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Stbxh talking about becoming bankrupt - where does this leave me?

(20 Posts)
duffybeatmetoit Mon 21-Jan-13 22:47:20

DH left several months ago after short marriage. He is talking about declaring bankruptcy as he can't cope financially. I disassociated myself from him financially with the credit agencies a few months ago. Not sure where this leaves me.

No joint loans, house has only ever been in my name and all bills in my name and paid by me. I live in the house with our DD. There is some equity in the house but would have to sell and relocate to realise it. Stbxh occasionally pays money towards DD but this is an informal agreement and less than he should be paying even if it was regularly received.

Can anyone advise?

RedHelenB Tue 22-Jan-13 08:06:08

Half the equity in the house would be deemed to be his unless you can show otherwise.- how long were you together?

duffybeatmetoit Tue 22-Jan-13 13:57:10

4 years. He didn't bring any assets to the marriage. I had to bail him out several times. He worked most of the time but was a (part time) SAHD for 6 mths. His only contribution was to food bills. I worked it out that the ratio of contributions was 15:1. Most of the time his salary was 2/3rds mine. (I know whatever was I thinking blush)

Collaborate Tue 22-Jan-13 15:53:31

Why on earth would half the equity be deemed to be his?

It simply wouldn't. The trustee in bankruptcy wouldn't be able to get his hands on it.

Whether he'd have a claim against it on divorce is a different matter, but given it's a short marriage and the house was your to begin with, he wouldn't have strong claim.

Best to take some legal advice.

RedHelenB Tue 22-Jan-13 16:11:51

It would need to be demonstrated to the trustee that he had no interest in the house.

Collaborate Tue 22-Jan-13 16:56:13

No it wouldn't. It is assumed that the deeds accurately record ownership. Why wouldn't it? That's what they're there for.

NotaDisneyMum Tue 22-Jan-13 17:09:34

My ex did this - eventually he was refused bankruptcy and agreed a managed payment plan instead because he had a regular monthly income and his debts weren't unmanageable (although he thought so!)

I was advised to contact the CSA in order to protect the Child Maintenance payments - the CSA (or whoever they are now) get first dibs on any income, whereas if you agree a private CM arrangement, the creditors tend to disregard it. My ex never refused to pay for DD - but if we'd agreed privately he may not have had the money left each month as it would all have gone on his payment plan.

RedHelenB Tue 22-Jan-13 17:18:22

But as they were married there is nothing to stop him registering an interest in the house is there & he may already have done so.

RedHelenB Tue 22-Jan-13 17:19:11

Oh & maintenance is an allowable expense under bankruptcy when working out how much didposable incme a bankrupt has to pay.

duffybeatmetoit Tue 22-Jan-13 18:14:33

Redhelen how would I know if he had registered an interest in the house? He doesn't know who the mortgage is with or how much equity there is in the property.

duffybeatmetoit Tue 22-Jan-13 18:29:29

My big concern is being put in a position where DD and I have to relocate to a small house in a rough area in order for him to clear his debts. That would mean a change of school, friends and childminder for DD and make it difficult to put family up if I need help with childcare. He still wouldn't be able to afford more than a bedsit to rent let alone buy.

Not bothered by lack of maintenance as I have to cope without it most of the time.

Collaborate Tue 22-Jan-13 18:43:24

You don't "register an interest" in a house. You can make a claim that you have an interest and bring it through the courts. The notion that by marrying someone you thereby own some of their house is simply wrong.
Anyway, why would he want to claim an interest if he's being made bankrupt?

duffybeatmetoit Tue 22-Jan-13 19:17:45

Collaborate - I assumed that the implication was that he could claim that he was owed a percentage of the equity which could then help pay off his debts.

Collaborate Tue 22-Jan-13 20:21:31

You can claim you already own an interest by virtue of financial contributions. Your ex has made none.
He'd have to convince a judge in divorce he was a deserving case. You'll need to take detailed and proper legal advice, but I wouldn't fancy his chances based on a short marriage unless he can show that the debt was built up responsibly by spending on the family.

duffybeatmetoit Tue 22-Jan-13 21:34:36

Still trying to get to the bottom of what he spent it all on. Some on entertaining OW but nothing that could be responsible spending on the family.

RedHelenB Wed 23-Jan-13 17:25:32

Talking about it & doing it are two very different things & it is a last resort so hopefully you will have nothing to worry about!!

WhoWhatWhereWhen Wed 23-Jan-13 17:42:10

You have nothing to worry about

duffybeatmetoit Wed 23-Jan-13 21:04:52

Thanks - feeling rather happier.

gallicgirl Wed 23-Jan-13 21:23:18

If he registers an interest in the property, the land registry will write and tell you after the event.

why wouldn't he be entitled to half the equity?

My DP was married for a year, no kids, house was his before he met ex, she buggered off and just because they were married he had to pay her half the equity. Are men not subject to the same principles and protection?

Llareggub Wed 23-Jan-13 21:29:31

Definitely seek legal advice. I was in a similar position although my ex is an alcoholic. My solicitor gave me some fantastic advice and although I did relocate, it was my choice to do so. We owned the house jointly although I contributed a significant amount to the deposit - we always agreed that any equity would be split in my favour if we ever split. In the event, he agreed that I could retain 100% of the equity in order to provide a home for our children as he is unable to care for them. I (perhaps looking for the worst case scenario) sought advice about what to do it he became bankrupt and it seemed rather straightforward. Really, do seek legal advice, it will put your mind at rest.

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