Home > Legal > How Divorce Works For Fathers

How Divorce Works For Fathers

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 16 Aug 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Separated Dads Divorce Marriage Decree

Divorce is what legally ends the marriage between you and your former partner resulting in a decree nisi and a decree absolute. It can be simple, or a lengthy, contentious process, depending on the parties involved, and how they agree to divide property and assets.

Concerning children, divorce can be equally straightforward or problematic. You will have Parental Responsibility for the children born in wedlock with your partner. You will have to Pay Child Support, or maintenance, which can be worked out with your ex or a monthly sum mandated by the Child Support Agency (CSA), depending on your income.

Working Out Of Court

This is the easiest way, if you can reach an agreement in direct negotiation with your ex or through mediation. There’s less acrimony and generally a much better atmosphere to the proceedings and you can take the agreement to court, and it becomes legally valid if signed by the solicitors employed by you and your ex.

Be aware, however, that mothers have flouted these agreements in the past, and some will again. If so, you’ll need to obtain a court order to have them enforced, and even then those might be breached. A great deal depends on the goodwill between you and your former partner.

In Court

Some feel it is better if you represent yourself in court, using someone called a McKenzie Friend, who is a person familiar with experience of the legal and divorce processes. Others feel your interests will be better served by employing a solicitor to argue your case for you.

In the case of an acrimonious divorce, you might find your ex making accusations against you. You’ll need to be prepared for this. If you’ve had contact with your children before the divorce hearing, keep a parenting diary with full details of the contacts, dates, etc adding photographs if possible.

Where children are old enough to voice opinions, their wishes are taken into account by the court regarding contact and residence. Another important part of the proceedings is the Cafcass Report, where both parents, other carers, teachers and others are interviewed to reach a determination. Courts mostly follow all the recommendations of the report. However, if you’re unhappy with any part of it, you can challenge that, or even request a new report by another officer.

The tradition in contact tends to be every other weekend and half the school holidays with you, with your children spending the rest of the time with their mother. However, it’s quite possible to suggest other arrangements, especially if that’s what your children desire. Joint residency, for example, is a relatively new concept here, but one which is widely practiced in Europe and gaining traction in America.

Things You Should Do

Keep up your maintenance payments, making them on time and in full. This shows responsibility to your children and eliminates at least one legal hold your ex might have over you. If unemployment or other factors make payment impossible, keep full records and present them to the court.

If possible, create a co-parenting plan with your ex. This can help head off any future problems and means you really are putting your children first.

Finally, never use your kids to pass messages to your former partner. Keep them above the problems you two have.
For more information about the Cafcass family report - see here.

Separated Dads Chat Room & Forum

Check out the Separated Dads Forum... It's a great resource where you can ask for advice on topics including Child Access, Maintenance, CAFCASS, Fathers Rights, Court, Behaviour or simply to have a chat with other dads.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
I have removed myself from the family home due to separation. We have a joint mortgage and I am paying half that and also paying child maintenance. I have agreed to pay half mortgage for 12 months to let her sort herself out and then we are going to talk about the house/mortgage then. She has just called and said; she has looked into the mortgage and I'm legally required to pay half until my children have left full time education? Is this true and is there away to remove myself from the mortgage if she isn't willing to sell or buy me out?
Barry - 13-Aug-17 @ 9:16 AM
@LP - You can refuse to sell and then your ex would have to take the matter to court and the court would decide what it thinks is in the best interests of your children. It would be more straightforward if you were the primary carer, then the court wouldn't force you to sell and would let you stay in the house until your youngest was 18. It might be a different story if you have shared care.
NickU - 26-Jun-17 @ 4:25 PM
Hi, i am the farther and have shared residency of our 2 children, 10yrs (boy) and 14 years (girl) and remain in the matrimonial home whilst my ex resides in a large house with her new partner. My ex wants me to sell the matrimonial home asap to release her share of the equity.If i were to do this i would only be able to purchase a 1/2 bed property which would obviously be a problem bearing in mind the sexes of my children. I am of the opinion i should be allowed to remain in the property until my youngest is 18years and then sell as my ex's housing needs are catered for. Can anyone shed any light on this for me?
LP - 25-Jun-17 @ 11:41 PM
vjay - Your Question:
HiI have been divorced from my x wife now for 2 years she is living in our house with her fiancé now for 4 years she also has joint guardianship with my little brother who now lives with me after she decided she did not want him there anymore However my youngest son is soon to turn 18 and I want her to either buy me out or sell the homeShe shafted me in the divorce she was an adulterer however I did not site this as I did not want to upset my sons I ended up paying her legal fees I lost everythingHow do I stand getting my share of the house ??

