I have started divorce proceedings , my situation is that we own a house jointly with 2 small children, with a large mortgage with little or no equity, we are on a paymnet holiday until september when he wants the house to be sold, he has good earning capacity but choosing not to work so therefore is pleading poverty and not helping me with any money for kids or myself, what can the court do to make sure he will pay the mortgage or maintance, will they ask the house to be sold, i do not work and have not got a high earning capacity , does anyone have any advice on what to do, i feel like every corner i turn is a dead end. any advice will be gratefully received
The sudden loss of work is a very common tactic amongst high earners who suddenly realise the financial losses they face from an english divorce.
It is something the courts see all the time and the judge will want to hear evidence from both sides to establish the earning capacity of the individual.
It makes a difference if he voluntarily stopped working or was sacked/had compulsory redundancy.
It may backfire a little cos you or your solicitor can argue that he is deliberately avoiding work and this demonstrates that you cannot be certain of future maintenace payments, and so argue that you should be awarded most or all of the capital.
Not wishing to monpolise the postings, I thought I would wait and see if anyone else responded, but as nobody has done, here are a few thoughts.
Your situation is, unfortunately, not all that uncommon. Your husband has to live on something but he may have income and is not letting on about it. You say that he could work if he chose. That means that he has an earning capacity, and in theory the Court could order him to pay you something in the hope that he would get work because only in this way he he comply with the order. In theory he could be imprisoned but that, from your point of view, defeats the object - if he's inside, he has no money. The Court can't force your husband to work, like some colonial slave owner, and stand over him all day with a whip.
So I think you need a plan B - what to do if you lose your home.
The good news, from your point of view, is that if you become homeless you would have a priority need because of your kids and the Council should re-house you. I hope that makes you feel a little better.
What I would do is :
1. Go to Shelter. Failing that, a welfare rights Centre. These people have a lot of experience in dealing with cases like yours. Your average High Street solicitor isn't likely to be much use here - Shelter are the experts and their advice is free.
2. Get a benefit check, both now and also on the basis of what your situation will be if you divorce. In my view this is essential. A CAB is the place to get it.
3. Be aware that the local authority may argue you are intentionally homeless. They tend to do that, whether you are or not. On the basis of the limited information you have giiven I think you are probably not - but I need to know more to advise properly.
4. Try not to worry too much. There is help out there and it's a case of making use of it.