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unmarried stay @home mum separation advice please

(276 Posts)
fridaysforfuturemum Thu 29-Oct-20 22:31:07

My partner asked for a separation in January.
We are joint owners of our home and have been living in a toxic atmosphere since then. We have two teenagers at High school. We're not married and I know I have no legal rights on anything but half the house. It was a joint agreement that I leave my job to be a stay@home mum. My partner now says it was my decision and legally he does not have to give me equal share of the savings etc..
I have no money as we just had a joint account. I really want to stay in my home with my kids. (they will stay with me one week, then him the next...)
The solicitors I spoke to were not interested in helping me because they said I was a cohabitee and had no rights. Appeal to his better nature was their top tip!
Can anyone suggest what kind of professional would be able to help me put a financial settlement proposal together that is fair and equal,takes into account what I have contributed to our family over the last 16 years and splits everything 50/50?
I'm saying to him it's about doing the right thing and what's morally right rather than what I'm legally entitled to. I asked him to treat me as if we have been married. We have been together 26 years sad
I've been a trusting fool like so many other women before me...

OP’s posts: |
MandUs Thu 29-Oct-20 22:34:33

If your name is on the joint account wouldn't you get half? Equally the house if your name is on it.

VodselForDinner Thu 29-Oct-20 22:36:31

If you have a joint savings account, there’s no reason you can’t just withdraw half of it (or any/all of it).

BlueBirdGreenFence Thu 29-Oct-20 22:37:45

Is your name on the savings account? If so raiding it before he can is about the only way you're going to get anything other than your half of the house plus CMS.

S00LA Thu 29-Oct-20 22:49:19

I sorry but the legal advice you’ve been given is correct. You chose not to get married so he’s hardly likely to now pretend that you are. I do think it’s rather unreasonable of you to try and impose the legal responsibilities of marriage on his without his consent.

You can draw up all the proposals you like but he doesn’t have to agree.

Regarding the children - many teenagers will object to living 50:50, it’s very disruptive to their lives. Also that way you will get no child support.

I’m assuming you are working at least part time if your kids are teens. Have you asked your employer for more hours ? what are your plans for upskilling / retraining to earn more?

LilyWater Thu 29-Oct-20 22:54:27

Sorry OP about your situation, perhaps try citizen's advice bureau?

Also, please do start warning other women - too many people still ignorantly rabbit on about marriage being "just a piece of paper" and love keeping themselves in denial when others try to warn them.

As I'm sure you're now painfully aware, one of the very purposes of marriage is to help give you exactly what you're seeking. Women who want real commitment and/or families need to dump men at dating stage who don't believe in marriage and stop throwing theirs and their future children's legal rights in the bin by staying with said men.

Is the relationship definitely not salvageable OP? flowers

Farahilda Thu 29-Oct-20 23:10:26

I'm afraid that 'contribution to the family' as you put it, has no bearing on a split between cohabitees. Unless you appeal successfullymto his better nature - which does seem a bit of a long shot given that he is claiming it was your decision to be a SAHM.

What remains is divvying up major assets which are clearly jointly owned, such as the house. Can you afford to buy him out? I suspect not. If sold and the equity divided, would you be able to afford another (smaller) property? Or would you need to rent? You need to work out how much you need to earn to support your new household, and a PP notes working out how you get to the sum you need if your current earnings don't cover it.

I'm afraid a 50/50 split of 'everything' just isn't applicable as you were not married

Boshmama Thu 29-Oct-20 23:12:56

No advice just wanted to say I’m really sorry, what an awful situation and I would be feeling the same about wanting to be treated like we’re married after 26 years together!

Mallemo Thu 29-Oct-20 23:15:49

You weren’t ever married so that’s all meaningless. Sorry OP, it’s such a crap situation.

Saggyoldsofa Thu 29-Oct-20 23:29:37

It is absolutely not unreasonable to expect a fair split despite bot being married. Dont forgettgis pension OP. Unfortunately you have no right to it but it will be a major asset. If he is a decent enough bloke, then you could just coolly point out how much better off financially he is because hhe was able to carry on working whilst you did the grunt work at home.

If he is unreasonable, and values his relationship with his children I might consider asking him to consider how the children will feel when older and when they learn that he fleeced their dear old mum.

Saggyoldsofa Thu 29-Oct-20 23:31:25

And yes, if those savings/accounts are joint clean out your half right now, to somewhere that he cant get at.