Our Response:
If you cannot agree between you on how you should split the house, then you would have to seek legal advice. There are many factors to consider such as whether the house was in both your names, how long your marriage lasted, whether you have continued to pay the mortgage etc.
SeparatedDads - 4-May-17 @ 11:36 AM
Hi I have been divorced from my x wife now for 2 years she is living in our house with her fiancé now for 4 years she also has joint guardianship with my little brother who now lives with me after she decided she did not want him there anymore However my youngest son is soon to turn 18 and I want her to either buy me out or sell the home She shafted me in the divorce she was an adulterer however I did not site this as I did not want to upset my sons I ended up paying her legal fees I lost everything How do I stand getting my share of the house ??
vjay - 3-May-17 @ 1:57 PM
Separated nearly 2 years ago, we agreed 50/50 split of our son however I have him around 80% min as she constantly says she's busy etc. Throughout this time I have continued to support financially despite her earning more than me and the fact that I have our son more. As well as I get the child benefit in my name. I always have full responsibility for his Drs appointments etc as well as I take him on holidays etc but she does not. I need to know if all of this classes me as main career (for info we are still married and I was married when son was born) Thanks
Calhel - 5-Mar-17 @ 9:00 PM
Stu - Your Question:
Hi. My wife had an afair and move out almost 2 years ago leaving me with 2 kids of primary school age. She now lives with the person she was seeing. She wasn't willing to work and had never paid a penny towards the household. She also continued to take the child tax credits and benefits for around 1 year without handing any of it over for the kids. I am now seeking divorce and she is now seeking equity from the property. I was left to pay £10k to a trust deed with no help from her and I also put £12k of my own money into buying the house. Where do I stand with this given there has never been any contribution from her and she has left me with the kids? Is she entitled to anything?

