Posted by familylaw on 30th June 2021
Last updated 30th December 2022

The stress of her husband’s addictions coupled with communication breakdown meant Rhoda felt trapped. Head of Divorce & Finance, Rachel Buckley ensured she regained control of her life and a positive outlook for herself and her children.

“It was my second marriage – we were married for 12 years, with two children. After just a few years I realised that my husband, who was in the army, was quite ill mentally, with addictions. It took me another decade to fully appreciate what an appalling situation I was in.

As a military family we moved around a lot, and my husband was away from home often. It’s hard to resolve any problems in the marriage when they’re away all the time, and my husband refused to call or write to me. I wasn’t working, I was entirely dependent, I felt totally trapped. I felt like I had no control over my life at all.

I did manage to persuade him that we needed to buy a house away from the military base, but then he was away during the week and just home at weekends.

Because of his addictions and temper, the marriage became impossible, I didn’t want my children growing up like their father so I told him to leave. I saw a solicitor and got as far as my decree nisi. I knew the house was too much for me to manage financially on my own so I had to find a way to buy a smaller home.

I came to see Rachel because of her experience and expertise dealing with military personnel. From the start I felt supported and listened to. She took a lot of my emotional stress away, telling me not to worry about things, they would be dealt with.

The process took a long time, around 18 months to the decree absolute, as my husband was away for some of the time and it proved really tricky to get hold of his financial statement. But I had an amazing solicitor and amazing barrister who gave me really solid advice and support. Rachel made the conversation fluid about how things would progress, so I was able to be a part of things to make sure we could prompt my husband into giving certain responses. It meant I gained a sense of having control, which was really affirming.

There were so many emotional things to deal with, as a military wife you’re part of the military wives family – but if you decided to get divorced this impacts on emotional support and your social life. But Rachel was so lovely, she made me feel like a person, not just another job. She checked with me after the divorce was finalised, to make sure I was okay which was really lovely.

Rhoda’s tips

  • Take legal advice early on
  • Find a specialist lawyer – one that has experience with military divorces
  • I’d tell myself to look ahead a few years and believe that things will get better; ‘It’ll be all right in the end, if it’s not all right, it’s not the end.”

What now?

  • I own my own home and have my own mortgage
  • I’m in a financially secure position and have a job that I love
  • I’m starting to get a social life, making new friends not in the military world

Need some advice? Get in touch today

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