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Can the house be sold from under us?!
33

Scruffybear · 02/07/2022 13:43

Hi all reposting here as lovely mn’ers on separation thread suggested to…..
I’m embarrassingly completely lacking in financial and divorce related savvy and need help. Allegation was made against my husband by one of our children and ss became involved. Children are adopted and recognised as having severe trauma and SEN. Husband is using situation to walk away having wanted to I think for many years but didn’t want to be the bad guy. Now he has an excuse. He has insisted house needs to go on the market as no other option. Keeps saying this in front of kids. I had hoped for sake of kids we would find a way to avoid this massive stress for them but I think he feels if he can’t live here no one can. Currently all living together but he is not parenting, also a cause of stress, kids are confused.

i have debt of more than £10k, I doubt there will be more than £100k equity in the house which leaves us with £50k each. I only have a small part time job so couldn’t take over the mortgage as I guess I wouldn’t be allowed even if family helped with payments. Both kids are SEN meaning lots of therapy needed during the week and constant relentless supervision. So I work at the weekend which is now impossible as I can’t leave kids with him and need others to babysit which isn’t easy for kids like mine, plus how would I pay them!? Currently forced into taking unpaid leave.
For added complexity husband has his own business which I am also a director of, so my salary (basically all spent on repaying debt and kids needs) comes from that source.

it feels like such an impossible mess, even my phone is a company phone. I have a legal line to speak to but they only EVER call me back when I have the kids as they won’t specify a time and I’ve as yet been unable to chat it all through.

can anyone help with experience of a similar situation. Husband keeps saying that involving lawyers will ‘use all our money’ and I’ve no desire to be acrimonious but I would do whatever I could to avoid uprooting the kids. So I know I need them involved but at the moment it’s taking all my time and energy to keep things stable for the children and the stress is just piling up as I know there must be loads i need to be doing. Please help if you can

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AnotherEmma · 02/07/2022 13:58

It sounds as if you and your husband have separate finances, since you refer to "my" debt and not "ours"? Is your part time weekend job for his company or a different one? Do you have any other source of income - do you get DLA for the children for example? Can you not buy yourself a basic phone which is yours and not through the company?

What about his income? Do you have full access to the money you need? And does he have other assets - savings, pension? As equity in the house is not the only thing to consider.

A few things you've mentioned have made me wonder whether he might be financially controlling and possibly controlling in other ways?

You most definitely need legal advice and I'm wondering whether you might benefit from contacting Women's Aid, too, if there is financial abuse.

Good sources of information and advice are Advicenow (detailed online guides about divorce), Rights of Women and Child Law Advice (websites and helplines).

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bellac11 · 02/07/2022 14:01

What sort of allegation was made, sexual or physical abuse?

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Scruffybear · 02/07/2022 14:11

Hi, thanks for those suggestions, so helpful.
he pays me a salary as a director of his company, I believe he will have to continue to do so for the moment but who knows.
my part time job which I am struggling to attend is the only income that comes to me from elsewhere, my freelance work is also my job for another company but is invoiced through our company and hours are minimal of late anyway. I can’t offer up many freelance hours as I spend almost a full day every week attending therapy with one child and the other is due to start similar in September. They also need full supervision after school. if it weren’t for this I could at least seek a school hours job all week but no hope at the moment sadly with so many appointments to cover. Clearly need to engage my own solicitor as of Monday.

we don’t have a joint account but a credit card I use for groceries etc, so I still have this but he can see all purchases.

we only have about £12k of savings still in the company as a directors loan

we both have pensions through the company

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Spaghag · 02/07/2022 14:11

Have SS closed the case? I'm a little surprised they are happy for everyone to carry on living together if not.

Really sorry you are going through this, I'm sure someone will be along soon with more knowledge on the financial/legal side.

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AnotherEmma · 02/07/2022 14:12

Do you get DLA for the kids? If not you should start a claim ASAP ie call on Monday morning.

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bellac11 · 02/07/2022 14:16

Spaghag · 02/07/2022 14:11

Have SS closed the case? I'm a little surprised they are happy for everyone to carry on living together if not.

Really sorry you are going through this, I'm sure someone will be along soon with more knowledge on the financial/legal side.

