AIBU to think I don't know who I was married to for 15 years?(22 Posts)
Sorry for long post - I don’t know even where to start eg. he’s only paid £50k into the mortgage. He re-mortgaged the house without telling me. I signed the paperwork because he said he was changing to a better rate.
We’ve been separated for 18 months and going through a divorce. We share childcare 50/50, DC are 10 and 13 yrs.
We agreed that I would stop working when we had children and he would pay the mortgage. He’s always had a good salary with bonuses in total approx. £200k a year. I know he has a financial advisor, but I never questioned him as he seemed to know what he was doing and I trusted him. He owned a flat which he sold and said he’d put it towards the mortgage – he didn’t.
He’s set up his own business and shows a very minimal salary – which I know is not true. I think a lot of his money goes off shore and has been for all the time we have been married.
All I have is about £80k if we sell the house and about £125k from his pension/cips which I can’t access unless I pay big penalties.
I’ve got to the point where I just want the divorce, I want to be free. All I would like is to stay in the house for the sake of the children, they’ve already been through so much and I will take over the mortgage as soon as I can, but I can’t at the moment. He pays the interest and I would pay more than double in rent for a 2 bed place.
He wants me out of the house and is being so unreasonable. The only option I have is to get more into debt and go to court. It just seem so unfair.
Brief background. I have suffered with MH issues and I had PND. He started putting me down and shouting at me after we had children. He earned money and paid for everything. I rarely spent anything on myself or went out as I wasn’t earning. He would tell me to go back on my antidepressants. I would and things would get better, so for years I thought it was me that was the problem.
When children were older I set up my own business so I could work around the children. My confidence grew and I started to see things more clearly. During this time my DM who I was so, so close with was diagnosed with a terminal illness. My ex was good he looked after the children so I could be with her. He was fond of my mum.
After my DM passed, my ex became more controlling and stopped me seeing my siblings , he’d checked my phone and would get angry with me if they phoned. I used my inheritance to file for the divorce and I put the rest into my business.
He wants me out of the house. He wants a percentage of my business. He doesn’t want to pay me spousal maintenance. I am earning a small salary from my business and it has a lot of potential and as soon as I can cut my financial ties with him I will.
I don’t care about his hidden money, I just want to be free, but stay in the house until I can take over the mortgage.
The only option I have is to go to court and get into more debt it just seems all so unfair. It seems he just wants to destroy me. Does anyone have any advice – I just don’t know what to do.
No advice to offer, but I am so sorry to hear you are having such a hard time.
He sounds very dishonest and unpleasant.
Please ask around and get a really excellent divorce lawyer - you could also consider asking Women's Aid for advice? You need to get the best divorce you can - minimum misery and best financial outcome. He has stolen from you and you should take steps to recover your property, as well as a right to a reasonable settlement for the sacrifices to your career.
Take care of yourself and your children. Don't be a martyr because he is a thieving liar.
You clearly can't rely on him to tell you the truth. Get a solicitor onto him ASAP. I would see if you can raise the funds for this by selling something. (Preferable something of his!)
The only advice I can give you is don't believe a word he ays, don't trust him and get yourself a good solicitor.
Get a very good solicitor and consider using a forensic accountant to trace his money. If you are in London, I can recommend my solicitor
Get yourself a decent solicitor, it should pay dividends when it's over - he's a shit and he needs a serious kick up the arse - good luck
Thanks for your responses. I do have a solicitor and I've spent a fortune already as he's been dragging it out for 18 months. There's no sign of where the money is as I do think it's off shore. His business accounts look odd eg. for a service company his expenses are very high. If I go to court it will may highlight that he's perhaps not very honest, but won't prove anything else.
Foresenic accountant for now, switch solicitors now if your current one is not doing the job properly
Thanks Daftapath and flumpybear I have been asking my solicitor from the beginning about a forensic accountant, but she said it would be really expensive and we probably wouldn't find anything especially if it's off shore. She does think he hiding money and wants to highlight to the court that he's dishonest. I have considered changing solicitor, but they have a good reputation and they have already applied for a court date, so I feel like it's too late to change. I'm hoping not to go to court as it's going to cost me £20k as apparently we need - 3 days!! it just sounds ridiculous when there's hardly any money or assets to negotiate.
KTheGrey thanks I hadn't thought of Women's Aid. I'm going to look into that!
It sounds to me like you were unknowingly in an abusive relationship. He's making threats to bully you into letting him have what he wants. If you believe you've had good legal advice and what he's demanding is unfair then stand your ground.
I might be tempted to get a second legal opinion. Whilst your lawyer has a point about money possibly being off shore, it might be money well spent. Especially if you find evidence of money off shore that might have tax implications for him.
I have thought about the tax implications and I know he’s dishonest so it wouldn’t surprise me. My concern is if it would affect me and I don’t want the children to suffer. It really feels like I can never win. I think I will get a second opinion though. Nothing to lose.
That's awful. Sorry. No advice or experience. But good luck.
Sorry you're in such a shit situation.
I do think it's important that you start accurately labelling this as domestic abuse / coercive control. Divorce and finances aside, doing so will help you process it and rebuild.
When you're ready for rebuilding, Freedom Programme could help you make sense and protect yourself in the future: www.freedomprogramme.co.uk
If you understand his abusive behaviour and what's driving it then it becomes easier to protect yourself and respond most appropriately. (There would be value to that in dealing with everything right now too).
Does your solicitor understand that he's been abusing you?
Coercive control is a crime, by the way.
I’m so sorry OP. Definitely get a second opinion and consider a forensic accountant - a friend of mine was in a similar situation and they managed to get information from his financial advisor that uncovered a whole network or shell companies and all kinds of dodgy dealings, which then led to a HMRC investigation and prosecution in the end. This was years ago though so I can’t remember the details but don’t let him get away with it without trying everything.
Do you have anything in writing about him paying more off the mortgage than he has (mentioned in emails, texts or anything like that)? I hope the judge sees straight through his bullshit.
Thanks Ptah. My solicitor knows the details. The reason for the divorce is due to his unreasonable behaviour. I do see clearly now that it was an abusive relationship, but I’d hate the children to find out.
I’ll never let anyone control me that’s why I’m determined to make a success of my business. The next person I meet will be amazing and a great role model for my children. The worst is over I’m nearly free I just need to get over this last hurdle without being homeless and bankrupt 😊
Thanks sinkgirl. I’m going to get another opinion. I’m a bit scared to go down the hmrc route, but I might mention it to see if it scares him!
Sadly having been a legal secretary, I noticed roughly half the women found their partner had lied from the start re money, or remortgaged without them knowing, or had secret bank accounts. And often, when you start the divorce process, previously financially honest men panicked & started damage limitation, moving money elsewhere . Id also get women ringing whose really wealthy partner had said lets not get anything legal set up re £ & assets: I'll just give you £.....to buy you & the kids somewhere. It was always a crap amount that wouldn't buy a 1bed flat.
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