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Walking away with nothing

(47 Posts)
Lizzle10 Thu 18-Jun-20 10:22:27

After almost 30 years of marriage I left my husband , we have grown up children a DS who has just had his first child and is happily settling into family life and a DD who still lives at home with her father in our family home . I moved away to a different part of the country and have moved on with my life met a new partner - my husband has not . It’s been very hard I still love my husband not in a romantic way but we had 30 years together - not all the best but that’s life. I’ve struggled with my feelings even though I love my new partner dearly and he is everything you could want- kind caring thoughtful , the things my husband lacked I guess. My new partner wants us to get married in part so that I can be secure in the future and his house can pass to me when he dies with no issues, he’s made provisions for me to live there the rest of my days but getting married will make it easier especially as he has children who feel their inheritance is their right ! Not that I have any intention of cutting them out of the money but i do worry what will happen to me in the future as we don’t have much money and I could sell the house and move somewhere more manageable . I digress obviously I must divorce which will be a blow to my husband as I’m sure he thinks one day I will return home but my problem is the house . There is still a mortgage which won’t finish until my husband is in his early 70s about 6 years away so he has to still work hard to pay it . My daughter is still at home and it is their home which I would never want to take that away from them so there’s no way I would make him sell it to give me my half and I think he will turn nasty when divorce is mentioned so he’s not going to play nice . I just feel I should walk away sign the house over to him and just make a clean break . Am I being stupid ?

jaylucy Thu 18-Jun-20 10:35:23

No, not at all.
You really need to get some legal advice before anything else.
Sadly, your husband may be under the misapprehension that you will return, but really, that is not your problem.
The fact that you not only left him, but also moved away should have given him a bit of a hint, but I would guess that we all might hope that someone will change their mind even though, at heart you know it isn't possible.
If money for you and your new partner is tight, would it be possible for you to either downsize or move somewhere a bit cheaper? That way, the property can be put in both your names and you can maybe give an amount to his family now, with the provision that your house is yours for your lifetime and then sold after you have gone and the proceeds divided between his family and maybe your daughter?

OceanMama Thu 18-Jun-20 10:38:31

Two things here. First, I would put aside material considerations when it comes to deciding whether to marry the new man. Do you want to marry him? Would you still marry him if he had no assets or wasn't well off? I think you need to be able to answer yes to both of those to be fair to you both.

Second, the court might order the house sold if you divorce, and you will need to somehow pay your own legal fees. As you need to protect yourself too, I wouldn't sign the house over. Would it be an option for your husband and yourself to sell the house, divide any money that comes from it equally, and for your husband and daughter to downsize to something they can better afford? That might even be freeing to your husband and reduce the need for him to work by many years.

EllanVannin Thu 18-Jun-20 10:38:42

Personally I think you should speak with a solicitor before you make a move.

Nonogran Thu 18-Jun-20 10:43:41

Good morning L10, you're in a bit of a pickle, torn between emotional worries & concerns & the practical side of things.
I think you need to see a solicitor soon to help you untangle the practical side of your life & property.
My initial thoughts were that it might be unwise to burn your boats too soon regarding your right to your matrimonial home. Take advice about what can be done to ensure you retain some rights over it in the event of sale or death of your ex. Why should you give all that up after so many years together?
Furthermore, re-marriage has so many legal ramifications I would be careful of that commitment too! If yr new husband promises to take care of you on his demise, how do you know his children won't be aggrieved that their "step mother" gets their hoped for inheritance & make life very difficult for you, legally & in general? I would be very very careful which is why legally you need to know your best options.
After so many years with your ex it's only natural that you still care for him. After all he is the father of your children & to be respected for that. However, if your emotional tie to him is getting in the way of your new relationship, perhaps marriage, however lovely that seems, is not the way to go.
Think of your future when perhaps you are not so mobile or become ill. Do not give up what you are entitled to for the sake of a clean break. Whilst you're still married you have rights & if your ex died tomorrow, those rights potentially could kick in. Take legal advice!

Purplepixie Thu 18-Jun-20 10:46:33

Where is there love mentioned in this? You keep saying about material things. I walked away after 20 years with nothing and I rented a place on my own. Life was bliss and no fella to worry about or consider. Do you really want to marry this new bloke? If you answer yes then a divorce from your husband would not be a question. He will have to sell the family home and your family will have to find another place. If they are not small children then they should be looking for a place of their own anyway. It’s your happiness that should matter more than calculating what you will get IF your next husband dies before you. Sorry if I sound a bit harsh.