Why are you surprised SSD might have closed the case and everyone is ok to live together when OP hasnt even said what the allegation was, what the outcome was, what the safety plan is and what the working agreement is

Which I why I asked what the allegation was about, if there is scope for the father to supervise the children safely, then that should be worked to, because to have the sole supervision of the children is a huge stressor amongst all the other things

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HinchcliffeandMurgatroyd · 02/07/2022 14:40

Have meshed orders been mentioned? If you are going to have primary residence of more than one high-needs child, then their need for stable housing will be paramount.

What is your profession/skill? Could you find more freelance or WFH work?

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HinchcliffeandMurgatroyd · 02/07/2022 14:40

“Mesher”, not meshed.

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Scruffybear · 03/07/2022 00:56

A one off incident of physical abuse, which whilst I think a row got out of hand, youngest SEN child has very violent outbursts and kicks and hits and scratches etc so in the altercation our youngest felt that dad actually hurt them. I wasn’t at home at the time, but child is also clear that they wanted dad ‘told off… they are now distraught that this situation is the catalyst for breaking up the family. Potentially causing them massive trauma on top of that they already have through adoption. Hence my feeling that he wants out of the family and marriage anyway and now has a reason: ‘ social services handling of situation’, he shows no interest in putting the children first at this point. Or support me. Simply refusing to parent. Social services have asked him to agree to courses but he has refused saying there is no point, he is leaving the family!

DLA is pending, all forms have been sent, waiting to hear.

I may be able to find a little more freelance work, I flippin hope so, but not in the midst of all the current chaos as school hours are entirely meetings and calls and form filling (with the odd bit of weeping!)

ss finishing their report but I don’t believe they have any way of making him leave the house do they? He is being especially stubborn about this, even through I believe that what is happening now is far worse than any one off incident, he is here but cold towards kids, there has been shouting at me in front of the children, he cancelled a U.K. holiday for in just a few weeks time making this known to kids (I have reinstated) and even changed Netflix password so no access for them. Basically has been a complete arse and even went nuts at me because his mum called him and bawled him out, he was calling me more than 20 times during a zoom call absolutely livid.

will Google mesher…never heard of it…

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Scruffybear · 03/07/2022 01:04

Ah, now I see that the staying in house till age 18 is the mesher order route. This is what I hoped for but free legal line today told me it could be unlikely due to my husband not being able to move on with his money tied up in the property…’imperfect solution’ in eyes of the court…
Im so mad tho, we 3 didn’t want any of this and it seems so unfair that he could be able to walk away, ditch the kids (not even sharing custody presumably so meaning I would have NO breaks) and force us all out of the only stable home they’ve ever had. Don’t know whether it would be right for me to fight for the house but at the moment that’s what I am desperate to hang on to!

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Nat6999 · 03/07/2022 03:13

Don't move out, try to keep the house whatever you do. Could you buy him out & then swap to an interest only mortgage until you are in a better place work wise? If he wants to walk away, let him but make sure you claim maintenance for the dc through CSA. Can you get all the financial information about the company, any salary he gets, any bank accounts he has, has he a pension? etc. Make sure you have all things like birth certificates, passports, driving licence in a safe place he can't get to them. If he leaves do you earn under the limit to get child benefit? Look on entitledto.co.uk to see if you can claim any Universal Credit, if your dc gets DLA you may be able to claim other things as well. Sit down & work out what you would have coming in, he would have to pay 16% of his gross income for CSA. Are there other directors so that he can't reduce his salary & get paid in dividends to reduce the amount he pays for the dc? You need a good family law solicitor to get you the best deal you can, they may be able to get you over 50% of the house in return for you not taking a chunk of his pension for instance. As there has been abuse you may qualify for Legal Aid to help with legal costs, it may also pay you to have a forensic accountant check out his finances as you can bet he is moving money where he thinks it won't be found.

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Bubblesandsqueak1 · 03/07/2022 04:51

If he is refusing to engage with ss they can apply to the court to remove his parental responsibility, they could also remove them from the home of they deem it unsafe while he is still there unfortunately they can not remove him from the home as he joint owns it I would find a solicitor asap

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PeanutButterOnToad · 03/07/2022 05:17

Unfortunately in the same way that nobody can force a parent to actually parent, nobody can force someone to keep paying the mortgage once they leave a home, meaning that eventually if the other person cannot keep up the payments alone you risk losing it and destroying your credit rating. for that reason it is better to try and come to a financial agreement before your DH just walks away. Your situation is horrible, there are no easy wins, and I know that lawyers are expensive but you do need to be properly advised through this to make sure you end up with the maximum you are likely to get.

