My wife of 7 years abandoned me, our home and our 3 dogs 6 weeks ago. She is refusing to enter into any dialogue about the future, but she is insistent that our marriage is over. I am currently out of work, and she has been the sole bread-winner for the last six months. Am I currently being treated for depression by my GP and receiving counselling. What are my rights in terms of being able to stay in our jointly-owned (for 10 years) home, custody of the dogs, and short and longer term financial support from my estranged wife?Many thanks
Province/Country relating to question : UK
HiHow long have you lived together how much is the house worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage.What other assets are there and what income do you each have?Claire
Hi. Thanks for your response. We have lived together for 11 years. The value of the house is approx £180k. Equity in the region of £50k. Have 15 years left on the mortgage. There are many sundry assets in our home that are jointly owned. The main ones are our two cars. My wife earns around £36k per year, and I am currently unemployed.
Relist: Incomplete answer.
HiThank you for your question and welcome to Just Answer. I will try to help with this. Please RATE my answer OK SERVICE or above.I think your expert is probably offline right now as we are all in practice. I will send her a message about this.
Not sure what I have to do now - do I just wait for a response from someone? Thanks
I'm sure she will pick this up soon and you should get an email through.
Oh ok, many thanks for your help
HiMy apologies for the delay.When were you last in work and what could you earn if you were able to work?Claire
Hi, no problem with delay - I'm just very keen to get a quick answer to my immediate problem. Although I am self-employed, I lost my sole contract in December 2011, and I haven't worked in an earning capacity, or been able to draw a wage, since the beginning of this year. My usual earnings were around £20-25k per year. Thanks.
HiIs your ex currently paying the mortgage?Claire
HiYou cannot be forced to leave the house unless you are violent and your ex applies for an order excluding you from the property.In the long term clearly there will have to be a final financial settlement and in the absence of children it is likely that the court will order that the house is sold and the equity divided between you unless one of you wishes to buy the other out.You have a short term claim for Spouse Maintenance - and in the mean time if she leaves the property your only expectation should be that she pays the mortgage whilst matters are being dealt with.You can try and discuss matters with her using Family Mediation (www.familymediationhelpline.co.uk)Claire
Hi Claire. Thanks for your response, very helpful. Am I right in assuming that, because she chose to leave the marital home, that I have a right to remain there until such time as a divorce is finalised? How do I pursue a claim for the short-term spouse maintenance. Also, my original question raised the matter of our 3 dogs - can I apply for some kind of custody order so that they remain with me in their home - obviously I do not want their lives to be upset any more than they already have been. This might seem like quite a trivial point, but those dogs are quite literally our family. Thanks very much for your help so far, I look forward to your response.
HiBoth of you have the right to remain in the property until it is sold or the court makes an order stating otherwise.So far as spouse maintenance is concerned this will be dealt with as part of the financial side of the divorce proceedings.*I am afraid that the dogs are a matter that has to be dealt with by agreement - so far as the courts are concerned they will look at them as possessions and will award them to the person who purchased them.Claire
25 years experience of all aspects of family law
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