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XH doesn't want to sort out finances before custody case is resolved

(13 Posts)
user1475501383 Sun 09-Oct-16 23:06:52

Hi all,

I'm wondering what you all think of the following situation:

We've been separated nearly 2 years with XH and nearly a year in child arrangements proceedings (XH seeks sole custody, I started out by seeking 50-50 like we'd always done and agreed on previously, but recently it has started to dawn onto me that I'm not even sure if DS is safe with XH as the main carer if there needs to be one, and that perhaps I would be better placed to be the main carer because XH is displaying NPD symptoms and controlling behaviour that may impact DS).

I moved out 2 years ago when he didn't let me on the flight back to UK (I flew back the next day) because he always told me 'if we ever break up there's no way I'm going to move into a flat because it's my deposit in this house'.

XH does not want to even begin sorting out finances before the child arrangements comes to an end. Trouble is, my friend (a father) went to court over his kids for five years. Five years! Surely I'm not meant to wait that long for the finances?

Especially what with several of you lovely Mumsnetters saying that what I experienced was domestic abuse and manipulation (on the Relationships thread 'ExH is seeking sole custody - I'm miserable'), I am thinking that perhaps I should be less laid-back about the 'let's sort the finances out at some point maybe' thing? Especially as I know XH has hidden some of his money on at least two occasions, one last year and one this year. I saw a suspicious email correspondence between him and his father that had taken place shortly after our separation - I saw it when I was using XH's laptop when I was staying there when we contemplated getting back together. Along with that, DS told me that XH has opened two accounts for him, or rather 'I have two bank accounts now' and he seemed to think there was a lot of money in them although with a 9 year old I dunno what they think constitutes a lot of money! I asked XH about the accounts via email a few months back but he didn't elaborate, just said they were for Ds's future, but I am starting to think I have reason to be suspicious.

That said, the finances aren't really at the top of the list what with wanting to have proper contact with DS! However, I am starting to realise that the unresolved finances do impact on my life directly and therefore they possibly impact on DS's life too. The reason he wants to stay more at XH's is, as stated in the guardian's report, that XH has a garden! I am renting a two-bed flat with my DP, no garden. XH has a three bed house with a large garden. I lived there for 5 years, we bought it together and my name's on the mortgage as is his, but I also don't want to be unfair because it was his deposit and life savings that secured him the house.

Furthermore, my DF informed me today he won't be able to continue to fund my ongoing legal representation regarding my child arrangements proceedings with XH. This has made me think about the finances...

XH's stance is that I deserve nothing as 'you would have paid the same money in rent anyway'. It was XH's deposit of his life savings that secured us the house 7 years ago but my name was always on the mortgage as a joint owner and I always paid half the mortgage when I lived there.

When I moved back for some months after the separation, I saw he'd had the house evaluated by an estate agent and that it was considered to be worth £350k. Obviously the bank owns a proportion of the house, I think £100k. XH's deposit was £150k as we bought it for £250k as it was during the house market crash and it needed a lot of work done, all of which XH orchestrated and paid for, although obviously I looked after DS all the times he was doing the house up for over 6 months every weekend etc.

I was meant to sign a deed of trust when we got the mortgage, that upon selling, XH would get his deposit back first and then the rest would be divided equally. However, for some reason it wasn't signed, but ex-FIL made me sign it before he agreed to being a guarantor to the flat I first moved out to. I would have been left homeless if I had not signed it as I needed a guarantor to secure the flat! My parents were the de facto guarantors but because they live abroad they needed ex-FIL as the proxy guarantor, ie they guaranteed to ex-FIL that if anything went tits up they'd pay the rent (which they paid anyway as I currently have limited independent income).

XH also has savings etc, but has refused to give details of anything when my solicitor asked him to fill a finance form, saying that he wanted the custody case solved first.

I am suspecting one of his main reasons for applying for sole custody is that he wants the house signed over to him 100% without paying me anything. I've read that Judges can do this if it is in the children's best interest.

I'm wondering what you all think as I see now that I've gotten so much out of our online conversations with you Mumsnetters, and if I had done that sooner I might not have let things get up to this point with the current court proceedings but would have acted a bit more street-smart.

I would really appreciate any opinions. I have a strong need to be 'fair' and hence volunteered to move out when it was clear that I could not live peacefully with XH. However, this has bitten me up the proverbial arse as XH now uses the 'she abandoned her son/family' argument with the custody proceedings... I have no clarity on the financial situation but am thinking it might be wise to get a bit clued up on what's going on and what I should do to avoid more devastation with my XH.

