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Options available to us in these circumstances?

(24 Posts)
Cambam2010 Thu 19-May-16 12:47:48

I posted this in divorce/separation but I feel it may be move suited here.

My DP moved out of his marital home 2.5 years ago. His wife lives in the house with their 2 sons (15 and very soon to be 18). My DP pays maintenance above what he would be legally expected to pay and he pays half of the rent. He also makes all the repayments on a loan taken out to carry out maintenance on the property.

My DP now lives with his mother. We have been together for 2 years. We can not live together because I am in receipt of working tax credit and my DP's wages can not make up the difference if I was to stop claiming.

I am a single mum to a 6 year old boy. When me and my exH split up we sold our house, split the equity and went our separate ways. We get on very well but the only thing that joins us is our son and the maintenance that my exH pays.

I'm struggling to see how me and my DP can move forward as he says that his house can not be sold until both his sons are 18 or until his wife wants to sell. Financially, we can not move on whilst any money he may have is tied up within his house.

This is not a question about how to stop or reduce payments to his wife or sons. It's more a question of how can I get my head around the fact that we can not move on with our lives together under the current circumstances?

Somerville Thu 19-May-16 13:36:15

Many couples who meet at a later point, when one or both of them already have children, have circumstances that will prevent or delay them from moving in together. I certainly do.

I guess the way to cope with that is to focus on the things you can change, rather than the things you can't.

So, you can't decrease how much he contributes towards his DS's home, and neither, presumably, can you get your ex to increase how much he gives you towards your DS. But you could, perhaps, focus on increasing your earnings from your jobs, and dedicate that money to moving in together sooner. And you could focus on the quality of the time you spend together now. And on all sorts of things that will be individual to your circumstances.

MyKingdomForBrie Thu 19-May-16 13:39:16

I agree with somer - look at increasing both of your earnings so that you can move ahead.

You say he pays half the rent but that they own the house?

Cambam2010 Thu 19-May-16 13:42:39

Thanks Somer - I guess it's a bit of a catch-22 issue. I work 30 hours a week and already feel guilty about not having the time to spend with my DS. My DP works 12+ hour days and lives 40 minutes drive from me.

Concentrating on the time we do spend together will have to be my new positive focus.

Cabrinha Thu 19-May-16 13:42:57

Well, if it's not about reducing payments, then surely the answer to "getting your head round it" is simply that - you do?

I mean, what else can you do?

My fiancé and I are postponing living together and marrying for another 2 years. The primary reason is that for the sake of 2 years (he has a 16yo who will go to uni) we don't want to deal with the difficulties of combining two families with children. BUT: he'd also lose £10K a year from various sources by living with me.

So... we're both adults, we see each other when we can, and our relationship is moving on (deepening) all the time. It's not that big a deal, really - you only have 3 years until his youngest is 18.

The alternative is that you look at what you can do to increase your income and stop claiming tax credits?

Cambam2010 Thu 19-May-16 13:44:21

mykingdom - my apologies for the typo. My DP pays half of the mortgage on his marital home. (I am a renter and typed that on autopilot)

Dangerouswoman Thu 19-May-16 13:48:11

Presumably he agreed that his wife could stay in the house until the dc are 18 as part of the divorce settlement. In which case you have to accept that and be prepared to wait a few years to be together. You can enjoy life in the meantime and then start making plans in a couple of years. At least you will be completely sure about setting up home together by then.

What does he think of the situation? I get the impression from your op that he is happy with it but you're not?

eatsleephockeyrepeat Thu 19-May-16 13:55:26

Think I've got you re: the marital home now, OP.

So the house can be sold when the kids turn 18 OR sooner, should his ex agree? Not when the kids turn 18 AND his ex agrees?

