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Advice please

(33 Posts)
ninja Sun 01-May-11 07:50:31

Basically H is leaving me (we have dd's aged 8 and 2) - things have been up and down for years and he's threatened to leave several times in the past (once because apparantly I don't always shut doors hmm).

I always promised that the next time I'd let him as he can be very difficult around these times but when it came he'd tell me that it was all my fault that he was being upset/angry, that I'd done this and that and I should know by now that not shutting doors/phoning him to find out what time he'd be home.... annoys him and I'd end up feeling awful and saying sorry and making promises and then being the perfect stepford wife for a few weeks before the frustration started seeping out.

He can be a lovely person (which is the side that most people see) and the kids love him as he's fun and patient with them. He's a great dad in fact (although a couple of my friends have commented that it's all on his terms as for example he NEVER gets up with the kids unless I'm not there). Howvere, he's out a lot - 3 times a week he goes to footy after work and doesn't come back 'til after midnight, then there's the season ticket, the stag do's...

As I say things have been bad for a while he made me sleep in the spare room a few months ago ('cos after him being away skiing without us for a week I phpned him up when he was at the pub to say it'd be nice if he could come home so we could see him - I meant it but he took it that I was nagging him sad) and he's been pretty unpleasant to live with constantly picking on ANYTHING I say - arguing and shouting at me including in front of the kids. Again he tells me this is my fault and something he doesn't want to do .....

I'm obviously no angel - (I've been watching the 'am I an abuser' thread with interest). He works full time, I work 3 days and look after the 2 year old the rest of the time - I also do the school pick ups whcih means I have to make up my work in the eveinings. I do all the washing, shopping, cooking, sorting out of finances, kids stuff, get up with the kids ....... One of his complaints is that I have implied that he's lazy and that I've done this in front of friends (I admit I have made those 'men' kind of comments). I can get absorbed in my work (often 'cos I struggle to get it done between all the looking after the kids) but I'm sick of all the 'you only work 3 days comments'

Even so - I was hoing that we'd be able to go to counselling again (we were sacked from relate last time - he'squite argumentative blush but we did manage to sort things out a lot and had dd2)

Sorry - this is turning into a rant but it feels good to write it all down.

Basically a few weeks ago he said he wanted a separation. He was prepared to leave (because he can't buy me out) but that he wanted half the equilty of the house and the kids half the time. For days he kept hassling me about which days we'd have the kids which was really upsetting - he backed off this a bit I think he may have heard me sobbing in the middle of the night sad

Now it's the money. A week or so after he told me he wanted to leave I was away with the kids and he went to see houses and put in an offer on one which was bit of a shock as I suppose I had still hoped it would work out. He basically said I need the money ASAP. I have some inherited shares which may cover half the equity in house, I'll probably need to increase the mortgage a bit. I saw a financial advisor last week and that evening he came into my room at 11.30 after being in the pub and said well? I said could we talk about this another time as I was trying to sleep? No! So I said the advisor had taken the information away and would get back to me which he didn't believe. In the end he went away but I was made to feel awful that I couldn't let him know.

The house he's seen does look lovely and would be great for the kids, near the park and DD1's best friend (I'm almost envious!) so I do wnat to help him get it, it's just he's being so demanding. He probably is being fair in what he's asking for as I do have more assets than him (although he hasn't considered his greater earning power/pension/share of his friends business that he has ....).

I want to speak to my parents about all this as the shares my Granny left me are in a family company (well one set up by great, great grandpa although family no longer ...). I don't want to sell them without speaking to them plus I just want to talk it over. He's adamant that I shouldn't tell anyone. My parents are 1.5 hours away so it wouldn't be easy for me to go and see them without him knowing. I don't want to upset him as I really feel if we can do this amicably it's better for the kids.

I guess after this HUGE rant (and thank you sooo much if you've made it to the end) is should I stand up to him on this... actually that sounds like a ridiculous question after all of this writing!!

