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So I've been stupid I know but could really do with some help(141 Posts)
I have been squirreling some money away to leave my husband. We've been married 27 years. He informed me this morning he is going to look at properties on Monday 120 miles away as he's leaving me, the relief is enormous tbh as I thought I'd be forced to leave our council property.He is both financially and emotionally abusive.
Now here comes the nasty bits we have a joint bank account, I have a card but have no access to the account itself he questions every penny I spend.He gives me a cash allowance for food that I have been trying to save by economising on food without him knowing. I have no idea what money he has, I just know he's looking to rent 4 bedroom detached properties by checking his emails. He's only taking the dog! He's deleted pretty much all emails but had missed that one asking if they would take a dog. I had no idea he had the means to finance that as he controls all the money.
We have two disabled children (well one is an adult) their disabliity benefits go in the joint account as does my carers allowance and tax credits,he controls that as well.He has sole use of the motability car that my son is entitled to. He is self employed he pays the rent and the council tax himself although it's a joint tenancy with me as first tenant. All utility bills are in his name as is dd's child benefit.
Please tell me what I need to do,I've been stupid I know but I am not stupid just totally worn down and at my wits end as I have single handedly raised our children and fought to get the support for my children alone. Dh has only superficial relationships with any of them (have adult dc as well) barely speaking to them unless about football with ds.
I would go to your bank in person and demand to see a bank account statement, you need evidence of how much he has as you are entitled to half because you are married - you will need this for the divorce.
Okay well you a probably best to wait until he goes tbh!!!!! Far easier to let him go than alert him IYSWIM.
As soon as he goes (same day or day before) you phone up Child Benefit and put a claim in for you as claimant. Same with Tax credits, housing benefit, council tax benefit, disability so on and so on.
I speak to womans aid and see what help they can give you regarding sorting the above out.
dont beat yourself up or call yourself stupid
i'd go to the bank NOW and get a statement , they wont tell him - dont wait he could clear it out
You've not been stupid at all. I thought you were going to say you'd had an affair or something!
could you get your own back account set up and change your carers allowance etc to go into that?if he is already moving out then you're going to need one anyway.
Do you have the means to do that?
You also need to do something about the car as if your ds is still living with you then it stays with you.
Has he mentioned access to the children?
Nothing practical to offer OP but just wanted to say congratulations, the relief of his promised departure must be huge. The rest of your life awaits
He wont be interested in the children only one is a child (a teen) he barely speaks to her.The others are adults, they can see him when they want of course ds1 won't,I've only told ds2 as I've only just found out (he's livid mostly because he will be leaving me to it but he does anyway) dd1 jokingly said last night that she'd get her first child to tell him she'd left home and get married as he doesn't bother with her so probably wouldn't notice. Ds3 the one with disabilities will be devastated as will dd2 mostly because the autism means they struggle with change not because they will miss his input in their lives as he does nothing.
Like some of the others have said, I would go to the bank now. Chances are dependent on what's in there he'll use that to fund a deposit and first months rent on proposed new property. I would also withdraw sufficient funds (what he would usually give you) to cover a 3 or 4 week period if possible, then come back and make the calls to tax credits and benefits agency to have everything for the children put in your sole name (they are usually quite quick, but they will write to him and ask for his confirmation of the change of circumstances). They'll time limit it though so even if he drags his heels or doesn't respond, within 3/4 weeks they'll go ahead with the change. Just make sure you have sufficient in the mean time.
Presumably you'll also need to talk to him about the car - as you will need and be entitled to that going forward, not him. Perhaps speak to mobility first and explain and see what they say and how long it takes - its something he's likely not to have even thought of, but all the more reason to go to the bank now before he clears the account.
Whilst you're there I'd ask for statements covering the last few months so you can see if he's been withdrawing large chunks of cash.
So sorry for you though, please dont beat yourself up over it x
OK, don't panic.
You have NOT been stupid.
You've been abused, there is a massive difference!
Contact Womens Aid firstly. They can help point you in the direction of local organisations that can help you. 0808 2000 247
Then contact citizens advice and get in to see them ASAP.
Get to the bank. You have a bank card, so ask for a statement from that account.
Find out from them if he has used your name for any other accounts.
Then contact child maintenance and find out what your H should be paying in child support.
WA and CAB will hopefully be able to help with the car and benefits.
I'm glad you are getting free of him.
Don't worry, you can do this and we can help.!