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SunshinePie · 03/07/2022 05:27

I think you need to try some family therapy and sort this out.

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SunshinePie · 03/07/2022 05:28

How old are the kids?

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mumda · 03/07/2022 06:03

You're a director of his company?
Please take legal advice about the implications of this and do not sign away rights until you have proper legal advice.

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UserError012345 · 03/07/2022 06:23

Get some legal advice from a solicitor. You'll be better off than you think but they can properly advise.

Make it a priority asap.

I've just done the same and we're not married. Thought I'd be entitled to zip and I'm not.

You don't have to mediate with him as he's been abusive and you might be able to claim legal costs.

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Zeus44 · 03/07/2022 06:52

Spaghag · 02/07/2022 14:11

Have SS closed the case? I'm a little surprised they are happy for everyone to carry on living together if not.

Really sorry you are going through this, I'm sure someone will be along soon with more knowledge on the financial/legal side.

SS are the most useless bunch of idiots ever, as if they could do anything right for the sake of the children. It’s all tick box and go home attitudes, deal with it tomorrow hence why so many children are forgotten about or missed by them.

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tirednessbecomesme · 03/07/2022 07:12

I'm not surprised OP that he's wants out if your child has admitted to making a false allegation to SS

Mesher orders are rare to be honest - you'd have to show how you would pay the mortgage - he wouldn't be expected to pay that and his own housing.

Why are you so keen to keep the house? Wouldn't it be best for a clean break and sell it and move on

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Collaborate · 03/07/2022 07:15

Too little detail for any real advice to be offered but in the circumstances you describe given the children still need a home he’s highly unlikely to convince a judge to order the sale of the house. Speak to a solicitor.

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carefullycourageous · 03/07/2022 07:23

You must speak to a solicitor urgently on Monday.

Your husband sounds very shut down, but with all you describe hard to tell if it is the situation or himself at the base of it all. Adoptions break down quite often, it sounds very hard all round - have you managed to talk with him at all for the last year or so?

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Lulooo · 03/07/2022 08:36

tirednessbecomesme · 03/07/2022 07:12

I'm not surprised OP that he's wants out if your child has admitted to making a false allegation to SS

Mesher orders are rare to be honest - you'd have to show how you would pay the mortgage - he wouldn't be expected to pay that and his own housing.

Why are you so keen to keep the house? Wouldn't it be best for a clean break and sell it and move on

A child with severe trauma making an allegation of physical abuse is not reason for the parent to wash their hands of them. OP wasn’t even there and so it hasn’t been determined that it’s an allegation anyway. It could be true for all we know. Even if it was an exaggerated accusation, it’s possible the child was triggered through their previous trauma and misinterpreted the situation. Either way, a child is a child and can’t be blamed. The dad wanted out and used this as an excuse and that’s on him and no one else.

Just because a child is adopted and not a biological child it doesn’t give the father the right to walk out. He made a commitment when he took those kids on and knew what he was getting into, so how dare he now think ‘meh… I can’t be arsed with this, these kids are hard work, you do it alone’.

Would it be okay for a biological father to walk out on his children and ignore them whilst living in the same house? Why different standards for an adoptive parent.

OP, your husband sounds a complete arse. Definitely get legal advise and don’t let him give up parental responsibility. If nothing else, hold him for financial support for the kids until they’re 18. The coward of a husband/father bit off more than he could chew and now wants to leave these poor kids so they suffer a broken family a second time.

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Isaidnoalready · 03/07/2022 08:47

If he is continuing to be abusive you can call the police they have the authority to remove him

However you might just want to cut your losses and move to rental to calm the situation down are your finances seperate? Do you have your own bank account? Can you stop putting your freelance work through the company? Your finances sound really messy tbh

In the divorce he might be expected to take half the debts you might gain half or more than half of the assets because you have the children (he clearly doesn't want them) you need a solicitor ASAP

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Dancinginthedark01 · 03/07/2022 08:58

If you can’t financially pay for the house on your own, you need to start thinking about how it would work if you sold it/downsized/rented. I was in a very similar position to you (all the details) and my house was ordered for sale by a judge. I had to reframe it as moving on for a fresh start rather than ‘losing’ my home.

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