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Do I need to give him half of my inheritance?

(57 Posts)
LALAlola Mon 14-Aug-17 17:09:08

So a bit of back story first and apologies if I come across as cold calling a dead family member 'the deceased', I don't want to give any details away that could out me. I have been married for 8 years and have two dc with my husband. Around three years ago, a close family member got a terminal diagnoses and died a few months later. During this time, family member spoke about writing a will but the illness got the better of them and so they never got round to doing it. Their estate went to probate and then to the deceased parents. As we are a small close family (11 of us including grandchildren but not counting husbands/wives), the deceased parents shared the estate out just as the deceased had spoke about.

That's how I got my inheritance/cash gift around two years ago(is it an inheritance if it didn't actually come from a will?). My two children also got given an amount which has been put aside for them for when they are older.

Now, I have always had a separate account from my husband with a different bank. We were both working when we met and split all bills 50/50 when we moved in together. We spent the remainder of what was in our accounts on whatever we wanted. We furnished our house 50/50 and bought a car 50/50. I saved some of my money in my own savings account but my husband saved nothing. I frequently had to transfer him money from my savings to get him out of his overdraft even when he was earning more then me. I even had to pay for our wedding as he had saved nothing. He literally just payed to hire his suit.

After around four years together (before children), he got a bonus from work. Around £8000 which he made clear was his to spend how he wanted. Of course it was, I know he had worked hard and had absolutely no interest in it. He put a few thousand in his own savings account which I had no access to and spent the rest on stuff. Eg expensive watches, deposit for a car, clothes etc but nothing for the home or for us (not that I ever asked for it) as we already had everything we needed. Sorry if this seems irrelevant but please bear with me.

The very same month he got the bonus, we jointly decided to try for a baby and I was pregnant very soon after. I worked up until I was eight months pregnant and then went on maternity leave. During maternity leave, we both decided I give up my career (I had just been promoted to a higher paid position) to be a sahp. I spent the first year living off maternity allowance and my savings as I soon came to realise he would make me feel like shit if I asked for money. He took on most of the bills I had been paying except for a few that I still payed (TV package deal, phone bill, life insurance and about 50% of the monthly food bill). The house we rented at a reduced rate through work for a few hundred a month was now suddenly 'his house'. He rarely put money into my bank account after I spent all my savings on the baby, food and the above bills so I ended up living permanently in my overdraft. Child benefit would briefly lift me out of my overdraft but then I'd go back in it a few days later. Like I said, I felt like if I asked for help, he patronised me and made me feel like crap.

During a happier period, we decided to have another baby and I got pregnant straight away. It was during this time that my family member died. Unfortunately, family member died before dc was born but did think of dc when deciding how to split their estate. Just before dc was born, I got the inheritance. We were struggling financially so it couldn't have come at a better time. I bought a new, bigger car so my dh had sole use of the one we paid 50/50 for. I paid all outstanding debts off such as furniture, the first car which was on finance, outstanding utility bills, paid for the old care to have new tyres and a service, paid for all the white goods to be upgraded, paid for holidays, new tech and even gave money to dh nearly every month when he found himself in his overdraft. I spent alot of money on the whole family including him.

Our second baby was born and we were both really happy. However, I found out about an infidelity of his while I was in labour (yes, that's how shit he is). I had a very traumatic labour in which the hospital left me for five days in labour that ended in cesarean and classed as failure to progress. It wasn't even classed as labour as I didn't progress far enough but I had contractions every 3-6 minutes for five days in hospital.It was the first day of labour I found put about the emotional affair but he gave me the usual script and I, being naive and in labour with a two year old at home, decided to try and make something work.

