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Any single mums who were screwed over by exes but are doing ok financially now?

(100 Posts)
Namechanger2015 Fri 10-Mar-17 21:23:04

My court and divorce dramas have been going on for two years, since I left abusive ex-husband.

Legally everything has been with the aim of a financial remedy hearing to expose his lies, hiding of money etc. We went to court and judge agreed with ex on every point. So I am liable for his costs too - approx £40k. So I lose the assets he passed to family and friends, and the bank accounts he emptied to his best mate, who ex now claims has run off with the money. I am 42 with no pension. Our rental properties were supposed to provide our pension but he disposed to his family and judge agreed with him. Despite him doing this within a week of me leaving the marital home.

Judge accepted that ex lied and withheld assets on his paperwork because he thinks ex was confused. Ex admitted he was violent on our marriage, judge believes it was still an equal marriage and I had equal access to funds, etc.

This leaves me with very little money going forward. I have a 9, 7 and 4yo that ex sees infrequently approx one a month. He is in arrears with child maintenance and as he is self employed will probably evade payment for ever. He does pay though - £600/month compared to CMS total which is £1,100 per month based on his income and his arrears.

I am self employed and work from home. Ex lives in marital home alone and rents out rooms which he denied to court. Cash in hand of course.

Kids and I live in cramped house with my parents and we will need to move out once this is over. School does not have after school clubs and so I work 9-2.30 and then 8.30-10.30 every day and am knackered and find this hard to maintain.

Please tell me it will be ok. I know I am free of his emotional harm etc but financially and practically tell me I will be fine. I'm scared. If it wasn't for my children I would quite happy take a handful of pills and end this but of course I never would. I am scared though. I don't want to read any responses if people tell me they aren't ok. Could cry.

secretgardens Fri 10-Mar-17 21:43:09

I'm so sorry it sounds awful and he sounds like a nasty grabbing bastard.
I can't believe the judge did all that, not that I don't believe you it just seems so obviously unfair.
I've not been screwed financially but I'm a single mum with not much money and not much help from ex, it is daunting and overwhelming at times, think I've just learned to accept that I'll be poor for the foreseeable.
Are you getting all the benefits you are entitled to? Will you get help with housing?
Sorry I've not really got much advice but I didn't want to read and run I'm sure somone else will be along soon flowers

BillericayDuckie Fri 10-Mar-17 21:46:56

Oh OP. I'm so sorry this has happened. I can't offer a positive story as I am about to go for my financial proceedings final hearing. I'm so scared of similar happening to me.

I'm sure others will be along with positive stories starting in similar circumstances.

flowers

Lostsoul231 Fri 10-Mar-17 21:49:06

I was screwed over 14 years ago. Lost everything inc my home and everything in it. I had two children under 2 at the time. Cant say i will ever had what i had before, financially speaking. I can say however that leaving was still the best and bravest decision i ever made and i dont regret it. I have rented since my divorce and may never own my own home althougb i have a good job. Property is expensive to buy in my area. My exh doesnt see the children on a regular basis so it has been tough juggling work round the children, especially during school hols but we have managed.

Yeahfine Fri 10-Mar-17 21:54:25

That sounds really awful but I can't help questioning what kind of legal support you had. My ex tried to hide assets but my solicitor managed to find evidence of much of it and the judge wiped the floor with him.

WellWhoKnew Fri 10-Mar-17 22:31:11

Hello love!

Long time no see. Life after divorce is nothing like your worst fears will have you believe. There's no hell like divorce in my opinion, and it's not an experience I will ever repeat. But life after is a whole other story. It takes a while but you really do make a whole new life. It's different but once adjusted to and the resentments drop off, life gets good again. It's that old nemesis "time" that heals. And post-divorce there's a period of adjusting.

Two years ago, I was a week away from my final hearing. I thought my life was over. Like you, I had my "end it" plan.

Fast forward to now....

Last month I quit my job and next week I start my own business. It's scary but fun times ahead. Freedom is priceless, and when you've survived an abusive marriage, there's a lot to re-learn about how pleasant life can be. Yes I'm scared for the future, but good scared not bad scared. Bad scared was that feeling I had in my marriage!

It's the little things that delight me. I currently rent a lovely place that's almost perfect for me. It's a calm home and I feel very safe in it. I do things on my schedule - no one to put me down, or bitch or moan at me. I get a sense of accomplishment (preceded by an "oh fuck" of course) whenever I have to tackle new things (Sometimes I amaze myself by how adept I am despite my "useless" qualities).

10 months ago Mr Snowey-whitey reared his ugly head, which I found upsetting at the time. Just taught me that he's still pissed off - but that's absolutely fine by me. Long may he rot in his misery.

I've a stack of friends, I laugh a lot, and finally I've got my future back. It's not a walk on the park, but there's a definite bounce in my step. It's taken some time to get "there" but I'd never go back. Ever.

jeaux90 Sat 11-Mar-17 09:20:06

Firstly well done for leaving him. Whatever happens your life will be more peaceful and happier. It will be ok but it takes time.