Also, I am engaged to DP but my lawyer's advice is that we cannot marry before the finances are resolved, so there's that. I would very much like us to marry next summer at the latest.

Also, we only married 1-2 years before the separation, so the house was bought years before we got married. I've read that the length of marriage is relevant in these proceedings? However, we were together for nearly a decade before separating, not sure if that makes any difference.

FV45 Mon 10-Oct-16 13:08:49

Child arrangements is not a compulsory part of divorce.
Have you been to mediation? Who is taking who to Court over arrangements? You don't sound like you are very far along the road with it.
The starting point is 50:50. Unless there are safeguarding or practical issues (one parents moves to other side of country for example) then this is what a court will work towards.

You can't get married until you are divorced and it doesn't sound like it will be sorted out next summer tbh.

You are asking quite a few questions that I think your sol should have already told you about.

palanca Mon 10-Oct-16 14:31:27

I would repost in legal but essentially you can apply to the court to deal with with finances at any time once you have:

a. petitioned for divorce - have you?
b. attended mediation re finances

user1475501383 Mon 10-Oct-16 14:32:54

Thanks or your response!
We're divorced, got decree absolute. We're in court over XH obstructing my access to DS over his claims on my mental health.
XH refuses to discuss finances as I believe one of his motivations for applying for sole custody is that he then would like the court to sign the house over to him.
I think I'll need to start dealing with the finances tho as I read it could take 2 years... My XH is currently not cooperative at all.
Many thanks for your reply.

palanca Mon 10-Oct-16 14:51:43

the sooner you start the financial proceedings, the sooner they will be resolved ....

there is nothing to stop negotiation going on whilst the proceedings are ongoing - in fact this is very much encouraged by the court process

rightsofwomen Mon 10-Oct-16 14:55:56

I would get a different solicitor. I am very surprised they didn't advise you to agree on finances before getting absolute.

user1475501383 Mon 10-Oct-16 15:12:31

Thanks for your comment. I should clarify that we;d already got decree absolute when I was only getting solicitors involved so it's not their fault. It took me a year to get legal advice as XH talked me into solving things without solicitors and 'wasting money'.

user1475501383 Mon 10-Oct-16 15:13:21

XH won't negotiate as he's told over and over again he thinks the house belongs to him 100% as it was his deposit that got us the mortgage.

clam Mon 10-Oct-16 15:34:28

he thinks the house belongs to him 100%

He can think what he likes, but he's wrong.
You need a SHL (Shit Hot Lawyer).

tornandhurt Tue 11-Oct-16 16:32:04

Why on earth has the absolute been issued before finances have been sorted? I'm confused by that.

Arrangements for the children and finances are two separate things. Regardless of who has petitioned, you can apply to the court to sort out finances. It costs around £420 I think to file the application, but if you want solicitor representation your looking at a few thousand to take you through this. If we wont mediate though that really is your only option I would think.

As pp has said he can "think" what he likes.

user1475501383 Sun 23-Oct-16 17:36:53

Thanks a lot for your help.

Thanks tornandhurt - do you know though, how is it possible for the court to order financial arrangements while our DS's living arrangements are still not clear at all (as we're in litigation regarding those)?

I don't understand .... thanks a lot for anyone who can help flowers

BlueBlueSkies Sun 23-Oct-16 18:51:23

My ex and I got our absolute before we did the finances, we did that between ourselves after.

Have you registered your interest in the family home? This stops your exh from selling or doing anything with the house without your permission. Protecting your property My exh did this, even though the house was all in my name and all the deposit and mortgage was mine.

You can sort out child support dependant on where your DS spends most of his time. This does not depend on the divorce or court orders. CSA

It sounds like he is holding you to ransom, refusing to give you your money till you agree on DS.

You do need to talk to a solicitor. I was advised not to go to court as it could cost £30k to fight over everything.

For him to get full custody he would have to prove that you were not fit to have DS. It would be very hard to do that. So based on the 50/50 which is standard, put together what you want financially and propose that.

user1475501383 Sun 23-Oct-16 21:24:17

Thanks BlueBlueSkies

Do I need to register interest in the home when my name is still in the mortgage, as far as I'm aware? Could XH have taken me off mortgage without my knowledge??

XH is indeed trying to prove I'm not fit to have DS for even 50% of the time. I don't know yet whether his lies will be exposed and when, but the situation is looking a bit more hopeful now than it did a month ago... The court process is slow, tho. Currently DS only sees me one overnight a week plus 3 hrs on one afternoon after school sad

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