Lizzle10 Thu 18-Jun-20 11:04:47

Purple pixie I’m not calculating what I would get if me next husband died first my question is am I silly walking away from my current marriage with nothing . My current partner has made provisions in his will for me to be allowed to stay in the house until I die or decide to leave so marrying him makes no odds as he has no other assets only the tumble down old house we live in. I just feel at odds with myself making my ex sell the house he has worked hard for for 30 years.

OceanMama Thu 18-Jun-20 11:14:39

More directly then, I don't think you should walk away without your fair share of the marriage assets. You need to provide for your own future and take care of yourself as well. How well set are you for retirement if you don't take your fair share? How to expect to bridge any gap walking away with nothing leaves? Why do you want to do that anyway? Do you feel guilty and this is one way you feel you can feel better about it?

I probably wouldn't trust the provision to live in the house. What if something comes up and your new partner has to sell the home? Then you have nothing.

I get that you might feel bad if your husband has to sell and uproot himself but that is sometimes what happens in divorce.

I agree with the others you should discuss with a solicitor.

Lizzle10 Thu 18-Jun-20 11:30:16

OceanMama my husband was not an easy man and his behaviour can be volatile so I don’t want the stress and upset to everyone of what this will cause . I guess walking away with nothing is the easiest option but obviously not necessarily the right option as I have nothing financially or materially to cal my own . I think you’ve hit the nail on the head - guilt and yes maybe I feel I need to make amends for waking away. I have spoken to a solicitor who is in favour of me getting everything I’m entitled to but obviously it’s my decision . Thank you

OceanMama Thu 18-Jun-20 11:32:51

Yes, it is your decision. I'm glad you've spoken to a solicitor.

Lizzle10 Fri 19-Jun-20 09:05:57

Thank you for your comments I have spoke To a solicitor but they obviously advise the correct legal way I guess I was just asking to get a layman’s moral opinion . Although there’s a fair amount of equity in the property once the mortgage is payed off it’s not a huge house and it located in an extremely expensive area so there would not be enough to buy something else outright for him let alone split it and buy something. He’s too old to get a mortgage. So it’s a difficult situation

NotSpaghetti Fri 19-Jun-20 09:59:49

Just wondering how old the daughter is? The one living with her father.

If an adult, what does she contribute to the home?

I'm wondering this because a friend was "bought out" of their home by the daughter. The other parent and daughter stayed in the home and my friend got a pay out. The home was valued by 3 estate agents and my friend was happy with the lowest valuation (to keep the peace I feel).

It freed them to move on so I saw it as a bargain though less than probably the true value.

Sometimes you have to do things that feel ok even if not the most fair on the surface of it.

If you love your new partner you maybe should be thinking of separating your life from your old one a bit more anyway. I wonder how much this is your concern for your ex husband and how much it is concern for yourself and "not rocking the boat"?

Shandy3 Fri 19-Jun-20 10:04:41

Maybe if you go for a settlement it doesn't have to be half? That way you acknowledge his contribution during the time he's paid for the house alone. Then you get some financial settlement but in a way that shows you have looked at it fairly. Remember it's your legal case to pursue so you can ask for any percentage you like, you are paying for the legal support so you are allowed to tell them what you want.
Good luck to you all.

MRGUDER Fri 19-Jun-20 10:08:02

Lizzle10 - what would your ex-husband have done if the boot was on the other foot? Would he walk away with nothing?

I do think in this situation you have to put yourself first and do what is best for you.

Saggi Fri 19-Jun-20 10:08:31

If you walk away with nothing from your thirty year marriage I think you’d be a fool. Just consider this new relationship might not work..... then what! See a solicitor!

Grannygrumps1 Fri 19-Jun-20 10:10:53

You are the one that holds all the cards. You should have what is rightfully yours. Why should he have it all. Presumably your DD is an adult and should be standing on her own two feet.
The house should be sold. If your DD wants to stay with her dad then she can contribute to their new home.
Sorry if this sounds harsh.

jenpax Fri 19-Jun-20 10:37:19

I would add that if there is a joint mortgage on the house your mortgage company is likely to object to you being removed from the mortgage so that if you just walked away you would still be liable for the mortgage and if your ex was unable to pay for any reason the mortgage provider would come to you for the money!
Even leaving the above aside I would not just give him the house as I presume you have also worked hard for the home you both lived in, I would think that you should try financial mediation to see if an agreement can be reached to allow either a sale or for your daughter to buy out your share as has been suggested.

