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How best to help my DM with her finances/divorce. Please please help me. (long sorry).

(7 Posts)
TittyBojangles Thu 06-Dec-12 20:07:20

The whole story behind this would be far too long to write out here, but I am happy to try and answer anything anyone needs to know.

Basically my 'D'F has a horrendous spending problem (and probably mental illness - undiagnosed). He has repeatedly got into terrific amounts of debt and my Mum has had to bail him out. Personally I would have left him years ago, but for whatever reasons she has never done this and I'm still not sure I can convince her to now, but I am trying.

Anyway, we suspect he has racked up debt again, his car was repossessed today and it would be my bet that this is the very last thing he owuld not pay so presumably there is a lot of debt (it was £90k about 2 years ago that my DM cleared with her retirement lump sum/increasing the mortgage).

DF is a very difficult man, he wont speak about it, my DM has no idea what he spends, if/how much debt he has, or what his plans are (great marriage isn't it). He has his own business which could be successful but god knows how much money he owes through that.

We have to just assume there is a massive debt owed now, unlikely my DF will ever actually come clean about it. My DM is now retired with a decent pension but not in a position to bail out again. They still have a mortgage on the house and her primary aim is to not lose the house. DF has always said he has kept the house out of things, I have no idea if we can trust this.

Not sure what I'm asking really. I suppose how the debts are likely to effect any divorce settlement. She wont be able to buy him out of the house, so presumably she would have to lose this? I think thats why she doesnt want ot get divorced. But I fear she will be left with no house anyway and she should cut her loses now.

Another issue is my Gran, who has a reasonable amount of money and knocking on. If my DM didnt divorce until after my Gran had died then would DF be entitled to half of her inheritance (only my DM and Uncle will inherit). Could Gran change her will to leave everything to my uncle and he then gift to my DM as and when?

I'm so sorry this is so complicated and I really appreciate anyone getting to the end of this. I am absolutely at the end of my tether and need help/advice desperately. I will of course look into non-forum based legal advice, but htis has only just blown up today so need to get this out now.

youngermother1 Thu 06-Dec-12 23:35:17

Not a lawyer, but my thinking is:

1. If the house is in DM or joint names, he will not be able to borrow anything secured on the house (mortgage or other loan) without her permission.
2. After, I assume, many years of marriage, any divorce would split assets in half. If the inheritance came whilst she was divorcing may not be split.
3. He/his creditors would be able to claim half the equity of the house - can she afford a smaller place on her own?

Collaborate Thu 06-Dec-12 23:48:50

His creditors could get charging orders on the house, so his half share will go to them. Your mother should stop bailing him out. The only people benefitting are his creditors. If a judge agrees that he built up the debt for selfish reasons (is he a gambler?) and there's just enough on what your mum has left to meet her housing needs on divorce a judge may give him nothing.

If she hadn't bailed him out last time maybe the house could have been saved. Perhaps it's too late for that now, unless she can buy him out, but she should only do that on divorce.

TittyBojangles Fri 07-Dec-12 08:35:13

I totally agree she shouldn't have bailed him out last time and my db and I both told her she should file for divorce then. she knew she wouldn't be able to keep the house though which is why she didn't. we did say it would happen again but she just keeps hoping he will change, both my db and I realised a long time ago that he won't.

I am so angry with my df and so sad. for my dm. she doesn't deserve this. she has worked as a teacher all her life and should be enjoying her retirement. how he can do thus to her AGAIN is beyond belief. hence me thinking he has mental health issues. I actually think he is bipolar, he attempted suicide nit last time but the time before all this happened. unfortunately he was unsuccessful. he used to be an alcoholic and the only decent thing he has done is give up drink totally for the last 20 years. I think the money is.just credit cards/loans for spending/living beyond his means. my dm however lives much more frugally than she should have to.

I am just so sad. sad. sad

Thankyou for replying.

TittyBojangles Fri 07-Dec-12 08:47:34

Sorry, forgot a couple of things. they are both 62, have been married 30 years ish. the house is in joint names but he has been known to forge her signature before so I wouldn't put this past him again. one thing she did agree to last time was to make sure the mortgage payments come out of her account so at least she knew that had been paid. df is supposed to give her money each month to cover the part of the mortgage taken out for the last bail out. he owes her 11k on these payments (she knows she will never see this money) she has been using what was left of her lump sum to cover this, its nearly all gone now sad

can she afford a place of her own? I don't know. a lot depends on what debts there are I suppose. certainly nothing like the house she is in and has been our family home for the last 33 years. probably something small, she could move in with my gran and we would have her here in a shot if she needed. but that's not what she wants. she wants to stay in her home.

olgaga Fri 07-Dec-12 18:49:36

Hi, so sorry for your mum. It's terrible when a family member gets into debt all the time - I have some experience of that!

Anyway, the key question is, what does she actually want to do? Yes she should have divorced him long ago, but no point worrying about that now.

There won't be much she can do to separate herself from this mess unless she is willing to divorce. It may be the only thing which will enable her to get to the bottom of their joint finances.

If you would like to PM me (click "Message Poster" top right of this post) I can give you some more information. I am not touting for business or anything like that, it's just that obviously some of the details you may need to provide might be quite personal!

TittyBojangles Fri 07-Dec-12 21:08:43

What does she want to do? She wants to keep her home. She doesn't really want to divorce because it makes her feel like her entire life and all the bailing out she has already done has been for nothing. I know, I know sad angry sad

Thanks for the pm offer. are you involved in this sort of thing professionally?

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