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Help with ex husband and finances(22 Posts)
I’m in a bit of a dilemma ladies and feeling frustrated.
Bit of back story, my exh and I divorced 4 years ago, amicable and we have remained friends. We have two teen dc 13 and 15) who we co-parent well with a 60/40 split.
The trouble is me exh is dreadful with money, always has been really – it drove me insane and stressed me out no end when we were married.
When we divorced we sold our house and split the profits, we both now have our own houses and both have small mortgages, so we have a ‘clean break’ as they call it. I work full time in a reasonably paid job, he is semi-retired (works 2 days a week) and claims a percentage of his pension.
When we split I opened a new bank account and started using that as my account, he remained using our joint account as his account. He wasn’t fussed about removing my name from it as we trust each other and always said that as I was still his next of kin, he was happy for me to have access to it in an emergency. I obviously don’t use his account and no longer have a bank card for it, however, I do have online access to it.
So here is the problem. He has just had a large car MOT bill, £450 to be exact. He can’t afford to pay it and has asked to borrow it from me. This isn’t new. As I said, he is useless with money and often runs out in the week before payday and I have to sub him £50 etc or give him food for the dc. He is such a great guy and a great dad, but shit with budgeting. I frequently check his account online and can see what he spends his money on – crap! He likes a ‘bargain’ which often means he buys things he doesn’t need. We had this all the time, it drove me mad. In my opinion, it’s only a bargain if you were going to buy it anyway and you have saved yourself money! He treats the dc a lot too, but small stuff like books, dvds, etc but it all adds up each month.
His wages and pension together come to £1700 a month. His mortgage is only £350 and his household bills probably another £350. That’s a grand a month left for food / fuel and extras! He should be ok this right? He feeds dc 3 nights, otherwise it’s just him, he has no partner etc. I would say by his bank account he spends £150 on food a week. He doesn’t drink or smoke. I only spend £100 a week on food and I feed the dc 4 nights a week and one of the dc has pack lunch and I have a husband too! He works about a half an hour drive from home, so probably spends £25 a week on petrol. The rest he just spends on shit – think car boot sales, plants for his garden, treats for dc etc. that’s it, his money is gone.
I should add that he doesn’t pay me any maintenance and I claim the child benefit which goes into a separate account to pay for the dc clothes and dinner money and school trips etc. We always pay 50/50 on extra-curricular clubs.
Sorry, this is long, but wanted to give a clear picture….
I am by all means not well off. I manage to save £500 a month for rainy day / emergencies / holidays / xmas / xtras etc. Which in reality probably ends up being more like £200 a month after these things are taken into consideration. I guess what I’m saying is I don’t have much in terms of long term savings. Both exdh and I spent all of our individual savings when we got divorced on mortgaging our own properties and setting up our news homes. Basically handing over £450 right now will impact me. I have saved for xmas and am going for a girly weekend break early Jan with my best friend. I feel like I have very little spare money when these are taken into consideration.
I know that exdh cannot really cope without a car. He wouldn’t be able to get to work for a start as we live in a village and his work is half an hour drive away. He also uses his car to run our dc about a lot – they are both at the age when they need picking up from friend etc and do eve and weekend activities.
Exdh knows I am not loaded, but he knows my dh is generous with his money and will happily support me. He knows I could ask dh for help.
Any advice please.
I should add (in case i get flamed) that exdh knows I check his account online, he hates technology and often asks me to check stuff for him, send payments to stuff etc.
I have also had chats with him about how much he spends etc, but at the end of the day im his exw, its not my place to be the nagging wife anymore (i did that a lot when we were married)! his response is usually quite a jokey 'you know i cant resist a bargain / i know i need to budget better' etc.
Just say 'sorry, can't manage it at the moment'. You don't owe him an explanation or an apology - all very well saying he needs to learn to budget better, but he doesn't at the moment does he? Because he knows he's got you as a safety net. Nobody sneaks in at night and MOTs your car without warning. He'll have known this was coming up and still hasn't put money aside for it.
But it's not his account if your name is on it, it's your joint account and you are jointly liable Get your name off of it ASAP and then cut him free. It's nothing to do with you. Not your problem - as long as your name is not on the account.
You need to stop bailing him out. You are not responsible for his fecklessness anymore. If he wants/needs more money, he needs to work more.
I agree. A simple, 'sorry it's not possible right now' is fine.
As an aside, you should get yourself taken off the account. As it is in both your names you are jointly liable for an overdraft he may run up, which by the sounds of things is quite likely. Wait till the account is in credit or you will have to pay off the overdraft first. You will probably need to visit the bank in person, maybe even with exH, to do this.
That's a very weird set up with your exhusband if he is asking you for money when you divorced four years ago. Especially as you have married again.
If he's rubbish with money, that's his lookout, nothing to do with you.
Should he be paying maintenance?
If my ex asked to borrow £450 I would tell him where to get off as would he if I asked.
I would get your name off that immediately and realise that by checking up on these things you are still enabling him to be shite with money.
Do not lend him the money.
It is a green light to keep being irresponsible if you keep bailing him out. You are already thinking about it, you've leant him money in the past, and he is your ex dh who doesn't pay any maintenance. He sounds like a total piss taker.
If you say no, he can increase his overdraft, apply for a credit card, even take out a payday loan. These are all things you have to do if you are not prepared to budget and are landed with a (should have been expected) bill.
