Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Another thread about splitting finances in a couple..

(110 Posts)
wozzle95 Mon 22-Aug-16 20:19:24

This time we are unmarried. We have one child together and I am step mum to his 2 kids.

He earns mega bucks. Over a seven figure sum. I used to have the same career and earned six figures and was on track to earn much more. But we decided if we had kids, we'd never see them if i worked those hours and also a perfect less hours' less money job came along which i took shortly before i got pregnant. (I ended up hating it and had i not got pregnant would have gone back into previous high earning job at a different company).

We are not married. He lost a lot in his first divorce and is therefore v reticent. I accepted this and that it might take some time (if ever) to change his mind. Have started work again too but very part time..a few hours' here and there very sporadically. Am too busy being mum, cook, cleaner, taxi, gardener etc to manage much more at this point (my child is only a toddler). I expect to earn maybe £25k this year.

Now OH is saying if I earned more like 40k or over, he'd expect me to contribute towards our bills. I instead believe I need to save this for my own financial security. On top of his seven figure salary he has about another million in assets. I feel this is very unfair and that my sacrifice of my career should be compensated a little, married or not. AIBU? Yes I went into this with my eyes open. Nor would I expect anything like joint pooling of assets. I'd just like to know views on whether my view is reasonable that I should receive some recognition for the sacrifice (which also enables him to do his job...he has always been very vocal that he does not believe kids fare best with 2 working parents). It's also not always as simple as 'well you should have waited for someone to marry'...we fell in love and have a beautiful child and I feel very blessed. I am also older and time was not on my side to argue the marriage issue before conceiving.

WipsGlitter Mon 22-Aug-16 20:25:01

Is it likely you will start earning £40k+ again soon? Do you have a pension?

TJEckleburg Mon 22-Aug-16 20:26:21

Honestly - I wouldn't have had a child with a man who thinks his divorce settlement (which presumably recognised his first wife's contribution in the same way you want yours to be recognised) was a "loss".
I married a man who earned similar amounts to me, and then took a back seat in my career to have our children and enable him to go on and earn megabucks. Both of us view those earnings as our money - in fact I manage all our money and investments and update him bi-annually on how much we are worth.
You know your view is correct - and it seems you also know he isn't going to agree with it - so what do you want? For us all to post here that HIBU so you can show him?

bluecashmere Mon 22-Aug-16 20:28:24

As you aren't married and don't therefore have any claim to his money/assets to compensate for the compromises you've made if it goes tits up then I don't blame you. But what does your money get spent on? Do you save it all, or chip in once in a while?

shaggedthruahedgebackwards Mon 22-Aug-16 20:33:38

Do you have any savings/assets?

Since you are unmarried and gave up a high earning job to be a mum then it would seem only fair that you have some financial security too. So yes, I would agree your DP should fund the majority of day to day expenses and bills therefore allowing you to save a chunk of your earnings to give you more security

llhj Mon 22-Aug-16 20:36:58

You seriously need to take your financial position more seriously. He's taking you for a ride frankly. Who owns the house? What have you got in assets?

Missgraeme Mon 22-Aug-16 20:39:39

I hope u charge him for child care.

Ragwort Mon 22-Aug-16 20:45:49

We had a very similar thread to this a week or so ago; there are clearly some very mean men around.

But ...... I know it's too late to say this but I think you have been slightly unwise foolish to commit to having a child with this man without making proper financial arrangements. we fell in love and have a beautiful child and I feel very blessed - hmm that sounds rather a simplistic comment that a teenager would make, you are clearly a very intelligent woman.

What sort of response do you want from us? My DH earns considerably more than me (but we are not in your DP's league by any means grin), I earn barely more than NMW but everything is shared, our savings, assets etc etc are shared - we both have pension provision. And I would never have considered having a child with someone without having all the legal & financial arrangements clearly sorted out.

expatinscotland Mon 22-Aug-16 20:56:41

You go back to your old job or stop this 'very part time' stuff. You cannot afford this in your position, which is, as an unmarried parent, very vulnerable. I'm continually amazed at how many educated, professional women well into their adulthood jack in their career to play stay at home mummy with an unmarried partner. It's the height of folly. It's the height of foolery to jack in your financial security like this.

Go back to work FT, move out and 'contribute' to your own home with him paying maintenance towards his child and childcare/nanny.

'But we decided if we had kids, we'd never see them if i worked those hours and also a perfect less hours' less money job came along which i took shortly before i got pregnant. (I ended up hating it and had i not got pregnant would have gone back into previous high earning job at a different company).'

