An interesting call was received at the offices one afternoon when a woman asked whether she would have to leave the family home as she had committed adultery – her husband had advised her this was the case.
There are a lot of women who feel as vulnerable, frightened and confused as this caller especially if they feel that are the cause of the breakdown and have been reliant on their partner financially. My simple answer was NO.
Any woman contemplating divorce should firstly seek expert advice from a family law specialist. Her wishes will be allayed and she will learn how to deal with and address her concerns which construe around the following:
- Will the children live with me?
Mothers will be most anxious as to the care arrangements for their children upon divorce. Do not seek to “use” the children in the hope of gaining a more “successful” settlement as this inevitably back fire and the children suffer unnecessarily. Write down the routine that the children are used to and then try to draw a timetable as to the days that each parent can spend with them to include face time and calls that will best suit the children’s routine. This timetable can then be discussed with father either directly, through mediation or through solicitors. An amicable approach will least harm your children but do not be pressurised into agreeing something that you are unhappy with and / or does not suit the children’s needs.
- Will I lose the house?
Most likely no, especially if your children are involved. You will need to gather as much information as possible regarding your and your partner’s finances in terms of income, capital (i.e property equity, value of investments, savings etc) pensions and debts to discover the “worth” of the family pot. You should then seek advice from a specialist family lawyer who will assist in providing you with advice as to how to split the “pot” to meet your needs and those of any dependents.
- How will I cope with the bills?
If you are in a position that your income is not sufficient to meet everyday expenses or if you have no income, then this can be worrying. If you have been reliant on your partner to pay for all bills then this may be able to continue after divorce. A list of all expenses should be made to include haircuts, holidays, presents, and cleaners etc to ascertain exactly what is needed. A separate list detailing the children’s needs should also be made to include school fees, extracurricular activities etc. A specialist lawyer can then advice on how these needs can be met depending on you and your partner’s income positions.
- How will I cope generally?
Divorce can be a traumatic time for anyone.