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Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. Free legal advice is available from a Citizen's Advice Bureau, and the Law Society can supply a list of local solicitors.

Any advice on what to fo when partner goes to prison

(32 Posts)
Raccoonsatemyscones Fri 20-Oct-17 14:03:23

My husband has been given a short prison sentence (2-4 months) All the bills were in his name and came out of his account and he was the only earner in the family.

So far I have contacted the council and gotten all my benefits adjusted but I have been advised it may take up to 3 weeks to receive them.

I have tried putting his loan on stop but they won't until he goes into debt.

I'm trying to figure out what I do about direct debits such as rent, sky tv (which will cost me more to cancel than to carry on paying. They won't let me transfer direct debits from his account to mine unless they get it in writing from him but I can't speak to him until next week and I need to pay the rent. I thought about transferring money to his account but coukd get messy as I'd need to time it right so that the housimg benefit I transfer would be paying for the rent and not the loan I can't afford. Also I'm worried they'll take out a direct debit and he'll go into his overdraft, putting us into debt.

Any advice on best way to handle this/anything I might not have thought about? It only happened 2 days ago and am home alone heavily pregnant with a toddler to look after aswell and can't think straight!

tribpot Fri 20-Oct-17 14:26:46

I know from your other thread that you wanted to avoid your family finding out, but presumably you are going to have to tell them now anyway? (They might wonder where he is! And indeed someone will need to watch your dc whilst you have your baby). Are any of them able to help at all? It does seem like money into his account is the simplest way to manage this period of time.

bekindtome Fri 20-Oct-17 14:30:42

Call who you pay your rent to and ask for their bank details and pay them from your account. Most landlords what paying so they will offer to provide details quickly. I had to do similar when I left my exdp.

Raccoonsatemyscones Fri 20-Oct-17 14:33:50

I know I need to tell them but every time I think about it I just freeze. The only problem I have is that I don't know when the loan payment goes out and I don't want to transfer money for the rent etc and it be taken for the loan and leave me without enough for the essential bills.

Raccoonsatemyscones Fri 20-Oct-17 14:36:41

Cross post! It's s private landlord and I think my husband took out a standing order to pay it. I could try to contact her (she lives abroad) and say I will pay but then will I be paying and then it be tsken out of husbands account?

OurMiracle1106 Fri 20-Oct-17 14:40:28

Does your husband have online banking? If so get the log in details and cancel the direct debit for the loan. Then you can just transfer over the rest without worrying about it being taken?

You can also do it via his bank card in most banks on the screen things if he gives you his pin.

It will also save money on bank charges.

Raccoonsatemyscones Fri 20-Oct-17 14:45:04

Sounds silly but will I not get into trouble for doing that? I may be able to get that info when he can call.

OurMiracle1106 Fri 20-Oct-17 14:47:05

I don’t think you can get into trouble. You are doing it with his permission. Without then yes of course but not with. Also you aren’t taking any money out. All you are doing is cancelling a direct debit.

Raccoonsatemyscones Fri 20-Oct-17 14:51:01

That would make life a whole lot easier. I can't believe how difficult it has been to get finances sorted. I'm struggling to process things and think straight!

tribpot Fri 20-Oct-17 17:25:18

Unfortunately I think you were poorly advised by his solicitor, and so he hadn't made any preparations for the possibility of going away.

My current account's terms & conditions say "you not allow anyone else to use your cards, PIN, Personal Security Details or selected personal information" and likely his does too, so he would be breaking the terms and conditions of the account if you access it. On a practical level, I'm not sure what else you can do, however. But him giving you his bank details from a prison phone doesn't sound like the safest thing in the world, I wonder if one of the helplines might have some advice. It can't be the first time it's happened.

In terms of telling your family, it might be easier to do by text so that you can be clear about what you want to say. Hope you can get something sorted soon.

Raccoonsatemyscones Sat 21-Oct-17 08:44:18

That's what I though with regards to breaking terms and conditions. Everyone I've spoken to has pretty much said we have to go into debt before anything is sorted which seems ridiculous to me, I'm finding that element rather stressful.