No, you decided to throw away your financial security for uncertainty and vulnerability.

Noneedforasitter Mon 22-Aug-16 21:07:56

In my experience, high earners are often very tight with their money. I'm sorry to say OP, but anyone earning a million pounds a year saying to their long-term partner on £40k that they should pay part of the running costs of looking after their child is a lowlife.

He is avoiding financial commitment to ensure he can leave you with limited costs. You need to focus on your own long-term financial position. I suggest you discreetly see a lawyer to discuss ways of improving your situation. Once you understand the options, you need to have a proper conversation with him about it. It should be possible to have a reasonable conversation with him about it to find a mutually acceptable position.

One solution might be to marry with a pre-nup guaranteeing you financial security without splitting his assets 50:50. Or go back to work full time and focus on re-building your career.

By the way, a net worth of only £1m sounds very low for someone earning a £1m a year. Be sure he isn't lying about that.

Noneedforasitter Mon 22-Aug-16 21:08:04

In my experience, high earners are often very tight with their money. I'm sorry to say OP, but anyone earning a million pounds a year saying to their long-term partner on £40k that they should pay part of the running costs of looking after their child is a lowlife.

He is avoiding financial commitment to ensure he can leave you with limited costs. You need to focus on your own long-term financial position. I suggest you discreetly see a lawyer to discuss ways of improving your situation. Once you understand the options, you need to have a proper conversation with him about it. It should be possible to have a reasonable conversation with him about it to find a mutually acceptable position.

One solution might be to marry with a pre-nup guaranteeing you financial security without splitting his assets 50:50. Or go back to work full time and focus on re-building your career.

By the way, a net worth of only £1m sounds very low for someone earning a £1m a year. Be sure he isn't lying about that.

NeedAnotherGlass Mon 22-Aug-16 21:12:35

He is financially secure. The decision to have a child was a joint one. He should be providing financial security for his partner and child.
What kind of man is comfortable for his partner and the mother of his child to have such a lack of security?
What security do you have if he gets hit by a bus?
Is the house in joint names?

Trifleorbust Mon 22-Aug-16 21:17:28

This is going to sound super harsh, but it isn't meant that way: you seem to be doing what lots of women do, and trying to play the part of a wife while being treated like an unpaid nanny confused

If your partner wants to be with someone who will cook, clean and look after his child, he needs to commit to that financially as well as pay lip service to it. You are currently the only one making any sacrifices and it is biting you in the arse already.

category12 Mon 22-Aug-16 21:30:47

This is madness.

Go back to work full-time. Or both of you work part-time/flexibly and share the childcare.

This situation leaves you absolutely up shit creek without a paddle if your relationship fails later in life, damaging your earning potential and your ability to create your own assets and retirement fund.

You need it to change.

Cabrinha Mon 22-Aug-16 23:55:44

Go back to work.

Your 2yo doesn't need a "taxi" FFS, and you can pay for a gardener with your reinstated 6 figure salary.

If your child's father doesn't like his child having two working parents, he can go part time, can't he?

He sounds like a total arsehole. Not for wanting a SAHP but for earning 7 figures and wanting a contribution if you earn a tiny proportion of that, at £40K.

How can you love someone like that?

And you're not married so no, you're not a stepmother to his children. No disrespect to how you might feel about those children. But if he saw you as their stepmother (not as staff to look after them) then he'd be a partner, a team with you. That doesn't mean marriage for everyone - but it does mean not trying to get money out of you if you're on 0.00004% of his salary?

Yes: 0.00004%

What an arsehole.

Cabrinha Mon 22-Aug-16 23:56:41

Ha! Maths fail grin
0.04%

My point stands though, on that figure.

Cabrinha Mon 22-Aug-16 23:57:54

He's the arsehole, but you do have to take responsibility for your choices.

