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Home in DPs name only, how do I protect myself and our child?

(40 Posts)
Fudgeandraisins Wed 02-Nov-16 14:55:05

I have a special needs child with DP. It looks like she'll need life long care, and I'm not sure how much I'll be able to work.

I live in DPs house, it's in his name only. It has a big mortgage. four other children from previous marriage, he's going through divorce now.

I've started to realise that I have lost all my earning power, my pension now is going to be tiny, I possibly may never be able to get a mortgage on my own as I can't work much for the foreseeable future.

However, my DP has started to act a little like the house is 'his' and will be shared amongst 'all children' when he dies. No sign of marriage. He has a big mortgage as he paid for a big house for his Ex Wife.

I never used to be that mindful of money, and I contributed to this house financially for a few years before our child was born. I now feel worried that:
A) I will have little or no pension
B) I will be out on my ear with our special needs child if DP died or we broke up.

I am especially concerned that the house will be split amongst his previous children and I'll have to move out. They will get big inheritances from his Ex wife's house that we are both paying for, so I'd like to suggest that we look at my and our sons needs as being a special case here. I don't want to financially suffer and therefore have to make my child suffer. I want some security! What is the best way of doing this?

Ratbagcatbag Wed 02-Nov-16 14:57:05

Can you not get married? If it doesn't matter about the ceremony just go to a register office and get it done? (Once he's divorced obviously).

Fudgeandraisins Wed 02-Nov-16 15:05:31

We both are unsure about getting married yet, it's been a bit of a rocky road with DP being very uncommitted. 3-5 years down the line that would be a consideration, however now I'm not sure how much we'll stay the course, and one of the reasons is that I feel quite insecure.

But yes I would agree it would be the simplest!

HeadDreamer Wed 02-Nov-16 15:09:11

I'm sorry, but if I'm the dad, I'd like my house to split equally amongst all my children. It's not right that the new partner and children gets everything.

The ex-wife might re-marry and have more children. That's irrelevant.

ImperialBlether Wed 02-Nov-16 15:10:01

I think he has to take equal responsibility for childcare now, OP, so that you can return to work, even if that's part-time.

His child with you should have equal rights to his property when he dies - he has five children, not four.

You need to see a lawyer (whether you split up or not) about your contributions to the house prior to having your baby. Try posting in the Legal section of MN about this - you should get good advice.

Would he be willing to take out a life assurance policy for your joint child so that if anything happened to him, she would be protected? She needs a level of care his others don't, presumably.

Bluntness100 Wed 02-Nov-16 15:10:49

Ok, i get your feelings, but on his side you want him to provide more for your child than his other children, and I think you wish him to primarily provide for you, but you don't want to marry him.

I understand why, and I understand your thoughts on the other kids, but you have two options, either sit down and talk to him about future provision for you and your child, or, sadly provide day care for your child and go back to work.

If you don't want to marry him, I can't see anything past these two options.

DamePastel Wed 02-Nov-16 15:15:25

I was in this situation once and in the end I left with a rucksack to start again on my own. I shouldn't have had to do that though. If my x had been less selfish he would have supported me to keep my job and therefore have my own mortgage / investment property.
But unfortunately he saw no injustice at all (seemingly) with my being completely dependent on his mercy

As soon as I left I had nothing, in reality and in practicality, whereas before I'd had the illusion of wealth which excluded me from various help that was available to a 'poor person' which, reallyl, i was!

It's a really shitty half way house the shoes you're in.

Talk to him about you getting your own smaller place. He should support you going back to work (ie, share the responsibilities).

If he resists this conversation then you have answers. He is unconcerned by your vulnerability.

Btw, my x had no previous children, no previous wife. He was just very keen to protect his assets (from his own and only family). Sad.
I'm better off without him.

DamePastel Wed 02-Nov-16 15:17:59

Sorry for waffling.

Talk to him in very blunt terms.

"I need to get my earning power back so I can get my own place and protect my own future. You are not providing for me, I have to do that myself, so I will need you be 50% responsible for DD from now on to free me to work."

If he argues with that then he wants it every which way

Fudgeandraisins Wed 02-Nov-16 15:29:52

Thanks everyone for all your advice. It does feel like a particularly tricky position to be in. I have had some serious discussions with him, but he doesn't really get it.

I do understand that you'd want to leave money equally for all your kids. However, there are two big inequalities already:
- our child will probably never be able to work and will always be dependent.
- his four other children ALREADY have a protected asset paid for by him (and also me) in the form of a house that he mortgaged for his Ex Wife. Whatever happens, even if the house went to me and our child, they would get the majority of his inheritance.
- because most of his money went to his Ex Wife's house - that is money that our child can never touch, even though it was my DPs accumulated wealth.

If I refused to look after our child and went to work he'd be stuffed. He wouldn't be able to continue paying for this mortgage, and I could refuse to contribute to his Ex wife's mortgage.

