I am looking for a bit of advice please, I have done a bit of research and am looking to get the ball in motion re this as soon as possible. I am working abroad and therefore the free 20 min consultation option may not be suitable hence taking to the forum.
I would like to be divorced from my wife, as stated above, I am working abroad and have been for the past nine months or so. This is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.
I have one child that is biologically mine that is six years old and one that is thirteen that is not . The latter is not adopted by me, he does not have contact with his father and hasn't since birth. I wish to continue the relationship with both children, with the eldest still referring to me as his dad etc and I believe this will continue. However, for the purposes of settlement I am making clear my legal obligations as I believe them to be.
I currently pay an assortment of money directly to my wife and pay bills for them (both children reside with her) and a conservative estimate per month for the money/bills that I pay totals approximately 1,300 pounds (no pound symbol on this keyboard). I am looking to reduce this to 1,000 pounds.
I am of the understanding that I am paying well in excess of the minimum amount required by the UK government (and I intend to keep doing so). I can provide evidence in the form of bank statements to attest to the same. Again, I consider it my responsibility to financially provide for the oldest child so I will not strip the payment down to the minimum required for one child, this is not my intention or aim.
My question is, how do I go about initiating a successful divorce, the four grounds that I think I could apply are:
Your husband or wife has behaved in such a way that you cannot reasonably be expected to live with them.
This could include:
verbal abuse, such as insults or threats
drunkenness or drug-taking
refusing to pay towards shared living expenses
Your husband or wife has left you for at least 2 years before you apply for divorce.
You can still claim desertion if you have lived together for up to a total of 6 months in this period, but that will not count towards the 2 years.
You’ve been separated for at least 2 years
You can apply for a divorce if you’ve been separated for at least 2 years before applying for divorce and you both agree to it.
Your husband or wife must agree in writing.
It may be possible for you to show that you’ve been separated while living in the same home as your wife or husband as long as you’re not living together as a couple (for example you sleep and eat apart).
Unreasonable behaviour - my wife hasn't been contributing to the household bills for some time (the duration of our marriage). This was a constant bone of contention but was also a result of her low income etc.
Ultimately I don't want to create a situation where I make the evidence match the facts, but in this situation I don't know what I can do, other than wait another 14 months and then apply for the two year separation divorce.
It is important to know that both children will be treated as children of the marriage and their needs are given equal weight.
Also contributions are counted as equal so it won't make any difference if one party put in more funds.
Unreasonable behaviour is behaviour that means it is unreasonable for the marriage to continue. This can be everything from a withdrawal of love and affection, sleeping separately and refusing to join in with family activities to having an inappropriate relationship with a member of tge opposite sex.
If you do intend to use UB grounds it is a good idea to agree them between you and offer her the chance to be petitioner. It won't make any difference to the financial settlement.
No fault divorce will be coming in at some point but I think it will take longer and you will both need to agree to it.
Financial settlement is based on needs - for housing and income, now and in the future. The needs of the children are especially important.
The start point for division in a marriage with children would be 50:50 of all assets but it could wwll end up different depending on circumstances.