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Unilateral decision to redeem mortgage

(19 Posts)
HildegardVonBrixham Mon 10-Jun-19 06:24:59

In the middle of a long and acrimonious divorce from abusive husband. I am in the family home with the children currently and husband wants to sell the house - if he can't live there, why should I, kind of thing. We still have joint mortgage and accounts and we actually have enough in a savings pot to pay off the mortgage. I am considering ordering the bank to make that transaction now, in a unilateral decision.

H is the one who pays the mortgage as his earnings outstrip mine massively, but recently he has been making huge transfers of money from another joint savings pot into a personal account - paying himself back for vast legal fees amassed. It is kind of crazy that we haven't paid off the mortgage since we have more than the loan in the offset pot and I am a bit concerned he might start removing money from that account too. I've checked with the bank and it only needs one of us to give the go ahead for redemption of mortgage.

It would enrage him, of course, if I did this without consulting him but it wouldn't actually be the end of the world for him - it'd be a good thing to pay it off. I am very worried about my financial future - he wants me out of the house and proposes to give me very little maintenance. There's been some fancy footwork and his earnings have suddenly seemingly halved. My earning capacity is extremely low. It would be one less thing to worry about if we got the house mortgage free, whether or not the house is ultimately sold. If I ask him to agree, he will say no. He is a bully and violent. Shall I just go ahead?

Apols for length of this.

Thank you for thoughts!


OP’s posts: |
bollocksitshappenedagain Mon 10-Jun-19 06:35:12

Have you started the form e financial settlement process? As part of that you need to supply 12 months bank statements so the large transfers would show up as presumably would the sudden drop in income.

I suppose the problem is if the judge gave him x% equity in the house could you raise it via mortgage? If you hadn't paid it off then it could come from that cash pot I guess. However it does sound concerning that he will just completely empty the joint accounts.

HildegardVonBrixham Mon 10-Jun-19 06:44:03

Thank you. Yes,all the financial forms are in and we've had one court date. He removed a substantial chunk of a joint savings account two days before court and this is continuing. He argues every last comma in everything which is why the divorce is taking so long. I started this in 2017...

OP’s posts: |
bollocksitshappenedagain Mon 10-Jun-19 07:34:53

That's painful....what happened if he removes more after forms submitted then? Does it still have to get declared?

IsItBetter Mon 10-Jun-19 08:23:00

If you've already had a court date, he would have stated what he wanted from a financial settlement, and vice versa.

Would you be be able to share this?

Petitprince Mon 10-Jun-19 08:34:12

Yes, I'd do it before ge swallows it all up with barristers to try to screw you over.

Dropthedeaddonkey Mon 10-Jun-19 09:02:15

Why don’t you remove the same amount as he has. Put it in a separate account and don’t spend it or even ask the solicitor to hold if (if that’s allowed) and then tell the bank to freeze the accounts so neither of you can remove money until the divorce is sorted? You need to stop him taking the money but I think it would look better to the court if you just protected it but didn’t spend it. If he stopped paying the mortgage then you would be justified using the money to keep paying it.

HildegardVonBrixham Mon 10-Jun-19 09:28:35

Thank you all. We are still wrangling about what our demands are both sides. The initial hearing was just that and very little was made concrete in specific figures. It was more about what was allowed to be included in our financial questionnaires. H would argue black was white just because he can't stop himself, so literally everything I put down or suggest is ripped apart and refused, or altered, even altered by a tiny element just so he can have the last word. Even in my divorce petition - MY PETITION - he sent it back to me via lawyers four times with key words that he preferred I use inserted using track changes.

It is utterly grotesque and I feel deeply uncomfortable saying this, but he has racked up more than £100k in legal fees so far, and I have spent nearly half that again. It is obscene and all because he is a control freak who can't bear to see me stand up to him. So if we are in a position to pay off the mortgage now, which we are, then I feel this is one thing tidied and made safe, whatever happens to the house afterwards. Safe for both of us really. I don't want all the accounts frozen because I still have to pay bills and household expenses and things for my child. I am pretty much at my wits end and am facing a very real and dramatic change in my material circumstances after the divorce. I am very frightened.


