ARCHIVE - Life after abuse
Hi, I have posted on this website over the last year. I have been with my partner for 25 years, We have 3 children. Through out this relationship, my partner has been controlling, emotionally and financially abusive, on occassions shown acts of anger and violence over the years. I jointly own my property with him, and rely on his income. Due to the anxiety and depression of this relationship, I have not been confident enough to work. I have been trying so hard to empower myself, but it is proven very difficult. I would like to know if anyone knows how I stand legally, if I wanted to seperate. I have no access to money, Could I be intitled to benefits ? Do I have to sell my property if we seperate, even though we have children ? It seems like wherever I go, I am not entitled to help because I jointly own a property. I am scared to go to a womens refuge, as my eldest is (removed by moderator) years old, though emotionally he is like a 12 year old, frightened of the world, due to being mugged twice. If anyone can help. I feel like the worlds against me.
Created by set me free on 20-Aug-12 12:39 GMT
Hi set me free,
I think your best bet initially is to try and get a free 30 minute consultation with a solicitor dealing with family law and see what they say. Depending on the value of your property, you may be able to get legal aid if you are not working.
If you are worried about how he'll react if you separate, it is very easy to get an emergency (ex-parte) non-molestation from the courts to protect your safety - a solicitor can advise how to go about it. Since you have dependent children, you may be able to get an Occupation Order to get him out of the property. It's my understanding that you do not have to sell a property if you have dependent children.
Once you have separated, you may be entitled to benefits as a lone parent, including Council Tax benefit. If your youngest is under 7, you may be entitled to Income Support. If your youngest is over 7, and you can show the DWP medical evidence to show you are currently unfit for work, you should be able to claim Income Based Employment Support Allowance (ESA).
However, since he has been the sole breadwinner for many years, the courts may require him to pay you maintenance. Even if he does not pay you maintenance, he will be required to support the children financially.
Please also consider contacting your local domestic abuse service, as they can give you lots of support and advice about housing and benefits, as well as referring you for things like counselling. They can also recommened solicitors with expertise in dealing with domestic abuse.
Finally, please don't hesitate to contact the police if he is violent again. The police take domestic violence very seriously and will take appropriate action against him.
Hope this is helpful,
Love Ash xxx
Posted by Ashley on 20-Aug-12 13:37 GMT
If after you speak to solicitor you decide to remain in your property and he leaves, your house is treated as your home you are occupying and is disregarded as capital, you will not have to sell it.
you need to get solicitor's advice on what happens regarding mortgage payments following the split.
If you leave and rent somewhere else it then it all becomes complex as you have property elsewhere and this may exclude you from benefits, although it can be disregarded for 6 months ish when you can not access this capital.
The best way forward for you if possible would be to see solicitor with a view to getting him to leave but still maintain Housing costs i.e mortgage until your children are grown up.
Regardsx x x
Posted by MJ on 20-Aug-12 14:12 GMT
for both replys to my post, I have obtained a number for a local solicitor, but have not yet had the courage to call them. I also did attend my local womens aid, but other than offer me comfort, there was not much else that they could do for me. The area that I live in is supposed to be an affluent area, so resources for DV, are very poor.
The one thing that I dont understand is, I know that I do not like the type of person that my partner is, he has been awful as a partner and a father, yet I dont feel comfortable legally removing him from the house, I feel guilty. then I ask myself, am I prioritising him over my children, which I thought was something that I would never do. He makes me and my children so unhappy, we have a lovely house, but its just bricks and mortar, not a home. He also knows how to play the system, so I dont think I will ever win.
Thanks to all for reading and listening, its nice to know that this support is here. I feel that its a dog eat dog world, and that family and friends pretend to listen, but are not interested in giving real support. maybe its just me feeling sorry for myself, who knows.
love to all suffering kelly
Posted by set me free on 20-Aug-12 14:38 GMT
I am sorry to hear that your relationship is causing so much anxiety and stress. It is no wonder you have no strength to seek employment. Please do not feel so helpless, you have been empowering yourself by trying to get support.
Please do not feel guilty about any action that you need to take to make your home a safe and loving place for your children, you all deserve a much brighter future. A refuge is not the only option to help you out of this situation, so you really do not need to feel compelled to follow that route if you don’t want to.
Ashley and MJ have given you really sound advice, which I hope you can take forward. You might also want to contact the DAME Project (Domestic Abuse, Money & Educationan) who operates a confidential telephone support line for anyone experiencing financial abuse. You can contact them on 01323 635987.
Turn2us can help you access any benefits and grants you might be entitled to.
If you do consider taking out an occupation order to remove your husband from the property you can contact the 24/7 National Centre for Domestic Violence on 0844 8044 999, who specialises in injunctions.
As explained whichever avenue you take consider getting some good legal advice. Rights of Women are a voluntary organisation offering free confidential legal advice on all family law issues.
I hope you find some of this information useful to get you started. Please let us know how you are getting on
Posted by WA Moderator on 20-Aug-12 14:58 GMT
these names and numbers will be of a great help. Thank you so much. The only problem is that I have push myself to phone them.
(removed by moderator)
Posted by set me free on 21-Aug-12 08:22 GMT