Mortgages, Pensions and Wills in a Step Family

(21 Posts)
Kangaroo123 Mon 15-Feb-16 17:42:47

I moved in with my DP 7 years ago, to his house, with his kids. And now I'm quite worried about my future financially!

DP had no equity in his house when I moved in, as he'd remortgaged to pay for a house for his Ex. I paid rental to him as I was working. I have one child, he has four children and we have one together- total six, phew!

Our child together has special needs and I gave up work. He has a financial agreement with his Ex sorting out all assets, but is not divorced. He tried but the solicitor said he would have to pay a lump sum to his Ex for her to waive her rights to his pensions, and he doesn't have the money. His wages have gone down in the last few years and now we barely make the huge mortgage.

I have a house which I let out, which also has a big mortgage, it's not worth much and is not in a place I'd ever live again. I have no pensions myself. As a single parent, I worked but no chance to build up very much.

My question is - how do we both try and carve out a future financially for us and everyone? At the moment, if my DP died, he's put his children only in his will, so I'd be out on my ear. I'm not on the mortgage on DPs house and it feels like it has nothing to do with me.

Yet I feel I am contributing, now not financially but one of us would have to stay at home with the small child. I asked my DP about wills and the house, and wouldn't it be fairer to put me on the mortgage, have half and half share, and for me to leave to my two children, and him to leave to his five. He said that wasn't acceptable and he would leave fifth shares to all his children only.

Pensions - I'm also worried - basically his Ex will have half his pensions if he doesn't divorce and I'll have none. This doesn't seem like a very good future for me. Any advice?! I'll post on legal too but this board seems very good on step family situations.

cappy123 Mon 15-Feb-16 19:49:35

Search for the MNetter 'mumblechum' shes a solicitor on here, qualified willperson thingy (forgot the technical term) with lots of step family wills experience, she is highly recommended. She has an ad in the classified section.

MuttonCadet Mon 15-Feb-16 20:31:55

Marlow wills are fantastic, I'm a stepmum and they sorted out mine and DH wills, they are also extremely patient.

Viewofhedges Mon 15-Feb-16 20:47:55

I'd look into life insurance for both of you asap, to keep the roof over your heads / your kids' heads should one of you die. If you have policies with the mortgage, make sure you are the named beneficiary (and that it's not the ex).

Also, you could consider him willing you the right to live in the house for a certain number of years even though his children will own it. This is what my father has done - though his 2 children (of which I am one) are adult, his new wife gets to live in the house when he dies, until she dies, but the house then goes to my sister and I - i.e. she can't then give it away to someone else and cut us out. (He told us he was doing this when he remarried.) He might consider something like that - say giving you a few years to sort yourself out should that happen.

Your DH sounds like he's being a bit unreasonable to say you get nothing but is also probably reacting to what's happened with his ex. So setting something out which protects his children and your child may be the better way of approaching things. He may not be aware of ways he can protect you without 'giving' you his assets.

You might also look at your own property and get financial advice on how to turn that rental income into your own, protected pension, or sell that and invest what you have left over into another more targeted buy-to-let which will give you your own income in future years.

Obvs I'm no financial advisor but this is just what my own family have done.

Bananasinpyjamas1 Tue 16-Feb-16 00:51:42

I'm not an expert, but shouldn't you have a stake in the home that you've lived in and contributed to? 50/50?

Bananasinpyjamas1 Tue 16-Feb-16 00:54:34

As in, your DPs home? It should be yours too if you've lived as partners, had his child etc? So he bought his Ex a house outright but you have nothing?

Kangaroo123 Tue 16-Feb-16 12:32:28

I feel like I am contributing to this house that I live in - just because he's the earner and I'm the stay at home mum - I'm not sure I'm comfortable with not inheriting anything from this house, for me and for my kids as well as his.

I'm seriously considering moving out - I could get a part-time job and in two years my own mortgage again and my own pension fund without my partner. I'd be better off than staying here tbh.

whaleshark Tue 16-Feb-16 12:42:45

I think in your shoes I would go for moving out, and becoming financially independent. I can understand why your DH is wary about sharing finances, but that does not make it fair. In the current set up you are effectively an unpaid housekeeper and childminder, with no rights.

Bananasinpyjamas1 Tue 16-Feb-16 12:51:12

I think the OP is paying for the price for her DP giving everything to his first wife. Yet if she has a child by him, it's not fair at all that her and the child be given such a raw deal.

lunar1 Tue 16-Feb-16 19:30:28

Do you think it's the way it would be split that has caused him to say no. Your two children would be much better off than his split this way. Could it be split equally between the children? He may feel better doing that.

He will be factoring in they you have a house too, will that be added to the joint pot?

Kangaroo123 Tue 16-Feb-16 21:06:02

whaleshark - I know, I can understand that my DP feels wary now. However it is extreme, basically leaving me no security at all when his Ex has a fully paid off house in her name.
lunar The thing is, when I met DP he had no equity in the house. My previous house is nothing to do with this. This is the home we contribute to together, he contributes nothing to my rented house. We have 6 children between us, but one together.

