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How do SAHPs live/support themselves financially if they split?

(25 Posts)
YesAnastasia Sun 01-Jan-17 12:58:45

I have no idea where money would come from of it isn't from him.

DC are 5 & 7. The eldest has ASD and although he's in mainstream, I haven't been able to work because he struggles so much & I don't drive.

The mortgage is in both our names but I don't know anything about it and have never paid it obviously.

I couldn't move the DCs anyway, they wouldn't be able to cope with that and their parents splitting.

He won't be reasonable so it's no use asking or compromising.

How do I do this?? I've let myself become truly kept & controlled.

TreeTop7 Sun 01-Jan-17 13:01:15

I'm sorry that you're suffering.

Are you married?

DeepAndCrispAndEvenTheWind Sun 01-Jan-17 13:02:48

Can you learn to drive, as a first step? Start to plan.

Astro55 Sun 01-Jan-17 13:04:11

You need to start finding out about the depts and mortgage and any other financial issues - start being practical -

SillySongsWithLarry Sun 01-Jan-17 13:06:01

Tax credits, child benefit and DLA for your child with ASD would make up the equivalent of a full time wage. It's not ideal but if needs must. Child support is not means tested so that will be a bonus. I was a lot better off financially after splitting from my high earning ExH mostly because I had access to money whereas before he controlled it all.

SloanePeterson Sun 01-Jan-17 13:09:46

Do you get carers allowance for you and dla for your son? I put off applying as the form was so long but it's made such a difference to us. I can't work for the same reason as you. I've been a single parent and tbh with housing benefit, income support and child tax credit I managed. Having a child with asd can put a huge strain on a relationship, especially if you feel more responsible for them than the other parent if that makes sense. It's the cause of a lot of conflict in our otherwise happy home. In the last year I found an excellent local charity that supports parents of dc with additional needs, is there anything like that near you? It helps massively to put things in perspective and feel less alone.

fusspot66 Sun 01-Jan-17 13:18:00

Some useful links OP

YesAnastasia Sun 01-Jan-17 13:20:46

Yes, I will plan. Maybe I can ask him to leave and have a grace period where he still pays for stuff and I can apply for all that.

Yes we're married.

I don't think I'll ever be able to drive, I have been trying for years. I don't have the money for lessons anyway.

Will we be able to stay in this house? Would I get housing benefit to pay for half the mortgage?

Can I pm you Sloane about the DLA form? I have started it but it is awfully long and I get very upset filling it in. I'll look into carers allowance.

This is what has put me off for so long (and the fact that I still love DH) I can see why so many women are trapped.

DeepAndCrispAndEvenTheWind Sun 01-Jan-17 13:22:33

Start applying now for things like carer allowance.

Is the child benefit in your name? Do you have your own bank account?

squirre1 Sun 01-Jan-17 13:24:28

If you don't have the money for lessons but are on benefits you could try applying to a charity for help. I was in the same situation when I split from my exh and the family fund gave me so many lessons. Having a car made a huge difference.

tribpot Sun 01-Jan-17 13:25:00

If it's your first time doing the DLA form, it is very distressing. When I first did it (for DH), Carers UK helped me to fill it in and this was a huge help.

paperlily Sun 01-Jan-17 13:31:28

I was in a similar position as I have a dd with autism when I left exH. I manage on benefits - we get high rate DLA for dd and I get carer's allowance, and income support on top (doesn't matter how old your children are if you are getting it as a carer, you won't have to look for work). We were put in a council house due to dd's disability so the rent is low and covered by housing benefit in full, and council tax is almost fully paid. We get child tax credits as well which is at a higher rate due to dd's disabilities. Financially we manage OK, we get various grants from charities and the council for holidays/treats and extra payments towards fuel.

You won't get housing benefit to cover a mortgage, I think there is mortgage support for the interest but it will only be a loan and for a limited period. Worth calling an organisation like NAS or Contact a Family as they are very up to date on benefits. There are lots of recent changes and even my situation might not be the same in your area because of universal credit.

SloanePeterson Sun 01-Jan-17 13:32:22

Of course you can pm me x I didn't fill it out by myself, I got a friend from the charity to help me and once I'd got over the hurdle of actually looking at the form, I filled it out in an afternoon. The photocopying of all the supporting evidence is what took the time! Once dla is awarded, you can apply for carers allowance online, that part was very straightforward. You also get an extra amount added to tax credits for children who receive dla. It IS an upsetting form to fill out. We spend so much time trying to put a positive spin on what our children can do, that having to actually face up to what they CAN'T crushed me a little. I'm totally with you on the driving too. I had to stop my lessons as I was being charged (quite fairly) for nelsons I had to cancel at short notice as I was being called into school, and then ds went into a reduced timetable. I also find it incredibly hard to concentrate as I have so many balls in the air all the time that driving just felt a bit beyond me. I need to tackle that this year. Someone told me the Family Fund used to pay for driving lessons, no idea if they still do.

StrongerThanIThought76 Sun 01-Jan-17 13:59:52

Tax credits, child benefit, housing benefit (but I was renting), council tax benefit and child maintenance.

We lived like paupers until I managed to get a job, but then the benefits reduced quite quickly. I don't know how funding works re carers allowances etc but yes, deffo apply as soon as possible.

The ex is legally obliged to pay child maintenance and cannot get out of it. You might need to think about downsizing the house if you cannot afford to pay the bills (including the mortgage) on your own.