I'm a single parent too. I had to leave and move back to the uk with a 2 year old. He pays no maintenance and never sees her (he's in Singapore and has no interest in her for which I am grateful)

Anyway I got back with pretty much no money and moved to my parents. I then saved up enough to move out and rent. Over the last 5 years I saved enough for a deposit and bought a house last year.

In all this though I was so happy, so relived. It does get better. I work full time so it's a juggle. Don't neglect your pension, if you can contribute to one at work, even if it's a little bit.

You'll get through this don't worry it really does get better xxx

Namechanger2015 Sat 11-Mar-17 09:21:27

That sounds really awful but I can't help questioning what kind of legal support you had. My ex tried to hide assets but my solicitor managed to find evidence of much of it and the judge wiped the floor with him.

I had shit hot lawyers as advised. Paid for really experienced barristers. My points were clear and although the judge agreed he acted shoddily he believed I knew all about it and was in agreement with ex handing over his assets the week I left the marriage. I have a post-doc qualification in science that the judge repeatedly mentioned - I am intelligent and so I was fully of what he was doing. Even though he admitted in court that he hid things from me, and his family admitted they accepted money from him as he was going through a divorce. The judgement doesn't make sense but we can't appeal it. There was £650,000 in the asset pot which judge now says he can keep and will not be taken into consideration when dividing assets. Assets that are left are worth approx £300,000. I live in London and have three under-10s to house and raise. I can earn £60-80,000 with my job if I work all hours, no holidays etc. I know it's a decent amount but without a house it really doesn't go far. I need to be in London as my family who can help are all here. I was born and raised here. I feel broken and totally lost. And just scared. The judge took no account of the abusive nature of the marriage. Just said I have postgrad qualification so I am intelligent and was fully aware of his actions.

Namechanger2015 Sat 11-Mar-17 09:23:43

I have spent £100,000 on my legal bills so far. Not including his fees I now need to pay. I borrowed it all. It was a measured decision with family and legal team as we all felt it I had a very strong case and the gamble was worth it. It's not worked out that way.

Namechanger2015 Sat 11-Mar-17 09:26:26

Emotionally yes things have been much better as I have my freedom back and girls don't see dad hitting mum. My family and friends are all lovely.
I don't have a pension, he has effectively taken that by keeping the properties, now under his dad's name. I'm 20 years older than I should be - I could be starting my financial life at 22 not 42. I was 28 when I met him and I loved him then and believed he knew better than me. It turns out he did. He has kept it all.

Namechanger2015 Sat 11-Mar-17 09:26:45

I was 18 when I met him, not 28.

JoJoSM2 Sat 11-Mar-17 09:27:11

Are all his family like that too? Are any of them reasonable and would help you? Especially since they've been 'gifted' loads of money/property?

Yeahfine Sat 11-Mar-17 09:36:00

Have you been advised to appeal? I was but couldn't face it and accepted the final judgement. It's a risk and more money but my barrister told me I had a good chance of overturning one aspect of the order.

Fortunately the judge took into account the fact I had young children who would remain with me but that doesn't seem to be the case for you. Doesn't make sense does it? Agree that much of what happened in the marriage is more or less irrelevant. Everyone's case is unique however.

Anyway to answer your question you do come out the other side. I found it hard to continue in my career though as my dc were still young and ex only had sporadic contact with them. The childcare arrangements got harder as they got older eg different schools with different times. Naturally I would have been financially better off if I had stayed married but there are other advantages to being divorced like space and peace from him.

I would give yourself some space and time to adjust and don't make any major changes or decisions, just head down keep going till you can see a little clearer. It must have been a shock for you.

Yeahfine Sat 11-Mar-17 09:36:26

Sorry just seen you can't appeal.

jeaux90 Sat 11-Mar-17 09:38:59

OP I'm in a similar earnings bracket.

I know this is tough but you need to focus on your kids and career now. You need to maximise your earnings. I know you say you say you can't move from London but it was the right move for me. Way more bang for my buck, great schools, I can get into London on the train within 40 mins and I can afford a live in to take care of my dd.

I could not afford this in London because of rent and house prices.

All I'm saying is think outside the box a bit.

I am gob smacked by the judgement. A friend of mine had a similar situation and was awarded one of the houses. She had a forensic accountant etc. If you can't appeal then that really sucks. Sorry!

Bananamanfan Sat 11-Mar-17 09:40:36

Can you write to your mp to ask for their help?

Bananamanfan Sat 11-Mar-17 09:42:06

Can you take action against him for the abuse he subjected you to?

childmaintenanceserviceinquiry Sat 11-Mar-17 09:49:21

Sorry. flowers Dont have much to say. The sooner the family courts are totally revamped the better for all of us. At the moment the liars and cheats seem to win. I think it is because they are so used to manipulating, they believe their lies and come across as plausible.

