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To think DB shouldn't have to fund his cheating wife?

(173 Posts)
ButterBeanSoup Tue 27-Dec-16 14:12:01

My DB is in a bit of a tricky situation. He will get legal advice, of course, but posting for opinions.

He has been with his partner for 20 years (married 11). They have 4 children 19,17, 15 and 13. Partner has not worked for 15 years. He tells me that the arrangement was always for her to go back to work once the youngest was at school, but this did not happen. He has had to work two jobs to support the family, and they accrued debt over this period, which he has only recently managed to clear.

Last April, he found out that his wife was having an affair. She is refusing mediation, and saying that she will only communicate via solicitors.

They are both still living in the family home. She refuses to move out, or to get a job to contribute financially. He wants to sell the home and cut ties with her (but not the children, obviously).

He knows he can apply to the court to force the sale, however, we also know it is possible the court will delay until the youngest is 18.

The question is, if the court delay the sale, does this mean that he has to pay for her to live in the house for free for another 6 years, whilst she continues to cheat on him?!

OohhThatsMe Tue 27-Dec-16 14:16:28

Well, let's say he does leave, he would only have to provide child support and she would have to fund the mortgage etc out of that, wouldn't she? She really has no excuse for not working, does she?

Bluntness100 Tue 27-Dec-16 14:17:02

I don't think he can force the sale, he's legally obliged to keep a home for his kids whilst they are still dependant and two are. He has to speak to a solicitor.

There is many things that cause people to have affairs and for marriages to break down, and I don't think it's fair to undermine her contribution to the home as a stay at home parent when they have four kids.

BIgBagofJelly Tue 27-Dec-16 14:17:56

That sounds like a horrible situation for your bother.

Presumably at least three of the children live at home? If he is working full time will his wife have custody? In that case presumably she'd need a large house in any case to accommodate the kids?

ThisIsStartingToBoreMe Tue 27-Dec-16 14:18:18

Yes, all he HAS to pay is child maintenance. They could then just split the finances 50/50

ButterBeanSoup Tue 27-Dec-16 14:26:24

Yes, three are still at home.

He would never just pay child maintenance, and he wouldn't put the children at risk of homelessness. He wants to sell so they can both get smaller places. His concern is that if they don't sell, he will have to continue living there with her (who refuses to move out or contribute financially) for another 6 years because he couldn't cover two mortgages.

ThisIsStartingToBoreMe Tue 27-Dec-16 14:27:43

How big is the family home and who will the children live with?

ButterBeanSoup Tue 27-Dec-16 14:27:54

In an ideal world he would like her to leave and for him to remain in the house with the children. She will not do this, however.

Bluntness100 Tue 27-Dec-16 14:28:56

She does need to get a job though, child maintenance is for the kids, not her. He needs to speak to a solicitor as he cannot be expected to provide financially for her too any more, those days are now gone.

GingerHollyandIvy Tue 27-Dec-16 14:29:54

Two sides to every story. Perhaps she has a good reason for her actions. I'd just let him speak to a solicitor and sort through the details. Be supportive, yes, but be very careful about how you side against the mother of his children. They are part of your family, and she is a big part of theirs.

OnionKnight Tue 27-Dec-16 14:31:04

Two sides to every story. Perhaps she has a good reason for her actions.

Fucking hell, if the cheater was a man this would never be said hmm

SoupDragon Tue 27-Dec-16 14:38:10

In an ideal world he would like her to leave and for him to remain in the house with the children.

Is he the primary carer?

HughLauriesStubble Tue 27-Dec-16 14:39:14

Two sides to every story. Perhaps she has a good reason for her actions

Ah yes, the joy of double standards on mumsnet hmm

I think the wife should be the one to leave as she is the one who has cheated and refused all offers of mediation etc. If your brother is set on keeping custody of the kids and staying in the house then a solicitor would probably tell him to hang tight for now. Poor man sad

mrsmuddlepies Tue 27-Dec-16 14:39:35

Two sides to every story. Perhaps she has a good reason for her actions.
Can you imagine the outrage if someone posted this about a woman's cheating husband hmm

MillyDLA Tue 27-Dec-16 14:40:31

She is entitled to stay in the family home with the children whilst they are in full time education, with any share of your brothers capital remaining However she needs to be able to afford to run the house. Normal maintenance would apply. This agreement would end if she moved another partner in.

