Will paying all the bills make a difference if my husband divorces me?

(21 Posts)
beckynbump Sat 04-Jan-14 22:41:33

I have over the last 4 years paid the majority of the bills and all payments due to the house and mortgage, school fees and childminder fees. My husband is threatening to divorce me, and wants half of everthing. Does anyone know if its worth me still paying for everything? Will it help my case of trying to get custody of the children and the ability to stay in the house?

makemineapinot Sat 04-Jan-14 22:45:37

Keep evidence of everything and get hold of your marriage certificate (so you can do the divorcing - puts you in charge). Also get all important docs like passports, birth certs, mortgage and house deeds, bank statements etc and put them safe where the can't get them. Then go and see a (or more) solicitor to find out what's vest for you in your particular situation. Good luck! If you gave children and keep residency it's unlikely he will get half.

LauraBridges Wed 08-Jan-14 14:12:41

My husband got 60%, not half as I earned more just like a good few lower earner wives might.

it makes little difference who paid what. A housewife who has never worked is just as likely to get half as a full time working wife or husband who pays for everything. Nor does it matter whose name yours and his savings and debts are in. It is all added together and divided.

However you might want to choose to spend more on yourself and leave him to pay more if he has the resources to do so. Although I am not sure that would be wise if a divorce may be likely. The more you both save and prepare the better as it will be expensive.

Sasquatch75 Wed 08-Jan-14 20:29:35

I'm wondering the same thing, although it's only been 5 months so far for me. I'm paying the mortgage and all bills. He pays child maintenance and that's it.

But you're 4 years down the line? Laura, what do you mean about his debts being taken into account? Surely that's not on if they've been separated for 4 years! Getting worried now...

Sasquatch75 Wed 08-Jan-14 20:30:54

Ahhh I think I read it wrong... Becky is only newly separated?

LauraBridges Wed 08-Jan-14 21:17:01

It depends on the country. One reason people hurry not only decree absolute but finalising the finances and court consent order rather than waiting years and years is that in England final divorce finances are based on the time of that financial consent order - what people's needs are then - which may be well after you've parted. It is one reason my ex would not leave this house until not only decree absolute but court financial consent order and money transfers and property transfers. In Scotland I think it is done at date of separation.

So if one you has £100k debts and the other £150,000 savings the net assets of the couple are £50,000 and the starting point is £25k each although obviously the needs of the children need to be considered first.

it is very important not just to get a decree absolute but a final sealed court consent order on the financial side as soon after decree nisi as you can agree or the have the court decide it at a financial hearing if you really cannot reach agreement by consent.

Although a good few of us on this thread probably earn more than our husbands and might be paying out to him, in most cases it tends to be the other way round - non working wife with no income or money and husband how has all the savings and income and he is paying out to the wife even though she earns nothing as that is what the law says. In other words the higher earner always loses out including me which is why I suppose we are foolish if we ever marry men who earn less.

Sasquatch75 Wed 08-Jan-14 22:03:00

That's very interesting - thanks Laura.

I was actually earning more than my exh when I stopped work to look after the DCs, but obv not now, 5 years later! Tbh I'm not really bothered about the pension as it's only been 5 years. I just need to be able to stay in the family home...

makemineapinot Thu 09-Jan-14 23:23:54

I got a 90/10 % split in my favour - fought for it as my investments, his debts and he was a twunt re our dcs.

makemineapinot Thu 09-Jan-14 23:24:28

That was in England about 4 years ago. He is still raging....

beckynbump Thu 09-Jan-14 23:56:40

Thanks for advice. I am not actually seperated at the moment. We are still living together and 'trying' to make it work but before Christmas he filed for divorce out if the blue. I persuaded him to delay the papers actually bring sent to me to give us chance to work it out and this is what he has done for the moment. With the possibility of divorce, I just wanted to see if it was worth spending every penny I earn on house and children. Was rather hoping that the fact that I am doing that would help my case for staying in the house until children are older. He cannot afford house on his salary and has intimated he wants his share of the house money. Nightmare

LauraBridges Fri 10-Jan-14 10:47:07

In most cases (not mine where I could afford to buy him out his 60% of our assets) 50% each does not give either the money to house the children even with a mortgage so whoever has the children at least until they turn 18 or until remarriage is likely to get possession if not ownership of the house. As the house is the only asset most people haev that is how it is done. So if there is £20k equity and a 3 bed house worth £200k with a 90% mortgage - pretty common situation then as long as the mortgage can be afforded wife who doesn't work with children stays in house until she remarries or moves a lover in or the children are 18 when the house is sold and split at that point.

