In the last few days my whole life has gone belly up. I had a monumental row with teenage (15) daughter, which we have had in the past,and always come through,it's normal i'm told! However this time she phoned her father mid-row 400 miles away with work,and he has "popped". There are so many things he hasn't been aware of, ie her self harming,being in therapy, asking gp for help herself etc.We have had many times of strife in our 15.5yr marriage, and started proceedings ten years ago,which were then stopped.Daughter has spent months telling me and anyone else her dad is a w****r etc but now I am the bad guy.Whatever,I feel the marriage is limping to a messy end.
We have a good life, one child as above. House worth £400000 with £40000 mortgage.He has income approx £4500 month plus benefits. I retired from work seven years ago with breakdown,now have pension £1300 month net.He came to relationship with nothing.I inherited from parents and put £70000 into house worth £98k so small mortgage.We then paid it off,mainly through his hard work and savings.Bought new house with proceeds of old one,plus my pension lump sum,plus more savings,hence small mortgage. I have PEP which I took out when parents died,solely to finance future uni education for child,which they would have done had they lived.We have good lifestyle,daughter has horses competes to high level.I fund most of this,entry fees,diesel etc.I am constantly overdrawn,and made to feel worthless because he "works 70hrs a week you do nothing" I know this is jealousy,after all,I put most if not all of my income into family,no clothes,no hairdos,leaky boots,and it's not inconsiderable,and most of the domestic drudge gets done.I am so scared of the future,truly suicidal yesterday, how will I get on, he will be so vindictive.He may refuse to leave house,but I have nowhere to go and no family whatsoever.our daughter has school locally,horses at home and all the usual ties.I am scared if he does leave he will stop all monies into the house,and I cannot afford to run it.I tried to speak to a solicitor but only got a clerk,who would give me no advice at all,without £300 up front and £175 per hour.For me,that may as well have been £3000 for all the chance I have of finding it. I feel physically sick at the thought of the fight to come,as I've been there with him before,but ran out of strength.What sort of financial settlement could I hope for and can I really get through this,since at the moment I really doubt it.People see our life and think we have it all,but it's not like that underneath.
I am sorry to hear about your difficulties ; I must say that your case sounds complex and I would need more information before I could give you any information which would be of any use.
One very important preliminary issue is, who owns the house ? Is it in joint names or just one of you ? If it's in the sole name of your husband you need to act immediately to protect your rights, but from what you say it is probably in joint names, which would be less worrying.
Next, I would like to know your ages, I'm afraid, it could be relevant. Also, can you tell me if your husband has a pension from his employment.
I may be speaking out of turn here, but I would at least ask you the question - and only you can answer it for yourself - is whether your marriage is really beyond repair or whether the three of you can sit down and have a long hard talk, with counselling if necessary, and try and work out the way forward. This is a difficult question to ask, ma'am, because I am not really a counsellor, but I think you all have to face the fact that divorce almost always means a reduction in lifestyle all round.
All I can tell you now is that, from the very limited information I have, I don't think things will be as bad as you fear they might be. I hope I will be able to offer you some reassurance. My wife in her time was an event rider and a dressage judge, so believe me, I know about horses and how much of an effort they can be ! Anyway, I am here for you and I hope that I can offer you some help.
Thank you so much. My daughter and I have had rows in the past,she's that age for heaven's sake! However,by ringing her dad she knew exactly what she was doing. He came home last night and was really lovey with her,funny how she quickly forgets all the times he has totally humiliated her in public,again the age.However,he totally ignored me,not one word,went to bed,slept on his side,left again this morning.I don'teven know when he's back.My daughter informed me that on saturday I have eight girls in the house overnight.No one asked me or even had the courtesy to tell me.Daddy can play a very good,clever game,and nothing he says or does is ever without full knowledge of the implications.
The house is in joint names. I am 43, he is 41.