ButterBeanSoup Tue 27-Dec-16 14:40:57

He was utterly broken when he discovered it. She left for a couple of weeks but then came back, and ha been sleeping on the sofa ever since. The two youngest have found it very tough (unsurprisingly).

CurlyhairedAssassin Tue 27-Dec-16 14:41:10

I think he could still be expected to cover the mortgage for another 5 years, but he surely wouldn't have to pay her household bills on top of that? There would be some extra for the kids for clothes and their food etc but actual bills on what would become her own household then she will need to wake up to th fact that she will have to start paying them herself as he will have his own house to run. she could claim benefits but would need to have a v good reason for not applying for jobs!!

(No expert, just my opinion)

MillyDLA Tue 27-Dec-16 14:42:23

All of the above would be reversed if the male is the parent with care of the children

BlurryFace Tue 27-Dec-16 14:42:55

He should get legal advice, really. At their ages I would think the younger children would have some say in who they lived with for the majority of the time. While they both live there he should just buy groceries and pay bills, no clothing etc for her (groceries would be impossible to police). Eventually she will have to get a job.

expatinscotland Tue 27-Dec-16 14:43:30

He needs to see a solicitor. Fair enough if you want to start a thread about how much you hate your SIL, but be honest and make it about that because anyone with a grain of sense knows that in these situations you need professional legal advice.

ThisIsStartingToBoreMe Tue 27-Dec-16 14:46:03

I think children of that age will be able to decide which parent they want to live with

Willyoujustbequiet Tue 27-Dec-16 14:46:33

He doesnt just have to provide child maintenance alone. There is a good chance she can get him for spousal maintenance - long marriage and if she hasnt worked for many years as a SAHM she has sacrificed her career and earning potential. The courts will give weight to this as they should.

Several of my friends receive spousal and their exes got a shock.

The best way is try as hard as possible to negotiate a mutually acceptable solution before the courts get involved.

I highly doubt he could force a sale.

icy121 Tue 27-Dec-16 14:46:33

OP I'm so sorry to say that my experience of the divorce courts is that "fault" means fuck all.

If the wife will only go via solicitors, and she's so minded, she will be filling in a form E which will make out her "needs" are as great as possible and that her children "need" her such that she couldn't possibly get a job. The fact she hasn't worked in 15 years will be used as a reason she can't possibly start again now because (thinking back of OHs ExW statements) the work she would be able to get would basically be below her, or words to that effect.

The cost of solicitors is insane as well - and there's every chance your DB would be forced to pay her sol bills as part of the settlement. If he's lucky, going through court, there will be a full and final settlement whereby the house is sold, she gets a chunk as the settlement, and then there will be child maintenance payments for him to pay monthly (with, by the way, nothing there to force her to spend the money on the kids and not herself). If he is unlucky, the judge will accept that she couldn't possibly work and has "given up her life to brining up their children" and she'll be granted spousal maintenance until youngest is 18 OR she might get it for life. There seems to be a move away from lifetime settlements but they're still granted. Depending on the sums being talked about the house may or may not be effectively gifted to her as well.

As I said, if you go down a full acrimonious divorce, the courts are absolute cunts to the dads who have to pay pay and pay some more; there is a shitty paternalistic attitude in divorce courts here which just assumes the woman is totally pathetic and needs looking after. I'm v sorry for your brother here.

Ouriana Tue 27-Dec-16 14:48:05

Be very careful insulting this woman for not working once the children were in school.

If she had got a job, would you brother have taken then to school at 9 every morning? Would he have been available to do pick up at 3 every day?

Would he have taken time off every time one if the DC got sick or had a doctors or dentist appointment?

If not he can not complain about having to "fund" her.

userformallyknownasuser1475360 Tue 27-Dec-16 14:48:48

Two very separate issues here which some mumsnetters do not seem to understand in cases like this....

1. He does have to pay maintenance for the children aged up to 18 who are in full time education

2. He must continue to pay the mortgage in the property as he is jointly liable (if mortgage is in both names) for the mortgage. The bank have signed documentation of his agreement, only a court can force the sale- he cannot. However she cannot kick him out as he has propriety rights, again only a court can force him to leave. To stop paying the mortgage he must negotiate with the bank, or make an affangemebtbwith his wife.

3. Infidelity from a legal point of view has nothing to do with the split in financial terms - it is a reason a court will grant a divorce, but being the faithful partner does not give you any additional rights or any additional claim to property.

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