If everything is left to all of his children (no mention to DP of my previous son), it's split 5 ways. His other 4 children also get a substantial inheritance from their mothers house. So it's unfair on our son together.

Also, my contribution is 50/50. Why should I contribute more towards his children just because he chose to have more than me?

I first I was relatively laid back and generous, willing to just put my houses assets in the pot of his mortgage and still only take 50/50. Now, after his reservations, I'm inclined to just protect myself and my two kids.

GasLightShining Tue 16-Feb-16 21:46:51

In all honesty if you want it to be fair both houses need to be put in the pot.

If he is not happy with that then protect yourself and DC. If you are not married he would have no claim on the house you rent out and if if hewas to die his ex would get his house since they are not divorced and he has not written a new will. You would have to contest if there was no provision for the child you have between you.

You may not think you have any security but you do as you own a house in your own name (even if you don't like the area)

lunar1 Tue 16-Feb-16 21:51:02

What do you mean only take 50%. Do you want to keep your own house plus more than 50% of the one he owns?

If you put it to him like that I can see exactly why he's reacted the way he has. Unless I've completely misunderstood what you mean.

Kangaroo123 Tue 16-Feb-16 22:32:31

Gas and lunar Well at the minute I have Zero!
My DP wouldn't have been able to contribute anything to 'the pot'. He had none of his own assets to begin with. His house was fully mortgaged with no equity.

I financially contributed to his mortgage from the start, and from a point where there was no equity, and therefore it would be fair if I was 50/50 on any equity accrued since then.

We could have sold my house, bought a house together and took a 50/50 share (taking off any initial assets that either party could provide). That would have been clearer. But my DP didn't want to do that.

To be honest he still hasn't got much of an equity as it was in negative equity for a while (so I was helping him pay of his debt in effect). If we shared money into a 'pot' I'd basically be giving him more money and signing off a lot of my kids inheritance.

GasLightShining Tue 16-Feb-16 23:30:56

Would he marry you if he wasn't already married?

Bluelilies Wed 17-Feb-16 09:24:48

If he doesn't have any equity in the house, then I can't see why you're bothered about wills. Doesn't matter how he splits things between you and the kids, if there's not really anything much to leave.

Personally I think if you own one house each then there's no need to have shared finances. You're not losing anything by living with him, and you're gaining the rent on your own house.

But it also sounds as if he's not ready emotionally or financially to give you what you want. He needs to sort out his divorce before you can possibly think about sharing your own finances together. If that means some of his pension goes to his ex, so be it.

You're also saying you'd like a share of his assets (house and pension) but wouldn't be prepared to give up your own to the family pot, as your kids would lose out on inheritance. Does sound like you should keep things separate, which is what you're DP wants too.

Bananasinpyjamas1 Wed 17-Feb-16 12:15:00

I can see your point OP. If you think of your house as not a house, but savings, that you had before you moved in with your DP, who had no assets. Then nobody would be telling you that you should have no share in any accruing assets on the house you live in together?

Would other posters then be saying, unless you give your DP your savings you cannot have any stake in the house you live in? Despite caring for a your shared child?

Wdigin2this Wed 17-Feb-16 20:44:48

Whilst your partner is still married to his wife, you're and your DC's position is in severe danger! If I were you, I think I'd be getting myself out of that house and back into my own! At least there, you're not housekeeping for a large family, and will probably be entitled to assistance! Think about moving back together when he's got his divorce!

Kangaroo123 Thu 18-Feb-16 00:25:49

Good advice wdigin! I'm so uncomfortable that he hasn't divorced. In so many ways. He said he would but now says it's too expensive.

Blue - it's because 'our' home will be accruing equity now. Only a little, but later on it will grow. Why am I not entitled morally to a share as I am bringing up our child in this house? Surely that is a contribution?

At first I would have happily put my equity into the mortgage (about 20,000), which would have seen me put 20,000 more than was in it when I moved in! He said he woukd marry me when divorced.

I'm upset as I'm totally stuffed. I can't move back into my house as it's miles away from where I'd ever want to live. I have a big mortgage anyway and no way to pay now as our son is very young and I can't work full time. Yet he'd leave me homeless if anything happened to him and I'd have his child. Can't believe I'm being treated so differently from his wife. I really thought he'd understand my concern.

amarmai Mon 29-Feb-16 22:54:02

You need to find a place for you and your dcc to live -if he died unexpectedly , you wd be homeless. Better to make a home now before you end up without. Very unfair sit to you and your dcc.

Peasandsweetcorn Thu 03-Mar-16 00:29:14

Does your DP have a will in place at the moment? If not, then chat about which children his assets goes to is, I think, irrelevant as it will all go to his wife. That should be the first hurdle to overcome

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