You don't need to demand anything - as party to the joint account, you have the legal right to get a statement. You are also entitled to withdraw money. Ask them for a statement or two, you might even be able to print circa six months worth from an automatic machine with your card and PIN if the branch has one. File these away because they will be invaluable in making sure you get what you deserve during the divorce.
Open a single account - ideally not at the same bank - and change your benefits to be paid into that account.
Also speak to Women's Aid.
so sorry you're going through this OP x you can call tax credits child benefit disability and switch the payments to your account...tax credits are usually very swift about it, means you will have cash when he leaves x also I would follow others advice to check joint account balance and draw EXACTLY half and move it out of his reach, this is your safety cushion xxx big hugs x
I was rushing in my lunch break.
What I meant was demand a hard copy statement to be given to you there and then - none of this posting it to you as he could intercept it. Find out about any accounts with your name on and ask for hard copies for at the last 12 months.
Open a bank account in your sole name.
I think you need to decide at what point you alert everyone to being a sole parent. If he realised you have moved all the money into your new account could he then decide to stay put etc or do you think he is going regardless. Does he think he will carry on getting all the funds rather than it going to you?
Tax credits may give you a hard time but you can claim as single parent from today provided you do not do anything for him - no washing, cooking, shopping etc. yes you still live under the same roof but if you are not living as a couple any longer than you can claim as a separate person.
Thank you for your help I'm so scared,he has made me a wreck I never used to be like this I was always feisty.I have an appointment at the bank tomorrow,I'm going with adult dd on a shopping trip pretence and have hidden ID etc that I will need. I've made an enquiry at a solicitors too today so hopefully I will hear from them later and it would be great if I could see them on Monday whilst he was out.
I feel so stressed,he is going to be awful so having to sneak around whilst I do this just to keep the peace for now. He expects me to continue to wait on him regardless and not sure I can cope with the nastiness if I don't so will play the game for now at least there is an end in sight now. Thank you again
You're not stupid. You have just been controlled... This is a chance for a new start, financial independence and happiness...
As soon as he's gone, all the allowances and benefits will come to you....
Go to the CAB or see a solicitor (first appointment is usually free or a small fee) for independent advice.
Good luck OP!!
As you say. the end is in sight. You can afford to be careful and not upset the applecart. Get your ducks in a row, quietly find out as much as you can about your finances and rights, and keep your head down a little longer until he takes himself off. Plenty of time then, as you have had the forethought to put some money aside to tide you over, to get your new life organised.
Well done - you are taking great steps here.
Absolutely do what you feel you need to do.
None of us know the full extent but you know so you carry on until you have everything sorted out.
Don't forget to contact Womens Aid if you haven't already.
You will get legal aid because you are in an abusive marriage.
I'd be tempted to say: clear out the joint account and put all monies in your own account. But of course I wouldn't say that.
You haven't been stupid, you've been horribly abused. If it helps at all, I was in the same position as you financially: had a cheque book (private bank) but 'wasn't allowed' to use it; had an american express gold card I 'wasn't allowed to use' either. Looked good on the surface but not good underneath. So you're not the only one.
So glad you're getting rid of the bastard. I could suggest you screw him for every penny you can get, then screw him some more. But I wouldn't suggest that, no.
Keep going, lovely. One foot in front of the other. Hide everything - do you know how to hide your internet history?
Yes I know how to hide everything and have changed all my passwords just in case. My dc have taught me a lot so I'm safe on the laptop and phone. I've discovered I'm a very good actress and liar these past day or two he has no clue that I'm getting stuff sorted I'm playing the quiet doormat really well and it's easier knowing it's time limited.
Spoke to Motability today will let him drive the car with all his stuff to his new house and then give them that address to collect it from the following day as he will no longer be entitled to use it as they have said they can do that That should slow him down a bit and stop him coming back for a visit.
I'm quite anxious but in a way I'm excited as well at he prospect of a new and peaceful life
Can you set up new utility bill accounts in your name and leave him to pay the old accounts if they are in his name (and assuming there are no credits on the accounts...)
I also recommend that you open a new bank account.
LOL at them turning up the following day to collect.
What if he's not there do they have a spare key for it etc?
OMG, that's genius. Getting Motability to pick up the next day. Flipping genius. You are far from stupid.
Random they said they could tow it away if need be so whether he cooperates or not it doesn't matter.Should give his new neighbours something to talk about if it takes a tow truck anyway
It's daft but it's something little like that that lets me know that underneath I'm still the person I used to be and can be again once he's gone.
That's brilliant about the car! Do you know when he is planning to go?
When you are at the bank, open a new bank account, ask for paperless billing.
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