If the husband gets the children which was possible in our case as we both worked full time always then he is the one needing the house in the situation above so mother moves out and pays maintenance and he stays in house with children. Usually it is the other way round as mother may not earn much and father does. It is not based on fairness or justice or who spent or gambled it all or who gave up work to mind the children or who does all the housework or who works 70 hour weeks. it's based on the needs of the children first and then a 50/50 clean break split as the starting point IF and only if the couple can afford that.

beckynbump Sat 11-Jan-14 01:01:54

That's interesting to hear. The house is almost mortgage free so either if us could feasibly be cash buyers if we had to sell. Trying to avoid that at all costs though. Happy to sit here and wait, tough it out despite the fact it's aweful and just see what happens. Am determined not to be the one that breaks up the home. Thanks for dull advice people.

beckynbump Sat 11-Jan-14 01:04:52

Sorry that ahod have said all the advice not dull.

LauraBridges Sat 11-Jan-14 16:33:46

becky, unless the house is particularly huge it is most likely you will get the house and children if you divorce and he will have to move out. You might be able to do a remortgage which I did to buy off my ex in a lump sum clean break which also bought out his maintenance demands of me too. That kept the children in their home and schools and I think was worth it although I do have a very big mortgage.

However if you live in a bigger house than is necessary to house you and the children and you cannot afford to buy out his share then you might have to sell the house so you can each buy somewhere smaller.

If he doesn't work and you do and he does most of the childcare (sounds unlikely as you have a child minder) there may be a small risk he might get the house and children but you have a childminder (we had a nanny and I was told it would be hard for him to say he was a primary carer when we had a full time nanny) so I suspect more likely he will have to leave if he presses on with the divorce. He might get an order that the house proceeds are shared if you move, remarry , cohabit or when the youngest turns 18 however if you cannot afford to buy out his half or whatever % he is awarded now.

clio51 Sat 11-Jan-14 17:24:07

Becky
Why are you paying out the most? Is it because you earn more ?

You are allowed to stay in the house until children are 18 and he can't do anything about that ONLY if you re marry co habit .
If you are nearly mortgage free and earn the most why don't you get it valued and remortgage to pay him off. That way if house prices go up (until kids are 18)?he is not sitting on a little nest egg and as mortgage rates are pretty low at the moment it may work out better

beckynbump Sat 11-Jan-14 18:53:21

Think I need to find out seriously if I can afford to buy him out. Unlikely I don't think as although small mortgage, it was an expensive house and I guess any court would say we put in equal shares if cash to buy it.

LauraBridges Sat 11-Jan-14 21:48:28

I earned 10x more and always paid more but that's not unfair. It is how most couples are. It's rare both people earn the same.

It's not quite true you can stay in the house until the children are 18. It is possible he wins residence of them in which case the woman leaves the home. Secondly if the home is bigger than reasonable needs the court will order it sold and split although I accept most people's small house aren't. Thirdly if neither can afford to pay the mortgage then it would be sold.

If you want to see if you can buy him out it depends on your income - you can probably borrow 3 or 4 x your income on a mortgage. if that is enough to give him 50% of the equity then you're home and dried assuming the children live with you and he doesn't pursue you for maintenance. If no way can that be afforded then you might not be able to have a clean break and instead haev an order that whoever has the children stays in the house until new partner or children 18 and then it's sold and split.

The court does not look at who put what into the house in doing these 50.50 splits. You can be a housewife or househusband who put no money in at all and get 80% sometimes. It is not based on contribution in (unless you're unmarried). It is based on ensuring children are housed and a division to meet the needs of the lower earner.

beckynbump Sun 12-Jan-14 08:37:24

Relief to hear that how much is put in to buy house is not considered. Only I can afford to pay for house as he does agency work which is not guaranteed. Just a waiting game now to see what his next move is. It's a shame there is no way of getting really good legal advice without paying a fortune in fees.

AlternativeDivorceGuide Sun 12-Jan-14 09:33:54

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beckynbump Sun 12-Jan-14 10:59:07

Thanks. We are currently still together, he has not actually filed for divorce but I believe it's only a matter if time

AlternativeDivorceGuide Sun 12-Jan-14 17:09:42

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