Assuming it's the former, it sounds like something might be possible. I guess they're both named no the mortgage, both paying half the payments and both stand to split the equity upon the sale of the house. I'm no expert but a solicitor may be able to facilitate an agreement whereby your dp can take some equity out of the house now by agreeing to a smaller share when the house is eventually sold. He may have to lose financially to do this (e.g agree to take 10k now but take 15k less when eventually split, or whatever) and interest/changing mortgage repayments would have to be taken into account (hence a good solicitor needed!) but it's possible - if everyone can agree!

Apart from that I agree with other posters; past a certain point in life everyone has "baggage" and we love them, baggage and all. Focus on the things you can change.

Good luck!

Lweji Thu 19-May-16 13:58:56

Would you need to stop claiming working tax credits? Or just get less?

Or just accept the financial sacrifice until his youngest is 18?

Cambam2010 Thu 19-May-16 14:00:00

Dangerous - they are not yet divorced. He is more of a talker than a doer. I imagine he will not divorce his wife until either she instigates it or both his sons are over 18. That doesn't really bother me as getting married again is not really in our plans. In his mind, the equity from the house can not be released until they sell the house, and they can't sell the house until his sons have both finished school.

I'm more of a doer - I filed for my divorce as soon as I could, the minute my relationship with my DS's dad was over, I took control of my life, finances etc. My DS loves my DP and I would dearly love for us all to be under the same roof, to give my DS the opportunity to experience family life and to have a male figure in the house to turn to as he grows up.

Cabrina - Getting off of tax credits is a great wish of mine. Unfortunately, unless I can find funds to re-train and to support myself during re-training, I am tied to my current job. It pays well for what it is, but my rent is high (SEast) and I can not fit in any more hours and find more money for childcare.

Lweji Thu 19-May-16 14:03:59

Do you really want to be with someone who hasn't bothered to get divorced?

I wouldn't move in just because of that or invest in anything with him.

Does he have a will? Because as it stands his ex would inherit from him.

eatsleephockeyrepeat Thu 19-May-16 14:05:07

Whoops, missed that they weren't yet divorced! Don't know what impact that would have on my suggestion - make it more complicated, no doubt - but sounds like a solicitor might be a good shout regardless.

VelvetSpoon Thu 19-May-16 14:08:14

Well, if he's paying more than he's required to, there's actually nothing stopping him paying as per CSA/CMS guidelines instead. It's up to him if he prefers not to, of course and would need to be his decison I think, not something you push forward (otherwise the risk is he'll be resentful etc).

If his view is actually the amount he pays is non-negotiable, and he's happy to pay more than required - or indeed that the difference would still not allow for a change in your/his circumstances - then you just need to look at other ways to plan for your future.

Do try to boost your income. If you feel you can't work more hours can you look for a job that pays more per hour/boost your skills/acquire additional qualifications?

Also it's not forever - if your DP's youngest child is 15, that's only at most 3 years before he can apply for the house to be sold, which isn't that far off. Have there been any discussions with him and his XW re the house previously - is she able to buy out his interest, or wil she have to sell the house so the proceeds can be split?

I'm also in a 2 year relationship, we probably won't live together for at least another 2-3 years, maybe longer. Our situation is slightly different in that we can afford financially to live together, but we both like our own space, he wants to live close to his DC (he/they are 35-40 mins away) and I don't want to uproot my teen DC until they have finished their education. It's also quite nice not having to deal with some of the more mundane aspects of living together, but we still get to spend 3-4 nights a week under the same roof which is ok for now.

I know when you want to move forward, it can seem frustrating but you're still young (I'm guessing - if you have a 6 year old!) and you have another 40+ years to live together...in the grand scheme of things another 3 years isn't that long.

eatsleephockeyrepeat Thu 19-May-16 14:10:11

Does he have a will? Because as it stands his ex would inherit from him

Even with a will his marriage could override that, if a judge rules so. I think it's really important to get divorced if you're separated and you're moving on. It's the safest thing to do for you, and the fairest thing to do for future partners.

SandyY2K Thu 19-May-16 14:10:28

Why move to a more serious thing with him if he can't be bothered to get divorced?

Leave it as it is and live in the moment.

