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I think my DM got a bad deal- advice please!

(12 Posts)
anonymous2017 Sun 08-Oct-17 18:21:27

Hi all,

I would really appreciate some advice, I hope this is the right place. As per the title, I think my DM got a bad deal in her split from my Dad. They were together for 20+ years but unmarried (I think this is important!).

They split six years ago as a result of an affair on my dad's part- and I think my mum was naive about what she could realistically expect and also didn't want to seem like she was after the money/didn't want to cause a fuss etc.etc. To my knowledge, they sorted it out (unofficially, no solicitors involved) with my mum getting 50% of the savings and 50% of the house. My dad kept 100% of his pension. My mum was a SAHM with very part time jobs for many years- she did EVERYTHING at home. I can count on one hand the amount of times my dad cooked dinner or collected me from school. So he worked hard, and paid into a pension that I presume is fairly substantial. Now, six years on, I'm wondering if my mum would have been given a % of the pension.

Sorry, I know this is getting waffley. What I'm trying to ask is, firstly, can my mum retrospectively see a solicitor and get legal advice about a situation that happened six years ago? Secondly, do women in this situation usually get a % of the pension? I know I sound very money focused, there's obviously a whole lot more I could say but I would just like to hear if this sounds fair. I would really appreciate if anyone had any experience with this!

Thanks in advance.

Bekabeech Sun 08-Oct-17 18:24:49

I think she probably got the best sh could as she wasn’t married. I’m assuming none of you children were young enough to be at homes that the time?

MrsMcGarry Sun 08-Oct-17 18:26:04

No. As an unmarried partner she has no claim on his assets at all, only assets that were joint. This is why no one should give up their job to look after children and a home without the legal safety of marriage

LewisThere Sun 08-Oct-17 18:27:36

I think she got a very good deal there as they weren't married.
So in effect, whatever was in her name was hers, what was in his name was his. The rest was 50/50 (unless there was so clear conditions to it).

And yes it's crap.
And that's why it's better to be married (to protect yourself). Or you need to think about it and have a plan in place (eg by ensuring that both partners have a pension in place, esp if one isn't working)

Lagerthaisfabulous Sun 08-Oct-17 18:28:07

Nope she has no claim on his pension.

Loopytiles Sun 08-Oct-17 18:30:47

Nothing to be done now, and being unmarried meant she could hope for very little: at least she got something.

anonymous2017 Sun 08-Oct-17 18:31:34

I was 14 at the time of the split and my sibling was 16- we were allowed to stay in the house until I turned 18. I don't know if us being dependents at the time makes a difference? Food for thought.

I agree that they should have had the legal safety of marriage and believeeeee me I have learnt from my mum's mistake!

PaintingByNumbers Sun 08-Oct-17 18:34:34

She would never be entitled to his pension or any assets in his name only

Lagerthaisfabulous Sun 08-Oct-17 18:36:01

You get the legal saftey net of being married, by being married.

Giving up your earning potential with no legal saftey is risky. That doesnt mean the saftey net needs to change.

I assume the house was in joint names? It could have been much worse if it wasnt.

anonymous2017 Sun 08-Oct-17 18:39:12

The house was in joint names, yes.

Thanks for all the advice so far, this is interesting. I know I can't approach it from the perspective that my dad legally owes my mum something- he doesn't. But morally I think he does, and I hope I can get that across somehow.

FizzyGreenWater Sun 08-Oct-17 19:44:56

No, she had no claim on that pension.

And that is why marriage isn't 'a piece of paper'. Because if she was married, then yes the fact that she didn't build up a pension of her own because she spent that time making sure he could have both a family life AND get to build up his pension would be taken into account.

Honestly? I'd probably hit right below the belt and tell my dad that it's not possible for me to stay in touch with him, and let him enjoy the fruits of the family my mum sacrificed financial gain for, when he's essentially not paid his due for that. He shares his pension with her, and makes sure she's as ok as she would be if they were married, or you don't want to see him.

anonymous2017 Sun 08-Oct-17 19:54:35

@FizzyGreenWater I don't disagree with you, I find it so hard to look at his big 4 bed detached house and nice cars etc. whilst my mum lives in a flat. Especially hard given it was his choice to leave and went straight from our family home to the other woman waiting in the wings...

I know I don't have a legal standpoint, but I do think he'd be affected by the moral argument.

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