and thought I'd better introduce myself. My name is, well Nick, you will have guessed that I guess from my user name!
I will have been married 29 years this May and my wife has just started divorce proceedings. This has come as a huge shock. I still love my wife and I really don't want to lose her. We've reached a point in our lives, we are both 50 this year, where I've just about got all our finances, accomodation, i.e house and garden into a position where we are well placed to reap the benefits of a comfortable and rewarding retiterment when the time comes. We have two sons, one of 22 and the other of 15, both at home. We have lived in the same house for 25 years and my life is tied up in the fabric of the building and gardens, workshop, veg,fruit ornamental garden etc all created by me. My wife has no interest in gardening. I personally feel she really has very little substance to found any true claims for divorce but obviously respecting her I don't wish to hold her to a marriage to which she feels is no longer working. There is however a problem which I simply don't know how to deal with. When both our children were born my wife suffered from profound post natal depression and spent several months on both occasions in mental hospitals. She recovered fully but, fairly recently, 3 years ago she suffered the tragic loss of her father and she is also going through the "change" and I am concerned that her hormones may once again be driving her thinking. I am worried that she may be making decisions which will financially at least leave each of us disadvantaged as individuals and I will lose the home and everything embodied within it which has taken a lifetime to build. I really do not know what to do. I have yet to recieve the petition. My wife is expecting us to live "seperate" lives under one roof while our youngest son goes on to take his GCSE's in 2009 but her lawyer has intimated he wants to use unreasonable behaviour as a ground to get me out of the house simply because I shouted, I think rather understandably when she raised the issue of her desire for a divorce for the first time and totally unexpectedly. The vision of losing everything I have strived for was of course devastating. I'm completely bewildered and really do not know what to do for the best!
Your situation sounds very difficult, made worse by your concern for your wife's state of mind.
It doesnt sound unreasonable to me to shout in such a heated moment, but I am not a solicitor.
Remember that solicitors work for their clients and in my experience will tell you anything you want to hear to keep the money rolling in.
Have you tried relationship counselling? That might help your wife and yourself to be clearer about the difficulties you are facing and help you both to make a decision about whats best to do next. If she isn't interested in that I think you may be wise to speak to a solicitor to get a clear view of your rights here and advice on what to do next.
Thank you unic. I am due to see my solicitor on Monday. If for no other reason than to ensure my position is protected. I'm obviously concerned about the scope of costs escalating when the lawyers get involved but at the same time I don't want to let a divorce go by default when I am not commited to it and my wife may not be entierly in command of her decisions at the moment. I did suggest marriage guidance but she is just adamant she wants it to go through and won't consider attending. It's all very frustrating and frightening. I'm trying to be calm and rational, warm and supportive towards my wife. I know there is no one else involved. It just seems so "destructive" at this juncture in our lives and after all these years.
list your questions for the solicitor and keep it to business. U only want to pay the sol for legal advice, leave the emotional stuff to one side.
You both own the house and I fail to see any way she couldget you to leave. Could you buy her out?
I'm certainly going to try and prepare some bullet points for my meeting on Monday. At least the first meeting is free. I have been trying to think about the prospects of buying her out but I really don't think I could afford to at this juncture. When I bought the property it probably only cost me, I say me it was joint names but I've paid all the bills and mortgage etc, about 15% of it's current value with the way property prices have sky rocketed in the interim. I just don't think I have the resources to finance that sort of buy out now. It is certainly something I will be trying to explore. It is really that side of things where I felt that as a couple we were in a sound position but now it all feels a bit like looking into a gaping black hole.
I went through a similar time a few years back and got lots of advice from friends, my outcome was that we stayed together this was manly for the two kids. You must protect yourself but at the same time give her time and try not to respond negatively. If it is the depression causing this situation then things may change for the better, but once the rollercoaster of devoice sets in it may be difficult to take steps back.