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Do I let my stbxh buy me a house?

(56 Posts)
stopthebusiwanttogetoff Tue 30-Oct-12 13:44:10

My dh earns a hell of a lot more than I do. I have chosen to ask for a trial separation, which may end up permanant. I have made it clear we should assume it is permanant and not put life on hold during the separation. He would prefer we stayed together. There is noone else involved.

Sorry if the above sounds heartless but I just want opinions on this: my dh wants to buy me and the children a house 2 mins walk away from our current home. He works from home so is keeping the business address. I cannot afford the new house under any circumstances. However, if we sold our current home I would get half I guess, so could buy a much, much smaller place outright. He wants to keep the house, and remortgage against it so that we both own the current house and the new house. He says he is happy to pay for both as that would be affordable for him (bank and lawyers agree) and that means he gets to visit etc. as often as he/they like. I'd have custody, and we'd firm up arrangements down the line for them to see as much of their dad as appropriate/possible.

I do work and earn (just not anything like he does!!!) and have contributed heavily to our current house thanks to a lucky buy before the property boom.

Do I want to be dependent on him to pay my mortgage? And buy a house bigger than I would probably choose/in a better area i.e. bills/council tax higher?

I want it to be as bearable as possible for the children so his proposal does make sense but I'm worried that all of my judgement is way off as we're going through a very emotional time. He's a lovely guy and I like and trust him - he's not doing it to spy on me if anyone suspects it! We've been together since I was a teenager, and have two young children. I'm now 40. Any thoughts/advice/experience appreciated. I know nothing about maintenance etc etc or where I should end up financially after we split, I'm scared of being out of my depth. That said the new house is totally rent/sellable so I could change plans again. Sorry for the long post.

MushroomSoup Tue 30-Oct-12 13:56:31

I would worry about the impact when you move on to a new relationship. Could you see yourself bringing a new man into that house which is paid for by your ex?

MushroomSoup Tue 30-Oct-12 13:58:01

I would worry about the impact when you move on to a new relationship. Could you see yourself bringing a new man into that house which is paid for by your ex? And how would your ex react?
Could he buy the house in YOUR name instead of paying maintenance ?

MushroomSoup Tue 30-Oct-12 13:58:28


stopthebusiwanttogetoff Tue 30-Oct-12 14:05:46

No I know - I don't think I could. Really not. But if it was paid off I wouldn't mind? Just if he was having to pay my mortgage every month- it would kind of takes the piss I'd think?

Yes - we haven't discussed him just remortgaging this house in his name and buying it, and buying the other in my name only with no mortgage. I will broach it tonight but I'm sure it'll be poorly received - he's keen on having both in both names until they're both paid off (5-10years)

MushroomSoup Tue 30-Oct-12 14:09:44

If you're separated, then you should be financially separated, IMO. However nice his intention it could all go very wrong in the future and its a way to keep you still under his control.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Tue 30-Oct-12 14:19:14

If it's a 'trial separation' why is he your stbxh?

this sounds like it might be an interim measure but he is very much in control, isn't he? Financially, and two minutes away. Will he have keys? 'Pop in when he likes' sounds a bit unsatisfactory either from the point of view of making this permanent or it working as a genuine separation, trial or not.

IMO you need to make things a bit clearer. I dare say you feel a bit 'kept' although you work, because of his greater income. What he proposes will ensure you remain kept by him. I would also be a bit wary of letting him stay in a fh that you put a heap of money into. Ditto that he works from home and you don't. And there is a lot to be said for buying outright, a house that is yours, albeit more modest.

I've just separated. I'm a student without income, two kids. We had lots of equity in 3 properties. One has been sold. Fh is on the market. I have a house of my own, bought outright, 10 mins from fh. Dh will buy when fh is sold - a much smaller house than mine, when fh is sold. And he keeps our country cottage. It's about a 50:50 split, given that he is giving me a 'clean break' lump sum in cash as well in lieu of ongoing spousal maintenance. All agreed without solicitors being involved.

Having just moved in I can tell you the dc of course still see fh as their home and find living there more attractive than at my new house which is lovely but unfamiliar. My dh also working at home.

But my situation is temporary and soon dh will have an unfamiliar house too. You risk putting yourself in a house they won't want to be in when your dh is so close in fh. And you will be reliant on him financially.

Only you can decide what to do but this set up he suggests sounds better for him than for you.

whattodoo Tue 30-Oct-12 14:30:07

Sounds as though you want the separation more than he does, and he (maybe unconsciously) sees this as a way of retaining a link with you (apart from the children of course).
What if you went ahead with this then then wanted to move further down the line?
What if he lost his job and put both homes at risk?
It sounds like a generous offer, but personally I'd decline.

5madthings Tue 30-Oct-12 14:38:17

if you do this (and i know a couple who have and all amicable they even have new partners and both have new babies with their new partners) you need it all drawn up legally with a good lawyer etc.

it sounds great for the kids but almost too good to be true.

