My husband has told me he wants a divorce but won't give me a reason. The house is in his name and we've only been married for two and a half years. Do I have rights to any kind of financial settlement?
A marriage is a legal contract, so you do have rights that must be respected.
To get a divorce your husband will need to fill in a 'petition' and take it to any divorce county court or to the Principal Registry in London.
According to the Courts Service, a reason for wanting the divorce must be given. They say that the court will accept one or more of the following grounds as proof:
- That your husband or wife has committed adultery and that you find it intolerable to live with him or her
- That your husband's or wife's behaviour has been so bad that you can no longer bear to live with them
- That your husband or wife deserted you at least two years ago
- That you and your husband or wife have lived apart for two years and he or she agrees to a divorce
- That you and your husband or wife have lived apart for at least five years
Therefore, even if your husband refuses to tell you the reason, he will have to tell the court and you will need to be involved in the process.
If both partners are happy for the divorce to go through, then it might not be necessary to involve solicitors - although it's still wise to get legal advice at the start of the process, perhaps from your local Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB).
In your situation it would certainly seem advisable to seek advice from your CAB or solicitor. The process of divorce has several stages and you are likely to need some help. It's not possible to say for certain what any financial settlement might be, although it will be affected by whether or not you have children. Again, you should seek advice from a CAB or solicitor.
If possible, it will be best to stay on good terms with your husband. You might even suggest getting some outside help from a couples couselling service such as Relate, or a mediation service such as the National Family Mediation Service.
Question answered by CAB