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Am I wrong to be slighty appalled at DIL

(94 Posts)
bytheway Sat 13-May-17 16:35:06

My DIL was having a rant today.

About 10 years ago her parents divorced and her mother got the house, my DIL say that it was on the condition that it was left to herself and her brother. Though (as far as she is aware) nothing was put in writing to this effect and i don't even know if its true.

Her mother has since remarried (about 3 years ago) and since then (apparently) she and new husband are spending a lot of money on things like holidays (DIL grandmother lives in NZ and her mother and new husband spend 4 weeks there ever year), meals out, generous gifts etc...

However, this has resulted in her mother and new hubby selling the house to move first, to a 3 bed flat, then that was sold to move to a 2 bed flat. (DIL says in order to release money to pay their debts)

DIL thinks its disgusting and wrong that her inheritance is going down the drain. She does not like her step-father and i think she blames him for this situation.

However, I am finding it difficult to sympathise as I believe it is up to her mother to so as she wishes with her property, i also believe that if her step-father is making her mother happy then it is not for DIL to interfere. Am i wrong? Should i show more sympathy? What do you all think?

Norah Sat 13-May-17 16:42:57

You are correct, your DIL is a greedy unkind DD.

Ana Sat 13-May-17 16:44:35

If there was nothing in the divorce agreement stipulating that the house be left to the children then your DIL is just being bitter.

Is her father still around? Perhaps she should ask him about it.

DanniRae Sat 13-May-17 16:45:04

What a nerve your DIL has. Her mum sounds like she is having the time of her life and good for her!! You'd think that her daughter would be very happy for her mum. So yes you are wrong to be slightly should be completely APPALLED

Anya Sat 13-May-17 16:46:51

Never trust anybody when it comes to inheritance. Everything should be put in writing.

janeainsworth Sat 13-May-17 16:54:37

bytheway your DiL is obviously unhappy & perhaps you should be glad that she has confided in you, even if it was in the form of a rant.
I'd be worried if I could see my mother having to sell her property to service debts.

ninathenana Sat 13-May-17 16:55:18

Wise words Anya sadly some will still try to contest.

Ana Sat 13-May-17 17:02:02

But it doesn't sound as though anyone has died, if the girl's father is still alive she should take the matter up with him. He will know what was agreed in the divorce.

M0nica Sat 13-May-17 17:14:59

I am in sympathy with te DiL. If she and her brother were told that her mother got the house on the condition it was left to the children, then she has reason to feel aggrieved. The solicitors who handled the divorce or her father were remiss either for telling the children this when they did not intend to sort it out legally in the financial settlement, that or the solicitor was incompetent.

If her mother just got the house as part of the divorce settlement and there was never any intention to leave it to the children, then no, she cannot complain.

However,I think she has reason to be concerned that her step-father is a spend thrift who is enjoying the life of Riley on his wife's money. How long will he stay when they have run through all the money and what will happen to her mother then? Possibly homeless with a raft of debts to repay.

Peep Sat 13-May-17 17:32:15

I wa just about to write the same thing as MOnica. I would be very concerned who was going to be responsible for Mother after she's dumped and left penniless. Also I'm just going through a divorce and fully expect that our adult children will be well taken care of inheritance wise, I'm not bothered about having a good time but want to know they will. So yes, I think you are wrong not to have some sympathy for your DIL.

vampirequeen Sat 13-May-17 18:19:29

It all depends if the condition was put in writing. If it was just an understanding then tbh it's up to the mother. It's her house, her money and her life. Should she live like a nun just so she can leave a substantial inheritance to her children or live her life to the full.

On the other hand, if it was put in writing then she needs to check the legal position. That said surely the house would have been given to the children with a proviso that their mother could live there until her death.

Norah Sat 13-May-17 18:42:07

DIL thought she knew the conditions of the divorce settlement but was wrong to the wording?

I like to spend now, last checque cashed and my account empty. My reasonable approach may be shared by DIL's mum regarding mum's money.

Ana Sat 13-May-17 18:50:25

I'll ask the OP again - is DIL's father still around? If so, he's the one to ask, if not, DIL's mum has to be confronted by her daughter.

I'd stay out of it if I were you - all these assumptions young people make when their parents divorce are not always based on fact and it could damage your relationship if you are anything other than neutral on the subject.

