so it really is an opportunity to start over. It is very true that money is thrown at single mums with young children!