How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Thomas Your Own Question
Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 7617
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
Type Your UK Family Law Question Here...
Thomas is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Hello, My marriage has broken down. I believe it is now

This answer was rated:


My marriage has broken down. I believe it is now beyond repair. I no longer feel safe staying with my husband. I dont know what comes next. And I have lots of questions.

Who do I speak to? Do I need a lawyer in court? Does it need to go to court? We have no children and are renting the property we stay in. The only thing that we both own is a joint account which currently has no money in it.

Please help!


Hi Anthea

Thanks for your question.

To enable me to answer your question could you please respond to the following:-

  • 1. Has your partner committed adultery
  • 2. Do you consider that his behaviour has been unreasonable towards you

Kind regards.


Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Hi Tom,


I tried to edit my original question but couldnt.

He has not committed adultery. He is a borderline alcoholic, drinking on average 3 bottles of spirits (eg: Vodka, Jack Daniels etc) a week.


He blames me for everything, and I feel myself defending myself to him if I go to visit a friend or use the car.


Hi Anthea,

Thanks for your reply


If you do not wish to separate and then wait for two years to divorce with his consent, or wait for 5 years and divorce without his consent then your only option is to petition on the basis of his unreasonable behaviour.


For this, You would have to list 5-6 examples of his unreasonable behaviour towards you. The should mostly be related to his most recent behaviour and it can be things like not speaking to you, providing you with emotional support, verbal (eg. Nagging, insults etc) or physical abuse, unwillingness to engage in typical things that married people do (socialising, eating together, planning practical matters together), not contributing towards the expenses of accommodating yourself and the children, not engaging in physical affection, not helping you with children.


Typically, it is best to list each examples in the following order

  • 1) First occurrence
  • 2) Worst Occrrence
  • 3) Most Recent.


There is lots of useful advice for lay persons considering divorce here:-

You should consider mediation, where an impartial family practitioner will arbitrate between you both in order to attempt to achieve your separation/divorce in the most amicable way possible.

If there are no assets of the marriage then it will be relatively simply in terms of financial settlement. If you are jointly named on a tenancy agreement then the liability will be joint and several, which measn that the landlord can sue either or both of you if any arrears accrue (regardless of who is actually living there).

You can ask a solicitor to draft the petition for you, or you can do it yourself. If neither of you instruct solicitors then the judge will likely ask that you attend court to check that you are both aware of the implications of your divorce.

It is important that if you are cohabiting together that you are effectively separated although you are living under the same roof (ie. no social life, not sleeping together not eating together etc).


If this has been useful please kindly click accept so that I may be rewarded for my time. If you do not click accept your money stays with the site and I do not receive any credit for the time I have taken to answer your question.


I will answer your follow up questions you may have.

Kind regards,



Thomas and other UK Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Hi Tom,


Thank you for your help. This is a good start for me. I really want to separate and divorce him. I know he will fight me on it though. I told him before that I want to separate from him, and he said in retaliation that I should get a good lawyer because he's going to sue me for everything. (Can he do that, or is that just a threat?)


If I move out of the house, but still pay the rent for another two months so that the landlord doesnt sue, will that effectively mean we have separated? Or do I still need to formally draft the petition to say that we have separated?





How long have you been married please?


Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Tom, it will be 3 years on October 25th.





If you don't have any assets then he cannot attempt to claim anything from you as part of the marimonial setttlement. As you have been married for a short time only then your respective assets that you acquired before you married would not be included in the matrimonial asset pool over which you would reach a settlement.


It does not sound as if he knows what he is talking about frankly.

Kind regards,


Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Hahahahaha! You've just made my day Tom!


You've given me some hope of getting away from this angry mean man, and pointed me in the right direction for the future. I cant thank you enough for your help.


Im sending a handshake / pat on the back / hug and a big smile with this last message.

Have a lovely weekend.




Thanks, have a pleasant weekedn as well but please try to approach the situation as amicably as possible as it's obviously very delicate for you both.

Kind regards,