My husband and I have lived separately for two years, although he has been living on and off in our other house for about ten years. So - the separation was never discussed; he just moved out very gradually.
He had been very difficult to live with for many years, and in fact I was treated very badly; was a victim of extreme mental cruelty that went on for years. He recently told me that he had had cancer and had travelled the world looking for a cure. I was stunned that he didn’t tell me, his wife.
During our time apart he has had two girlfriends, both with him for his money. He spent vast amounts of money on the first one, and I was told by a friend that he bought her a house! She definitely had several expensive holidays. My husband took out a mortgage on our second house, probably to buy a house for her. She left him after ten years.
Two years ago I had a house sitter whilst I travelled to the US. My husband met her and invited her to share our second home. She was homeless at the time. My husband’s cancer has returned with a vengeance, and she has been caring for him, very well. However, he is 83, and in bad health. She is 60 and attractive. What I am worried about is that she has taken over everything in his life and made sure she is in with all his neighbours. She shared his bed from the beginning.
it is obvious that she is after the house.
Now, after years apart, he wants a divorce and to marry her. There is still a mortgage on the house they share, which would be my responsibility should he die before me. There is no mortgage on our marital home in which we are tenants in common.
To add to the confusing situation, he has an ex wife who has received alimony for 36 years! She was given the marital home, which she sold for almost £2 million.
He stopped giving me an allowance two years ago but now my income is the housekeeping money he gives me from renting out cottages near our house. I look after our marital home, work hard in the huge garden and the house owns me as I spend so much time keeping it clean and tidy and gardening, as well as helping our daughter with her children sometimes.
After 45 years together, 36 years married, and going through many years of stress because of his ill treatment of me, I am furious that he now wants to make his carer his wife. If he marries her she would have a house and the respect that a widow gets.
I would have cared for him, had he stayed in our marital home.
I have had two men friends, but have never lived with either of them. After years of abuse, without any affection from him (he slept in another room), I was desperate for company and affection, so took a lover. I felt bad about it, as we had three children, who found out, but I couldn’t go through life as it was.
I don’t know where to begin with this problem. I know we have to sell out large marital home, and I just want what I deserve after putting up with a difficult situation for so long.
I do have assets that I am holding on to, from the sale of another house that he forced me to sell. Over half of the money went on our daughter’s wedding, helping clear her debts, home improvements to our marital home, a new (second hand) car, and deposits for homes for our two surviving children (we lost a daughter ten years ago to cancer). I am holding on to the money that is left as I do not know what my future holds.
Ours is a very complicated situation and I do not know where to start. I need help with advice as to what to do, and on inheritance tax. I do not want to spend a fortune on a solicitor. Neither do I want acrimony, now my husband has mellowed and is no longer the cruel person I endured for many years.
After such a long marriage the start point for division of all assets would be 50:50. This would include pension.
If you have been separated for two years you would have to consent to a divorce on those grounds. Otherwise he would have to use other grounds. Adultery would have to be admitted. The grounds would likely have to be unreasonable behaviour.
Either of you can be the petitioner. The reasons for the divorce would have no bearing on the financial settlement.
To work out the financial settlement you need to put together a schedule of all the assets you have between you. This includes property in his sole name.
It is important to have a legally binding financial settlement before any divorce is finalised. He cannot remarry without a Decree Absolute.
You may find our divorce consultant service useful. We cannot however advise on inheritance tax; for that you would need specialist advice. Have a look at the services tab.