i have been with my husband for 24 yrs we have 2 children aged 20 and 16 who both still live at home, the youngest is still in full time education.for various reasons i want a divorce, my husband says he will not sign.also we have an o/s mortgage on the family home of 200k.also we own other properties which we rent out.some of these are in joint names and the rest are solely in his.some of these have no mortgage on and others still have mortgages on.i have been a full time housewife throughout the marriage.my husband also has a full time job earning around 45k.
i would like to know what i am entitled to. also is it true that if he does not sign divore papers after 2 years goes through automatically, also during these 2 years how do i live when the assets have not been split.also i am disabled and receive dla of 60 per week also child benefit of 20 per week for youngest son.my husband insists on not moving out and i have nowhere to go or no savings to be able to rent.am i entitled to a share of these properties and will they have to be sold to be able to gain my share.my husband will not negotiate and tells me he does not have to sell the houses as they are a business and as they are earning money from rent that he does not have to sell them.is this true and what can i do?
First of all, as regards divorce. You don't say what your reasons are, but you could divorce now, without having to wait, if you are able to establish that your husband has been guilty of adultery or unreasonable behaviour .
' Unreasonable behaviour ' is not the same as ' cruelty ' ( which is what it used to me when I was a law student ! ) ( a long time ago now ! ) and generally speaking the ' allegations ' do not have to be serious ; on the whole it is usually better if they are kept reasonably bland, the sort of things that don't reflect on him as a person, which make it more likely that he will let the divorce go through without bothering to contest it.
Divorce after 2 years with consent, I'm afraid, means just that - no consent, no divorce, and you may in that case be faced with the prospect of waiting for five years. So you may find there is little alternative to the adultery/unreasonable behaviour route, but suffice it to say that it is very rare for a divorce petition on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour to be contested. From what you say, I get the impression that relations between you are more than a little strained.
As regards what you are ' entitled to ' - well, I would need to know a good deal more than what you have put here, but let's make a few general statements, madam, and you can follow up if necessary.
Absolutely the Court's first priority is to make sure that both of you have somewhere to live, especially if there are dependent children. In most cases there is only one house, and two into one won't go. But in this case there are more than one - you don't say how many. I personally think your husband's arguments are shallow and would not stand up in Court for one nanosecond. After a long marriage you are entitled to a fair share of the family assets. He is trying to bully and intimidate you, and I advise you not to worry too much. It is he who should be worried !
My gut feeling is that you will be entitled to half the assets after such a long marriage. Does he have a pension ? You could be entitled to a share. In addition, in your case, if you are disabled, spousal maintenance is a definite possibility and could well be for life. Your position is much stronger than you think.
However, I do have to say that I cannot offer you much in the way of specific advice, because to do that, I, or any solicitor, would need to have the full facts. Could you be entitled to legal aid ? It is a possibility worth exploring, although I have to add that legal aid is only a loan and has to be repaid, but in your case I think you could expect to recover enough assets to make this realistic. As a start, you need to consider your grounds for divorce, if I can put it that way. If you want to send a PM, please feel free.