Any advice on trying to make the separation easier for the kids, more amicable... would be much appreciated.

cookcleanerchaufferetc Sun 01-May-11 08:10:47

have you seen a solicitor? I would ask your parents to come over when your husband is out and discuss the situation. It sounds like heis trying to rush you and force you to make decisions which may not be or the benefit of you and the kids. By telling you not to tell people shows how controlling he is. He would not be able to have the kids half the time seeing as he works full time, and paying for childcare would be expensive. He has not thought this through. He our have a nice house which would benefit th kids possibly just every other weekend. Would he still support you with bills or the kids? Ont make any decisions and call your parents now.

Good luck

cjel Sun 01-May-11 08:17:59

You poor thing , so many dilemas. I think your comment at the end that you should stand up to him says it all really, DON'T give him anything he wants until you have discussed it all wihthyour family and a good solicitor. He's pushing this and it would be good for you to step back and get outside advice, imo he sounds like a bit of a bully and control freak, he musn't be allowed to get all his own way , he should be told if he wants to leave to go but you don't have to pay him to go. Please get advise from your family they will help you to do the right thing and with support. Phone them now. let me know how it goes.

Anniegetyourgun Sun 01-May-11 08:29:37

Never mind he's adamant you shouldn't tell anyone, you need to get advice on this. You've done the right thing getting professional advice, you can't make a massive decision like this without being fully informed. Ask yourself, what is the point of not telling anyone? They'll surely know when he moves into a different house anyway. Could it be because he doesn't want anyone advising caution? At the moment he's bullying, I say again bullying, you into handing over a very large amount of money on his say-so. This waking you up late at night to talk about it is manipulative in the extreme. He wants you to say something when you're too sleepy to think about it properly and then you'd be "going back on your word" when you say something different in the cold light of day. Fortunately you were too sensible on that occasion, but he'll catch you unwary one day (nobody's on the alert 24/7) and try to guilt trip you into sticking to something you may not even realise you said (because quite possibly you didn't).

As for staying amicable, well, that's up to him isn't it? You're clearly prepared to be reasonable, but if/when he wants something unreasonable he has shown he's prepared to rant and rave like a very loud toddler until you give in for a quiet life. You would be daft to let him make all the running. It comes out quite clearly from your posts that he is nice as long as everything is going exactly how he wants it, but as soon as it isn't Mr Nice takes a hike. Thus, get everything in writing, and lay down the law straight away that nothing is agreed until it is agreed on paper. He won't like it but it is very much in your interest not to make any snap decisions. Get your advisers to crawl all over everything as you are very wisely doing at the moment. Assuming you can afford one I'd also get a solicitor. A legal deed of separation could be very valuable, especially if he starts to cast a covetous eye over the rest of your assets, and don't think for one moment he won't. He's very self-centred, isn't he?

I wouldn't believe the 50-50 with the kids thing either. He's used to having you do everything for them and him having as much free time as he fancies. I'd be willing to bet my best Sunday hat (only I don't do hats) that the 50-50 proposal is to avoid liability for maintenance but that when it comes down to it you will mysteriously find yourself looking after them a great deal more than that. Fine, you'll say, more time with the kids, that'll be great - as long as you don't need money from him to help bring them up, which you might once he's got his hands on half your Granny's shares. Again, everything in writing or no deal. You are protecting your children as much as yourself in all this, never mind what he says about this house is for them and you'll be robbing them if you don't help him buy it (bullshit basically).

Tell who you need to tell. He wants to leave you. Why should he get to call all the shots?

My answer is as long as your rant, sorry about that!

ninja Sun 01-May-11 08:31:29

Thanks for the replies

I go to see my parents regularly but they never come here so I'd be difficult to ask them to come without a reason and it's not really something you want to tell them over the phone - it may hav to come to that. I'm kicking myself because I was over last weekend and I really should have done it then.

I did have the free conversation with a solicitor who said that what he's asking for would probably be within the bounds of what a court would agree was fair, although he did suggest I should look at child support which he isn't offering. He says he'll pay half the childcare and expenses.

He wants to drop down his work by a few hours so he could have DD2 one day in the week and have both kids half the nights. I'd still see them more as I'd do school pickups and have dd2 2 days and more in the hols as I work in education and so can work flexibly during the holidays.