As for pension, he has changed companies so often that a pension has never lasted,when he left,he took the money.He never took out a private one, on the theory that when he retired the mortgage would be over and that would suffice.My pension is a police ill health/injury on duty pension and on death it does not pass to spouse.We have a holiday booked and paid for to leave in ten days, long haul. I don't know how to deal with this.Part of me says,I've lived with him,and the mental bullying, for 20 years,so two weeks won't hurt,and why should I miss out,but how can we go under these circumstances.I also refused to go away similarly ten years ago,and he took our daughter,then five,to south america.I am scared of how he could manipulate her this time.In my heart I know it is over,too many things have been said to forget.I always knew the bike would be some sort of catalyst,just not quite how. They were taken off a sportsbike in 2005,and my daughter is still suffering from injuries,although they were not lifethreatening.But it has affected her daily life.She struggles to ride one a day,and will need to ride six plus.she will have arthritis in joints.I saw her go into hospital on spinal board and really never wanted her to go back on a bike.Last weekend daddy took her out,bought full leathers,new lid,left them in car overnight so I didn't see them,and took her out the next day.I was told I had no say in the matter."eventing more dangerous,she'd get back on a horse. There are two of us and only one of you" I can see the point,but I felt it was underhand and deceitful.Also,there is not much risk of some idiot pulling out in front of you and bouncing you down a tarmac road at 60-70mph.At the end of the day,daughter will side with daddy because she loves the thrill.I would never have been happy,but if only they hadn't been so underhand.Is there a list somewhere of family law solicitors who offer an initial free interview?
wikivorce has recently started a list of solicitors that you can search on various criteria including "Free initial Consultation".
Look under "Resources" on main menu >> "Directory Of Solcitors"
However, they only launched this directory a couple of weeks ago and they are waiting for solicitors to 'register' in the list - so it is a little sparse at the moment.
Also look in the "Resources" >> 'Top Divorce Sites' section - there are too interesting Divorce Solicitor Associations "Collaborative Family Law Group" and "Resolution" whose members are supposed to deal with divorce in a professional and collaborative/amicable way - avoiding courts if possible.
DBNO is quite right in what he says, and I endorse all of it, but I just have a feeling that 30 minutes is not going to be enough , or anything like enough, to deal with a problem like yours. I am sure you will need advice sooner or later, it's just a question of the right time to seek it.
There is one thought that keeps on coming through my mind, and it goes something like this.
One of the Court's priorities has to be to try and make sure that both of you are adequately housed. Where there are children involved - as is the case here - what normally happens is that the child(ren) stay with the mother. In most cases this has the practical consequence that the wife will be given the right to right to stay in the marital home until the child(ren) reach majority. At this stage a number of things can happen, but let's leave that to one side for the moment. This is a very potted summary of the
normal type of outcome, and inevitably there are exceptions.
But in your case, your daughter is 15, and, from what I can gather, a rather strong minded young lady. At this age children are old enough to express a view. The difficult question I want to raise with you is - if, purely for the sake of argument, you do split, do you think your daughter would have any strongly held views as to whether she preferred to stay with her mother, or her father ?
I mention this because the Courts always put the interests of the child(ren) first. In most cases this gives an advantage to the woman, which - speaking as a man here - can operate harshly. If you think your daughter might plump for her father, then I think you probably do need the advice now, but considerations of time may well force you to concentrate on this important preliminary issue, because it my view a great deal could depend on the answer.
up until tuesday,she was adamant she was going to stay with me.she knows that i am the one who is at home,sorts the horses,takes her all over the country,etc.she knows dad can't do that.if she wants to keep them,and we're talking career stuff here,she needs me to do it.the only reason i'm the bad guy,is we had this big fight,and dad will take her out on the bike.it may all change when she realises the implications.if she goes to dad,the horses go too,real life changing stuff.if she stays with me,life goes on pretty much the same,and she'll still get to go out on the bike when she sees her dad.even i can't see taking out an injunction to stop it,however strongly i feel.sounds harsh but that's the reality of it.
I've sold my horses. He ran off with my dressage trainer and I put money into her syndicate - my daughter and son are gutted and I've lost my passion. Doesn't seem fair. Sorry not really the right thread to add this too - but the relevant point is I think your daughter will come back to you. whilst my 6 year old can be wooed with a shetland my son says he won't go to the yard or help HER ever!!
Mike - your wife might even know her! Slim blonde rides Groove Jet?