Don't let divorce mess up your career
Nicola’s starting over story
I started divorce proceedings in January 06 after my husband came home one weekend in December and announced – quote – ‘I want children but not with you. There’s no-one else’. He disappeared back to Plymouth the next day. I believed him for a few weeks, the epitaph of 12 years together – me being an unsuitable mother for his future children – hanging around my neck like a millstone. That is, until First Direct bank informed me he’d withdrawn cash in Birmingham when he said he’d been in Plymouth. Ironically, they sent me the apology letter, so I guess they were responsible for me initiating my divorce.
I was a year into my degree at that time.
My husband had arranged for me to complete a placement in Plymouth, where he was based. One emergency NHS loan later and I went to Devon to complete my placement, much to his chagrin.
Things turned acrimonious quickly. Although my husband promised to support me through the degree, he soon started to cut money off.
My husband offered me a cash sum in May 06, which was less than 50% of the equity in our house. He was furious when I didn’t accept his offer. He then refused to sign my NHS bursary form – his signature was required as we were still married. In the end, his CO intervened and took it to the post office himself.
We had a house in Hampshire which we rented out and the proceeds paid for my rented accommodation in Manchester. He’d apparently forged my signature on a letter to our tenants, relinquishing my role as landlady and arranging for the rental income to be paid directly to him.
Faced with the prospect of homelessness, I felt I couldn’t continue with my degree on several occasions. My wonderful family and friends and supportive University staff helped me through the dark times. I was on track to get a first and whilst it was so near, the stress of his behaviour took its toll. My willingness to continue turned on a sixpence. However, At the AR hearing, the judge ordered my husband to pay the money back and to continue to pay my rent until after I was expected to graduate.
I graduated in July 2008 with First Class Honours. I was also awarded the prize for best student in the year which meant the world to me. It was the happiest day of my life. I really didn’t think I’d make it.
“If my story can help others then please feel free to use it.
I really believe my now-ex was jealous of my achievements and took every opportunity to thwart my chances of success. I’m an ordinary person and if I can do it, I’m sure others can! I know I would have had more faith if I’d seen or heard that someone else in my situation had made it.
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