Use the Wikivorce website for advice and support.

Olympiathequeen Sun 01-Jan-17 14:19:38

There is a cap on housing benefit and it won't pay for a mortgage anyway, I'm afraid.

Unless you husband decides to continue with the mortgage it is likely to be sold. You would be entitled to at least half regardless of who paid the mortgage as you are married.

I think you would need to look at social housing and renting.

Not good unfortunately. I would start planning. Learn to drive and possible retrain when your children are at school.

You would get various benefits and child maintainance

You are quite right. A sahp is in an awful financial position even if they are married. 100 times worse if not.

JsOtherHalf Sun 01-Jan-17 15:54:07

Cerebra do a brilliant help pack for completing DLA forms:

YesAnastasia Sun 01-Jan-17 16:25:53

That's all helpful, thank you.

We haven't received CHB since the means testing - so much for it once being a payment to help independence for SAHMs.

Yes I absolutely feel like there's too many ball in the air Sloane and tbh, the driving problem is linked to my anxiety (I have actually vomited before a lesson)

I need to ditch some of the balls (so to speak) I'm doing an MA, navigating the LA and an EHCP application that's been refused (appeal...) not to mention PTA and school stuff I'm involved in. I'm not sure I'm ready for another 'fight' against DH or DLA (what if DS isn't 'bad enough' urgh!!!!!!) it's making me quite poorly actually.

whattheseithakasmean Sun 01-Jan-17 16:29:27

Dump the PTA stuff for a kick off, you do not need the extra stress.

rollonthesummer Sun 01-Jan-17 16:32:52

I expect you'd have to sell the house and rent somewhere.

My friend is in a similar situation only her H won't move out so they are both living in the house together until they sell it, which hasn't happened yet. Not easy.

SloanePeterson Sun 01-Jan-17 16:41:00

I totally hear you about the anxiety. There's just no let up is there, which makes it very difficult to get perspective. I'm very lucky today, I'm poorly and having a day in bed and that's so totally alien to me as it's actually a rest! But even now I'm worried about what ds is doing, how dh is handling him. Keep on with the ehcp. We were turned down in February, and just a few days ago, after resubmitting in September, we finally got our final plan in the post. £16500 has been allocated which will go so far in helping ds. I know the worry about the problems not being bad enough for dla too. I felt a bit of a fraud even claiming it, we'd had a truly awful paediatrician who, when we were in the process of getting ds an asd diagnosis (yet another battle that caused us so much worry and lost sleep) implied we were doing it for money hmm. But ds was awarded mid rate care and low mobility til he's 17 which was a shock as I'd not expected it to be awarded for that amount of time. But unfortunately we all know these children aren't going to suddenly be 'cured.' Do start on the dla. I had the big scary form sat in my drawer for 6 months and it was processed less than 3 weeks after sending it off. Made me quite cross at myself that I'd dithered. But, like you, I couldn't face what I was sure would be another huge battle. I was pleasantly surprised that it didn't turn out that way.

DeepAndCrispAndEvenTheWind Sun 01-Jan-17 17:09:11

Child benefit is still available to high earning parents (and isn't really for the independence of the mother, though that helped as a side effect)

It needs to be paid back via the tax return of the high earner if claimed. It is better to claim it and repay (a) for cash flow and (b) to keep up your NI contributions (which reason you can give to DH if you like).

Msqueen33 Wed 18-Jan-17 19:36:40

Similar position but with two children with asd. Our mortgage is significantly cheaper than renting anywhere locally. I've three kids and even a two bedroom rental in an area miles from their school is more than our mortgage. I didn't particularly want to be a sahp but mine wouldn't cope in childcare and my dh doesn't cope well with them. I feel really stuck and don't know what to do.

DowhatIwanttodo Wed 18-Jan-17 20:00:32

If you separated you wouldn't get help with your mortgage and you would have to be realistic about selling up. It's not ideal with children with sn but it may well be reality unless you have an ex who is willing to continue paying the mortgage and let you stay in the house indefinitely.

I was in a very similar position. I had two small dc with sn and had to pay the mortgage on my own and then in the divorce settlement the house had to be sold and the equity split for a clean break.

Definitely apply for DLA and carers' allowance. Also on your own you would be entitled to child benefit and tax credits. Start getting the facts and make a plan. It's hard but doable.

I wouldn't bother with the driving from what you say.

AnotherEmma Wed 18-Jan-17 20:08:17

As you're married you would be entitled to a share of the marital assets in the event of a split. You could get advice on that from the free Rights of Women family law helpline and/or ask your local Citizens Advice if they have a list of local solicitors including any offering a free initial consultation for family law.

You said that you feel "controlled" - in what way? Does you husband do anything from this list of signs of emotional abuse?

From a financial POV, you should definitely pursue the DLA claim for your son - as well as the organisations PPs have mentioned, Citizens Advice could help you with it. If the DLA claim is successful, you could then claim Carers Allowance for yourself. And if you separated from your husband you could get Income Support and Child Tax Credits.

Do you have your own bank account or just a joint account with your husband?

AnotherEmma Wed 18-Jan-17 20:15:37

"We haven't received CHB since the means testing"

Are you talking about Child Benefit? It's not means-tested, although high earners do have to pay some or all of it back. As a PP said, you should claim it (as the primary carer of the children) and if your husband earns above the threshold, he should then pay it back (he would need to do a self-assessment tax return).

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