OP’s posts: |
HildegardVonBrixham Mon 10-Jun-19 09:37:40

And Bollocksitshappenedagain I don't think he has to declare taking money out of what is still a joint account, even after the firms are submitted. My barrister tried to raise it at the hearing but there is so little court time and H's barrister managed to use most of it arguing such ridiculous points and making outrageous demands that the judge actually got cross with both barristers and adjourned the hearing till after lunch. We'd only been in there 10 minutes and then it was another half day wasted. The courts are genuinely stretched for time and resources and that just plays into a bullying spouse's hands. The court systems are iniquitous and not fit for purpose when it comes to domestic violence. And that goes for family court, divorce court, and criminal court. I have experienced them all in the past four years.

OP’s posts: |
bollocksitshappenedagain Mon 10-Jun-19 13:09:47

I would definitely be tempted to take out an equal amount to him every time he does it. Maybe not pay off mortgage but keep in your name in a separate account. Then you are both even.

My consent order says I have to pay him half the balance of the joint account t - it's currently about £3 as it's not used anymore!

BatshitCrazyWoman Tue 11-Jun-19 17:45:52

If it weren't for the fact that my fuckwit ex hasn't remarried, I'd think you were talking about him.

I didn't take an equal amount out of our joint savings and I really wish I had as it would have paid a lot of my legal fees. So I recommend you do that and keep it in a separate account. I went all the way to final hearing and the courts weren't interested in the joint money he spent.

Regarding paying off the mortgage - what does your solicitor say?

Walkingdeadfangirl Wed 12-Jun-19 19:28:52

Not sure a judge would be very happy if you do this, he might very well order you to sell the house immediately and pay the money back. Best follow your solicitors advice.

TanMateix Wed 12-Jun-19 21:52:15

Don’t, they may ask you to pay it back at the best, at the worse... they can ask you to put the house in the market to pay him his part.

lifebegins50 Wed 12-Jun-19 22:26:41

What stage are you at with court? Did you get any indication of settlement at FDR from the judge? Had you had an offer from your Ex?

Ex used mortgage savings to spend excessively pre FDR and in reflection I wish I had paid down the mortgage. Ex would have made a big deal of it in court but sure it would have made a difference.
His spending just went unaccounted for and it was just "unfortunate that I didnt have access to funds that Ex had. Could you pay down 50% of savings as that would be equitable?
I really feel for you as had a very similar divorce. I wish I could say courts protect and look after children but they don't. Perhaps settlements such as joint lives were in the past too favorable but I think the pendulum has swung the other way.

You will get through this and rebuild.

iamthrough Thu 13-Jun-19 09:32:05

Not sure I would be paying off the mortgage - as others have said you may end up having to sell to pay him back. I think I might be tempted to take out an equal amount from the savings though and then freeze the accounts so he can't take any more. A friend of mine was advised to freeze her joint accounts and I believe you wont need his permission to do. As for spending before court order - I believe anything spent is spent and that's that - you can't claim to get it back. Not to the extent of yours but my exh spent around 1 thousand before we separated our finances and it was just gone - no way of reclaiming any of it.

katewhinesalot Thu 13-Jun-19 09:34:38

Take the advice of your barrister.

HildegardVonBrixham Fri 21-Jun-19 23:51:57

Thanks everyone for your considered replies. I am holding off doing anything for now. Probably best.

Ta all.

HvB x

OP’s posts: |
MrsMoastyToasty Sat 22-Jun-19 00:01:16

Eleven billion years ago when I worked for a bank we would freeze joint accounts when there was a marriage breakdown and advise each party to open separate sole accounts to protect income and benefits.
If he clears out the joint account and sends it into overdraft then you're usually jointly and severally liable for the debt. (The bank could pursue one or both of you for the full debt).

Palaver1 Sat 22-Jun-19 09:47:26

No listen to toasty
I would take chunk out and would say the reason is his taking out massive amounts and your fear is that there would not be enough to pay the mortgage
Funny all the people I’ve spoken to who have done the right thing didn’t get any thanks for it
Put it in another account and leave it there
My friend over 15 years ago was in this situation and at the end of the day it was her loss no one cared that he was stripping the account

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