I am 6 years into my marriage breakdown and am starting a new job soon. It most certainly does not pay as well as before but is an interesting professional job. Looking forward to that.

Ratonastick Sat 11-Mar-17 10:11:28

To your original question, yes I promise you it gets better. It's hard and sometimes feels overwhelming but it gets better. My xP walked out without any warning and just never came home. I involved police, etc and it transpired that he had just changed his mind about me and being a parent to our DS and decided to leave. I was absolutely distraught and while trying to look after a 6 month old, go back to work and make sense of the hurricane, I didn't think to take his name off our joint accounts so about 3 months later he emptied everything and ran up a credit card debt. I tried to pursue it and had no legal remedy as he had legit access. I appealed to his better nature and was told that he assumed that me leaving his name on things was an invitation for him to help himself. His lack of care or consideration for his baby son still takes my breath away.

Roll forward 14 years and everything is bloody great. My god it has been a hard slog, but I have a house, a bit of money and a great job and, most importantly, an awesome DS. I have no bloody idea how I have produced such a cool human but he is absolutely brilliant.

And, of course, xP resurfaced last year, full of piss and vinegar again. And this time I have mental, physical and financial resources and steel in my bones to deal with him. And I have a DS who couldn't give less of a shit about him. That is his ultimate loss.

Namechanger2015 Sat 11-Mar-17 10:40:44

Are all his family like that too? Are any of them reasonable and would help you? Especially since they've been 'gifted' loads of money/property?

His family are exactly the same as him. They have a low opinion of women generally, especially women who work or who are not obedient to their husbands needs. I was told by my SIL that the reason he hits me is because I work and I am not giving him the attention he needs. His brother and dad were in court giving evidence to support him. They fabricated a meeting at which they say we all met up and agreed to sign over our assets to his dad as he was getting older and wanted some cash. Coincidentally the fictitious meeting took place a month before I left the marriage and the property transfer took place the week after. Ex said his mum was at the meeting. But admitted in court she was actually abroad at the time. Judge somehow still believed his version of events and said this meeting happened and I was happy to sign all over to his parents.
They won't be helping.

Namechanger2015 Sat 11-Mar-17 10:43:55

You need to maximise your earnings. I know you say you say you can't move from London but it was the right move for me

I just can't move. I am falling to bits and my family are holding me and the children up. If rather a tiny flat near family than a big house on my own again. During marriage I was not living in London. We lived in a big house close to his family who never ever visited. It was part of his isolation process and I missed my family desperately. I won't leave again.

Astro55 Sat 11-Mar-17 10:50:02

My mum left my violent father when we were kids - we were poor - cold most of the time but never hungry!

We had such a happy household without him!! I thank god that my mother was brace enough to leave him (1970's) when many woman didn't!

We didn't have many holidays but we had each other and became very independent -

You will be fine!! Look for the love and laughter!!

category12 Sat 11-Mar-17 10:57:02

You will find a way to manage and life never stays the same.

If there's no chance of appealing or overturning the financial ruling, then that's that.

I would look at possibilities of perhaps combining forces with your family to I dunno share a larger property/support each other? There will be ways forward and things you can do. You're in a good position in terms of being with your family, having a good job, and being free of that man. You've got this far, in a few years you won't know yourself.

Electrolux2 Sat 11-Mar-17 10:57:43

I don't know about 'doing ok' but things are certainly better.

18 months ago I was at rock bottom and actually went without food most days. The lack of legal aid available to me was the root cause.

It's a very long story. But in less than 2 weeks the council who initially denied me any help at all will give me the keys to a house and I'll be free.

I have to be honest it hasn't been easy, the situation is very complicated, as it often is and I was effectively trapped by circumstances for over 4 years. Stuck in the marital home, penniless but having to maintain a house I couldn't afford to and getting nothing from stbxh. Then the roof came down! Then someone helped me massively and I could afford to eat. It changed everything.

Soon I'll have my disability benefits to live off and won't have to pay out stupid billls in a house that isn't mine. So I will be ok and my children will be ok. I'll never have what I had but believe me I don't want it when it comes with the strings of being miserable and abused financially and emotionally.

There is always a way out. Even when it looked like there was none for me, There was and I'm 10 days away from freedom.

20 years I put up with his abuse and couldn't feed myself while he was spending £££ every day on beer and fags. The trouble was the outside world saw a man in a high flying job earning loads and kids at private schools. Try then explaining to the council that you have nothing.

Sorry. May have gone on a bit blush

Namechanger2015 Sat 11-Mar-17 11:08:02

Can you take action against him for the abuse he subjected you to?

I called the police when he hit me in front of the kids. They saw my bruises, nail marks around my neck etc. They didn't photograph it but I did.

When they arrested him he said I attacked him and it was in self-defence. Despite he fact that he didn't have a scratch on him and kids had witnessed it all. So police said not enough evidence and he could come home.

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