[Solved] Credit card debts
I separated about 18 months ago after being asked to leave the family home (after 25 years of marriage) and i put this down to inconsistent parenting where i was stricter than my wife and seen as always nagging the children, often ending in big arguments when I would lose it (I never hit the children r my wife), We have 4 children aged 5 to 15. So i left under the agreement that I would seek some help in the form of anger management, which I did and hopefully return. 18 months on my daughter has continued to manipulate the family and my wife and divide the family and keep me away.
We own the property and there is about £350k equity. It’s on a joint mortgage and we’ve always payed an agreed amount into a joint account to cover all the household bills, including a number of credit cards which were built up from years of consolidating cards to better rates. My ex had cards but at the time of separation they had all been paid or transferred to cards in my name. The debt amounts to £15000 and about 70% is joint spending and for things that the family are benefiting for in the house. I am having to pay the full monthly costs of £350 p/m and she refuses to pay anything saying she also had debts she’s paid off. My issue is that for many years we’ve always split the cost of these cards and now I’m expected to pay them myself.
I am paying a fixed amount of £500 maintenance towards the cost of running the home and children’s costs. I am also paying an extra £80 p/m towards the children’s extra activities such as football clubs etc. I am also expected to pay for haircuts, shoes etc if I happen to have the children that weekend. I get comments that I have not contributed towards school uniform or larger school trips. My ex worked out these costs stating that she could live on this with her salary, which is the same as mine, and the child benefits etc.
I am struggling each week after paying the above costs and my own housing costs (rented flat) and have £350 pm left for food and petrol (about £150pm) and days out when i have the kids as well as car maintainance.
I have just found out my ex has a new boyfriend and they have engaged in a sexual relationship in the family home and he has been spending weekends there for a few months. I have only been told yesterday and today I saw him at the house playing with my kids in the garden. She has not had the decency to tell me about this relationship before introducing this man to my children and him being there over night. My son (12) told me today mum had asked them not to make a fuss as they do want to see her happy!!
I am obviously devastated as I did have some hope but now I want a divorce as this is the only way i can move on from this relationship.
My ex has said she will not sell the family home and I am not sure if she is in a financial position to remortgage and let me have some of the equity. She is refusing to pay towards the credit card debts we built up together and as a result I am now unable to obtain any credit, especially as two of the zero percent cards have come to an end and I’ve been declined, obviously as a home owner with a mortgage and also in rented. I can not remain Living in this tiny flat for too long as there is only 2 bedrooms. One or sometimes two of my children do stay almost every Friday or weekend. Towards the end of the month I run out of money and can not afford to buy food or on my child care days I can not afford to do anything with the kids.
What are my rights re the house and also the credit cards? Will any calculations take into account my ability to pay the amount of child maintained requested?
I’m not greatly knowledgeable on the financial side of things unfortunately, but I’ll share what I know.
Concerning your credit cards, if they’re in your name then sadly you are the only one liable for the repayment of them.
It’s probably a good idea to start mediation to try and get Agreement on the financial settlement and also what the child arrangements will be. I would also advise that you get some legal advice concerning the property.
If you’re going to use a divorce lawyer try and negotiate a fixed fee, at least you know where you are with costs then. There’s a good website called Wikivorce that covers all things divorce, which you might find helpful.
Have you used the CMS calculator to work out roughly what you should be paying? Here’s a link just in case you haven’t.
Either parent can start a case with the CMS, if you felt that would be better for you... the calculated amount is all that you would be required to pay. As far as the CMS are concerned, payments on the mortgage won’t be taken into account, unless the paying parent has no legal or equitable interest in the property.
As far as I recall, the CMS will take into account loans taken out for the benefit of the family or family home, but credit card debts aren't taken into account for this. Does she still use the credit cards? If so, I would get them stopped so that she can't increase the debt any further. I would also open a case with CMS so you get the child maintenance on a proper basis and then you can refuse to pay anything above this (though you can if you wish). I would also get a divorce underway as soon as possible to get the rest sorted - but do open the case with CMS first rather than include this within the divorce.
Obviously, your ex-wife has settled in well. You need to clean up the mess. If possible, it is better to close these credit cards.