My husband divorced his first wife 26 years ago after 10 years of marriage. My husband jointly owned two flats with his mother at that time. He and his wife were living in a flat owned by his mother. Following a court case my husband was awarded care and control of their two children. There has never been a financial settlement as we were advised at the time that unless his ex-wife pushed for one we should let things lie. His ex-wife continued to live in the rented flat (belonging to my mother in law) and has paid a small rent to my mother in law ever since. My husband didn't apply for maintenance for the children and they lived with us until they went to university. We have three children of our own.
The situation remains fraught as his ex-wife has continued to be angry and upset and sends abusive letters to my mother in law and makes constant demands with regards XXXXX XXXXX that needs to be done in the property, which she generally complies with.
We married 25 years ago and this lack of a settlement has been hanging over us for many years as we worry that at some point his ex-wife could return to court to get a settlement and we would need to sell our family home. There is also the issue of my husband's pension which presumably his ex-wife could make a claim on.
We're now at the point where we are considering giving her notice which may well provoke her into seeking a settlement.
We've no idea how best to proceed and whether we should take some action as my mother in law is very stressed and in some ways I think we probably need to seek a resolution now although my husband's ex-wife is likely to thwart anything we suggest.
Thanks for your response. Here is the additional information you asked for:
She hasn't remarried. My husband isn't financially supporting her. When they divorced his ex-wife had no assets in her own name. My husband's assets at that time would have been around £70,000, which constituted a half share in two flats owned jointly with his mother. His total assets would be our property which is worth around £550,000 and we have a £120,000 mortgage outstanding. He retired 7 years ago and is on a health service pension of £17,000 per year. His ex-wife is on benefits and doesn't work as far as I'm aware.
I hope that that helps.
Yes, we own the property jointly. We have no other assets apart from our car which is probably worth £3000. The two flats were sold many years ago and the proceeds put towards our own property. We still have one dependent child at home aged 16.
That's really helpful Mac as I was working on the somewhat catastrophic assumption that she could take half our property and we would have to sell up. I'm aware that there are no guarantees but I really appreciate your guidance.