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What happens financially after the LTB instruction has been carried out?

(30 Posts)
AGenie Tue 06-Sep-16 21:25:23


I've been reading the LTB threads a lot here and on AIBU. I keep wishing that there was more financial advice on here for those women who unavoidably do have to walk away from their marriages and take on the responsibility of parenting alone.

It seems as though there are a lot of people on here who have left their partners and still manage to pay their bills, and care for their children.

I wondered if they would consider talking a little about how they manage financially and with the huge workload of raising a child alone?

I don't know much about child maintenance payment or housing benefit or any of that kind of thing, but I can imagine that for those women who are considering following the advice on this thread and becoming single again, it would be hugely helpful to have concrete financial advice from those who have gone down that route before.

Would anyone consider chipping in with advice from their own experience?

Thanks for thinking about it!

AstrantiaMallow Tue 06-Sep-16 21:53:49

Have you got any advice yourself? Or do you need any?

Not sure I get your post or its title after the LTB instruction has been carried out Who instructs?? confused

concrete financial advice is often likely to be on a case by case basis.

ImperialBlether Tue 06-Sep-16 21:57:18

I often link to the benefits calculator and the child maintenance calculator. People are often surprised at what they're entitled to, particularly if there's financial abuse.

AGenie Tue 06-Sep-16 21:58:48

Just to clarify, things are just fine and dandy with myself and dh. I was just worrying about the ladies who are told to LTB on here and wanted to ask for advice for them. Thanks so a nice MN friends for pm'ing to ask. smile

AGenie Tue 06-Sep-16 22:03:30

AstrantiaMallow Thanks, no I don't need any advice myself. I'm just genuinely concerned for all those women who come on here with worries about their relationships and who are told to LTB. I keep wondering where they will live and how they will pay for food and manage all the work of raising their children. I would love to hear some advice on the practicalities to help those women get off to the best start possible. Thanks for asking.

SarkySara Tue 06-Sep-16 22:21:16

I think this is very valid questions. Leaving a relationship is not just about two people who no longer love each other (or any other reason for LTB), but it is also leaving a home, potentially joint money, cars, debts, pets, furniture, social network.. When you have set up a life with someone else, everything will change when you try to start again without them. It nearly always requires money, time, knowledge, and courage. It makes a simple 'LTB' an almost impossible feat - especially if the husband is not cooperative.
I don't have any specific tips myself to offer but I think this is a good idea for a thread.

AGenie Tue 06-Sep-16 22:29:24

Thanks SarkySara, I'm glad you think that's okay to ask.

SillySongsWithLarry Tue 06-Sep-16 22:30:52

When I LTB I was far better off financially. He is a higher earner and didn't like to share. Now I have my wages, tax credits and he pays a generous amount of child support (actually the minimum he has to pay but still a good figure).

Cabrinha Wed 07-Sep-16 07:38:35

I think the best advice is not to become financially vulnerable in the first place.
That's too late for many at the point of leaving, but very valid as genres advice to all women newly in a relationship.

- don't prioritise his earning potential over yours. That means stopping work, or going part time, or moving away for his work when it's detrimental to yours, or even just thinking
- WAIT before you have children, until you have developed your career if possible or at least until you have a good back up fund saved
- remember that childcare costs are not your sole responsibility - they are not equal to your income, they are less than your joint income
- stay out of debt - some people could afford to go if only they weren't servicing debts
- think twice about having children when you're not married (for the financial protection not morals
- don't have deeds and mortgage in his name only if you're not married

I think every woman (and man) should make occasional financial audits of their situation, and check whether their decisions will trap them.

I left a cheating XH and the only hard thing about it was splitting up my family. Financially I could have walked any time. Because I chose to have a child later when I had savings, and I didn't give up my job.

RedMapleLeaf Wed 07-Sep-16 07:44:14

AGenie I think you raise an important point and it can be scary to read the advice and then think about your own relationship, "How would I manage if this happened to me?".

I don't think it's MN's responsibility to answer all of the questions though, which is what your post sounded like to. Almost like, "Well, I followed your instructions to leave him and now you must tell me the next thing to do". Women are not helpless, petulant children to be walked through their lives. I think it's MNer's responsibility to empower each other, offer support and signpost to financial and legal expertise.

