Family court advice sought
Scuse the long-winded post but I’m basically looking for advice regarding the Family court but quite frankly any advice about my current circumstances would be appreciated.
I live in Auckland. My ex-partner of 11 years left home unexpectedly in March 2011 taking our two young children (3 and 7 years old). She said when she left that she had not loved me for years and has never provided an explanation although I did find out one month before she left that she is bisexual and has been so for at least 6 years but she could always have been this way. I was devastated and tried everything to save our family, all to no avail and with much frustration. Our separation has been unamicable and she has always been difficult about my seeing the children amongst other things.
She has behaved in a malicious and vindictive manner on numerous occasions. I found out not long after she left that she had forged my signature on a 20k home loan, which she received and spent on a business venture. There is a fraud investigation currently in progress by our joint mortgage provider bank although it is currently stalled as I’ve said I wouldn’t formally act as a witness against her as I thought it would make my circumstances even more difficult with regards our children. The bank has told me the ball is my court with this matter and they will contact me again in a month. I am beginning to think she deserves a dishonesty charge and may well support the case, as I can’t see how she can make my life any more difficult. We also have a joint mortgage on a rental LAQC property.
She has always had a lawyer although he only contacted me once briefly and has taken no action in spite of her threats that she can have me evicted! I recently changed the locks and alarm code much to her outrage, as I believe I have a right to and I don’t trust her. I’ve told her she can arrange with me to come round anytime that suits us both if she wants to collect anything of hers. I believe we have to agree on any joint assets within the home that she would like to take possession of i.e. chattels, furniture, kid’s beds etc .She has told me her lawyer says she can access the house whenever she wants without permission and she can have the locks changed too.
The most sensible thing to do from a business perspective would be to rent both properties out and sell them at a later date once they are more presentable, the house I’m in is partially renovated but I’m not sure if she would be amenable to that so it’s looking like we’ll need to sell both properties. I would like to be independent from her anyway. She would ideally like to move back in have me rent a flat. I don’t want to give her the upper hand but this might be the best answer too. She ignores all my efforts to talk.
The pressing problem I have now is that my current contract ends at the end of November and I may not be able to meet the mortgage payments until my next contract starts in Feb but the current situation is not affordable or ultimately sensible for me anyway.
I still reside in the family home and have been meeting the substantial mortgage repayments since March. I have stopped paying support for the kids and suggested we go to the family court to sort this out.
I have resisted getting a lawyer to date as I can’t afford one and don’t know why I need one anyway.
I am Scottish and have no family or close friends here for support or advice. Her family and friends have been unhelpful.
I don’t know anything about the family court. Should I go to the family court without a lawyer? I believe all assets are shared 50/50. Do I need a lawyer to help me sign some sort of agreement with her lawyer over how this should be realised, period etc?
Has anyone had a similar experience? I just want to get my some security back and see my kids every week without the uncertainty and games, my ex plays over this matter.
Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.