Advanced search

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.

Critical Illness & inheritance during divorce

(11 Posts)
DarrenWyn Fri 09-Sep-16 23:07:46

I'm new to this and was hoping for some advice or your views on my current situation.

Earlier this year I suffered a subarachnoid brain haemorrhage that has consequently left me with epilepsy, depression, emotional lability and a changed personality. Unfortunately, the trauma and stress of the injury has led to me and my wife separating.

She has recently moved out to rented accommodation and has main custody of our beautiful 2 year old son. I had a critical illness paid out in my name which was used to clear both our individual credit card debts, her home improvement loan which was being repaid 50/50 until she cleared it with my payout and the remaining balance is in her account.

Our home is now for sale and she wants a 50/50 share of the equity. I feel I morally deserve more as I invested 12k of my late fathers inheritance into the home and I want this back to invest in a trust fund for our son. Due to the haemmoraghe I'm currently unable to work full time, but recently returned working 16 hours p/week which means I cannot continue to pay the mortgage, bills and childcare as I could pre-injury, I've also lost my drivers licence and can't contribute practically as I could before, and the home improvement loan she took out has been cleared with my critical illness. The remaining allowance of my critical illness is in her account, if she returned this I could cover the mortgage until it is sold. Without that money I cannot meet our son's needs when he is in my care. This home improvement loan, obviously, has added great value to our property too. My ex works full time on a reasonably good wage.

I'm really stuck as I cannot afford a solicitor. She has legal representation and using my critical illness payout to pay for that and to pay for legal mediation.

Sorry for the long message. If there is anyone on here who has any advice or views on this I would be ever so grateful.

With genuine thanks,


MyKingdomForBrie Fri 09-Sep-16 23:11:11

She has no right at all to your critical illness money why the hell does she have it?! Get a lawyer immediately!

LoveRosie2008 Fri 09-Sep-16 23:43:26

flowers hopefully someone with legal advice will be along shortly.

YawningKasm Sat 10-Sep-16 09:10:01

You need a lawyer. If you're divorcing the house will be a marital asset. Not sure about individual inheritances in a marriage ...

BombadierFritz Sat 10-Sep-16 09:28:11

why is the critical illness payout in her account not a joint or your account if it was paid to you in your name? do you have a social worker or volunteer help from eg headway who can help and advise as well? you are going to need a lawyer for this really.
a few thoughts, but I am not any sort of legal person
the 12k inheritance became joint when you invested it in the house.
the home improvement loan might have been in her name but presumably was spent improving a joint asset
there are two vulnerable people here to consider - firstly your child but also you. unfortunately your view of the situation might be affected by your brain injury. its so important you have proper legal advice here. do you have friends who can well?

who is currently paying the mortgage? that needs paying!

Hotwaterbottle1 Sat 10-Sep-16 09:32:32

Will you qualify for legal aid?

LoveRosie2008 Sat 10-Sep-16 11:25:28

I think you should google brain injury charities like headway and seek help from them on their advice lines. Good luck, not an easy thing to deal with.

HeddaGarbled Sat 10-Sep-16 14:14:53

Your desire to set up a trust fund for your son sounds like a pie in the sky dream and not a sensible use of money. Your son doesn't need a trust fund. He can get a job and support himself like everyone else does.

What you need is a fair division of assets to enable you both to maintain a decent lifestyle and support your son now.

Paying off debts with your critical illness payout was sensible. That home improvement loan wasn't "hers" if it was used to improve your joint home. I'm afraid that your inheritance would probably also be regarded as a joint asset so I don't think you can keep that out of the pot.

What is unfair is that she is currently keeping all of the balance of your critical illness payout and that she earns more than you but is still claiming 50% of the equity in the house. So she wants a bigger chunk of your assets even though she earns more than you?

I really do think that you must get some legal advice. Can you not put it on your credit card? You'll be able to pay it off once settlement is reached.

whywonthedgehogssharethehedge Sat 10-Sep-16 14:21:57

Speak to some lawyers. You may be able to arrange payment on a deferred basis or be able to get legal aid.

Lunar1 Sat 10-Sep-16 14:29:08

I second contacting headway, she has absolutely no rights to your critical illness money. You are very vulnerable right now and it sounds like she is trying to exploit you. Headway will help you with knowing your rights.

Mummydummy Sat 10-Sep-16 18:29:26

I'm not a lawyer but I agree with Hedda - I think the home and inheritance would be assumed to be joint assets and therefore be judged, as a starting point, to be split 50:50. I dont know about the critical injury payment but payment off of the loans was wise and the home improvement loan would not be hers but for both your home.

But you do need a lawyer because if you are not earning or capable of earning and are likely also to have a reduced pension than she is then you would expect to either be compensated with a larger percentage share of the assets or with potentially marital maintenance payments from your wife. Further adjustments would need to be made then for child maintenance depending on how much time your DC spends with each parent. So please do get legal advice - use a credit card if necessary this is very important for your future. Oh yeah and forget the trust fund - I think your immediate needs are likely to be greater than having that pot which would be a bit of a luxury.

Best of luck. I'm sorry so many difficult things are happening to you.

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