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Will my DM 'get away with this'?

(8 Posts)
Ridingthestorm Tue 16-Dec-14 17:25:51

My parents are divorcing after 39 years marriage. I will say, their marriage has been full of dramas - threats of divorce in the past - but this time it is for 'real'. I have no idea as to why they are divorcing but I am led to believe that my DM is going through a 'midlife crisis'. This all initiated when my DF was waiting brain surgery, which he had in August but not entirely successful.
My dad said he wanted a divorce but retracted the statement 24 hours later. A month afterwards, my mum decided SHE wanted. Divorce and pestered my dad to initiate it. My dad can be a pushover and impulsive so did so. I told my mum that if SHE wanted the divorce, she should seek it, not dad. When dad said he wanted the divorce, he retracted it because deep down he didn't want it and said it because he can be impulsive.
Six months later I finds out that my mum is refusing to hand over the marriage certificate my dad apparently needs to seek the divorce (her solicitor has it) and has demanded my dad pays all bills, the mortgage Nd any outstanding loans they have. Naturally my dad is furious. He wants everything splitting half way.
I am cross with my DM because SHE is the one who wanted the divorce and now believe she pushed/forced my dad to initiate the divorce because she knew she stood a good chance of not having to finance the divorce. I believe this to be deceitful and manipulative.
Though I love my DM and she does anything for me (and DS) I am beginning to think she has played th victim in this divorce (losing tremendous amount of weight but has had an undiagnosed eating disorder for years - anorexic - but she is unbelievably stubborn and aggressive to listen to advice) and putting on a performance worthy of an Oscar!
IMO, she is by no means a victim and belive she is being very skillfull and manipulative in what she has done. I hate to see my parents at war but hate to see one parent being forced into an unfair situation because the other is being deceitful and spiteful and selfish.
Can my DM get away with her demands - not paying a penny towards bills, mortgage, debts, loans and solicitor fees? She does work and despite her saying she has kept the joint bank account in 'check' all these years, she has never contributed towards it.

APlaceInTheWinter Tue 16-Dec-14 17:35:28

I realise this has been an upsetting and emotional time but you really need to butt out of this divorce if you want to salvage any relationship with your DM.
There are lots of aspects of your post that don't make sense which implies you've either misunderstood what your DF has told you or he is deliberately misleading you about the realities of the divorce proceeedings.
The best thing you can do is ensure your DF has a solicitor and then leave them to it. If it's any consolation the law won't care about how upset your DM is and won't let her away with anything. However it will value her contribution to the family marginally higher than you seem to.

Ridingthestorm Tue 16-Dec-14 21:07:29

Which bits don't make sense. Maybe I can clarify. There is so much history it is difficult to mention it without it sounding like I have written a book!

I have a good relationship with my mum. We are close, still speaking, visit each other regularly and she will do anything for me if I needed it. Though without going into an essay, she has a history of a toxic personality (one friend to speak of, hates neighbours - always has done no matter where we live - shuns work colleagues - has nothing nice to say about them - and cuts ties with family due to trivial matters).

I would never abandon either one of them. My relationship with them has nothing to do with their marriage but my mum's refusal to spend Christmas with us because my dad will be there has angered me. She reckons it would ruin christmas for me. She is using me as an excuse and I resent it. Only last wek I was visiting, like most months. I stay for a few days with DS and the atmposphere is fine. I am never uncomfortable. If I was, i wouldn't visit. She had the option of travelling in her own car if she would find the journey uncomfortable but she refused that! The woman washes and irons his clothes, cooks his meals, BUYS his clothes and even treats from the shop (like she did last week when I was with her.)

TBH, none of it makes any sense to me!!

STIDW Tue 16-Dec-14 23:05:56

Divorcing spouse need to establish some autonomy and I think you need to respect your mothers decision not to spend Christmas with you. It's one thing supporting someone and giving them a shoulder to lean on when they are separating, but getting involved with the disputes is a recipe for disaster and is very likely to make matters worse.

In the grand scale of things the cost of the actual divorce is fairly insignificant. It doesn't matter who divorces whom and agreement can be reached to share the costs. HOwever when emotions become overheated it makes it more difficult to negotiate a settlement. That's how the bills easily mount up to tens of thousands of pounds or more going to court, and usually each party pays their own costs.

There is substitute for legal advice. Starting from a fixed position make it more difficult to agree a settlement. Sharing 50:50 is an oversimplification of the law and only really applies when their are enough assets to meet the needs of both parties and there is no exceptional contributions from one party. In most cases there aren't enough assets and the needs of the parties, in particular for housing, comes at the top or near the top of the checklist of factors taken into account. It's worth finding out about mediation to help your parents find a way forward that works for both of them.

loiner45 Wed 17-Dec-14 03:56:35

Here's the link for ordering marriage certificates. I suggest you order a couple of copies, give one to your df and let him get on with it. Getting two means you can hand over the other one when/if the first one gets "lost". It's a nonsense to think there is such a thing as 'a' marriage certificate - all certificates are 'certified copies ' of the original entry in the register of marriage on the day - even the one you get given at the time is just a copy....

Ridingthestorm Wed 17-Dec-14 13:31:50

Thank you. DF has tried to buy out my mum to no avail (mortgage company). My DF is in a better financial position to ensure he has a roof over his head whereas my DM is not.
We (DH and I) have already offered to use my DMs money from the divorce as a deposit on a little house for her, mortgage in our name and she pays the mortgage on the property. We found it much, much cheaper than renting privately (but she would in effect be renting from us) and once the mortgage is paid, the ownership will be transferred to her (as we technically incurred no costs to buy the property except on paper).
I am beginning to 'calm down' about my DMs revelation about Christmas Day. I am not comfortable about her being alone, but it is a decision she has made.

STIDW Wed 17-Dec-14 22:44:33

Modern marriages are seen as a relationship of two equals and the financial and non financial contributions are considered the same. After a long marriage the aim would be to leave both parties living a similar lifestyle to start independent lives rather than sharing assets he may need to pay mathematically 50:50.

If your father is in a better financial position he may need to keep paying the mortgage, bills and debts until a settlement is reached. Longer term the value of any assets could be shared more in favour of your mother so there is equalisation of lifestyles. She would also have claim to sharing any pension and if there is a big discrepancy in incomes possibly spouse maintenance to help cover some of her living expenses, should your father have disposable income after meeting his own living expenses.

So your father would be well advised to see a family solicitor to find out where he stands and what options there are in his particular circumstances.

STIDW Thu 18-Dec-14 23:35:56

Sorry that should read "After a long marriage the aim would be to leave both parties living a similar lifestyle to start independent lives rather than sharing assets mathematically 50:50."

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