Hi - I served a divorce petition on my husband almost 3 years ago following domestic violence incident perpetrated by him in front of our children - my son who at the time was 10 years old rang the police. Husband was arrested but I did not press charges (biggest mistake). I filed for divorce soon after - for 1st year he completely ignored all solicitors letters (didn''t acknowledge petition either). Managed to get him to attend mediation - which was a waste of time and money. After Mediation another year went by with my husband burying his head in the sand. The problem is that for the last 4 years my husband hasn''t worked, not contributed financially, doesn''t help with the children in anyway nor does he do any housework but he remains in our house(kooped up in his room watching TV!). Court proceedings started beginning of last year - it''s a long process when the other party doesn''t want to play ball. Anyway - I finally had the FDR yesterday but no settlement was reached as what my husband wanted is so outrageously inconceivable that I could no way agree. This guy doesn''t take care of his health and he has had two minor heart attacks....yet he continues to smoke. At the FDR his solicitor basically wants me to give him enough money so that he can re-house himself mortgage free on the basis that he is too ill to work and will not be able to obtain a mortgage yet my husband feels he needs a 3-bed property? The leech has tried every possible angle and has constantly threatened to serve residence order even though he knows that he is not able to look after the children - nor do the children want to stay with him. He is trying to get residency of the children with the sole intention of staking a larger share of the assets and has stooped as low as saying I am violent to my children. I feel frustrated because our roles are reversed ...normally it''s the woman who usually seeks the larger share. The difference here is that I am the primary carer of the children and financially support them, take care of the meals, the housework and am on a average salary doing the best I can. To top it all off, at the FDR my husbands solicitor wants me to pay £100 a week maintenance! (He knows what he can do with that!) Please can someone who may be in a similar situation to me be able to offer some advice. We are expected to have a final hearing sometime in July. Many thanks
I''m not saying it will happen in your case, but I was the parent with the majority of care and earned more than my ex so the assets were split in his favour and I paid spouse maintenance.
In England & Wales assets are shared according to a checklist and usually the needs of the parties come at the top or near the top of the list. Dependent children under 18 are the priority so if the children are to live with you most of the time your will need adequate housing. However, that has to be balanced against your husband''s need for housing somewhere suitable for the children to stay over night.The aim is to leave both parties on a similar financial footing, although not necessarily a mathematical 50:50.
Your husband''s earning potential is a factor. To resolve the question of his fitness it would be reasonable to ask for evidence that he is medically unfit to work. If he isn''t fit then presumably he can claim benefits that need to be taken into account.
Spouse maintenance has to be seen in context of the overall facts.Posters would need to know the value of any assets (including pensions) and liabilities in sole or joint names, respective incomes from all sources, duration of the relationship (marriage+any co-habitation before), ages,the number of any children, their ages and the average number of nights per week with each parent to give an informed opinion. Also it would be useful to know the opinion of the judge at the FDR.
Hi Fiona - thanks for your reply. I am real worried as surely the courts will consider who the children want to stay with. In my case I am the primary carer and although my husband is trying to work the angle that as he is not working, he can spend more time with the children - he is not the capable parent as he has never seen to the basic needs of the children. I am perplexed as to why a court would want to hand over children to the parent who is not fully able to see to their needs and that children should be have the right to stay in a home that is kept habitable and in a stable, safe environment.
At the FDR we made an offer of around £100k and my husband retaining property/land worth around £45k in India and I stay in the FMH - which he rejected. The judge''s opinion based on all the factors was that the offer I made (although not said in so many words) was more likely a feasible option than the one proposed by the other side - for me to take out a huge mortgage so that husband can live mortgage free.
If your husband claims to be unfit for work is he fit/capable enough to care for the children?
Children''s wishes and feelings are considered in light of their age and maturity and the other Welfare Checklist factors. The views of teenagers carry considerable weight but it is adults who make the decisions. When there is a history of shared care shared residence is likely. although shared residence doesn''t need to be 50:50, it can be in different proportions. If parents cannot reach agreement a judge decides what is in the best interests of children.
Generally it is agreed that a child''s sense of security and established bonds shouldn''t be disrupted if children are surviving satisfactorily. Courts rely on evidence and when there is a dispute about the care of children that is the pattern of work and child care is important.
Child care includes the nuts of parenting eg the taking and collecting to and from school; who does the trips to doctors and dentists; taking the children to activities, shopping for food, clothes and shoes; washing and ironing children''s clothes and preparing their food.