Timeforabiscuit Wed 07-Sep-16 07:59:13

I think it is a good idea to have a plan because, lets face it, many relationships end and a periodic audit only seems sensible.

From my own experience, id add to cabrihna that any liabilities should be held by the asset holder. So if your partner needs a car, but his credit rating is shot, dont just put it in your name because "youre in it together."
At the very least, have the conversations about what happens if you split, what would happen to parking tickets, who does the legwork on mot, insurance etc.

Do a budget, a proper transparent one and jointly plan for the future.

Make a will which includes what will happen to assets if either party remarries (no offence, but I dont want another woman benefiting from my half of the house to the detriment of my children).

notarehearsal Wed 07-Sep-16 08:00:44

When I did it, I worked full time, took in overseas adult students and exdh continued to pay the mortgage in lieu of maintenance. After some years I bought him out, few years after that we amicably divorced without any use of solicitors.

Lweji Wed 07-Sep-16 08:07:26

The problem with financial advice is that it depends a lot on individual circumstances.

I was already working full time and on a good salary.

It didn't make a big difference financially, as exH wasn't working then.

For other people will depend on whether they are married or not, living costs, family can help with childcare, etc.
Overall it's often best to get legal advice and CAB, as well as checking maintenance and benefit calculators.

PsychedelicSheep Wed 07-Sep-16 08:50:57

I work full time and claim child tax credits, just lost my working tax credits though. I also receive child benefit. It's not a fortune but it still helps. No maintenance from ex as we share residency 50/50, he lives with a well off partner and earns more than me so they wouldn't be eligible for tax credits whereas I am. It's really not rocket science.

RideLikeTheWindBullseye Wed 07-Sep-16 09:07:07

It can take time to formulate an escape plan and it is difficult to know where you stand financially and whether you will cope. This is precisely what can keep women trapped-fear of poverty.

It is very difficult to extricate yourself from a marriage when everything is shared as SarkySara listed above. My exH squirrelled away tens of thousands into secret bank accounts. Financial abuse, was my number one reason for ending the marriage and I had no idea how I was going to survive. It all started off hunky dory, but over the years his behaviour slowly and insidiously worsened.

What I'm saying is that it took me YEARS to formulate a plan and get rid of him. I am finally getting my life back on track but it has not been easy.

PanGalaticGargleBlaster Wed 07-Sep-16 09:52:15

The elephant in the room of course is that discussing 'what if' financial scenarios with your partner is a hugely emotive subject, many people will read it as a lack of faith in the longevity relationship when such exit strategies are discussed. I fully understand in the cold light of day it is a sensible thing to do but not everyone can separate the practacle from the emotional.

And lets be honest, if we did a reverse and and conjured up an AIBU scenario whereby for example a women wanted to embark on a qualification that would enhance her career and earning potential that cost a few thousand quid but she could not secure a loan due to a crap credit score and her husband refused to take on said loan on her behalf citing the advice on here as a reason there would be some interesting response I reckon.

Cabrinha Wed 07-Sep-16 10:09:26

I actually think that if you can't have that conversation up front in your relationship, then you are not with the right person. Yes, it might feel odd and embarrassing to some. But really, you should not commit yourself emotionally to someone if you can't have the conversation. Come on, we should only be with people that we love and who love us.

Me to fiancé: when you move in with me, I would rather you rented your house out than sold it and invested elsewhere. That is because if we don't work out, I don't want to lose my home buying you out, or not be able to just separate immediately.

My background - a shit marriage I could afford to leave but had hassle of joint house ownership. His background - wonderfully happy 20 year marriage all things shared til she died.

Of course we the discussed it - it doesn't have to be my way - but the point is, why would you marry and have children with someone who you can't have that conversation with?

AGenie Wed 07-Sep-16 10:28:43

Thanks, that's really interesting.

I see an awful lot of relationships round about me that are under strain because of the struggle to keep up financially. I have neighbours who are really desperate to get their children into private schools, and who feel that they must drive fast cars, even if the strain of earning money erodes their major relationships or uses up the time that they would otherwise spend talking to their children.

