kicking out your alcoholic husband....?

okey kokey brains trust, i need help.

my friend - a lady, but not a lady friend has been married for 6 years to a bloke who 4 years ago turned into an alcoholic. he's lost his business, his driving licence, pawned all her stuff, taken out loans (both bank and 'cash' kneecap finance jobs at 90-odd% APR) and generally sponged off her like a leach. he also shits himself, stinks of paintstripper and gets nasty (i've seen bruises but they always have 'almost' plausible stories behind them..)

because he's such a pathetic tosser he hides the demand letters and subsequently she doesn't find out about this stuff till the bailifs arrive - she currently pays over £180 per month to keep these various creeps at bay and off her doorstep although none of this stuff is in her name and they don't have any joint accounts.

he's in hospital for the umpteenth time and she's had enough, she wants him out, but: his name is on the mortgage so she can't - apparently -change the locks, though a WPC told me that she can put additional lock on the doors and windows and not give him keys.

so, two issues really, i) how can she get him out and keep him out, and ii) at divorce will she lose half the equity in the house regardless of how little he put in as deposit or how little of the mortgage repayments he's contributed to and can she protect any of the savings she's made both before they married and since?

she can prove that she has been soley responsible for all bills like mortgage, CT, food etc... for four years if thats any help...

there are no children and she lives and was married in England...

cheers, all help gratefully received....
Not being up on the legal side of life, I can only comment on personal knowledg of a similar thing.

Friends of ours had a very similar problem, although more on the domestic violence side of life, and both were named on the mortgage.
Unfortunately, the blokes name is usually the first name (might have changed since then) and as such is classed as the main deed holder.
This when it went to court was enough to get him a full share of the profit from the sale, even though he hadnt paid a penny for god knows how long.

I would get professional advice on this matter, as there are so many loopholes and redtape issues with this sort of thing.
Try your local Citizens Advice Bureau, they are very good and offer free and impartial advice.
Or speak to a specialist family lawyer
She needs legal advice and fast, most solicitors give the first half hour free so she should visit a few one to get an idea which will suit her best and two to get as much quick free advice as possible.

Once proceedings have started there are circumstances in which she can legally get possesion of the house so as I say good legal advice is needed. I suspect CAB will just point her at their pet solicitor who may not be the best.


Gren said:
I would get professional advice on this matter, as there are so many loopholes and redtape issues with this sort of thing.
Or speak to a specialist family lawyer

The only way - and it will cost.


I would have to agree with 'Idon'tbelieve it'. She'll be able to disclose any other issues which may influence any future decision to the CAB as opposed to giving only the bits she wants to, to a site full of Toms and consequently drawing more fire than a Taliban Company Smoker. The CAB will point her in the right direction and as stated, they'll do it for free.

Always get professional advice on these matters.

Maxi, CAB won't point her in the direction of any solicitor, they're impartial. They will advise that she see's a solicitor and they'll help her determine what has to be said in the 'free half hour', which she'll need, as in cases like this, the parties tend to overload the solicitor with every piece of information which they can, whether relevant or not. Time is money so to spaek. She needs to tell the solicitor exactly what they need to know so that they can advice accordingly and represent if required. The CAB will help her determine what she fills that half hour with.
Forget the CAB get proper legal advice from a specialist. Paying money for a good solicitor will pay off in the long run.

If he turns up at the house and gets nasty phone police and say the magic words 'domestic violence' 100% guarantee he will be made to find somewhere else to sleep whether the local travelodge or a cell for the night.


student_grant said:
Forget the CAB get proper legal advice from a specialist. Paying money for a good solicitor will pay off in the long run.

If he turns up at the house and gets nasty phone police and say the magic words 'domestic violence' 100% guarantee he will be made to find somewhere else to sleep whether the local travelodge or a cell for the night.
The CAB was mentioned as a first port of call only. They will not represent her in a divorce case. They will advice that she obtains the services of a solicitor, but the choice of whom, or indeed whether she will, is ultimately down to her.
If she is the victim of domestic violence she can get a restraining order so that he cannot come anywhere near her or the house, regardless of whether his name is on the mortgage. She will need to say that she is in imminent danger if he is allowed to come near her.

Regarding the sale of the house, there isn't much she can do about splitting the profit from the sale as it is half his even if he hasn't been making any mortgage payments. She could however, take him through small claims court for the loan payments she has been making on his behalf. This may reduce the amount he is entitled to but could be difficult in a man wife situation; always worth a try.

If she can prove during divorce proceedings that he has not contributed her savings and he has actually cost her money, there is a good chance a judge won't award him any of her money. She is better off speaking to a specialist solicitor for advice on this though.

If she finds it difficult to get a restraining order, tell her to change the locks. It is highky unlikely he will be able to get her charged with criminal damage to her own property thus leaving only leaving him with a civil suit, if he is the screw up you say he is, he won't have a clue about this. If he does, she only has to mention domestic violence (some proof, ie witnesses or pictures of the bruises) and I doubt any judge will force her to let him move back in. They have a duty of care to protect her from him.

CAB are a good option if she can't afford a lawyer or she can check in her area for free legal advice helplines, they are usually staffed and run by real lawyers and if she is on a low wage she won't have to pay a thing.