I stupidly thought they would give some kind of support service/number to call if a family member goes into prison, at the end of the day it's not them who has done anything wrong. I have been using the links thank you, just a shame I've had to come to mumsnet to understand what I need to do!

Itscurtainsforyou Sat 21-Oct-17 09:22:56

So what is his actual sentence length? I'm sure you know that if he was given 4 months he'll be out in 2 (possibly less if they let him out on tag - I think this depends on what he's been convicted of though).

So it could be that if he's only in 4-8 weeks you can leave payments to come out/let him go overdrawn if you really have to (although not ideal)?

I agree about contacting the landlord etc to see if you can pay separately this month. Anything else can probably wait (especially as they don't want to do anything until he's in debt...

Raccoonsatemyscones Sat 21-Oct-17 12:28:07

I think I'm just overthinking it and panicking as I've never been in debt before and don't really know how it all works. I've cancelled the unimportant direct debits and have figured even if it's with my savings I can just cover the basics. I think he'll be out in 2 months but hopefully he can be out earlier on tag as it was a driving offence. Nobody has been in touch, dh told me intially can't call me until next week and I don't know how else I would get any information. I think I would feel better if I knew exactly what was happening. He has lost his job but the sooner he gets out the sooner he can look for another and take the pressure off me financially.

Happyemoji Sat 21-Oct-17 13:05:12

What's happening with his job?

Raccoonsatemyscones Sat 21-Oct-17 13:13:58

They said they can't keep him on. He hadn't been there long so wasn't past his trial period.

Winebottle Sat 21-Oct-17 13:40:21

If what you have to pay is more than you have coming in, you will be going into debt anyway. The question you should be asking is who you want to be in debt to. Sky? Bank? Landlord?

I'd probably pick rent. 2-4 months is not that long to be behind on it. If you then start repaying more to make up your arrears.

Being in debt is stressful but there isn't much you can do to avoid it if you don't have savings and your main source of income disappears.

Happyemoji Sat 21-Oct-17 14:07:45

He should have kept his mouth shut he could have gotten away with it. I had to lie for 9 weeks for someone to help keep their job. He had a family to look after when he got out.

Happyemoji Sat 21-Oct-17 14:09:43

He told them he had to fly of to another country for the funeral of his mother. With grief to throw in there as well it worked a charm.

Happyemoji Sat 21-Oct-17 14:09:53

He told them he had to fly of to another country for the funeral of his mother. With grief to throw in there as well it worked a charm.

LadyLapsang Sat 21-Oct-17 14:47:22

Why didn't your DH sort all this out before he was sent to prison? I think you should contact CAB or some of the organisations that work with offenders, e.g. NACRO. They should be able to advise or point you in the right direction. You don't want to get in trouble yourself by accessing his bank account.

DancingLedge Sat 21-Oct-17 14:55:14

So disagree with Wine bottle's advice. Prioritise paying your rent. Keeping a roof over your families head and not pissing off the landlord should be your highest priority.

DancingLedge Sat 21-Oct-17 14:59:46

Try www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk
Because your situation is quite individual, you maybe need to ring them 0800 138 7777

There is good advice out there about prioritising debt. Take advice from people who know what they're talking about.

WitchesHatRim Sat 21-Oct-17 14:59:51

He should have kept his mouth shut he could have gotten away with it. I had to lie for 9 weeks for someone to help keep their job. He had a family to look after when he got out.

Completely ridiculous and irresponsible.

WitchesHatRim Sat 21-Oct-17 15:00:24

I'd probably pick rent. 2-4 months is not that long to be behind on it. If you then start repaying more to make up your arrears.

Where is the money going to come from exactly?

WitchesHatRim Sat 21-Oct-17 15:04:17

Why didn't your DH sort all this out before he was sent to prison?

@LadyLapsang if you read the OPs other thread it explains that they didn't think he would be.

He told them he had to fly of to another country for the funeral of his mother. With grief to throw in there as well it worked a charm.

@Happyemoji Lying about something like that is disgusting.

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