How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35052
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Clare is online now

I would like some advice on divorce. So, i have

This answer was rated:

I would like some advice on divorce. So, i have been married for 29 years and my husband has not paid for anything throughout this time. Initially, we were drowning in debt, we had a joint account, he was working and i was a student, we were both putting money into the account but I didn't wake up to the fact that he was taking money out all the time, frequently leaving nothing to pay the bills which resulted in reminders and demands for payments on everything from water (nearly got cut off at one point) to the mortgage not being paid months at a time.
I qualified in 1993 (social work) and began working immediately, I should just say that during my time at University I worked throughout my final year as well as every summer during the previous two years as well as receiving a grant,Ah the good old days. Anyway, started work, good salary coming in, still no money in account, I have never been a spender so I know it wasn't me. We had put our son in private school as the local schools in Keighley, well, let's just leave it there.
Anyway, it was left to me to ensure fees and all the sundries that come with private education were paid for. Needless to say, there were many embarrassing moments when I struggled to come up with the fees on time.
Anyway, I am going to cut this short, the top and bottom of it all is that my husband has never paid for anything, no bills, no groceries, nothing. What he has done, however, has supported his own family wholeheartedly.
My question is this, if bank statements can evidence that he has never paid for anything and in fact has accrued debts which i have on a number of occasions consolidated into the mortgage and continued to pay the mortgage myself, he then went on to accrue further debts, never offering me any explanation for where his earnings go, will i lose half my house to him given that his name is ***** ***** deeds?
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Where exactly do you think his money actually went?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I think his money has gone to his own family, that is his parents, his brother and their children.

i also think he is simply extremely bad at managing money and never thought to control where he spends it, he has basically lived like he is a millionaire, wherever he went he would be the one paying for everything, hence all the credit card debt, which is also where he has been borrowing on, and then he only pays back the minimum amount which means the interest just accrues.

I also have consolidated his debts onto the mortgage on two occasions, i think totalling about 20k. Prior to that in 2003, he got his brother married to a woman in England, (he is from Pakistan) and that money came form further borrowing on the mortgage which I continued to pay.

I have tell you that in 1999, I had my second child, a gorgeous little boy we named Zain. Zain was born with a life threatening heart condition and I was told he would not survive weeks. Zain lived until 2004.

When Zain was diagnosed at 10 days old with the heart condition, I knew I would not be returning to work any time soon. I tried to discuss with him how we would manage to pay the mortgage and bills and he just sat there, not uttering a word. This has been the response I have always got when asking him where his money goes or why he doesn't help with any bills.

I have always paid for everything our older son has ever needed, for example he went on a mental health placement to a hospital in Sri Lanka last year and then on a bit of a back packing trip around South East Asia, I funded that. My son completed an MSc in Psychology in 2013 which his dad told him he would pay for but then my son had to get a career progression loan as his dad did not come up with the funds. No surprise there.

Anyway, recently, I have been looking to move house as the mortgage on this house is nearly paid off after I inherited some money after my dad passed away in 2011.

This is where I have discovered that he has massive debts still, on credit cards, loans and an overdraft. One of the loans is for consolidating credit card debt a few years ago and the other is 12K he borrowed and invested in shares in First Bus where he works. he had not told me about this when he did it and I believe had he actually made any money on the shares he would have kept that to himself.

I could go on, there is much more. I am not sure where to stop.

Please tell me if you need to know more.

I shall respond tomorrow evening as I am at work during the day.

Do you think that he owns any property in Pakistan or anywhere else?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Clare,

No, I'm sure he doesn't have anything, I know it's hard to believe but I think he has just given it away to his brothers and their families. there's always been a reason they needed more cash than normal. The normal being that he sent them money for daily living expenses but then over and above this they would need money for medical fees if someone was poorly and needed hospital treatment, for example, in 2000 his father was diagnosed with cancer and sadly he passed away in December of that year.

His brothers initiated a relentless demand for money and given that we had a poorly child ourselves and I was not working it was a callous disregard for our situation. However, my husband did send money throughout that year and very large sums. He did not tell me but I did find a statement a couple of years ago. There were sums of money sent that amounted to more than he was earning on almost a monthly basis.

He put his brothers through college, their kids through school, paid for their weddings, which actually I have paid for directly because these were loans on my house.

To be fair, he knows his brothers have taken advantage of him.

His brothers are not the only direction in which he has been hemorrhaging cash, I know that he buys anything he wants, Imelda Marcos style.

I had not wanted to tell you however it is extremely relevant but when I was unable to work due to caring for Zain, i made a claim for benefits as a single parent( effectively I was) it helped keep a roof over my children's heads during the most horrendous period of my life.

Needless to say, I was prosecuted and now have a criminal conviction, and in my job my DBS is checked every three years so I have to deal with this on a regular basis, I cannot put it behind me. He has never said he is sorry for putting it all on me and not supporting me, this is one of the things that makes me so angry and upset.

How much is the property worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage - and how much did you pay of the mortgage and when.
What income do you each have?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

hi Clare,

The house is only worth around 130/140K, there is less than 10K left.

The mortgage has always been paid for by me, initially we had a joint account but in 1999, after I had Zain and i was trying to work out how to pay the bills if I didn't go back to work I separated my account from him and took on the bills myself. The account was £2,000 overdrawn at that time so I left him the overdraft.

Anyway, since then the bills and mortgage have been coming out of my earnings and and I guess prior to that also as he was just spending as he has always done.

my take home pay is around £2,300 pm and his is £1,200.

The bills and and mortgage amount to over £1,100 per month and then there is fuel and groceries on top., plus sundries.

Any repairs, any upgrades to the property are paid for by me. We had extensions done twice which were added to the mortgage which as I keep saying is still being paid for by me.

Any additional costs in relation to our son are also covered by me.

I guess, all in all, I have paid for this house several times over and still have a mortgage.

i am sorry - I thought you said that you had used an Inheritance to reduce the mortgage?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I have, it was much higher than that last year and I think put in more than £40,000 into the mortgage to bring it down

So you inherited £40,000?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I inherited about £62,000, the majority of which i used to bring down the mortgage and then I paid off my car loan and various small credit card bills and such.

I'm not sure why the amount I inherited is relevant given my question is about whether I would lose half my house in a divorce settlement as I have spent my life paying off his debts?

It is relevant as the court tries to ring fence inherited money so that it is not divided between the parties
I am afraid that the fact that he has not paid anything into the marriage is not sufficient to ensure that he does not receive a share of the matrimonial asset.
However the fact that you invested your inheritance in the property and he has sent capital else where shoudl reduce the percentage share he will receive - possibly as low as 20% although that would not be easy to achieve
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you