I guess he's threatened to demand half my assets (which the solicitor says he wouldn't get) if I don't just give him the money. He also gets pretty argumentative. I know it sounds like I'm just giving in to him, but as I say I DO wnat the kids to have a nice house to stay with with him and I wnat to make the transition as smooth as possible for them.

I think I will phone them up and see what they say.

The other thing is he wants the house valuing by estate agents and to tkae that value - but surely that'll be over inflated.

I do appreciate the responses

commeuneimage Sun 01-May-11 08:33:12

Please, for heaven's sake don't let him bully you into making these huge financial decisions in a rush. You must take legal advice. Even if he can't go ahead with this house purchase there will be other suitable houses. And why should you try so hard to accommodate him when he has treated you so badly? Go to a solicitor as soon as you can.

davidtennantsmistress Sun 01-May-11 08:34:41

agreed he's a bully a control freak, and lets face it has been having the single life for a long time while keeping the wife at home. angry he's not in any sort of position in my mind to make demands on you.

don't you sign or tell him anything until you've spoken to your family & taken proper legal advice - after all at the moment you don't know what he's entitled to or what YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN are. the contact with the kids is totally Independence of any money things between yourselves - however as DS is still quite young it's prob a better idea for the weekend contacts.

coming up you're going to need the support of your mum & dad so if need be take the kids lock up the house & go back to see them for a week or so's holiday to get and talk everything out.

ninja Sun 01-May-11 08:41:35

Thanks Anniegetyourgun cross posted!

I do think he is serious about the 50-50 and I guess he'll manage to step up to the mark when it comes to it. He doesn't realise the extent of what he doesn't do though.

He does have a history of trying to discuss things late at night which is always a disaster -

I've always been accused by him of being manipulative so I find it hard to believe that he is deliberately being so.

commeuneimage - 'And why should you try so hard to accommodate him when he has treated you so badly?' - 'cos of the kids sad

The solicitor basically said there's no way he could force me to just pay up, but part of me just wants to get it over and done with.

I just don't want to believe that he'd go back on what he's said - actually I don't think he would (or am I being deluded?)

davidtennantsmistress Sun 01-May-11 08:44:08

tbh I think he's manipulated everything your relationship to make you doubt yourself,.

saying you DID give into his demands what's to stop him coming back for mroe - where will it end. i'm always very very skeptical in cases like these (XSIL did it with DB) please seek legal advice and get everything written down & done absolutely SHOULD stand up to him on this no questions asked.

Anniegetyourgun Sun 01-May-11 09:00:08

"I've always been accused by him of being manipulative so I find it hard to believe that he is deliberately being so."

Actually it's called projection, where a person accuses you of something they do themselves. Like a cheating spouse who is forever accusing the innocent partner of cheating, or a dishonest person who calls you a liar. It's not that he despises manipulation, it's that he can dish it out but he can't take it. More dangerously, you may be projecting your own decency and moral base onto him. You can't be sure what he will do, no-one can ever be 100% sure of another human being. There is nothing wrong with buying him out if you can afford it and a quiet life is worth more to you than hard cash. Be as generous as you want to be, as you can afford to be; your choice obviously. There's no need to scrap over the last penny on principle. But trusting him to do the right thing, no, I wouldn't, honestly. Know what your rights are, decide what you are willing to concede, and get it all tied up legally. Then nobody will be disappointed will they?

dearprudence Sun 01-May-11 09:01:53

As others have said, get everything agreed formally. And if you think your parents will support you, then just tell them. Of course you have a reason to ask them to come round.

Sorry you're having a hard time.

atswimtwolengths Sun 01-May-11 09:15:07

I think the sole reason he wants half-custody is because he won't have to pay maintenance for the children. It's obvious he's not going to look after them half of the time; he's been used to doing whatever he wants.

You realise you could end up with a situation where he's paying for someone to look after the children in his contact time when you are sitting at home missing them?

