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AIBU in wanting the end of the meal ticket for life in this particular instance (or in finishing off all the DC's mini sugared doughnuts)?

(163 Posts)
Artemisia48 Tue 13-Sep-16 06:25:13

I find myself writing this post in the middle of the night because I cannot sleep and I am hoping that some MN's feedback will bring me some moral support -and writing this post will help me back to sleep -that and the doughnuts plus the large glass of Chardo no no no cup of organic herbal tea. Please bear with me if you can as I am gathering all the facts. I divorced the father of my 2 teenage sons 5 years ago very amicably no court involved and we have a great relationship, co parenting together. I am happily remarried with someone who also has 2 teenage children but went through a very bitter divorce court case. His ex doesn't work, is 8 years younger than us, got a very generous settlement (keeping the whole house mortgage free estimated at 1.8 a lump sum so circa 2mil and a personal yearly maintenance until she is 65). Not mentioning children's maintenance because this is just normal. It left my DH quite worse off. At the time she was the RP looking after their 2 children (14 & 16) living next to their school in Kent whereas we are based in London; suffice to say, her attitude was always less than amicable and she never facilitated the children' visits. This year 2 things happened: In January my DH's son (16) chose to come and live with us, and in June his DD just left to go to Canada (Uni). We sold our previous property (which I loved) in January to move to another house closer to transport to facilitate my DH' s son's commute and had to take quite a large mortgage as we needed space for the 3 children who live with us for now most of the time. My ex husband and I both contribute equally to a joint budget for our sons but no one is giving the other any maintenance. I am about to start a new job after 3 years of free lancing because we need to pay off the mortgage and my eldest will start Uni next year. And the last straw came today, I have just learned that my DH's ex has now taken up golf and some unpaid local volunteering to fill up her days. My jaws just hit the floor... Surely now is the time for her to self fund whichever lifestyle she has chosen with the assets she was given and stop rely/ weigh on us? We work full time, look after our children and are happy to provide for them, moved house to accommodate the change of circumstances and still pay her the equivalent of a considerable salary (pre tax = my last full time salary approx £50.000). Surely this defies any kind of logic? Aer we still in the 50s or in 2016? In real terms she has become a millionaire when she got divorced and all she needs to do if she doesn't want to work is sell her 5.000 ft house, buy another (still very nice) one and live off her money?? AIBU in finding this meal ticket totally unfair in our circumstances? (Insert angry face). Thanks in advance for your replies.

TallulahTheTiger Tue 13-Sep-16 06:29:46

I didn't think spousal maintenance was a thing these days- was there a reasoning for it? Absolutely yes to CM as you say!

MsJamieFraser Tue 13-Sep-16 06:30:24

Can your dh not go back to court, I hope you've stopped paying the maintenance?

bestofbothhovis Tue 13-Sep-16 06:36:55

Surely you can refuse to pay spousal maintenance? I didn't think that was a thing anymore!
And if his DS is living with you then you needn't pay for child maintenance for him. If his DD is going to uni can't he pay her directly now instead of his exp?
Think you need to go back to court about all of this

Cabrinha Tue 13-Sep-16 06:41:34

None of your business really.
Your husband agreed to it all, and if she got a penny more than a court would have ordered, then that was his choice.

If he earned enough (or had been given) enough money to have walked away from a 1.8m paid off property and paid £200K + spousal, and your last full time wage was £50K, then I'll guess that he has more money than you now?

In which case, I'll bet you're benefiting from his money in some way too. Just like she did. Only she enabled him (and her) to have 2 children. I suspect there's s big old back story!

JeSuisUnChocoholic Tue 13-Sep-16 06:51:41

Do people still pay spousal maintenance these days?

cexuwaleozbu Tue 13-Sep-16 06:52:04

It kind of depends how rich your DH was at the time of the split. She was entitled to half the assets when they divorced. If he was wealthy then that would be a large amount and that is fine.