CogitoEerilySpooky Tue 30-Oct-12 15:04:42

I would tell him that if he wants to buy you a house and sign it over as part of the divorce, great. If he wants to give you the cash equivalent so you can buy your own house, great. But if he intends holding the title deeds I would be uncomfortable with it. I would not like to be beholden to anyone, let alone an exH that - however amicable today - can decide to literally remove the roof from over my head.

stopthebusiwanttogetoff Tue 30-Oct-12 18:18:02

Tired of waiting - thanks for your reply, you have made me really think about whether I should be so ready to walk away from the family home. I think my kids will love the new house though, but your words have made me think about whether they'd love it enough not to crave the fh.

Thank you also for the other replies, which have confirmed to me that I am right to be concerned about future implications. We need to make an offer on this house asap if we want to try to get it, but first we need to discuss the impact of him paying for my house and how he'll/his future partner will feel about that down the line if these things happen and we don't get back together.

Teabagtights Tue 30-Oct-12 18:24:14

What happens if he meets someone else and starts a new family? Will he be able to keep up the payments on your house.

Personally you need to make a clean break get your own home, he can buy you out of your current home and use that to rent or buy but don't be beholden to him for anything as further down the line you will both meet new partners and things will change.

Lovingfreedom Tue 30-Oct-12 18:26:05

You're entitled to a share of the marital assets (including property, pensions etc etc) when you divorce and the court would take into account the needs of the children too. If it's possible, I'd say to try to buy a house where it suits you when you get your share of the proceeds rather than having a house in his name (or joint names) after you divorce. He'd be fine when you and DCs were in it..but if you tried to move in a new partner....different story.
I might be being cynical but it sounds a bit like his way of saying that it's HIS house, HIS money, HIS assets etc...and he should control where you live.

Teabagtights Tue 30-Oct-12 18:27:36

Remember if he gets remarried his new wife has half his assets if the new house is in his name, that includes that too.

Sorry but its too much about what ifs. Rent first buy your own house in your name.

stopthebusiwanttogetoff Tue 30-Oct-12 21:02:26

Apparently we need my salary on the mortgage offer, so he's adamant we'd have both own both. He's happy to get it written up legally that he would pay the mortgage on that house in lieu of maintenance etc for the kids. He says we could literally swap houses if the kids are desperate to live in the fh.

We need to offer tomorrow. I don't feel strong enough or confident enough that I'm right not to do this, to fight against it.

Thank you for the advice and anymore thoughts are v welcome, his points are good though:

if i move somewhere small that i can afford, of course the kids will prefer the fh; if we split permanantly we will divide finances, and in the meantime will have a legal agreement; the kids will be able to stay with me fulltime, with him visiting/babysitting when agreed because the locations are so close, or them coming here for sleepovers; I can sell/move on at any point.

Am I definitely mad to say yes?

NettleTea Tue 30-Oct-12 22:12:04

but can you sell and move on at any point? The house would belong to both of you and he could refuse to sell it? Cannot he arrange to release the equity within the family home (and if you have full residency of the kids, wont that be greater than 50%) which could be used as a deposit on the new home, and allow you to get a smaller mortgage in your name? then he just pays his mortgage on the released funds on the family home?

geegee888 Tue 30-Oct-12 22:12:19

I think its a really bad idea. Aim for a clean break. This arrangement will keep you tied to him for the duration of any mortgage. If he meets a new partner, its a disaster waiting to happen. Legal agreement or not, do you fancy taking him to court every time he misses a mortgage payment?

Insist on sale of the family home and division of assets. If he wants to re-mortgage it to facilitate this, its up to him.

Do I want to be dependent on him to pay my mortgage? Absolutely not. Neither do you want a bigger house than you can comfortably afford, just to suit him.

I also don't understand, why, if its a trial seperation, he is your stbxh.

It sounds like you both want your cake and to eat it too. Aim for a clean break.

ChippingInLovesAutumn Tue 30-Oct-12 22:32:40

I also think it's a really bad idea & you absolutely cannot do this tomorrow, that way madness lies. It is a huge decision and you cannot commit to it when you aren't sure <I think you gut instinct is trying hard to protect you here>.

Lots of STBXH are lovely men who are likeable and trustable - far fewer XH's are.

I personally think you should stay in the family home, with the family or you should sell it <unless he owned it prior to you getting together> I think it's better for all concerned emotionally, perhaphs not for his business - but businesses move, it's not a big deal.

It is nice for the children if you don't live too far apart, but there is absolutely no need, whatsoever, to live a 2 min walk apart.

If you sell the house and make a clean break financially, you can decide where you and the children will live, something that suits your new finances. I wouldn't enter into any arrangement that soaks up his contribution to the childrens upbringing without you actually getting the cash.

