Thanks for reply.
To clarify the situation regarding tax credits.
My wife returned to South Africa in December 2009 barely four months after we arrived.
I applied in Jan 2010 as a married person for tax credits. I was contacted by the HMRC where I informed them that my wife had returned to South Africa and was told to re-submit my application as a single parent.
She returned in March then left for SA again a month later.
She then returned to the UK again in June 2010 and as far as I know, has been in the UK since.
I informed the HMRC that she had returned (in June) and had my TC status changed again (from applying as a married person, re-submitting as single parent and now back to a married person or, living with a partner). I may have mentioned to the HMRC telephonically that the marriage had problems and she had left for SA but then many marraiges have problems resulting in temporary breakups.
As a result of this, I have incurred a lesser TC figure which effectively means I have to repay money.
My wife can state that she had good grounds to return to SA in 2009 and 2010 as her father was sick and passed away in 2010 after she returned to the UK; she was unable to attend the funeral simply due to financial limitations.
I do not know whether she is officially paying rent where she lives now or is merely "working" for her rent by cleaning, washing etc for the people that live there.
She is working full time as a care worker at a home for disabled. Her mail is still received here and as she is still listed here on the voters roll.
Neither she nor I can afford any more legal expenses but I also do not want to put myself on the wrong side of the law. Having said that, the fact that there is a good chance she would be allowed to remain based on family rights etc does remove some of the weight on my consciance should I sign the ILR application as the end result would hopefully be the same.
I suppose everything has to be verbal as any signed agreements between my wife and I would be evidence to contradict the application.
So, by changing my status with the HMRC to single parent but informing the UKBA that we are living together would be fraud, what would it amount to by not changing the status with HMRC and informing the UKBA that we are living as man and wife even though I have not informed them that she has temporarily moved out? (I have read on the UKgov sites that I am obliged to inform the UKBA of any chnages in the marriage).
Unfortunately, the lawyer I have dealing with is on holiday until end of August and I don't want his partners to take up the case.
In fact I will have to make a decsion today.