The personal yearly maintenance until she is 65 is the thing it might be worth revisiting. Unless she accepted a settlement of a less than 50% share of assets in exchange for an ongoing income which would be reasonable. Otherwise, then yes look into cutting off the annual income and certainly she doesn't need any child maintenance paid to her any more if neither child is living with her.

travellinglighter Tue 13-Sep-16 06:54:22


How can a drain on the family finances be none of the OP's business?? ITs not as if he left his ex wife destitute. If she can't find a job that funds her own lifestyle the.n maybe downsizing and using some of the equity from the £1.8million would see her through.

I'd be back in court like a shot.

Irisagogo Tue 13-Sep-16 06:56:05

Wow she got a great divorce settlement.
I think that you need to tell the full story. What did you husband get from the settlement,? Did he have a super high wage ( has he lost it?)

I don't see how the court would have screwed him over with spousal maintenance if he gave her so much.

Feels like half a story to me.

MelanieCheeks Tue 13-Sep-16 07:00:01

Would her getting a job affect the personal yearly maintenance she gets? Or was it in any way conditional on employment situation?

Oblomov16 Tue 13-Sep-16 07:04:20

There must be a huge backstory here.
What does your Dh say? Why hasn't he gone back to court?

DeathStare Tue 13-Sep-16 07:08:01

That's what a Court ordered that she receive after hearing all the evidence and seeing all the finances at the time.

For her to be awarded a house of that value plus such generous spousal maintenance, your DH must have had (or been earning) A LOT in either money or investments.

I think you really need to focus on your DH not his ex-wife. If he still has this money/investments then why isn't it being contributed to your household? If he doesn't still have it then where did it go?

Irisagogo Tue 13-Sep-16 07:11:45

Another question ...what was the house worth at the time of divorce?

Did she get a 250k in London that is now worth 1.8m has she just benefitted from house price increase

Cabrinha Tue 13-Sep-16 07:12:55

Travelling nothing the OP has said suggests her current family finances are under any kind of strain at all.

On the scant information given, I would place a bet of a small sum that the OP's financial situation improved by marrying this man too.

I have no axe to grind. In my divorce, my XH had far greater assets. I chose to discount some (a business built pre-me) and was warned by my solicitor that our approx. 15:85 split in his favour may lead to a call from the court.

I just think there's always a back story and there's a reason this man CHOSE this settlement or it was AWARDED. Contrary to popular opinion, XH/XW's don't get to take anyone to the cleaners. Check out Relationships for proof of that!

£1.2m property sounds a lot. (It is a lot!)
But what if that were bought in London 20 years ago for £300K and she paid some of the mortgage for 2 years, and then he paid all of it with a rapidly increasing salary when his career took off because he never had to think about childcare and because they made the choice for her to be a SAHP? (again no axe to grind, I chose not to be a SAHP)

What if she's in a £1.2m property - and so is he?

The OP doesn't sound like her husband can't afford the situation - she's just pissed off that in her eyes the XH is getting something for nothing.

I suspect she's not getting something for nothing.

I'm also of the view that actually it isn't really a second partner's business to opinionate on divorce settlements. It was her husband's decision at the time and was in place when they met. It's not like they married and then had kids and 5 years in a court randomly said "oh you have to find £2m".

Half a story here.

Cabrinha Tue 13-Sep-16 07:20:27

In fact, reading the OP again, looks like the main issues for the OP are:

- she's had to leave a house she loves
- she's had to stop freelancing to go permie to pay for a mortgage on a larger house she doesn't want and commuting costs for her stepson

Her problem maybe isn't the XW payments, but lack of alignment with her husband.

The SS is 16, college starting age. Why not start at a different college closer to the new home he has chosen?

Maybe there was no choice but to move to accommodate him, but why not buy a house in a cheaper area so that the OP only lost the home she loved but didn't have to also lose her freelance work situation to pay a larger mortgage?

