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Separated but not divorced.

(24 Posts)
Howjado Mon 25-Sep-17 18:44:55

My husband and I have been separated for over 20 years. The house I live is my own and he rents. I have savings but he does not. I have made a will with our only child as sole beneficiary. I don't suppose he has made a will. However, we are still friends and meet up occasionally at family do's. He has no new partner and lives alone. The other day, after spending some time with him, I began to think about who will be liable for his care costs, if he should need it. Will it be me? Any Grans out there been in a similar situation?

Iam64 Mon 25-Sep-17 19:32:47

I'd take some legal advice on this one Howjado. I'd be just a bit anxious in your situation because legally, you're his next of kin. I don't know whether you'd be liable but I'd want to be sure.

kittylester Mon 25-Sep-17 19:43:55

I agree that you should get advice but AgeUk may be able to help. I suspect if the house is only in your name that they would have no call on you at all.

M0nica Mon 25-Sep-17 19:57:40

You have been separated for 20 years. Social Services would probably try the emotional blackmail tactic to see if they can get you to pay but I cannot see that you could be made to pay towards his care, but like everybody else, my advice would be to speak to a suitably qualified solicitor.

midgey Mon 25-Sep-17 20:57:39

My parents in law separated but never divorced, when my mil died her house proceeds were taken to cover Pils home costs. I think this could have been sorted by legal separation.

Nannarose Mon 25-Sep-17 22:06:51

I'd definitely get legal advice - both of you. Sounds as if you get on fairly well, so I'd suggest that you get the advice, then suggest to him that he does the same and you arrive at an agreement.
There may be issues around pensions (a friend of mine remained married, by mutual agreement for that reason). Sensible to think about it now.

Serkeen Wed 27-Sep-17 11:37:05

I guess if you would not want that responsibility then divorce might be best for you but you really need PROFFESSIONAL advice on this matter smile

MawBroon Wed 27-Sep-17 12:25:51

Good advice Serkeen, which is why I am surprised you do not plan to do the same
Wed 20-Sep-17 15:10:23
No divorce lawyer needed you can now obtain a divorce online, I won't be going there unless my husband asks for a divorce as I will never marry again
No argument about the property my husband is not going to ask for any part of it It was I that paid every mortgage payment

Eglantine21 Wed 27-Sep-17 13:42:06

Unless you had a legal financial settlement when you separated you can be liable for all sorts of things and he can have a claim on your financial assets. I know this because a friend in a similar position has suddenly found out her long separated husband is entitled to part of her pension!

seemercloud Thu 28-Sep-17 10:21:14

Thank you for posting this. I'm in the same situation (except 6 years separated) and have been meaning to ask gransnetters for advice myself. The other 'fly in the ointment' is what happens to our pensions when one dies. In our case, it passes to the other if you're married but what if you're separated? (In my case there's a new partner who may have a 'call' on it). It sounds mercenary but neither of us would like to deny any extra being put in the inheritance pot for our 3 children and we both worked hard to get the pension.

peaches50 Thu 28-Sep-17 10:33:17

I was in the same position, when husband went into care and we were apart for 20 years they came for me although I never asked for maintenance for me or my children. We divorced and they desisted. Now I find that if my new husband dies his estranged children have a claim to his estate and everything I have should I die before him, despite wills to the contrary leaving all to my children who have been like his own. We have a solicitor sorting out the mess as we have assets in sole names also. PLEASE go to a solicitor; despite how amicable now as someone in a better financial position alas people and circumstances change and would hate to think of you having to deal with these issues like I am.

theresacoo Thu 28-Sep-17 10:46:54

Get advice.
Is he not entitled to half your house anyway?

seadragon Thu 28-Sep-17 11:35:58

Some solicitors offer free initial advice. Your local Citizens Advice Bureau might be a good place to start. They should at least have a list of solicitors who do this. Also worth bearing in mind is that the laws ( e.g. of inheritance) can be different for each country within the UK.

vampirequeen Thu 28-Sep-17 11:42:03

You need to see a solicitor to legally separate your finances.

sarahellenwhitney Thu 28-Sep-17 12:46:19

Citizens Advice is free and confidential so you can take any paper work with you in confidence. Make an appointment. Chatting over the phone with an adviser is not the same.
Is there a specific reason for not divorcing ?
You are his next of kin ? Are both of you British citizens?
Social Services COULD involve you in providing for your husbands social care should the need arise while you are still by law tied to him.
They rarely leave a stone unturned.

