I have been married for a little over 6 and a half years, and have 3 children. My husband has been mentally and

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Customer: Hi. I have been married for a little over 6 and a half years, and have 3 children. My husband has been mentally and emotionally abusing me throughout our relationship, and I have finally decided it's time to get out. Part of the abuse though has involved him taking control of all our money and spending it all, keeping me locked out of some accounts and running up thousands of dollars of debt in secret which means I have no money to fall back on as I am also a stay at home parent. I want to be able to keep the house we own together for the sake of our children, but I have no idea what my rights are in terms of getting him to leave. I know he won't go quietly, as he has said many times that if I ever leave him, he will kill himself.
JA: Was the home purchased during the marriage?
Customer: Yes, it was purchased around 3 years ago. And then a second mortgage was taken out on it around the start of this year to consolidate some of the debt.
JA: Were any marital funds used for the mortgage or property improvements?
Customer: We both contributed to the deposit from personal retirement funds, and then the mortgage has been paid from our joint bank account using his salary
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Umm, yes actually. We still have multiple loans and credit cards that we're paying off, would they become my responsibilty if we were to seperate?
Answered by Chris The Lawyer in 2 hours 3 years ago
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Chris The Lawyer
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Hello and welcome to Just Answer. My name is ***** ***** I'm an attorney. Please note this site is for general information for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Communicating with an expert on this site does not establish an attorney-client relationship. You might be offered a phone call, but you’re under no obligation to accept; the phone call requests don’t come from me (they’re a pop-up offered by the site; feel free to ignore if you don’t’ want a call) - but if you do want a phone call I’d be happy to do that. Please note that while i do strive for real time responses there are occasions where i am called away from my desk or on a call or in court and cannot respond in real time. Please be assured that you will receive a response.

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What state are you in?

Customer
I am in New Zealand
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Your question went into our US database... let me contact the moderators to have it relocated...

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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Hi

I am a New Zealand lawyer based in Wellington and will help you with your question today. Please wait while I read the question so I can make the most useful response

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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

The property will be divided equally, so this means you will need to be able to buy out his interest in the property and service the mortgages yourself. If you can do that, then it would be possible to try to negotiate something like this.

Of course the bigger issue is getting him to leave. Generally if a couple are living together, and one of them wants the other to leave, then the only way to get the other person removed from the house is if there is a protection order, which enables you to also seek an occupation order. You have mentioned that there is emotional and mental abuse, and this can sometimes be enough for a protection order. Suggestions that he would kill himself would be grounds for getting a protection order. That sort of emotional blackmail can be psychological abuse. If you are not working you would qualify for a lawyer working on legal aid who could make the applications to the family court.

If it is unrealistic for you to try to buy him out as you cannot pay the mortgage, then the property will have to be sold.

Customer
Hi Chris, Thankyou for your response. If I have enough money coming in to pay the mortgage, but not enough to immediately pay him back the amount he put in as a deposit, does the house then still need to be sold? As much as I don't want it to be the case, I am concerned that a protection order will be necessary. I am trying to avoid it if possible though, as I imagine it will affect his job seeing as he works as a Corrections Officer.
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

If you cannot pay out his share, then he could force a sale. This would take some time through the family court however. So you could stay there for a reasonable period but ultimately the house would have to be sold. However if within a reasonable period, you could raise enough money to pay him out, then you might be able to hold off until then.

For the protection order, you need to think about your own safety and the safety of your children first. If this affects his employment, then unfortunately it is his fault. I would always advise getting the protection rather than running any risks

Customer
Thank you for your help. You are absolutely right that I need to think about our safety first, and for that reason I made the decision to speak to the Police, and have taken the kids to stay somewhere safe. I don't know what will happen with the house, but that's not a major concern right now.
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Chris The Lawyer, Expert

Please feel free to follow up if you have more questions or rate my answer if you are ready
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