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What Options Do I Have? Contributions to Mortgage

Posted by bnm 
bnm
What Options Do I Have? Contributions to Mortgage
April 02, 2021 10:19AM
I'm posting this in the hope that someone can provide some guidance as to my options.

To be clear, my intention is to save the relationship and find a solution rather than divorce which will be the last resort, but alongside this I feel I need to prepare for worst.

Married for 4 years, together for 8. No children. House with mortgage. Since then, wife's employment history has been volatile to say the least. Average 2 jobs per year, periods of unemployment, some through her choice (quitting) other times being dismissed. Quitting usually out of choice - friction with management or colleague, commute too long, problem with the job etc etc.

Needless to say, this causes massive strain in our marriage. Every time this happens it falls back on me to pick up the financial burden which is taking its toll on me financially, mentally and physically.

Talks to resolve this don't progress beyond finger pointing and blame. I've tried countless times.

'i' m applying for jobs' is all I hear. When in the back of my mind, I know another period of unemployment and stress for me is just around the corner. 6 months, 9 months, whenever. Happens year after year.

I guess I'm the opposite. 9 years with the same company, 5 years with previous. When we met we agreed on splitting costs 50/50 which works well when she is in work and we're both ok with the balance.

We have separate accounts. All housing costs come out if mine though and she transfers her share (cancels when out if work). It does feel like she takes a 'break' from time to time which I feel a unfair as it just piles the pressure onto me. When she's back in work I have to ask repeatedly for her to start contributing again.

My question is, if this gets to the divorce stage (hopefully it won't), everything will be split 50/50 or more for her, so is there anything I can do at this stage to mitigate against this? For example, a formal agreement that the house being split depending on contributions?

House

The costs (mortgage, bills, insurance etc) are all covered by me when she is 'out of work' again. This has been approx 14 months now (previously periods of 3, 6 months also) and covers 90% of my income. I have decimated most of my savings for other living costs. It stresses me to even think about it and I avoid checking my account. The emotional stress is the hardest as I know we are one step away (losing my job) from collapse.

Pension

Given her employment history, she has very little by way of a pension. We are still quite young, so mine is modest as well but prob 10 x hers, including a private pension, purely because I pay in through my job consistently every month.

I hope I'm not being selfish to say this, but I need to protect my future as much as I can. What happens for example if this continues for 15-20 years? I will break at some point. What if she decides not to contribute (its becoming harder and harder). Can I get some kind of order in place that she must contribute financially when able to?

How would a court look at this? Could we approach a solicitor at this stage for an agreement, that the house is based on contributions from here forward? And my pension won't be split 50/50 as well given her lack of a job is often through choice? Or am I chasing a lost cause here?

Back to the original problem, any advice on how approach this from a relationship perspective? Motivation is a huge issue, as is her attitude which I've tried to explain but obviously doesn't go down well. I've suggested 'work coaching' but this has been met with reassurances that she's looking for work, which rarely material use especially in these difficult economic times.

Thanks for reading.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/02/2021 10:33AM by bnm.
Re: What Options Do I Have? Contributions to Mortgage
April 02, 2021 02:04PM
Here is my ten penny’s worth.

You say that you want to work at the relationship, do you think your wife does? If she has been like this, and you have accepted it thus far I don’t think that there will be any change. I would say only work at your relationship if you are happy for things to ultimately end up back in the same place.

I would be looking to get out of this ASAP, and before a baby turns up because if that happens you will be well and truly screwed with a wife who has no intention to work.
bnm
Re: What Options Do I Have? Contributions to Mortgage
April 02, 2021 02:34PM
Thank you Andy.

I think she does want to work at it. We're both 100% faithful and other than this, quite well suited. She does instigate making changes in other areas also so no reason to think she isn't committed.

I feel like I need some form of formal commitment though, and assurance that she will change and it won't continue forever, or if she doesn't, then I won't be exploited.

Second point - yes this isn't a good environment to bring up a child hence why we've refrained from doing that and also other circumstances.

I'm not so much looking to get out as I am trying to do two things at the moment.

1. Change the situation
2. Protect myself long term if it doesn't work out

I don't know if it's her intention not to work or rather that there are just underlying issues with her approach to it and attitude. I don't know. Maybe I'm just making excuses for her. I don't think she is lazy per se. Just think she needs some coaching for how important work is and the dynamic involved (follow orders and build up resilience and commitment over time). This is where I'd like to bring in a work coach expert or sonething similar of some kind who she'll listen to and can guide her.

Having said that, I'm not sure I can bear 20 years of this so that's why I asked about point 2 above and what I can do protect myself financially long term if things continue.
Re: What Options Do I Have? Contributions to Mortgage
April 02, 2021 03:38PM
I don’t think you can protect yourself financially (David would be able to confirm that or otherwise) what you walk away with today is the best you can hope for.. The longer the marriage goes on and the longer she doesn’t earn or build up a decent salary and pension pot, the more of yours you are going to have to share if it comes to divorce.

That probably sounds a bit mercenary, but having been screwed over by a wife that never worked full time, even when the children were at school and she didn’t need to be there for them, or paid into a pension because mine was a good one, I tend to see the financial side of things more these days. I have a partner, neither of us want to get married, we maintain our own houses and spend time together at each others. Both of us have been through a messy break up and have had to start over again and we want to maintain out own independent security.
Re: What Options Do I Have? Contributions to Mortgage
April 02, 2021 05:51PM
Frankly, you cannot protect yourself financially. For as long as the marriage lasts your wife is a stakeholder in your income, your pension and any capital you build up. You cannot contract out of that by any sort of fancy document. And, as Andy says, if a child comes along the needs of that child will be paramount and your needs will come lower down the pecking order.

And for what it's worth you will get little sympathy from a court with an argument which says that over the years your wife has contributed next to nothing financially. A court will simply say that was the marriage you had and that you accepted it by putting up with it.

Leopards don't change their spots. Thinking otherwise just substitutes hope for experience but doesn't change anything.
Re: What Options Do I Have? Contributions to Mortgage
April 03, 2021 09:35AM
David's last comment 'Leopards don't change their spots' - take that on board, file for divorce now.
bnm
Re: What Options Do I Have? Contributions to Mortgage
April 05, 2021 03:34PM
Thanks David and others for the honest advice.

Clearly some thinking to do here but it's really useful to know the limitations. Appreciate that.
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