JanaNana Thu 28-Sep-17 13:01:52

I am guessing as you are still legally married even though separated there will be certain legal rights here. I would make an appointment with the CAB as they are very up to date on all of these things. Just as a matter of interest on another thread a few weeks ago about wills and who is entitled...the 1975 Inheritance Act in England allows ex spouses who have never remarried to make a claim on the will of their ex partner if their financial situation is deemed to be insufficient. This act also allows adult children who feel deliberately excluded from a parents will to challenge it. I found all of this out in a local newspaper article when I was on holiday in a different area of the country last month. I was quite shocked/surprised by this info and googled it ....even though it was brought in in 1975 it stated it was still in effect now. I would sort this out as soon as you can.

Skweek1 Thu 28-Sep-17 14:13:29

I agree that you need to agree a legal separation. I believe that if you do this, your child becomes his NOK rather than you.

blue60 Thu 28-Sep-17 16:42:00

With regard to pensions (I am a retired administrator from an occupational pension scheme), it all depends on the rules of your particular pensionscheme. There may be certain stipulations e.g. being financially dependent upon and living with you at the same address in the event of your death.

Pensions rules on divorce, however, are complex and it is up to the courts to decide who gets what and how much.

The pension scheme would then refer the court's instruction to an actuary who will be able to calculate the pension and/or lump sum according to numerous market factors and life expectancy.

HannahLoisLuke Thu 28-Sep-17 16:53:47

This rings a bell with me too.
My ex and I have been separated for seven years. Neither of us has any assets, we both live on our respective pensions and both live in rented properties. However I have some very small savings, whilst he has many debts from his struggling business.
I want to leave what small stuff I have to our three grownup children and although I don't think he would challenge it, could his creditors take it?

Caramac Thu 28-Sep-17 17:31:49

I was in this situation. We were both happy for a DIY divorce but he didn't want to pay towards the costs. Eventually, as fees were going to increase we agreed I would sort it all out, pay fees upfront and he would pay his half of £200 in four monthly instalments. So I did everything and he never paid a penny the mean bugger.
You can download all the necessary forms for free and divorce him without a solicitor. I think that might be in your best interests.

Howjado Sun 19-Nov-17 12:42:21

Thanks for all your advice and comments. I have been to CAB who gave me a list of solicitors who give a free half hour consultation. This proved to be well out of date! Eventually did find a suitable solicitor but they have already moved my intitial appointment twice. I have made notes so I can make the best use of my 30 minutes. Hopefully I will progress it’s this matter next week.

Howjado Mon 23-Apr-18 10:45:15

I eventually got to see a solicitor for my free half hour. I explained my situation and in truth she did not know for sure if the council could come to me to pay for my husband care after being separated for over twenty years. She then went on to explain the divorce procedure and cost etc. She did make the point that Eglantine 21 made about legal financial settlement. This is an extra to a divorce and without it, a divorced partner can come back years later for money they believe they are entitled to.

GrandmaMoira Mon 23-Apr-18 11:05:14

I think it is always best to get divorced after separation. It surprises me to find people who have been separated for years but not divorced, sometimes having new partners as well. It's much better to sort out the finances and legalities before any possibility of issues around care costs and inheritance.

Notagranyet12 Sun 29-Apr-18 14:53:00

As far I'm aware, Care costs are paid for (or not) by the person that needs them. Even if you are a happily married couple, you cannot be forced to pay for your spouse's care. The fact that you are separated doesn't impact one way or the other. He would be liable for his care whether married to you or not. It also means children are not liable to pay for their parent's care even if they've got the money. You can't be forced to pay for anyone's care, only your own. My mum has just gone into care so I've been researching it.