Juicylucy Fri 19-Jun-20 10:42:21

Red flag soon as I read your post. I did exactly what your suggesting doing back in the 90s, I’ve regretted it ever since. My divorce lawyer made me sign something to say she had advised me against signing house over to my ex and that it was solely my decision. I also did it for an easy life as it was me that left and he was hurt, but in hindsight I should have listened to others. I honestly would advise against doing it.Things change, life changes why shouldn’t you be entitled to your share. Your DD is an adult she will move out starting her own life one day.
Please seek legal advice.

Hellsbelles Fri 19-Jun-20 10:42:38

You haven't said how long ago you left your husband/home ?
I feel this is relevant as your ex hope you may return could be because this is fairly new.
Also my second point is, although you have a new partner who is keen to marry / include you in inheritance etc could I suggest you are being rushed into making an important decision on you future ?
There is a situation called lovebombing , look it up and spend some time thinking of if this is happening to you. Tread carefully.

Almaz65 Fri 19-Jun-20 10:56:41

Don't give up on your share of the house, keep it so that eventually you will be entitled to it, maybe signing it over to your children is an option. You can get a divorce on the grounds of retrievable breakdown, and you can do it yourself. It's not that difficult. I was in a similar situation to this, and he kept everything apart from my share of the property. I came out of it with a lot less than him but it was reasonably amicable and I had enough to start again. I prefer to stay single now. You will have to take time to decide, good luck.

Almaz65 Fri 19-Jun-20 10:57:53

Should be irritrievable

Aepgirl Fri 19-Jun-20 11:40:11

I think the important person here is your daughter. She will be the one suffering from the break-up of your marriage through no fault of her own, and you are now considering that she should lose her home. Do you gave contact with her?

Gma29 Fri 19-Jun-20 12:07:55

You mention your ex’s volatility, but this sort of behaviour is a type of bullying to get his own way. I understand you also want to be fair, but to walk away with nothing seems unwise. You don’t say how old you are, but I’m guessing after 30 years of marriage you are heading to retirement. Some provision for your retirement etc seems only fair too.

icanhandthemback Fri 19-Jun-20 12:31:43

I wouldn't walk away with nothing. If you don't want your share of the house then maybe sort something out that leaves your children your share so that if your ex-husband happens to meet someone, they don't walk away with your share. It would have been better to sort out this at the time because you have both been left in a position where you are vulnerable. My mother's partner got a separation agreement which gave his ex a generous amount for the house. She agreed happily because she wanted to buy her own place. He kept the child, she kept the child benefit! She always assumed that he wouldn't meet anyone else and would be there if she ever decided she wanted him back. Then he met my mother who wanted him to get a divorce. He thought it was a formality but at that point she decided she wanted more of a share of the house because it was worth so much more after 15 years. She lied on all the divorce paperwork about what she had already received. Fortunately, he was able to get the paperwork from his solicitor so was able to quash her claims. As an honourable man, he was horrified that she should be disingenuous.
Is it possible you can approach your husband and suggest that you come to an agreement that he thinks is fair too before you involve solicitors. You could do it from the position that you are looking to protect himself too as legally you would be entitled to at least half of the house and possibly the whole of it if his life ended before yours.
My husband handed over his house to his ex-wife on the grounds of the children having a home to live in, he took on all the debt. The judge kept rejecting it but he insisted that was what he wanted because he felt guilty for walking away from the marriage so eventually it went through. His ex promptly sold the house, moved 250 miles away with his children and has drank the proceeds whilst wracking up debt left, right and centre. Generosity doesn't always work!

Flakesdayout Fri 19-Jun-20 12:31:45

Get legal advice. Keep your share of your matrimonial home - you never know if and when you may need some financial help. If you sign everything over to him, would your daughter be able to manage this home if your Husband were to pass away? Should your new partner predecease you - you may have to consider that his children may take a different view on things to him which could result in a messy Probate . You left your husband for a reason so do not feel bad enough to let him have everything. You worked for your share too. It is difficult trying to think of everyone but sometimes you have to be strong for yourself.