I continued spending my inheritance on everything that was needed and wanted by all members of the family. I made an effort not to live off of it but dh would still only sporadically put money in my account so, as well as paying off his overdraft nearly every month, I was paying off mine every month and paying for things me and the kids needed (as well as treating everyone). I really didn't mind treating my dh and kids with it as family member had said they regretted not having fun with their money while they could but I started to resent having to give money to dh (he earnt a good wage and could easily cover the bills so I felt he was spending willy nilly). I put a stop to spending any more money from my savings in Dec 2016 as I realised I had gone through nearly £30,000 in under two years. I know where a good chunk of the money has gone but thousands and thousands is unaccounted for. During this time, I did use a chunk to set up my own business to work around the children and get some money into my account each month, however, this could range from nothing to a few hundred each month as I worked part time while trying to get established. I've gone on like this for over a year while my dh puts little to no money in my account even on months where I earnt pennies. He also doesn't give me his debit card much (only once or twice a month when he complains we have no food and I go shopping) which is why I have lived in my overdraft and off my inheritance buying food, paying the above bills, sometimes nursery bill and mine and the kids necessities.

Which leads me to today. Well done if you got this far btw but I wanted to give you an idea of what dh is like with money. I'm at a stage where I want to leave (I can't forget or forgive his emotional affair and he's just a horrible miserable person in general). I desperately want to leave him. I have been putting little bits of money that I can spare from my business into my savings with my remaining inheritance. It's about £12000 and I will obviously need it if I'm to be a single mother moving out and starting again.

My question is can he take any of it? I know we won't divorce straight away but he always talks about the money as if it's his money which makes me think he'll try and get it straight away. I see it as my money - it was my family member that died so it's mine. If it had been a member of his family, I would have let him spend it however he wanted. I have been more than generous spending thousands on him in terms of holidays/tech/hundreds of pounds nearly every month for his overdraft etc. Overall, I have spent £30000 on him, the kids, our home and quality of life which I don't berate because we were married but I want whatever is left over for just me and the kids. Yes, he has paid 75% of bills during the last 3/4 years but even that is debatelable as I have then had to give him money at the end of the month as I didn't want overdraft fees. I have been home with our children for four years scraping money together while recently trying to start a business to actually get some kind of income/money in my account while he has been promoted a fair few times and is now earning even more with potential for higher earnings and guaranteed bonuses which I gave up. He got his last bonus before kids which he said was just his whereas my 'bonus'/inheritance he talks about as partly his. I just don't want him to get any more of my family members money when he's always been tight and has berated sharing the family income with me. Sorry this is so long but I'm just so frustrated by this situation and need to know I can support the kids with this money when I leave him. Also, sorry for any typos!

Madbengalmum Mon 14-Aug-17 17:12:14

Upon divorce any monies including inheritance are liable to be split 50/50, there is nothing you can do should your future exh decide to go after any money you have inherited.

SherbertLemon2011 Mon 14-Aug-17 17:19:47

Could you transfer the money back to the family member who passed it on to you on the understanding you get it back in a few years or is that a big no no legally does anyone know?

LALAlola Mon 14-Aug-17 17:38:27

Thanks for that information. What if the money was spent before we divorced on rent? If I move out, my income from my business wouldn't be enough for me and my kids to live on but I know I can do it if I get tax credits, maintenance and dip into my inheritance every month

MrsBertBibby Mon 14-Aug-17 19:05:22

I'm afraid you need to see a solicitor. I would certainly run the argument it's your non matrimonial asset but frankly the stronger argument is that you need it. If he takes the case to trial you will have spent that money and more on lawyers' fees.

But it's hard to advise without more detail. Pensions, incomes, all that.

MrsBertBibby Mon 14-Aug-17 19:06:33

Upon divorce any monies including inheritance are liable to be split 50/50, there is nothing you can do should your future exh decide to go after any money you have inherited.

Massive oversimplification btw. Ignore.

Farmerswife4life1984 Mon 14-Aug-17 19:15:01

Transfer all money to a trusted family member and say you have them the money . He can't take what you haven't got . Obviously the arrangement with trusted family member will mean they give you access to the money

Viviennemary Mon 14-Aug-17 19:18:36

This would really have to be sorted out by a lawyer. I read once inherited money is taken into account for divorce in England but not in Scotland. It would also be taken into consideration when applying for certain benefits. £12000 is a lot but if you will be on a very low income on your own it won't last that long. Why not try the Citizens Advice Bureau and see what they have to say re entitlement to benefits and so on.