AnneLovesGilbert Thu 29-Oct-20 23:41:40

What’s he suggesting? If it’s a nasty split it’s unlikely he’ll want to give you anything he doesn’t have to. Getting into a he said/she said about why you haven’t worked in 16 years won’t get you anywhere.

Wiredforsound Fri 30-Oct-20 05:16:53

How old are your teens?

M0mmaM0rn1n4 Fri 30-Oct-20 06:34:45

Suggest reading up on the legal differences between married & single on Citizens Advice, Money Saving Expert & websites

Do you work now ?

Farahilda Fri 30-Oct-20 07:30:42

If he is unreasonable, and values his relationship with his children I might consider asking him to consider how the children will feel when older and when they learn that he fleeced their dear old mum

I would strongly recommend that you never ever use DC as a weapon.

S00LA Fri 30-Oct-20 08:47:16


*If he is unreasonable, and values his relationship with his children I might consider asking him to consider how the children will feel when older and when they learn that he fleeced their dear old mum*

I would strongly recommend that you never ever use DC as a weapon.

Anyway it won’t work. The children are teenagers and they know little and care less about the value of pensions and The costs of utility bills and insurance.

All they will care about is that dad has enough money to treat them to new trainers, clothes, electronics, take them on great holidays . And mum doesn't.

Saggyoldsofa Fri 30-Oct-20 09:38:53

I didn't mean, use them as weapons. When they are adults it will be patently obvious to them that mum didnt get a fair my experience older adults do care about such things as it makes them think less of their father (personal experience here.....). I'm suggesting she points that out to him, not threatens to tell the kids how how unreasonable daddy dearest is being right now. Also it is totally reasonable of her to point out to the ex that shafting her is actually shafting his own children, because she wont be able to fund their needs ( if that is the case).

Farahilda Fri 30-Oct-20 09:43:52

To me, what you describe is weaponising the kids.

He will have to pay CMS, and anything above that is by negotiation. Using threats of 'what the kids will think' is wrong.

Pointing out what the DC need right now and how best to arrange child support to achieve that is totally different from chucking in comments about 'how the kids will feel when they are older'.

Themostwonderfultimeoftheyear Fri 30-Oct-20 09:52:55

Unfortunately if he is already changing his story about the decision to be a SAHP then I can't see him giving you anything more than you are entitled to. As others have said clear your half out of the joint accounts now.

Themostwonderfultimeoftheyear Fri 30-Oct-20 09:54:19

Have the DC agreed to the week on and week off arrangement? I had it as a child and hated it. They may prefer to live with one parent and have occasional overnights with the other. If you are the resident parent he will have to pay you CMS.

foxyroxyyy Fri 30-Oct-20 10:08:20

Shit. You're fucked.

You probably have to change your plan and get a job or go on UC. He won't change his mind and you don't have a leg to stand on thanks

10questions Fri 30-Oct-20 10:13:24

Have you discussed child maintenance? He might not have to pay if it’s 50:50. It depends. Also the whole thing will depend partly on goodwill which it doesn’t sound like he has much of.

Gettingthereslowly2020 Fri 30-Oct-20 10:14:43

If you haven't already, get a job, any job at all, even if it is only a few hours a week. You'll be in a better position to get more hours or a better paid job when you're already in employment, plus you'll be able to provide an employment reference. You need to find a way of supporting yourself financially instead of relying on a man. Like others have said, get your half of the savings out of the joint account and open an account in your own name.

Giningit Fri 30-Oct-20 10:25:58

Forget about appealing to his better nature, you need to start planning for yours and your kids future. Take your half out of the joint? savings and put it elsewhere. Open a separate current account for future bills.
He’ll have to pay child maintenance when you separate, so there will be some income from that.

Have you started looking for a job or retraining?Not sure when you’ll be able to claim UC, assuming that you’re still living together?

I’d put the house on the market and take half the equity, unless you can buy him out and carry on paying the mortgage. Getting a mortgage without having a job obviously won’t be possible.

How old are the kids? Over 13yo I think they’re able to have a say about when or when they see their parents. You need to be the Primary carer and the one week on, one week off arrangement is incredibly disruptive for children.

Good luck OP

AnneLovesGilbert Fri 30-Oct-20 10:27:44

It was OP’s decision as much her ex’s to have children and give up work without being married. This is what happens when the arrangement ends. The DC won’t want to know the gory details. They’re already going through their family changing as their parents split up, the last thing they need is emotional blackmail setting them against one of them.

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