I keep wondering whether relationships would last better if we were just all a bit less ambitious, and lived lives that we could afford easily, without all this stress.

I know that that's not the main cause in a lot of the threads that I see on this forum, where there may be serious underlying problems, but for a lot of people I think that this is a big feature.

Thanks for this discussion. I find it very interesting to think about relationships from the financial/economic angle as well from the "he said this, I did that" angle.

PanGalaticGargleBlaster Wed 07-Sep-16 10:29:03

Cabrinha, I actually agree with you, but I think you are downplaying how hard that 'conversation' can be, especially for those who have not had the bitter experience of separation. Way back I ended up separating from my ex shortly after she moved in with me, she insisted on having her name put on the deeds of my flat, a flat that I had singlehanded paid the mortgage on for 15 years. I refused and insisted she live rent free and perhaps she should invest her spare money in a BTL. She could not see beyond the fact that I was protecting my assets in the event of a separation. There were lots of tears and emotive language, "how can you be fully invested in the relationship when you are already planning for its aftermath", or, "I thought we were forever". It's a tough conversation to have with someone you really care for.

AstrantiaMallow Wed 07-Sep-16 10:29:50

OK. Finances are very individual so apart from the links given by Imperial, seeing a solicitor and what Cabrinha says as preemptive measures, I don't feel MNetters can advise much more. The links given by Imperial and the importance of getting legal advice (ducks in a row) are almost always given on LTB threads and there are other areas on the site like Legal and Divorce where posters can ask more practical questions.

The fact I've divorced an abusive man and I'm raising children alone really doesn't qualify me to give financial advice over the Internet, this is simply because people's circumstances vary hugely and I have no financial or legal background. I could easily give them the wrong info which could be disastrous or misleading. All of that should be addressed in RL which is what posters are encouraged to do.

Vintagegirl1 Wed 07-Sep-16 11:01:38

I have recently separated from dh. One of the things that heptathlon me with him wad being scared of how I would manage financially (sahm) but actually I will be financially better off without him. He was financially abusive though.

Lorelei76 Wed 07-Sep-16 11:04:42

It's not an instruction, it's a choice.

Diamogs Wed 07-Sep-16 11:16:26

I was in this situation this time last year.

I can only advise from the POV of a low earner, but actually I was shocked by how much help is available out there.

I get tax credits which is more than I earn as a salary, I get a single person's discount on my council tax, and if I was renting rather than buying then I would get housing benefit too. I also get child benefit which we had lost due to XH earnings.

I am fortunate that XH is not an arse about maintenance but if he were then I would be on to the CMS to get it paid directly from his wages - more difficult if they are unemployed / self employed / a total selfish dick about paying for their DCs.

If you have a mortgage then often that is less than you would pay in rent anyway but I did speak to my lender about possibly taking a payment holiday / reducing to interest only in the short term.

In theory splitting assets starts at a 50/50 principle, but as main carer of children you would be able to fight for more as you need to provide a home for the children until they leave education. If they are older then it is (from speaking to friends) more likely to be 60/40 in your favour, if they are younger and will need housing for much longer and you have a SHL then 70/30.

So long as you can afford to pay the mortgage then they cannot force you to sell until the youngest child has finished education I believe.

Sort out your wills - Marlow wills (has a small business ad on here) was really helpful and quick to get me an updated will to prevent XH being my beneficiary.

Cabrinha Wed 07-Sep-16 11:30:39

That's interesting PanGalactic
I suppose perhaps I'm downplaying it because for me it really is simple.

I've been poor and I've been quite comfortable, I've been the lower earner and by far the higher. I have rented together, bought together, lived in an BF owned house, had someone move into my owned house... I have never found these conversations difficult.

I think the kind of person who turned on the waterworks wouldn't be the person for me though! So too right I'd protect my assets then.

I do think though (generally, not aimed at you!) that it's OK to not have an important conversation with a friend, a boss, a sibling... because it's too hard. But this is your potentially life long partner. There is no excuse not to have it. And if it shows your partner up as being emotionally manipulative... well, that's a good thing.

RedMapleLeaf Wed 07-Sep-16 13:28:04

You seem to have changed focus OP, which is fine obviously, but I wonder what you think about the comments made in response to your original post.

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