Dear Miss Jones
Firstly, I am sorry to hear about your situation. You deserve better than this.
My first thought is, could you qualify for legal help ? I don't know, but this was my first thought - I reproduce the following from the CAB website called adviceguide.
What are the financial conditions for Legal Help
Legal Help if you're getting benefits
If you’re getting Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or the guarantee credit part of Pension Credit, you’ll automatically qualify for Legal Help. Also, you'll automatically qualify for Legal Help if you're an asylum seeker getting government asylum support. Otherwise you have to meet both income and capital conditions.
Legal Help if you have income
If your gross monthly income is over £2,435 you won't get Legal Help. 'Gross income' means before tax and national insurance are taken off and it excludes certain social security benefits. If you have more than four children, this limit goes up by £205 for the fifth and each additional child. You have to include your partner's income unless your partner is the person who you are in dispute with.
If your gross monthly income is £2,435 or less, your solicitor or adviser will then check out what is your disposable income. 'Disposable income' is the amount of income you have left after deductions have been made for national insurance, child support and tax. Also, if you have a partner who isn't earning or if you have children, a certain amount of your income won't be taken into account. If your partner is earning, their income will be taken into account, unless your partner is the person who you are in dispute with.
To qualify for Legal Help, your disposable monthly income can't be more than £672. If you are within this limit, you don't have to pay anything towards Legal Help.
Legal Help if you have capital
If you have disposable capital (savings) of over £8,000, you won't get Legal Help. Disposable capital includes:
* money in the bank
* valuable items
* the value of your home (if you own it). This depends on how much the property is worth and how much your mortgage is.
You have to include your partner's capital unless your partner is the person who you are in dispute with.
If you're getting Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance or the guarantee credit part of Pension Credit, you'll automatically get Legal Help regardless of the value of your home or of any other capital you have.
More information about financial eligibility for Legal Help
If you want more information about whether you qualify for Legal Help, visit the Legal Services Commission website, where there is a leaflet called 'A practical guide to Community Legal Service funding by the Legal Services Commission'. The address is:- www.legalservices.gov.uk/public/help/leaflets.asp
. There's also an online calculator which helps you work out if you can get Legal Help. Go to www.clsdirect.org.uk
The second bit of ' safe ' advice I can give you is that it is always worth visiting a CAB and asking for a benefit check. That costs you nothing.
Next comes the issue of the house. As you have a dependent child, Courts will always give priority to the needs of the parent who looks after the child. In practice this means that you will have the right to live there as long as the child is still dependent, after which it may be sold, but there are a number of options open to a Court which I won't explain at this stage for fear of landing you with information overload.
Then there is the issue of child maintenance
and the CSA. I confess I'm not much of an expert on this. The CSA website is a start but I don't think all that much of it.
In fact I don't think much of the CSA as an institution !
I would honestly like to have a Big Think about your case as it is obviously complicated. There are quite a few very experienced people who contribute regularly to this site and who, though not necessarily legally qualified, do know a fair bit about it. I'd be interested to hear what they think.
I may come back when my head has cleared !
With every good wish