Our Response:
Much depends upon how long you had been married and other circumstances. However, it is likely if the matter went to court, then you would be allowed to stay in the house until your children are 18. Your former contributions and your current ones would be taken into account. The fact she was not willing to work and didn't contribute financially when you were together would not count, as she was fundamentally contributing to the marriage as the primary carer. Legal advice in order to explore your options would might be helpful here.
SeparatedDads - 1-Mar-17 @ 2:57 PM
Hi. My wife had an afair and move out almost 2 years ago leaving me with 2 kids of primary school age. She now lives with the person she was seeing. She wasn't willing to work and had never paid a penny towards the household. She also continued to take the child tax credits and benefits for around 1 year without handing any of it over for the kids. I am now seeking divorce and she is now seeking equity from the property. I was left to pay £10k to a trust deed with no help from her and I also put £12k of my own money into buying the house. Where do I stand with this given there has never been any contribution from her and she has left me with the kids? Is she entitled to anything?
Stu - 1-Mar-17 @ 10:47 AM
My life was destroyed when my husband sent me packing, after 13 years we have been together. I was lost and helpless aftertrying so many ways to my husband back to me. One day at work, I was distracted, not knowing that my boss called me, so hesat and asked me what it was all about, I told him and he smiled and said it was no problem. I never understood what hemeant by it was no problem getting back my husband, he said he used a spell to get back his wife when she left him foranother man, and now they are together till date and initially I was shocked hearing something from my boss. He gave me anemail address of the Prophet Abuvia which helped him get his wife back, I never believed that this would work, but I had nochoice coming into contact with the sayings that I get done, and he asked for my information and that my husband was ableto propose to throw him the spell and I sent him the details, but after two days, my mother called me that my husband waspleading that he wants me back, I never believed, because it was just a dream and I had to rush off to my mother's placeand to my greatest surprise, was kneeling my husband beg mefor forgiveness that he wants me and the child back home, whenI gave prophet Abuvia a conversation regarding sudden change of my husband and he made clear to me that my husband willlove me until the end of the world, that he will never leave for another woman. Now me and my husband is back together andstarted doing funny things he has not done before, he makes me happy and do what it is supposed to do as a man withoutnagging. Please if you need help of any kind need, please contact Prophet Abuvia for help. His email is prophet.abuvia AT gm a i l . com his website is prophetAbuviasolutiontemple . webs . com
Sarah Coleman - 11-Feb-17 @ 6:57 PM
Shaggy - Your Question:
Hi I am coming out of a long term relationship. We have been together 18years. 2 years ago my wife fell for a man. Nothing happened and we continued to work at our marriage so I thought. She contacted this man 6 months ago to see if anything was there. It wasn't for him. I thought everything was good we talked about another baby. But the beginning of December she road me it was over for good. I've since found out she is on dating sites before we split. She has already had a one night stand. She seems to like rubbing my nose in it. All she says is I should of treated her better. Saying I was abusive towards her and controlling. If anything she was more on both. She has gone to women's aid care workers and all her friends this. They are not hearing my side. Since xmas she has threatened me with not seeing my boys. She said I have to go to the house and look after them there while she goes out. If I don't agree I can't see them. I feel as I'm just a baby sitter so she can stay out. It's messing with my feelings. Before I left the house for a bedsit. She would just sit on the sofa talking on datesite sites in front of me. Shw even planned to meetva married man 3 days after we spit. I had to leave it felt like she was mocking me. All she said was it her business we are over. I was there for Christmas then she told me she may be pregnant by me. Then said she had a 1 night stand 2 nights before. She left me Christmas day to look after the boys screaming at the oldest it all your dad's fault. She has since done that again. I have to do as she wants or I'm not having the boys. She has hit me in the past and had me by my throat. But she don't tell people that it's all what I've done. I still love her and always thought we would be together but who she has changed into I don't know. She says if we go through the courts I will have to look after the boys at her house as I have a bedsit. And probably more but I work full time. I'm not saying I don't want to see them but in her house when she goes out I think is degrading to me. I need some advice and hope you can help please.Kind regards