An XW problem, or a husband problem?

heidiwine Tue 13-Sep-16 07:21:01

OP I am in a very similar situation to you except that DPs children are a little younger.
You may well get a flaming from some on here but ignore it. People don't believe these sort of divorce settlements exist and (on this forum will often assume that the man is lying). However, I completely agree with you that this sort of meal ticket for life should not exist. I am all for giving stay at home parents in these situations spousal maintenance as a means of supporting them to become financially independent but not as a means of financial support for life. From what I understand it's rare to award life long spousal support now but 10 years ago it was fairly common. And, once it's been ordered its pretty tough to change unless there is a change of circumstance when you can revisit the agreement. It could be that a child coming to live with you (and another at uni) could be considered changes in circumstance. Maybe you should consult a solicitor about that?
I know how tough your situation is... Honestly I do. I could go on and on about it but anything I say will put me. Keep your head high and be proud that you are a financially independent strong woman.

paranormalish Tue 13-Sep-16 07:27:13

There must be more to this than meets the eye, the fact that she is no longer primary career means there is NO reason that she shouldn't have a job. With that sort of money swilling around in a divorce he should have got a clean break.

paranormalish Tue 13-Sep-16 07:29:23

And no marriage should not be a meal ticket for life.

Irisagogo Tue 13-Sep-16 07:32:24

Para - there is a very good reason that she should get a job, it will be a crap one.

If the EW has been out of employment, what on earth would she do? She certainly won't earn 50k ( and why does she need to she got spousal payments).

I'm not saying life time payments are ok, but at the time they were deemed fair, we don't know why she got them, she may have walked away from her share of a business they shared or anything.

Irisagogo Tue 13-Sep-16 07:33:05

Shouldn't get a job 😄

Cabrinha Tue 13-Sep-16 07:36:12

heidiwine the OP's husband only got divorced 2 years ago.

I agree that spousal was more common 10 years ago.

My point is that whether it was 2 years or 10 years, whether it was fair or not, the OP knew about it when she chose to get together with this man.

The upset seems to be the impact of the OP's life - having to drop the freelance, having to move home. Why? Why has a 16yo coming to live with them caused that? The financial situation with the XW was pre-existing. Why haven't they, as a couple, come to a practical decision that they are both happy with?

Telling the 16yo he needs to move college for 6th form? Asking him to wait 6 months so they can save to extend their current house? (not saying these things were possibly... but were all options consisted?)

Why has this "financially independent strong woman" taken the hit for her pretty recent new relationship? Like I say - half a story.

heidiwine Tue 13-Sep-16 07:37:54

To those who are assuming (without any personal experience) that there must be more to this there may well not be. What the OP is describing was not uncommon 10-15 years ago. It is uncommon now. She's come on here for support as she's struggling with challenging feelings. It probably doesn't help her to be told (repeatedly) that she and her husband must be lying.
Have some sympathy. This is a woman raising her own kids and some else's and working hard to contribute fairly to her family's finances (a family that probably doesn't want to include an ex wife with no children at home and no independent means in its financial planning).

MoreCoffeeNow Tue 13-Sep-16 07:44:54

Back to court, I'd say.

mouldycheesefan Tue 13-Sep-16 07:46:55

The settlement was court awarded, no point being jealous that his ex doesn't work and you do.
The moving house etc seems weird, why do you have to move house , if 16 year old wants to live with you he moves into your house. You don't move to the location of his choosing. If this means he changes schools, so be it.

Cabrinha Tue 13-Sep-16 07:51:18

heidiwine the settlement was agreed less than 4 years ago - it happened when youngest was 14 and now he's 16. So 4 years absolute max if 14 means 13+1 day and 16 means 17-1 day!

It still may not be a fair settlement.

The OP was managing perfectly well on her own. Now she's had to move home and take out a big mortgage and change her job when she doesn't want to. That's not the XW's fault, it's the decision she's made with the new H.

I am less interested in the "lazy ex" and more interested in why the OP is detrimentally to herself making changes that benefit her new H.

Sonetimes, behind a bitter ex wife, there is an arsehole of a man wink

And other times not.

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