Elderly mother leaving husband - legal advice

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KJE
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Elderly mother leaving husband - legal advice

Postby KJE » Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:48 am

*Posting under new name*

My mother who is in her 80s is leaving her controlling husband of several decades. He is currently away and we have moved her clothes and possessions out of their flat. The police have been notified as it is a situation that may concern them, including setting up a restraining order.

We are attempting to put together a picture of their finances, of which she has been kept wholly unaware. 

They co-own a small property - unencumbered - and have some savings, some in accessible accounts which are easily shared, some in building societies in fixed term bonds due to mature later this year or next year. Almost everything is held in joint accounts, although one of the bonds cites him as the primary account holder and her as the secondary or associated account holder.

Can anyone provide information on the following please?
- Is she able to break the fixed-term bonds with the building societies? We understand we can have a 'marital dispute' flag placed on the account which prevents either party from accessing it on maturity until there is a legal agreement to do so. However, we would much prefer to cash it in now as this will help to fund her future life, including a place to live. We have called one building society who say that they would only allow the bond to be broken under exceptional circumstances, which we feel these are; however, the person at the end of the phone was not sure. Are there particular terms we can cite to push for this?

- Should she take legal advice? She doesn't have a lot of money and we don't want to spend unnecessarily what she may need later on.

- Is there any reason why she should get divorced rather than just separated? If so, should she initiate divorce proceedings and if so when? She is understandably very stressed and there are a lot of moving parts that she needs to deal with in person, so she has not been able to give this matter much thought as yet. However, if she were presented with a compelling reason that could help make the decision for her.

Practical advice on the legal and financial aspects would be hugely valued and time is of the essence as he returns in 1-2 weeks. Many thanks
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Liz_M
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Re: Elderly mother leaving husband - legal advice

Postby Liz_M » Mon Feb 04, 2019 6:51 am

May I suggest that you contact women’s refuge- they will give you all the advice you need.

I did my own divorce so it cost me nothing to do the actual divorce but the same financial separation unfortunately you will need a solicitor for

Wandsworth has a one stop shop to advise you on domestic abuse etc - take their advice but do you not use their solicitors as they can be very expensive eg once instructed first help free - next stage expensive

I would also speak to social services, they have social services for older ladies. I don’t know this would be helpful but there might be some advice

I would definitely contact age concern -They would come and fill in forms for you :)

Good luck and big hug xxx
Last edited by Liz_M on Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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dencng57
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Re: Elderly mother leaving husband - legal advice

Postby dencng57 » Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:55 am

I work in the field of domestic abuse support for survivors in another county.   Can I mention that if the abusive husband is unaware of your mother's removal from their property, she (and you) may be at significant risk on his return if he knows her/your location, as this can be a high risk period when controlling partners feel under major psychological threat and feel they have nothing to lose by their actions including complete disregard for a restraining order.  You are welcome to PM me for a discussion around ideas to mitigate.   Of course I understand you are asking specifically for legal/financial advice (which I can't help with) so hope you don't mind me commenting on this.    Good luck to you and your mum who is being immensely brave.
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mangustheix
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Re: Elderly mother leaving husband - legal advice

Postby mangustheix » Mon Feb 04, 2019 2:57 pm

I would suggest seeking legal advice. It is far better to have and mitigate the risks than if he comes back and empties accounts, etc. I have a divorce solicitor in the professional group I belong to and I would suggest discussing this with him. He would be able to advise on the separation vs divorce. He is also very considerate and not pushy, so will be happy to discuss all options. Here are his details if you want to get in contact:

Daniel Russell at Carlson Solicitors
02084453331
daniel.russell@carlsonssolicitors.com
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