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Marriage over but scared about coping financially

(14 Posts)
Kitcat123 Sat 16-May-15 19:07:27

I've been married 15 years - have 3 kids 13, 11 & 7. Have tried to make marriage work for sake of kids but am fed up. There is no communication - he leaves for work early, comes home late when kids are about to go to bed. The whole running of house/kids/finances is left to me. At weekends he slobs about/never offers to do anything with the kids unless I initiate it. He begrudgingly takes holiday (in fact actually loses holiday days as he doesn't use it up!).We have no conversation, no shared interests, there is no intimacy. There is so much resentment on my part - I work part time but get no help with the kids from him - and no appreciation for all the cooking/cleaning/ironing his shirts etc. He loves the kids but has never attended parents evenings, sports days etc which I cannot understand. We have talked about separation - he is not happy either, but seems content to just plod along like this. I wish he would have an affair as at least then he would have an incentive to leave!
I want to get him to move out but am scared about finances. My salary is low and I have no savings. We have a joint mortgage and although there is equity, there is still a big chunk outstanding. He is on a decent salary but claims he has no money - another issue! We never have enough for a holiday etc, where does the money go?? What are my rights - I don't want to uproot the kids as they are happy at school. I enjoy my job, and the hours fit around school - I couldn't afford child care if I had to work full time. I just feel like '"is this it?" - I am 42 , do I just continue like this miserably till the kids are older and I am able to cope financially. Will I make matters worse for me & kids if I take the plunge????

addicted2cake Sat 16-May-15 19:16:32

Have a look at what benefits you would be entitled to if you were to separate and remember he would have to pay maintenance for the children.
I was in a similar situation a year or so ago and finances was a major worry, I made some cutbacks and with some help from benefits I was able to separate from my ex h and and am now so much happier.
I don't have money for nights out or treats for myself but I'm happy as long as the children are.
Please don't plod along like this for the sake of the children, they will pick up on the unhappiness.
Wishing you lots of luck on the bumpy road ahead, whatever you decide to do.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 16-May-15 19:20:52

I would seek legal advice re finances and your home from some Solicitors asap with a view to separating. Knowledge is power after all and you certainly need legal advice.

Better to be apart and happier than to be together and miserable. He gets what he wants out of this and is quite happy to plod; you are clearly not happy to be doing that. You're 42 and still have a lot of life left to live; you do not want to spend another year let alone another decade being in a dead end marriage like you are now. This was really over a long time ago wasn't it.

Your children are being shown this model of a marriage by both of you and they are not going to say, "thanks mum" for staying within it particularly if you are miserable. They see and hear more than you perhaps realise; they see and pick up on most, if not all, the negative vibes. They see you both unhappy and perhaps even blame themselves. They probably go all out at home to keep you happy.

You certainly do not want them to think that you only stayed because of them (to which they will say why, call you daft for doing so and afterwards accuse you of putting him before them) and doing that also teaches the children a lie.

What do you want to teach your children about relationships and what are they learning here from you both?. This is patently not the model of a relationship you want to be showing them; you do not want this to become their "norm" and for them to potentially act out the same in their own relationships as adults.

Kitcat123 Sat 16-May-15 20:40:48

Thanks - you are right about the children. My eldest is definitely aware that we are not a 'happily married couple' and I don't want them growing up thinking that this is what relationships should be like. I am definitely going to seek some legal advice.

FlabulousChix Sat 16-May-15 21:25:09

Ideally if single you would need to earn enough to cover your mortgage or rent. Rent can be subsidised by housing benefit but not a mortgage. If your hubs moved out you might get to stay in the house till the kids are 18 but you'd have to pay the mortgage. He would only have to pay maintenance. Why do you need childcare your eldest is old enough to look after a 7 year old for a minimal sum. Or your get help via tax credits

Iflyaway Sat 16-May-15 21:42:21

Not quite sure why you are with a guy and have 3 kids together but "he has a decent salary but claims he has no money"??

Has he never shown you a salary slip? Bank statements? Why put up with that? shock

You need to take back your power for yourself and your kids.
The best you can do for yourself (is he going to take care of you for the rest of your life?) and show your kids a better way.

Being alone as a LP is not easy (I am one) but sure as hell better than being dependent on a fucker who doesn't give a shite...

Iflyaway Sat 16-May-15 21:47:18

Oh, and stop ironing his shirts to start with! And his domestics. He sees you as the "maid"...

NotSureThisIsWhatIWant Sat 16-May-15 23:28:55

ok, first of all. Don't let people put you down, it is easy to slip in those roles when there is a big disparity in the salaries.

I am sure that the only reason there are no more divorces is because woman often feel they have no financial means to survive and provide for their children on their own.

If you are working more than 16 hours a werk, you will have access to tax credits and probably other benefits (you can find a benefit calculator at
With a salary, child maintenance and the help of tax credits, you may be ok to cope financially but plase note that one of the consequences of a divorce is that the standard of living will change, but if you will be happier without him, that's a price worth paying.