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. It is obvious your ex has her own agenda and really, if you can, you should try and separate your feelings for your wife and concentrate now on what you feel is in the best interests of your kids. If your wife is dictating when you can and you can't see them, then you have two options; either to go along with her demands, or be a bit firmer and either suggest mediation in order to try and negotiate a more structured routine, please see link here. If she refuses to attend mediation, then your option would be to take the matter to court. In the first instance you may wish to seek some legal advice to try to ascertain what your options are. Our Separated Dads forum may also help you, as you will be asking advice from dads who have been through similar situations before. Much really depends upon how much you will let her dictate the terms of your arrangements, or how much you wish to try to take control of the situation and try to exercise your own rights as a parent.
SeparatedDads - 3-Jan-17 @ 11:29 AM
HiI am coming out of a long term relationship. We have been together 18years. 2 years ago my wife fell for a man. Nothing happened and we continued to work at our marriage so I thought. She contacted this man 6 months ago to see if anything was there. It wasn't for him. I thought everything was good we talked about another baby. But the beginning of December she road me it was over for good. I've since found out she is on dating sites before we split. She has already had a one night stand. She seems to like rubbing my nose in it. All she says is I should of treated her better. Saying I was abusive towards her and controlling. If anything she was more on both. She has gone to women's aid care workers and all her friends this. They are not hearing my side. Since xmas she has threatened me with not seeing my boys. She said I have to go to the house and look after them there while she goes out. If I don't agree I can't see them. I feel as I'm just a baby sitter so she can stay out. It's messing with my feelings. Before I left the house for a bedsit. She would just sit on the sofa talking on datesite sites in front of me. Shw even planned to meetva married man 3 days after we spit. I had to leave it felt like she was mocking me. All she said was it her business we are over. I was there for Christmas then she told me she may be pregnant by me. Then said she had a 1 night stand 2 nights before. She left me Christmas day to look after the boys screaming at the oldest it all your dad's fault. She has since done that again. I have to do as she wants or I'm not having the boys. She has hit me in the past and had me by my throat. But she don't tell people that it's all what I've done. I still love her and always thought we would be together but who she has changed into I don't know. She says if we go through the courts I will have to look after the boys at her house as I have a bedsit. And probably more but I work full time. I'm not saying I don't want to see them but in her house when she goes out I think is degrading to me. I need some advice and hope you can help please.Kind regards
Shaggy - 2-Jan-17 @ 8:49 AM
hi. i have a query. i am married since last 9 years, i am a housewife with 3 daughters age 6, 3.5 and 1.5. my husband earns good money but my husband do domestic violence on me, as psychological, financial and emotional. he is controlling, coercive, threatening and abusing me. he even hates to see me or talk to me. if i want to get separated, can i have my daughters custody even if i am currently unemployed?
shereph - 27-Dec-16 @ 3:32 PM
I'm divorced and I have my children once a weekmy ex wife now wants me to have more time off work during the holidays to have them and says if I don't she will go to the solicitor to make me !! Can this be done ? I'm regular and up to date with agreed support.....
Mossey - 23-Dec-16 @ 2:36 AM
As a father of a 17 year old who lives with meand a father of a 8 year old who lives with my ex partner who now wants a quick divorce after commiting adultry for the second time in 18 years we have lived apart for 5 years but still been in a relationship spending one day a week and all weekends together and going on holidays together in this time now my 8 year old wants to live with me my ex wife is unstable drinking with her new partner most of the time but now she is divorcing me on the grounds of living apart for 5 years when thats not true we were still a couple up until recently I dont know what to do ?
Mally - 9-Nov-16 @ 7:04 PM
My friend is dating my husbands best man, who has been separated for over 3 years, as a woman I wanted to find out a few things for them both should his "wife" take him to the cleaners so to speak...basically, his wife has gone back on her word is not agreeing to a divorce (we think it's because she's after his business which she wants half of and she has found out that they have a few big deals in the next two years) therefore she wants to drag this out for the full 5 years. Like with anyone else, it's painful to see them not be able to carry on with their lives, they've both confided in us for different things, they both want to start a family together and don't want their child to be labelled as one born out of welock / with a married man etc (due to a technicality). However we don't think they should put their lives on hold. In this circumstance, what are her and the child's rights in terms of entitlement? Will that have any effect on her patners divorce? We think not, but we want to check that her child isn't going to completely be left out. Is he able to be recognised as the father as the law will class their children as illegitimate? Any advice? We are struggling to help them.
Spaceman - 18-Oct-16 @ 11:54 PM
Hi,I have a question, I am in process of getting Divorced,at present my wife and 3 children live in the same address,I am paying all the bills even though she earns as much as I do ! She refuses to contribute at all, we should get the decree nisi soon does she then have tp pay some of the bills or am I stuffed until the house is sold?ThanksAndy
ah1961 - 8-Oct-16 @ 10:18 AM
SadDad999 - Your Question:
HiI am divorcing my wife due to her committing adultery. I understand that this has no bearing on settlement, but what are my rights in extracting equity from the house - we have over 400k of equity.She is refusing to sell and says the law is on her side as she has the kids and I will get zilch from the house, which seems completely unfair.