I think you should go to your parents' home and speak to them. Leave the children with him. Tell him that his desire for 'privacy' is coming across as him trying to extort the money out of you and that your lawyer has insisted you speak to your parents. Tell him this will come out in court if he doesn't comply.

Why should you have to give him any of your inheritance when he has far higher spending power/pension etc? You will need that as a safety net.

You need to see a lawyer properly, not as a half-hour free slot. You deserve proper advice which is not limited to a number of minutes.

You will feel great once he's gone, believe me.

ShoutyHamster Sun 01-May-11 09:35:19

No, no, and NO to agreeing ANYTHING with him without a shedload of professional advice.

The important things as I see them:

1. He's a bully and a manipulator and seems to think that he's the most important person in the relationship. The pattern has been that you give in for a quiet life. It's going to be far too difficult for you to change those patterns instantly or with any conviction, so as a result he's going to walk all over you with all the financial stuff unless you have good advice and good emotional support. This is important because the truth is the most important people in the relationship are the CHILDREN. You'll be living with them, they need as many of the assets to stay accessible to them. He won't see it that way. Tell your parents NOW and get a good solicitor. A man who argues himself into being sacked from Relate is probably not going to be the easiest opposition during a divorce.

2. He is the higher earner. You need to think long-term. If you have downgraded your career or been out of work periodically to look after the children, it is going to be harder for you to have the same earning power during your lifetime. That's a sacrifice you've made for not only the family but for HIM as an individual. Never forget it, the joke will be on you in twenty years when the kids have left, if you do. It sounds as if right now you have quite a few assets which you might be seen to have a prior claim to. It also sounds as if he's gearing up to be quite aggressive about claiming from you. Again, you need a good solicitor right now. You need to hit back quite hard from the off to make it clear that him getting to buy a new house is WAAAAY down the priority list - the priority is making sure the children and by extension yourself are financially secure. It also sounds like there is money belonging to YOUR family involved in this - so again, get your parents involved straight away. It's too important not to. This sounds harsh - but several things I've picked up from your post sound alarm bells, and I think he might turn nasty - bullying you for quick decisions, trying to stop you accessing outside advice, not offering child support (!!! - I think not!!) Lots of this STINKS - you will be liquidating your shares to give him equity while he doesn't take into consideration his business interests? NO. NOT ON. This sounds quite complicated really, and I think he's going to try and pull a fast one.

3. He's already acting quite threateningly on a personal level. Not to cry abuse, but I think you need to realise that your personal relationship could change very quickly into something quite unpleasant in these circumstances. It would be a good idea to nip any intimidating behaviour in the bud. Best way to do that - talk to other people, and make it clear to him that you WILL be getting advice, EVERYTHING financial WILL be decided with your solicitor looking on, and so there's NO POINT in coming into your room at night hoping to intimidate you into a decision. If he keeps on doing that, you'll have to consider making his behaviour public and getting your solicitor's advice on keeping him away from you. Which won't help in any final court case.

Oh and last thing- if he's as hands off as you say, he won't want 50/50 contact. Don't let that cloud your judgement - it's possible he's saying that deliberately to give you a wobble so you agree to a quick (and favourable for him) resolution. If it came to a court it would be far more likely that you would stay in the house and the children too.

cjel Sun 01-May-11 20:41:06

how are you doing? hows today been, Did you get chance to phone your family?xxxx

ninja Sun 01-May-11 21:53:24

Thanks - no chance yet (he went back to bed after a late night out so I had the kids all day. I think I'm going to try and get Thursday of work to go and see them. Thanks for the concern - lots to think about

FabbyChic Sun 01-May-11 22:07:55

Tell him he will get what is due when the divorce is finalised and not before, in the meantime that gives you time to sort things out. You are right in that you would not get for the house what it would be valued at, however you need at least three valuations to make a guess at what you would have to buy him out at.

If you have more money than him it may be that he gets a settlement and not you.

I would strongly urge you not to do anything financially until the divorce is finalised, then you can agree on mainteanance and the like at the same time.

Also you would have to get the house in your name too, so would have to sort that out.

