A Mothers Guide to Divorce

Mother Divorce

Women often stay in an unhappy relationship, as they fear what will happen to them financially if they were to split from their partner.  Often the husband is the main bread-winner, so the wife worries how she can provide for herself and any children in the event of a split.

The courts will ensure that everyone has a roof over their head especially the prime carer for any children under 18.  So you do not need to worry about living arrangements.  That is assuming you are not escaping an abusive relationship when priorities become much more urgent.

Even if the wife stops work to bring up children, she is seen as playing an equal part to the welfare of the family, and so needs to be given an equal share of assets.  That share is likely to increase depending upon children. The courts in England and Wales are considered the most favourable in the world for the financially weaker spouse (usually the wife).  A 50/50 share of marital assets is the norm, but this can lean further in favour of the main carer to the children.

Unfortunately, in most cases, there aren’t huge pots of money involved, so the reality is that there is simply not enough money to provide for the needs of both parties, and this can sometimes result in what appears to be an unfair solution, with one party receiving a lot more than the other.  This assumes the main bread-winner is better equipped to recover financially after the divorce.  The stay-at-home mum has less ability to secure a mortgage, so will usually get the main share of the assets.

What happens in the short-term?

When you decide to divorce, it is best to continue living in the marital home, unless circumstances prevent this.  You can stop living as husband and wife under the same roof in the eyes of the court.  If this is possible, it will be easier financially on the both of you.   However, there are certain conditions you must maintain if you want to divorce whilst still living together.

Here is a list of things that you need to do if you want to maintain that you are living separately during your divorce.

  • Sharing a bedroom
  • Socialising together
  • Eating meals together
  • Sharing a bank account
  • Both participating in children activities
  • Sharing the shopping

The judge may question your living arrangements if you live in the same house.  However, an amicable divorce can be achieved if you make effort to keep the costs are kept down.

Domestic Abuse

The courts define domestic abuse as follows:

Any incident of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to:

  • psychological
  • physical
  •  sexual
  • financial
  • emotional

If you are a victim of domestic abuse, the idea of going to court to get an injunction can be terrifying.  To stop the abuser contacting you or forcing them to leave the house is a very tough decision to make. The abuser often use statements like these to prevent you from getting a divorce:

  • If you make me leave I won’t pay the mortgage and you won’t have a home
  • No one will believe you
  • You leave, but you can’t take the kids with you
  • If you leave, you will lose your rights to the house
  • It is your fault that this is happening

All of these are bullying tactics to prevent you from taking steps to divorce.  They are also abusive.  It will be hard to take a stand against these manipulative practices. But you owe it to yourself and your children, to make that stand.

For help and advice on abusive relationships visit:

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A Mothers Guide to Divorce was last modified: November 14th, 2018 by John Fuller

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