You need to be able to cope without his money, even though you shouldn't have to.

He's putting pressure on you to 'go with this' - no matter how lovely you say he is, this is a very controlling thing to do given the situation.

venusandmars Tue 30-Oct-12 22:34:05

Don't make this decision in a hurry. Don't let this opportunity put you under pressure. It needs much, much more thinking about.

When I split with exh we had fh and a rented flat. The agreement was that we would both spend some time in the rented place, but in reality he didn't / wouldn't and so it appeared to others that I had left the family home hmm

Exh and I did (and do) get on OK. But when I met my dp, exh was furious and vitriolic for a while. I know that I'd not have wanted to be in any way financially entangled or dependent on him during that time.

And I cannot describe the feeling of liberation when we achieved financial separation and I bought my own (MY OWN) place. I don't think my dc felt they had 'home' and 'my place', although I think one dc did when I subsequently moved. If that is the issue why don't you stay in the current family home, with stbxh paying maintenance and a mortgage funded by your salary. Then it is his choice about what size of house he moves into?

Bottome line? I'd not go for the arrangement that is being proposed. Ever.

MushroomSoup Tue 30-Oct-12 22:42:19

I think you're crazy. I think you want to separate but are too frightened to be by yourself. If you are so unsure about being able to live a separate life to him, you should stay with him.

ThistlePetal Tue 30-Oct-12 22:57:34

Totally agree with venus here - just because there is a house available which might suit your stbxh's vision of what the future might look like, doesn't mean you have to be railroaded into this decision. Other suitable houses will come along in good time.

I have very recently separated and DH intends to buy me out of the FH. It's not ideal, but I don't want it in any case - we'd positively rattle in it and it's too expensive to run on my modest salary. I want a smaller, cosier house for me and the DCs. I want a clean break from DH because really he feels that he has a financial hold over me (it's the only weapon in his armoury and he knows it). I don't think it's true that they will automatically prefer the FH - I think children love the place they feel most secure and loved.

I think most of all, you need to be more certain about whether you do want to separate for good, or it is really just a trial. Why would your H be so keen to buy another house if he thought you'd be back in 3 months? And why would you be so willing to let him buy it if you really wanted to be free of him? You can't really tie yourself to such a huge commitment until you really have made sense of what's going on emotionally for you both.

good luck with whatever you decide.

Lovingfreedom Wed 31-Oct-12 00:28:04

Take a summary of your shared assets that you know about to a solicitor and they will start to help you work out likely share of least the best and worst settlement you can expect. Combine this info with calc based on what a mortgage provider will give you either from online calculator or go into a branch.
That will give you an idea of what you can do on your own once your separation or divorce is settled. That will then give you a better idea of how good an offer your husband is making.
Do remember that assets accumulated during the marriage are shared even if only in his name.

stopthebusiwanttogetoff Wed 31-Oct-12 20:56:50

I'm sorry I really do appreciate the advice on here, and I want to keep hearing it however I recognise that I am now going to be thought of somewhat as an idiot because it's too late- he's put the offer in and it's been accepted.

I need support for what the future holds and I am terrified that i am making the wrong decisions, but I do need us to split up - be that permanently or temporarily (sorry used stbxh as didn't know acronym for trial separation dh!) I want my kids to be happy and I want us to be happy and my dh is convinced that living two mins apart with total flexibility on seeing the kids is right. We discussed it again today, and he says that with both houses in both names everything is ours and we can split finances when we need to if the separation becomes permanent.

We are still living together and spending xmas with his family this year - I see this as a definite way of ensuring we are living apart by 2013. Which is a step in the right direction, if a potential minefield. If we don't get back together - which I can genuinely say I cannot confirm either way, I have a gut feeling obviously) - we will have to reevaluate.

Sorry to ask for advice and then appear not to listen, I really have I just don't have the strength to take it right now.

MushroomSoup Wed 31-Oct-12 22:14:42

You are allowed to ask for advice and not take it - I might think you're an idiot (sorry!) but I also think that you are a grown woman who has to what she thinks best, to negotiate a way forward for her family.
I hope this works out for you. I hope your DH manages to keep the good intentions he has obviously started out with.
Keep posting x

ThistlePetal Wed 31-Oct-12 22:20:43

Sorry you didn't get a chance to have your say on this before your DH made the offer. At least, like you say, you now know that you can live separately in the near future. I think it would be a good idea to discuss your position with a solicitor though, just to see where you stand legally and financially if your separation becomes permanent.

I also get the impression from what you've written, that your DH feels he would be entitled to come and go as he pleases to each of the two homes. I can't see that this would be tenable in the long term, and you might need to think about getting some kind of formal agreement drawn up.

There is so much to think about and it's such an emotional time - I am right in the thick of it just now too - but you need to protect yourself, and taking action to do that will free up more strength for you in the long term.

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