Our Response:
You would need to seek legal advice regarding this matter. Yes, a court may let your ex stay in the house with the children until they finish their education, but this does not mean you have to sign the house over. You still may be entitled to half the estate once your kids reach this age. Much also depends upon the other assets you have.
SeparatedDads - 27-Sep-16 @ 1:57 PM
Willy- Your Question:
I'm getting divorced. My partner is saying that I am not allowed in the house at any time. Is this true? Plus can I stop paying half the mortgage at any time? The house is currently up for sale

Our Response:
It is probably not in your best interests to stop paying towards the mortgage as you still have a joint responsibility to your mortgage lender regardless of whether you are living there or not. Please also see link: When Ex Changes Locks on Jointly Owned Property, here which will give you more information regarding access to your home.
SeparatedDads - 27-Sep-16 @ 1:44 PM
Hi I am divorcing my wife due to her committing adultery. I understand that this has no bearing on settlement, but what are my rights in extracting equity from the house - we have over 400k of equity. She is refusing to sell and says the law is on her side as she has the kids and I will get zilch from the house, which seems completely unfair.
SadDad999 - 27-Sep-16 @ 9:57 AM
I'm getting divorced. My partner is saying that I am not allowed in the house at any time. Is this true? Plus can I stop paying half the mortgage at any time? The house is currently up for sale
Willy - 26-Sep-16 @ 8:06 PM
Stussy - Your Question:
Hello, I friend of mine is recently divorced, all 3 of his children live with him, the youngest is in the eyes of the law the only depedant, he owns his own home is self employed, his ex is engaged and living with this man, she doesn't have regular contact with the kids or pay anything for children or the home, but wants 50% of house!! Surly this can't be right that she's entitled to that?? Many thanks

Our Response:
Much depends on how long the marriage was on what his ex may be entitled to claim. However, if the children currently live with him in the house and he is the primary carer, it is likely (should the matter go to court) he will be allowed to remain at least the youngest has completed his/her education. He would need to seek legal advice.
SeparatedDads - 8-Sep-16 @ 2:22 PM
Hello, I friend of mine is recently divorced, all 3 of his children live with him, the youngest is in the eyes of the law the only depedant, he owns his own home is self employed, his ex is engaged and living with this man, she doesn't have regular contact with the kids or pay anything for children or the home, but wants 50% of house!! Surly this can't be right that she's entitled to that?? Many thanks
Stussy - 7-Sep-16 @ 10:46 PM
Corporate Dad - Your Question:
Hi, I'm a Dad of an 18 and 16 year old. My wife earns significantly less than me. she moved out of the family home 5 years ago and while we have co-parented, I have managed the majority of the care as they live with me and they visit her. Now that we are divorcing she wants me to move out of the house so that she can move in and have me pay her maintenance. While I have a good income, I can't afford to maintain 2 houses so we can both have one. The kids are used to living with me and prefer that arrangement. Will she automatically get everything as their Mum?