Check also the Gingerbread website (lone parents charity) , as it has a lot of very useful advice on how to survive on your own.

Goodbetterbest Sun 17-May-15 08:55:49

OP I was in a very similar position to you. It is working out, and I really just want to reassure you.

Financially, working tax credits make a massive difference. Agree, check

We are going through mediation. It's really tough but it's working. We aren't at each other's throats all the time and only talk about our split with the mediator. Otherwise we don't really talk unless it's about the kids. He is crap about access but we are a close unit.
What is obvious is the lack of negativity in the house.
I no longer carry around the resentment that I am doingEVERYTHING and him nothing. I am doing everything still of course, but I am now happy to do so.

Don't stay and be miserable. We are
So much happier for it.

Kitcat123 Sun 17-May-15 13:39:24

I don't know exactly what my husband's monthly take home salary is - he gets electronic pay slips and pays a set amount into joint account every month. I know his annual salary which is why i don't believe that he is as shorts as he says he is. I work 24 hours a week and that money goes straight into joint account. Looking at it all written down I guess it does look like I've been a mug. I guess I've just always got on with it more fool me.
At the same time life can't be great for him as there is so much tension in the house. I am going to speak to him tonight and have it out as we can't continue like this. Will also check out my entitlements - thanks all.

ravenmum Sun 17-May-15 15:34:34

Good luck and well done for taking action. Make sure you have copies of all your paperwork - my dh took lots when he left and I had to beg him for copies after.

Goodbetterbest Sun 17-May-15 18:26:11

Good luck Kitcat.

sleeponeday Sun 17-May-15 20:33:12

It is not true that a marriage ending only entitles the parent with care of the children to child support. You are worse off because you've been caring for the kids and the home, and working in a low-paid part-time job to facilitate that. It isn't only his salary.

Half the house and his pension (and yours, if you have one) belongs to each of you as a starting point... but you earn far less than he does and have lower earning potential, so he has ongoing financial responsibility to you, on top. And that's without even getting into the need for the children to be housed, and the wide discretion of the courts on divorce to ensure that is achieved. See a solicitor, but don't believe people here citing the law as it relates to cohabitants, who can only claim what is theirs on paper, and child support. As a wife, you have much greater and stronger protection for the unpaid labour you describe. He has treated you as a free housekeeper and nanny, sure, but you are in fact his wife, and your labour has facilitated his career and as a result his earnings are partly yours.

You need to see a solicitor asap, I would think.

NotSureThisIsWhatIWant Mon 18-May-15 09:42:25

I thought thst you may find another website useful when it comes to calculate what is the net salary of your husband. Just enter in Google "take home pay calculator" which will take you to a place where you can get a beeter idea of the net amount he gets and then calculate child maintenance, and wether you both can afford for you to stay in the house you are in etc.

Please note that as Sleeponeday mentioned, the point of departure when diving assets and calculating costs is 50/50. But these percentages may be affected but salary disparity, and the level of responsibility either of you are taking for the children. Courts will try to balance things out so you both can have similar standards of living.

There are however some major misconceptions about the financial side that I wish some one have told me about, if only because it would have saved me a lot of time and heartache to know them in advance:

1) He will be asked to keep the same standard of living for you and the children.

You are entitled to a maximum of 20% of his net salary as a Child Maintenance, which will go down depending on the number of nights the children spend with the resident parent. Some people fight and earn in court the right to get more BUT whatever is dictated by the court can be legally and very easily reverted to that 20% maximum within one year of the court order.

The non resident parent can decide to pay more BUT only voluntarily.

2) He earned more, so most things are his.
Nonsense, as somebody mentioned above, your contribution to the marriage is of the same value as his, you took a big responsability off his shoulders by taking care of the children to enable him to pursue a career.

3) you will get spousal maintenance
You will only get it if he earns enough to have some money to spare.

4) You can stay in the house until the children are 16
That's true only if the total of your earnings, and his, is enough to enable each of you to have a similar standard acoommodation. Again, some NRP opt to live in tiny places to let the mother and children stay in the former marital home, but this is not, by any means compulsory unless there is money to spare.

Please note however that staying in the former marital home is a good idea depending on your earnings and age (you may be more likely to get a reasonable mortgage, the further away you are from retirement).

3) Whoever starts the divorce will be forced to pay court and legal fees.(bullsh&t) each one pays for their own fees, exceptions are very rare.

4) Any debts will be paid by the higher earner
That has a more blurry line. Any debts acquired during the marriage, belong in principle to both of you and will be paid from the joint assets. There are exceptions to the rule but you need to consider these in a case by case basis as fighting for that debt in court may be more expensive than just paying it.

5) this doesn't apply to you but I'm going to say it anyway. When it comes to divorce, nobody is forced to pay court and legal fees, or provide more than they can, for having an affair. (It can however make divorce far more expensive given the animosity between the parts)

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