It actually might be better to leave and at least the starkness of my situation would be clear.

mumblechum0 Wed 02-Nov-16 15:38:20

If your partner doesn't make sufficient provision for you and your daughter, you will have to make a claim against his estate under the Inheritance (Provision for family and Dependents) Act 1975. That will be an expensive and protracted process, but your daughter at least is pretty much guaranteed to get something.

As a will writer, I frequently advise that step families make life interest trusts. That would mean that your partner gave you the right to continue to live in the property until your death or remarriage. When the first of those events occur, the house is sold and the net proceeds divided (equally??) between all 5 children.

Remember that as your daughter may, sadly, be on benefits for life, she wouldn't necessarily gain from receiving a direct inheritance as that would mean she couldn't claim means tested benefits. It would be better to put her share into a discretionary trust for life.

Fudgeandraisins Wed 02-Nov-16 15:41:30

Thanks mumble... that would at least allay my feeling of being quite insecure in (my?) home.

I wonder what my rights would be if we separated now? I'm not sure that I can continue living in 'someone else's' home without any rights at all in such a dependent position.

ImperialBlether Wed 02-Nov-16 16:16:43

You're paying towards his old mortgage? Really? Wasn't that sorted when he got divorced?

Fudgeandraisins Wed 02-Nov-16 16:37:52

He put the house into his ExWs name but took out another mortgage to pay for it, so he is still paying for it. And so am I by default. A silly thing for him to do really, they should have split actual assets. Especially as we had half the children living full time!

MrsBertBibby Wed 02-Nov-16 17:20:56

Making a will gives you zero protection, since he can change a will whenever he likes.

Either he marries you, or he registers a trust in relation to the house now, giving you a share, or you are likely penniless at whatever point he decides you are surplus to requirements.

Me2017 Wed 02-Nov-16 17:31:00

If you leave now you may be entitled to some capital for your disabled child under the CHildren Act - see a solicitor. It is unlikely if you just paid a bit in that you will have much of a claim to the house - did you pay the mortgage or towards food? What you paid towards can make a difference in law.

Why not make sunny Jim givce up work to care for the child and you go out there and earn! That will teach him a lesson. Then you won't sacrifice your career at all.

By the way I'm divorced and I want every penny going to my 5 children and not a single penny to any new boyfriend. I suspect a lot of us divorce older ones feel the same.

ImperialBlether Wed 02-Nov-16 17:33:21

But this is a bit different, Me2017, as the OP has a child with her partner. But I agree, I wouldn't want a boyfriend to inherit anything, though I think that would have to be clear from the start.

PigletWasPoohsFriend Wed 02-Nov-16 17:33:23

Wasn't that sorted when he got divorced?

OP says he isn't yet divorced.

Fudgeandraisins Wed 02-Nov-16 17:50:09

All of DPs assets, savings etc have gone to Ex Wife and kids through the payments and mainly the asset which is a house bought for Exwife, mortgage free in her name. This was agreed prior to divorce. His Ex and kids got all previous assets and when I moved in, so me and DP start at zero.

My worry is that future assets that me and DP are both building up, I.e. His pension and his house, are not in my name too.

Allthebestnamesareused Wed 02-Nov-16 18:23:54

Marriage does in fact offer you the best protection in the absence of an agreement.

AnotherEmma Wed 02-Nov-16 18:37:52

First things first, stop contributing towards the mortgage(s) or any other expenses for the house such as maintenance, repairs or renovations. That's complete madness when you're not on the deeds and have no legal interest in the property.

Secondly, get legal advice about the financial contributions you have already made and whether you can establish beneficial interest in the property.

Thirdly, ask your partner whether he intends to provide for you and the child you have together in his will. If he is not willing to provide for you both that would be a deal breaker IMO.

AnotherEmma Wed 02-Nov-16 18:39:47

"it's been a bit of a rocky road with DP being very uncommitted"

Why on earth you would pay his mortgage and have a child with someone who was uncommitted I don't know.

DamePastel Wed 02-Nov-16 18:41:27

I guarantee he 'gets' it.

My x used to pretend he didn't get why I was feeling aggrieved.

museumum Wed 02-Nov-16 18:50:17

If I had multiple children but only one with a lifelong disability I wouldn't think twice about that child getting far more inheritance or a place to live when I die. I don't agree at all with saying the house must be split equally.
And if the house requires ongoing adaptations for wheelchairs or hoists or a stairlift as the child grows then even more argument to leave it to them.

mouldycheesefan Wed 02-Nov-16 19:01:30

Anotheremma, yes there was a thread earlier this week saying kids to learn this stuff in school. This is a prime example.

artiface Wed 02-Nov-16 19:43:10

While you're quietly getting to grips with the legal implications of all this and all the good advice you've had here, don't forget that if he feels under too much pressure he may close down a little - the divorce will be hard for him anyway. I'd try to go gently with him, he will need you to be his ally, if he feels he has two women in battle dress he may well bolt emotionally.

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