wozzle95 Tue 23-Aug-16 09:31:32

Thanks all. Interesting to hear your views. He does consider me as do the kids as stepmum. In fact he says I am more mum than step mum and the kids sometimes refer to me as a half mum. But yes I take the point that legally speaking I am not. The house is in his name. The will situation is ok..we changed it all when I was pregnant so my son and I inherit half his estate. So if he is run over by a bus God forbid then I am not vulnerable. But if he wants to end things I am. I know it was foolish to leave my job. In fact, they made me redundant during maternity leave (I did get compensation). But yes perhaps I should have gone back to find another similar job. The PP who said I am playing the role of wife while being unmarried is spot on and perhaps I have had my head in the sand about the risk because generally speaking we are very happy. I did do a short term consultancy post a few months' back which was FT and it had a dreadful effect on my toddler son. He loves being at home with me and is so happy. Should I really prioritise my financial security over that? I do believe if things were really dire, I could find another job quite easily plus I have savingd to tide me over for a year. What do I want from MN posters? Ideally a view on how other partners of higher earners split the wealth and if my OH's view is unreasonable. He has previously offered to guarantee the mortgage on my flat in London. Perhaps this should be enshrined now in a kind of pre nup. I will take legal advice. I have previously and I understand I'd be entitled very roughly to 15 pc of net earnings and housing costs till my son is 18 so it's not like I would be destitute. To be honest, in a nutshell, I wasn't overly concerned previously. He has previously said he recognises the need for me to have savings/pension and so has offered to fill up my ISA each year and he is paying off the mortgage on my flat and allowing me to keep the rent. But our recent conversation seemed to suggest that really the only assets I get are very meagre compared to his enormous wealth generation and I am just not sure in my mind if that is fair given I am a wife in all manners but the legal one.

AndNowItsSeven Tue 23-Aug-16 09:35:16

Seven figure? Your dh earns over a million pounds a year? Or is my maths really bad?

AndNowItsSeven Tue 23-Aug-16 09:35:54

Sorry dp.

expatinscotland Tue 23-Aug-16 09:39:24

'Should I really prioritise my financial security over that?'

Yes. You are not married and you need to protect your own pension and assets and earning power. Nothing to do with fairness, this is how it is as an unmarried partner. Your son will learn to cope. Burying your head in the sand is very foolish, and his telling you you'll be contributing when you're on such a vastly low percentage of his wealth is telling.

Noneedforasitter Tue 23-Aug-16 11:43:46

I'm sure you will know examples from your work life, but I can give you some from mine.

Most HNW individuals I know with children are married and their partners (usually women) have unfettered access to at least a well-funded joint bank account. I suspect they generally don't know much in detail about the wealth - where it is, how it is held, maybe even how much it is. But if they divorce they can force disclosure through the courts at that time.

Generally the most unpleasant behaviour I have witnessed is deliberate non-disclosure of wealth accumulation during the marriage where the individual (usually the man) wants to hide wealth from a possible divorce in the future.

If you want to look after your child full time rather than go back to work, I think that is an admirable thing to do, and your partner should be grateful that you are doing so for your joint child. But you still need to safeguard your future financially, and the best way to do so is to get married.

Somerville Tue 23-Aug-16 12:07:09

The only assets I get are very meagre compared to his enormous wealth generation and I am just not sure in my mind if that is fair given I am a wife in all manners but the legal one

You're right that this is not fair. And sorry, but you don't sound like a wife in any way, shape or form. You're doing all the traditional wife-work, sure. But the important thing about being a wife (or husband) is being treated with respect and equality. Sharing in all the decisions, big and small. And an equal footing legally and morally.

He does consider me as do the kids as stepmum. In fact he says I am more mum than step mum and the kids sometimes refer to me as a half mum. But yes I take the point that legally speaking I am not.

He doesn't want to marry you but he calls you 'more mum than step mum' to his children from his marriage?

What a nasty piece of work.

You realise that if he leaves you one day he'll get a new girlfriend and start telling her that she's more mum than step-mum to your child? Who you carried for 9 months and sacrifice so much to nurture. Like his wife did (and probably still does) for their children.

He is saying this to make you happy about being: mum, cook, cleaner, taxi, gardener without having any of the security of marriage. (Let me guess - you're also providing childcare and home comforts for his older children when they're at his house, right?)

You are sacrificing so much in order for this man to have everything. If that's what you want, then okay. But keep your eyes open, and don't stay out of your profession for too long - it's not as easy to get back into after 10 years as it will be after just a few years.

wozzle95 Tue 23-Aug-16 12:30:26

Thanks I know it sounds foolish. But he is a nice person despite all this. I agree it's unequal though and that is not right. But having given away so much of his money in the first divorce, can you understand a bit why he is like this? Yes it's over a million before tax. Sigh. Well he's agreed to go to counselling and wants us to get to a middle ground for a calmer time to allow things to flow more naturally on the marriage front as he can't be forced into it. You could look at that as buying time, I know.

wozzle95 Tue 23-Aug-16 12:32:17

Ps we do share the big decisions (ie buying a house) and all the other decisions along the way. Just not the marriage one.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now