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Should I Buy a House While Separated?

(14 Posts)
Somefantasticplace Sun 12-Jul-20 15:34:54

I'm divorcing STBXH because of his behaviour (silent treatment, gaslighting etc.) but am thinking of waiting to divorce after a separation so we can do it no fault. This is mainly because he says he'll defend and partly to keep things as amicable as possible. I know they all say they'll defend and hardly ever do but he has a track record of spending money on legal actions against people costing ££ (and losing) to defend his honour/rights/reputation so he may well be in the tiny percentage that do defend.

It has taken him months to actually realise I'm serious and start to talk practicalities but he now says he would be happy for us to separate, sell our house and split the proceeds 50/50. We would then agree how to handle all other finances between us (pensions etc.) ready for when the divorce happens but be free to spend our half from the house sale on each getting new homes.

I think we'll end up splitting everything 50/50 when we divorce (long marriage, adult kids, no debt other than mortgage) so this seems a reasonable option. My question is about how sensible it would be for me to take my half and put it towards a property in my own name?

I have a good job with a decent salary so could get some kind of mortgage I think and be able to buy something but how would lenders view my separated status? Would they lend to me? Buying him out of our current house isn't an option as it would cost too much so we will have to sell.

Has anyone done this and got tales good or bad that could help me decide what to do next? Any advice would be very much appreciated.

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RedRumTheHorse Sun 12-Jul-20 15:43:25

Don't as it will be viewed as a joint martial asset plus of you have an existing house you will have to pay 3% extra stamp duty.

Just divorce him for unreasonable behaviour now as unless you are both very wealthy he won't have the money to contest it.

okiedokieme Sun 12-Jul-20 15:58:04

I'm buying before divorce but it's amicable. You can get a legal separation of finances drawn up which shouldn't cost much if done when you sell the house. We are waiting to file online but will have separated finances earlier (but not selling the house anyway)

millymollymoomoo Sun 12-Jul-20 16:29:10

Personally I wouldn’t
Crack on with the divorce and finances so you know where you both stand financially first

Somefantasticplace Sun 12-Jul-20 23:00:51

Thanks for the replies all, I am wary of doing this and did wonder if a legal separation would be a good idea.

My first instinct was to go with unreasonable behaviour but his reaction when I talked to him about it was so angry and I know he is capable of spending every penny we have just to be 'right' that I suppose I'm chickening out. We are living in the same house with dcs (home from uni) which doesn't help as I'm trying to stop things getting too unpleasant. Not sure what to do now.

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okiedokieme Sun 12-Jul-20 23:02:48

If you are concerned, a legal separation would be a better option as it's quicker than a contested divorce

Somefantasticplace Sun 12-Jul-20 23:11:15

Thanks @okiedokieme, I think I'll explore that option and talk to some mortgage lenders to see how they would view me.

I don't think he would try to take any part of a house I bought after seprating as, at the very least, it would make him look bad.

I just really hate that I'm still letting him dictate how things are done and not doing what I want out of fear.

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Somefantasticplace Sun 12-Jul-20 23:17:32

I showed him the grounds I would be using and they are as mild as I can make them while 100% true, things like the silences and not socialising. He insists that he would have to 'fight' for the sake of his good name against these outrageous accusations.

I was hoping that he would get legal advice and a solicitor would tell him how unrealistic it would be to defend but he says that he would ignore their advice to protect his honour.

I'm exhausted to be honest, I have been living with a knot in my stomach for months and have been pretty miserable for years. I just want it to be over.

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VanGoghsDog Sun 12-Jul-20 23:22:00

Well, you could ask him to divorce you for unreasonable behaviour? You'd have to take it on the chin while he listed all the dreadful things you did.

In the old days, one party would just admit to adultery, even if it wasn't true.

Somefantasticplace Sun 12-Jul-20 23:32:58

I've suggested that @VanGoghsDog but he won't divorce me for religious reasons. He says he doesn't want a divorce and can't understand why I do even though I've told him a million times.

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RedRumTheHorse Mon 13-Jul-20 07:09:40

OP then unfortunately you are going to have to wait until 2021/2022 when no fault divorce finally comes through. If he doesn't want the divorce if you buy a house then divorce him, then you risk him coming after your house out of spite after he's spent his share of the money.

In the meantime do you get on with any of his friends or relatives he respects? As you need to get them to work on him about his marriage being over and no one apart from the Court ever seeing the divorce petition.

AnotherEmma Mon 13-Jul-20 07:17:49

You haven't said whether you have consulted a solicitor? You absolutely need to, it would be madness to try and divorce (or separate from) abusive man like this without good legal advice.

Rights of Women has a free family law helpline which is a good place to start.

There are some excellent detailed guides to divorce and separation on the advicenow website.

I would be asking a solicitor about a legal separation agreement now and then finalising the divorce after 2 years of separation; I am not a solicitor though so I don't know if that would be the best option.

If he does decide to be difficult for the sake of it, there isn't much you can do to stop him, and I think it would be short sighted to roll over and give in out of hope that he'll cooperate - how do you know he won't change the goalposts and stop cooperating? So think about your absolute dealbreakers and what you are willing to accept/sacrifice for the sake of getting free of him.

If you are willing to report the abuse to anyone (women's aid, GP, etc) the evidence would be helpful.

millymollymoomoo Mon 13-Jul-20 08:02:27

No one sees the grounds so he wouldn’t have to fight for his good name !
See a solicitor and start proceedings- sounds like you’d be well rid

Somefantasticplace Mon 13-Jul-20 09:03:50

Agree I'll be well rid @millymollymoomoosmile and I've told him no one sees the grounds but he's convinces they'll be on his record somewhere.

I have spoken to a solicitor @AnotherEmma and she thinks I have grounds for unreasonable behaviour and tried to steer me away from a separation agreement for the reasons people have mentioned here. I spoke to my gp a while ago when I went to have a skin condition looked at (turned out to be stress related) but I haven't talked to women's aid as I feel like they are probably very stretched already and I'm not in any physical danger.

As for people he respects @RedRumTheHorse, the only person he really listens to is his brother whose wife is also in the process of divorcing him. They are very similar to each other so I probably don't have much hope there unfortunately.

I will look at the websites suggested and think hard about my dealbreakers and whether I should just get on with it now and take whatever comes. We spoke about waiting and him moving out but he has started to talk as if he would just stay and we could live as housemates when the dcs go back to university. I think that would be very bad for my mental health so I have to shut that down as an option.

Thanks for all of the good advice and encouragement.

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