Somerville Thu 19-May-16 14:13:21

to give my DS the opportunity to experience family life and to have a male figure in the house to turn to
Experiencing family life with a step dad who is married to someone else? Having a male figure to turn to in the house who is married to someone else?

That could be very confusing for your DS. Even if you can sort out the financials, don't move in with this man until his divorce is at least underway. Just don't.

Cambam2010 Thu 19-May-16 14:26:11

velvet - I am 40, my DP is 50. His wife works part time and can't afford to buy him out if the house & she wouldn't be able to get a mortgage on her sole income (neither can I). He just seems to think that the only course of action is that nothing can happen re selling house, divorce etc until his sons have left school.

Apologies for slow replies - I will respond when I can.

Cambam2010 Thu 19-May-16 14:27:31

Lweji - He hasn't made a new will since he moved out.

aginghippy Thu 19-May-16 14:48:53

I would do it differently (and maybe you would too) but if he has decided not to get divorced until his sons have left school, that is his decision to make. I'm guessing it's his way of being a responsible father and prioritizing his dc's wellbeing. Paying maintenance above what he would be legally expected to pay also shows that he is a responsible father.

It seems to me that he has different ideas about relationships and 'moving on' than you do. Nothing wrong with that, but you need to make decisions about what you want to do with that in mind.

I agree with pp, don't move in with this man until he is divorced. That's not a minor detail.

mrsbrightside3 Thu 19-May-16 15:15:44

I'm confused. How come he can't sell the family home until the children are over 18 / out of education? What happens with the family home is decided / agreed in the divorce settlement - which hasn't happened yet.

if him and his ex have informally decided this is what they plan to do, then fine, but thats his / their choice. Is it wrong to presume that his ex is a similar age to him? if so then its likely that the mortgage has got little left on it. is there no scope for her taking on the mortgage by herself?

The longer he stays married the more chance she will have of being able to claim spousal maintenance too when they do eventually divorce - especially at her age.

I would talk to him about his long term plans. if him and his wife have agreed not to sell until the sons have left school, is this definately going to happen? Does this presume that they will both have left home at 18 an not need a larger house? if so, this could be unlikely.

R.e the will, it makes no difference if he's moved out or not. as it stands now his wife will still be able to make a claim on anything he has, even if he left everything to someone else - even his children. She is still his wife in the eyes of the law

mrsbrightside3 Thu 19-May-16 15:19:52

Sorry, just realised my last post didn't have any advice.

Is there any way you guys can't move on with your life without living together? Surely him spending a few nights a week over at your house is ok in the short term?

what about when your son goes to his dad's? is there scope to spend that time together building a life together and becoming a solid couple?

Cambam2010 Thu 19-May-16 15:46:26

Thanks aging - I guess I'm being really short sighted. I really hadn't given much thought to what impact his still being married had on us as a couple. I just viewed it as meaning that we wouldn't be able to marry (if we ever chose to) until he was divorced, but I see now that there is more to it than that.

I have no reason to doubt he is a responsible father. I get on well with both of his sons and all of his siblings and his mum. He's just a laid back, things'll happen in their own time kind of man. Whereas I'm a planner.

Cambam2010 Thu 19-May-16 15:54:38

mrsb - I have no answer on why the house can't be sold. I've had this discussion and he says he has spoken to a solicitor and that it can't be sold whilst the boys are under 18. (I've challenged his, but he maintains that that is the case). His wife is the same age. It was his choice to end the relationship which ultimately forced her hand in having to work more hours. I don't believe that there remains any ill feeling between them, but it is possible, given her age, lack of a career due to staying home to raise the boys, that she may push for spousal maintenance when (if) they get divorced. I guess at the moment, I'm lacking vision on how our long term plans might play out. I don't like being in limbo.

Lweji Thu 19-May-16 17:51:36

I'm sure it CAN be sold, but he might need a court order and forcing a sale if she didn't agree. I understand that he might not want to disrupt his children's lives and create more problems with his ex.

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