Alternatively, she can try they will see this type of stuff on a daily basis and will be able to tell her what she can do.
Sorry I forgot to add. If he took bank loans or mortgages out in both their names but without their permission, there is a lot of case law that states they can't be enforced upon her. This should work the same with the bailliffs, she needs to prove the property is hers and not his (having seperate bank accounts here will help) they can't take a thing. She really needs to seek proper legal advice ASAP though. if she is low waged she can get full legal aid or contributory legal aid.
She chose to marry the bloke and pool her resources and, broadly speaking, marital property is divided 50:50 where no children exist. He is almost certainly entitled to live in the marital property until the property is sold.

You don't mention violence in your post and unless any actually exists, I would suggest that making unfounded allegations (ie lying) to gain sympathy or supposed advantage is not necessarily the right course of action. Unjustifiable attempts to deprive him of his right to enter his home may also backfire.

Get her to speak to a divorce lawyer about the financial situation (there may be nuances), but she may have to accept that it will be uncomfortable whilst the house is sold.

Alternatively, there are various divorce websites hosted by lawyers rather than by soldiers/ex-soldiers/wannabe soldiers.
My advice to your friend is to go and see a family law specialist straight away.

Do NOT go to the Citizen's Advice Bureau - now is not the time to faff around.

Also, your friend may be eligible for legal aid (now called Public Funding). I dont know your friend's income position but what I can say is that legal aid is hard to get nowadays I am afraid - but it is still worth trying.

The information that has been posted is generally wrong or dangerously wrong !

Please note:

1. Loan sharks with extortionate interest rates can often be forced to reduce their rate and or have their debt written off

2. If some loans are in her husbands name then the bailiffs cannot remove her goods or any goods she has contributed to purchasing. Tell her not to let them in as they will take walk in possession of the items.

3. There is NO GUARANTEE WHATSOEVER that her alcholic husband will get 50:50. The final figure will depend on a number of factors which it would take me too long to explain in this thread for now.

4. The WPC was wrong to say that she cannot change the locks - the house belongs to her (and also to her husband) so she can change the locks. However, the house also belongs to him (and also to her) so he could break the door down to get in. If he did that she could call the Police who would (hopefully) arrest him for a Breach of the Peace.

5. She may be able to keep him out with an injunction (which someone called a restraining order) which a good Solicitor will be able to achive in several days especially if he can stay with family or friends elsewhere

I hope that helps.


Book Reviewer
If he's drinking that much, and he's winding up in hospital all the time, he can't have that long to go. Help him along a bit. Buy him some of the hard stuff.
Have a sniff around on your house and contents insurance (Phone insurance up and ask), mine has cover for legal fees, I only found this out by accident when I was about to spunk a shed load of cash on a solicitor

CAB will basically tell you to seek a solicitor and will have a list of local firms. They are well meaning but fairly pointless

It may be worth when you book to see a solicitor ask them what admin they need to see/would be helpful to peruse in your first 30 minutes

Good luck
cheers all, obviously a proper solicitor is on the cards, but such things take time to arrange - what matters right now is physically keeping this c0ck out of the house till the civil law can grind into action.

i did offer to send a gift of frosty jacks (the tipple of choice) with a 'special' ingredient of drain cleaner to the hospital, sadly this suggestion was rejected...
My 2c:

Your solicitor will advise about a restraining order or whatever it is called, but if she wants to make life easy for herself always call the police. If he is arrested then he is out of the house. If he is drunk and lifts a finger to the police then that's police assault. If he ends up in court and is given bail then he will have bail conditions? which might stop him returning to the house.

On the locks - if the lock is turned / the door chain is on and he can't get into the house, what is he going to do - try and break in and get arrested? - this gets back to the point with the police.

I know nothing whatsoever about English Restraining orders but suspect that her lawyer is better going to court with a list of 5 reported police incident numbers / charges than with an application and no evidence.

Ignore the CAB - they have never taken a case to court themselves so their advice is pretty worthless. Look up Yellow Pages and find a solicitors' firm whose advert majors in divorce / family law. Alternatively phone the local court clerk and ask them which family lawyers regularly appear in the local court.
My 3rd and 4c:

Divorce - as far as I am aware in England the financial test isn't 50/50 its about circs at the time the judge considers the application.

Loans - why is she paying loans that are not in her name? Is she sure they are not in her name and he has not put her down as a co-signatory without her knowledge? Although she needs to take legal advice on this, if she makes payments it may lead to a presumption that she is a joint borrower.

Money - she needs this in spades.
If she is working she needs to make sure her wages are going to her account in her sole name, particularly if there is a chance of creditors going after the money.
A solicitor could easily cost her £160 per hour and she will need to have cash to pay this - to get a court case going.
If things are really bad and she needs to relocate, she needs to be able to pay for things.
All the above are far more important uses of her money than saving her husbands' arms from getting broken by the loan shark.

Credit Cards -
Credit Reference search will show most of the debt - equifax / experian £2 each. She may want to get a notice of dissociation to make sure that he is not landing her with bad credit rating.

Mortgage -
She needs to make sure that this is paid in full if it is a joint debt. His debts are not her problem.

Home -
I ask the question more than answer it but she needs to ask her solicitor what will happen with the home bearing in mind that if its in joint names then his share could be claimed by his creditors.