M0nica Sat 13-May-17 19:21:12

If something is said to children, even grown-up children, by their parents, then the children should be able to trust that their parents will do what they say. To tell your children you will do something and then just change your mind and do something else without explicitly explaining in advance is a breach of what should be the closest and most trustworthy of relationships - that of a parent with their child.

paddyann Sat 13-May-17 19:30:05

if the house was promised then the mother should be keeping that promise,her children should certainly come before her new man when her ex ,her childrens father was co owner of the house and stipulated it should go to the children .

Ana Sat 13-May-17 19:33:59

We don't know that paddyann.

How many more times do I have to ask what the divorce settlement said and why the DIL isn't asking her dad about this. Or indeed her mother, rather than just moaning at her MIL...GAH!

Luckygirl Sat 13-May-17 19:37:30

Oh dear - family inheritances - they can cause so much anguish, especially in a divorce situation. If her Mum got the house when the divorce happened and it truly was on the condition that it would one day be shared between her and her brother then I can see why she feels bad about it. Emotions can be torn in two for a child of divorced parents and she clearly feels that her Dad's wishes have not be honoured.

Clearly the divorce lawyer at the time was remiss in not making sure that this was made clear.

Her feelings about what is happening are obviously coloured by her poor relationship with her stepfather too.

I do jot think you should be "appalled" - you cannot get inside her head and her emotions and she does have a point.

Luckygirl Sat 13-May-17 19:38:04


rosesarered Sat 13-May-17 19:41:29

I agree, and it's totally up to the DIL to sort this one out, with her brother and parents.Sounds as if there was nothing in writing about the house.

bytheway Sat 13-May-17 19:44:27

Hi, just to answer a question, yes, her father is still around. He left DIL's mother for the mothers best friend.

Not that that is relevant but i do think guilt may at least have been part of the reason her mother got the house....i'm guessing here.

Tbh, I get the impression that maybe she 'thinks' or has assumed or been told that she will inherit from her parents and she can see that amount whittling away.

Frankly, i don't intend to get involved and i think she's blowing off steam over his dislike of her step-father.

I have met the parent-in-law, (bother her mother and step-father....and her father and step-mother) on a few occasions (though never both sets together) and they seem perfectly intelligent people so I honestly don't think the mother is being 'taken in' by the her husband.

paddyann Sat 13-May-17 19:47:26

when we made our latest wills ,mine says the house is my husbands for life but if he remarries my share of all we have should go to our children ,OH in total agreement.WE worked for it all together and I dont want my kids losing out to some new wife .Its in B/W and its staying that way ,so anyone who thinks they can do what this girls stepfather is doing,spending all his new partners cash,is in for a shock...its not going to happen.

Norah Sat 13-May-17 19:48:48

Good, you are staying out of it. Inheritance really is nothing anyway.

Nobody should expect an inheritance, and I think to expect is piggy.

Norah Sat 13-May-17 19:53:31

paddyann, of course remaining spouse lives in the house for life, leaves their half to whom they wish.

But divorce is different.

M0nica Sat 13-May-17 21:05:11

You do not have to be 'taken in' by someone who is reckless with money. There may be a mutual love affair, and the one who is not reckless fails to realise there is a problem or thinks they can control it.

But nothing breaks marriages up faster than money being plentiful and then running out. The financially irresponsible tend to cut and run, leaving their partner to deal with the wreckage.

Some people need to have a rant when something in their life seems to be going badly wrong. Bytheway, you should be happy that when your DiL needs a rant, she feels you are a safe pair of ears. I doubt she expects you to do anything, just make soothing noises and make tea.

DD is a ranter. When anything goes badly wrong, or even, not so badly wrong, she rings me up and rants. I make myself comfortable in a chair, phone to ear. IF DH is in he makes a cup of tea and I let her rip off for so long, 10 minutes to half an hour, depending on the problem and then I gently move the conversation on. she slowlycalms down and finally rings off to make herself a cup of tea. And that is the end of the subject

Jalima1108 Sat 13-May-17 22:49:48

Stay out of it apart from advising DIL to take it up with her father if she is upset. I am not surprised that she may be upset but don't take sides.
I do know someone else that this happened to, the daughter was more in despair that her mother and new husband were getting into huge debt. In the end there was a divorce, debt and mother had to go and live with her DD and family - not an ideal situation for any of them.