DiscoMike - Jointly liable for what? he doesn't have an debts (now). its a basic cash card account (no overdraft).
expatinscotland - he cant really work more, he was retired on ill health. I know he struggles on 2 days, but does it as he doesn't like to be bored.
mumonashoestring - i'm not worried about saying no, but i guess i know how much it would impact him - like how would he get to work? He works unsociable hours so can't use public transport. It would also massively effect the lives of our dc. they would not be able to do some of their clubs / i would have to cur my hours to part time to take them!
But one of the reasons you divorced him is because he was useless with money. You are moved on with a new DH and still having to help/support/deal with his finances.
You can't bail him out forever, he is a grown man, this isn't your problem. He doesn't really have to take his finances seriously if he knows he can ask you for a sub. He needs to stop buying rubbish from bootfairs etc, but why should he? He thinks you will always loan him money. Stop loaning him money, he may then have think a bit more independently.
Notagain16 - We have a 50/50 access split so no maintenance is paid to either partner.
I know its weird, but we are still friends and help each other out a lot, just little things. Neither of us have any family so we have remained like family.
He doesn't have an overdraft, he can't have one on that account and due to him having run up a lot of debts in the past he can't get credit.
He knows how much it would impact him as well, and that hasn't worried him enough to put the money aside to cover it. Why? Because it doesn't matter to him if it impacts on you. That's basically what it comes down to. If he was worried about getting around, or about getting your kids to their clubs/activities, he could easily have afforded to put the money aside to cover the MOT.
Bottom line is it's going to impact on you either way (purely financially or in terms of time/hours) - but if you bail him out for an easier life short term, you'll have this problem over, and over, and over... If you let him get it wrong occasionally and actually have to think about the trouble he's caused himself and his kids, he might actually start learning to think more sensibly.
Not your responsibility. Let him find the money elsewhere and it'll hopefully teach him a lesson.
Clearly you didn't get the clean break you think you did.
He isn't your child. He isn't your husband. He should be responsible for himself.
Take your name off the account and tell him to grow the fuck up. He's an adult not a helpless child.
What would he do if you was no longer around? He wouldn't have any choice but to be responsible.
And as for asking your husband. Has your ex got no shame at all? Your new husband is already supporting his children financially.
You said it was a 60/40 access split in your opening paragraph, now it's 50/50. Sounds like you are changing the facts to cover that you are being overly generous to him. Your bailing him out is enabling him to buy all these 'bargains' and treats. Tough love is needed else it will just carry on.
Cut the cord! Has it ever occurred to you that your 'help' is counterproductive because you and your Ex are stuck in a parent child dynamic. Why would he learn to better budget when your're on call to bail him out.
If you really want to help him, step back and let him experience the consequences of his actions.
I've got a default on my credit file from a joint account we never used and I had forgotten about.
ExH got an overdraft on it that he never paid.
Looking at his mortgage and expenditure etc. 1700 should cover him, so if he cannot keep to that then he does need to budget.
The problem is that it is the children who would lose out from his mis-management and lack of car etc. However, I agree that he needs to stand on his own two feet now, perhaps up a day a week if he cannot live within his means or cut his cloth accordingly.
Afterthestorm - I have the dc more nights than exh, but as he only works part time he has them more in the school holidays. I would be considerably more worse off than i am now if i didn't have exh as i would have to pay for childcare.
I don;t think I am being overly generous to him, in the 4 years we have been divorced i have only lent him money a few times, and its usually only been small amounts.
I think the comment about my new dh providing for my dc instead of him was a bit harsh. There is no way exh would ask me to ask dh for money i meant it in the fact that he knows i have a relatively generous dh and that i would never go without.
his lack of forward planning and taking responsibility is frustrating to say the least. But I have to weigh up the consequences of 'teaching him a lesson' as you all say and what the implications on me and my dc and my dh will ultimately be.
'The problem is that it is the children who would lose out from his mis-management and lack of car etc'. That hits the nail on the head Middleoftheroad. And i don't want my children to miss out if i can help it. They will also miss out if he can't get to work and has to give his job up.
If it wasn't for the dc I wouldn't even consider it.
I know he is my exh but we are friends and do care about each other still. Like I said, it was an amicable divorce. i don't want to take the 'fuck off' route as he helps me out with stuff if I need anything. It is swings and roundabouts with general stuff like that.
He is very hands on with the dc, helps with homework, drives them around, entertains their friends when they drag them round to his after school etc.
He relies on the fact that you know it will impact on your children if you don't help him out which is why he doesn't budget properly.
Sounds like my dh used to be with money but I've separated finances and we each pay half to the household bills and are responsible for our own extras.
I don't check my dh online banking account and have nothing to do with what he does with his left over spends so you really shouldn't be doing that with your exdh!
Get him over one evening sit him down and give him the log in details of his account and show him how it's done. Then tell him it's his money and account and he needs to take control of it now as that's the only way he'll see where he's going wrong.
Once he's had a few fishy months without your help financially or online banking he'll be a led to manage it.
It's lovely that you want to do it to help him but rather not helping him in the long run. He's a grown man and you don't want your dc thinking it's normal for women to be responsible for things men should be more than capable of doing.
I hope you don't get flamed op on here as your intentions are really lovely but you really need to step back now.
You have no moral obligation to do it.
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