Our Response:
In the first instance, I would make sure you do not leave your house on the request of your ex, as once you do you will lose all rights. Parental responsibility for children is equal in the eyes of the law, and while the majority of mothers are assessed as primary carers/resident parents of their children, many fathers are too. This means you have exactly the same rights as a mother to continue to take care of your children in your marital home. If you refuse to move out from your home, then your ex will have the opportunity to take the matter to court. However, as you are the primary carer, it is unlikely a court would rule to upset that equalibrium (as it will always opt for what is in the best interests of your children) Therefore, it 'may' continue to allow you to stay in the house until your children are of school leaving age. To answer your latter question, no your ex will not automatically get everything or be granted what she is asking. As your children are older, they will also be granted a say regarding where they live, should the matter go to court. Therefore, in order to explore your options further I would seek legal advice. A simple letter of refusal from a solicitor that highlights your PR rights may do the trick. Once your children have left education, then you may/can decide between you what to do with the house.
SeparatedDads - 31-Aug-16 @ 12:23 PM
Hi, I'm a Dad of an 18 and 16 year old.My wife earns significantly less than me.she moved out of the family home 5 years ago and while we have co-parented, I have managed the majority of the care as they live with me and they visit her.Now that we are divorcing she wants me to move out of the house so that she can move in and have me pay her maintenance.While I have a good income, I can't afford to maintain 2 houses so we can both have one. The kids are used to living with me and prefer that arrangement.Will she automatically get everything as their Mum?
Corporate Dad - 30-Aug-16 @ 4:53 PM
Hi My sister was divorced a few years ago now. She has 3 children aged 16 and under. Her ex husband constantly refused to pay maintenance for his children saying that he couldn't work due to ill health (self employed builder - we know that he continued to work which will give you an idea of the type of individual we talking about here) The situation went to court a few years back and the court ruled that if he didn't pay maintenance his share of the equity held the family home would reduce accordingly for each unpaid month. He has continued to pay nothing. My sister has now decided that she would like to move house to a 4 bedroom property (currently on a 3 bed property) to give her kids a bedroom each instead of two of them sharing. In order to sell the house she needs to get her ex (and father to all of the children)to sign the relevant papers. He is refusing to do so and I quote "I'm not feathering your nest" My wuestion is..Does he have the right to dictate in which property his equity lays if moving house is in the best interests of the welfare of the children?
Stocky - 27-Aug-16 @ 3:23 PM
Hi My sister was divorced a few years ago now. She has 3 children aged 16 and under. Her ex husband constantly refused to pay maintenance for his children saying that he couldn't work due to ill health (self employed builder - we know that he continued to work which will give you an idea of the type of individual we talking about here) The situation went to court a few years back and the court ruled that if he didn't pay maintenance his share of the equity held the family home would reduce accordingly for each unpaid month. He has continued to pay nothing. My sister has now decided that she would like to move house to a 4 bedroom property (currently on a 3 bed property) to give her kids a bedroom each instead of two of them sharing. In order to sell the house she needs to get her ex (and father to all of the children)to sign the relevant papers. He is refusing to do so and I quote "I'm not feathering your nest" My wuestion is..Does he have the right to dictate in which property his equity lays if moving house is in the best interests of the welfare of the children?
Stocky - 27-Aug-16 @ 2:24 PM
My wife is talking about devoice - I have a two year old son - I but all the money I had in to are home from a previous house I bought with my parents - is there any chance I could get this back we only been married for 3 years in November, I would be happy to keep the house and sale it when my son is older- hower I don't under stand how this works. Eg what if she move house or what if she re-marries will the money be release then. I also read that are assets may not be splits 50/50 if she keeps the house until my son has left I don't understand why they wouldent be. The others aspect is would I pay the mirage still or would she have to? Out of the child support?
Jas - 24-Aug-16 @ 2:18 PM
Shana- Your Question:
I m a srlankan I want to get Devorse from my British husbund. My baby is one month old can I take her back home with me,, how dose it work

Our Response:
If you are living in the UK with your British husband, you would have to request his consent to re-locate back to your home country with your child. If your husband refuses, you would have to apply through the courts. If you move home without your husband's consent, this will be classed as abduction, please see link here.
SeparatedDads - 23-Aug-16 @ 2:49 PM
DaddyCool - Your Question:
HI, My Wife and I are separated, she wants a divorce. SHe moved back to her mums house and I am still insisting on reparation. We have a 4 year old and I have moved from London to Birmingham just to be closer to him. Currently see and have him stay at mine every other weekend as part of a temporary arrangement we made when we separated a year ago. Now he is about to start big school I would like him to stay over more like 1 or 2 days a week. He has his own room in my house rather than the over crowded house at her mums. He loves with me and always cries when it's time to go back to his mums. I intend on asking for this but what legal right do I have to this reasonable request, if she refuses can I go legal and how? Thanks

Our Response:
Your first option would be to discuss this with your ex to see if she agrees. If your ex doesn't agree, your next stop would be to suggest mediation in order to try and resolve the matter. If your ex refuses to attend, your next option would be to apply through court. However, the court will always decide what it thinks is in the best interests of your child and if your ex can put up a fight that it may disrupt his school week, then she may succeed. I can only suggest you seek legal advice to explore your options.
SeparatedDads - 23-Aug-16 @ 2:44 PM
I m a srlankan I want to get Devorse from my British husbund... My baby is one month old can I take her back home with me,, how dose it work
Shana - 23-Aug-16 @ 10:28 AM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the SeparatedDads website. Please read our Disclaimer.