It all takes time, you cannot just give him the money just like that things need to be final, the money situation is the end of it not the beginning.

ninja Sun 01-May-11 22:24:29

Hi FabbyChic - I have no intention of giving him the money without him signing the house over, he has accepted that.

I guess he's threatened that he'll ask for more if I don't give him half the house and he may or may not get it - whatever, it would take time and energy and money and arguing and for so many reasons I don't want all that.....

I can see his point of view though, he wants to have house to look after the kids and in his mind it's all sorted and easy. He's probably had it all planned out in his mind for a long time (?)

For me it seems so fast and I can't imagine most people get it all sorted straight away, but it does seem appealing.

I'm going to try and ring my parents tomorrow if I can, I'll also try and persuade him again that I need to speak to them and just go behind his back if not.

Oh I just want this to be easy sad

ShoutyHamster Sun 01-May-11 22:44:39

Why try and persuade him? It's none of his business now - it certainly isn't up to him in the slightest. Speak to your parents and take time to work out what you want to tell him about your discussions, after the event. Don't hand him what you're thinking on a plate. It will not do you any favours!

You have to start thinking like a free agent, and act in your own best interests.

Remember him signing over the house really at the moment means just signing over the mortgage! Until the divorce is finalised - NO MONEY changes hands.

If he starts trying to bully you by saying he'll go for more if you don't give him what he wants - let him. It sounds as if he's going to be aggressive in trying to get as much out of you as possible, so you might as well tell him to go for it - he WON'T get more than is fair, he WON'T get a disproportionate amount given that you will have the children with you, and as he sounds as if he'll be funny about maintenance issues too you may as well just go straight to a solicitor from the off.

You say you want it to be easy - with someone like this, that would honestly BE the easiest way. Don't start giving in to him to make life easy - it just won't.

ninja Sun 01-May-11 22:50:17

Thanks shouty - I guess I just need to start listening to you lot!!

We've not discussed divorce yet, but the solicitor mentioned getting a legal separation order so I'll look more into that.

cjel Mon 02-May-11 10:08:21

I think you will feel much better about this when you have had chance to open up to parents. ultimately it is not up to your inheritance to provide a home for him and I think once you have your families support you will feela ble to tell him what is and isn't going to happen and not just what he wants for an easy life. Hope you can be happy.xxxx

ninja Tue 03-May-11 00:12:17

Thanks for making me go - just back so I won't write in detail now but it was good to be able to talk and very useful too.

ninja Tue 03-May-11 14:09:44

It was really telling before I went that he asked me again not to go - previously the reason was that he didn't want to tell other people before the kids knew. Last night he showed his true colours saying that 'I know what your family are like, you'd better not come back from speaking to them and start arguing with what we've agreed' - (btw I've agreed nothing, I've just been told....)

Basically my parents were sympathetic, not surprised (the only surprise was expressed by my mum that it was him leaving me!)

They were helpful wrt finances (and basically agreed with all you lot!)

It's quite possible that what he's asking for in terms of a division of the house is fair, but not in demanding it yesterday and also he's being picky in what he'll take - he just wants the money now which I simply can't get.

He thinks he's doing me a favour as he's only considered my assets and not his pension, share of friends company and as my parents commented he always thinks that he's right angry. It's this part that annoys me - I'm bending over backwards to try and find a way to accomodate him without getting into an argument over it and he thinks he's firmly in the right.

I've booked a couple more free solicitor appointments so that I can get more advice about my rights, and just answer more of my questions.

FabbyChic Tue 03-May-11 14:25:25

I hope seeing a solicitor makes things clearer for you. All assets do have to be considered and that includes his pension. You may find that he is entitled to less than he is demanding. It isn't really your place to have to set him up, he will still have to maintain any children irrespective.

ninja Tue 03-May-11 14:55:17

Just had the first estate agent valuation - the house is worth substantially less than he thought which he won't be happy about.

cjel Tue 03-May-11 15:24:42

So glad you put at all out in the open. He won't be happy a lot in the days to come as his dream of wallking away with bulging pockets isn't realised. Good to hear your mum and dad are supportive as well.Hope you are still feeling ok.xx

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