MrsBertBibby Mon 14-Aug-17 19:20:41

Under no circumstances follow Farmer's advice. Absolutely disastrous idea.

RaininSummer Mon 14-Aug-17 19:24:58

Could you buy premium bonds in the children's names and then cash them back out later when the dust has settled. I don't think that would be illegal would it?

RaininSummer Mon 14-Aug-17 19:26:42

It may affect benefits so do check if thinking of doing it.

Madbengalmum Mon 14-Aug-17 19:29:12

MrsBert, inherited wealth is always taken into account, why is this a massive oversimplification?

Ditsy1980 Mon 14-Aug-17 20:05:58

I don't know the legal implications so obvs need to check it out but I would transfer to a trusted family member before divorce.
Even if you did it at £2k a month so if pressed you could say you were helping that family member out rather than just hiding it.

LALAlola Mon 14-Aug-17 21:41:37

Can I start spending it if we separate this week? I'll need to pay deposits, fees, rent, removels, new school uniform, maybe a bit of light decorating, some new furniture etc. It's all adding up and my savings if the only bit of money I can use to pay for it all. I know my savings is above the limit at the moment for benefits but I expect after I pay for the above plus a couple of months rent, I'll be under it so will apply then. When we actually divorce, I very much doubt there will be much left but will there be any kind of penalty for me having spent it on accommodation for me and the kids after we separated?

MadisonMontgomery Mon 14-Aug-17 21:45:08

I wouldn't do anything until you have had legal advice.

wannabestressfree Mon 14-Aug-17 22:25:54

Can the account only be accessed by you?

NorthernLurker Mon 14-Aug-17 22:39:45

Morally it's your money. I think you should see a solicitor, good luck.

MrsBertBibby Mon 14-Aug-17 23:08:50

Yes of course you can spend it on all those things.

Syc4moreTrees Mon 14-Aug-17 23:18:19

He'll cite the inheritance when it come to the financial settlement, transferring to family is a stupid plan, not least because once you give them the money it is theirs, and people go nutty over less than 12k.

I think the rate you've blown through the first batch would suggest you will legitimately blow through this though, maybe put some away for the kids and look at how you're managing your finances so you aren't in your overdraft every month.

Good luck

Naicehamshop Thu 17-Aug-17 18:23:19

I spoke to a solicitor today about the possibility of inheriting in the near future (elderly relative) as I'm just about to start divorce proceedings, and I wondered if my stbx could make a claim on the inheritance.

Solicitor said that an inheritance is not counted as an asset so he would have no claim. I realise that my situation is different from yours but I definitely think it would be worth your while to speak to a solicitor.

Good luck!

tb Thu 17-Aug-17 18:52:35

I was told the same thing as naiceham concerning a relative who is likely to leave me money.

Naicehamshop Thu 17-Aug-17 18:55:49

Might be different, I guess, as you've already received the money... well worth finding out properly. Good luck.

PigletWasPoohsFriend Thu 17-Aug-17 18:58:10

Solicitor said that an inheritance is not counted as an asset so he would have no claim.

It really isn't as simple as that though.

Transfer all money to a trusted family member and say you have them the money . He can't take what you haven't got . Obviously the arrangement with trusted family member will mean they give you access to the money

Whatever you so, do not do this. It will land you into a whole load of trouble!

reallyanotherone Thu 17-Aug-17 19:08:01

This is not advice, just musing.

People do move and hide money. Dh's ex cleared out all their savings (about £20k) in the days before she told him she was leaving him for another man.

His solicitor did bring it up in court, but it was met with shrugs and "well it's not in the bank account, so it's gone". No further action was taken. I don't even think she was asked what she'd done with it.

So ime money can be hidden or spent with no consequences. If you need it for housing the children then i can't see a court bothering.

PaintingByNumbers Thu 17-Aug-17 19:08:37

I was told the opposite to naiceham, that needs come above everything and inheritance is part of assets. V difficult to get round this unless kept entirely separate. Even then, needs come first
I would siphon it off, personally, and not divorce until it was gone, but in provable ways

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