separation - financial advice

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TheBearNecessities
TheBearNecessities Posts: 116 Forumite
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edited 13 September 2015 at 8:47AM in Marriage, relationships & families
I'll keep it short.

Wife and I are separated, have been for 6 weeks, but there's a financial decision we are struggling with.

We had 2 Sofa's bought on credit 6 months ago totalling a debt of about £1500, and a bed bought on credit about 6 months ago and the debt in about £1000.

I never wanted to buy these items in the first place and I certainly can't afford to pay the £60 per month for these debts. But I don't think my wife wants them anymore either because she has gone and bought new ones for her new house (I'm in the family house and we're splitting custody of the three kids 50/50).

Any idea what usually happens with large debt items neither partner needs or wants? Any thoughts welcome because the conversation is not going to go well later if no-one wants them.
Smile and be happy, things can usually get worse!

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  • Annisele
    Annisele Posts: 4,828 Forumite
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    Both the assets and the debts go into the joint marital pot, and then you negotiate about them.

    If neither of you want the items, then you might agree to value them at zero. That means you're just talking about how the outstanding £2,500 is going to be repaid.

    Or you might decide to sell the items. You're unlikely to get back anywhere near the amount you paid for them - but if you do manage to sell, you could use that money to reduce the debt. You'd then just have £2,500 minus the sale proceeds to repay.

    But if you have a house and/or pensions, I suspect the sofas and the beds are small fry in the scheme of financial things. They're certainly small fry overall - arrangements for your children are what matters most.

    Hope you get it sorted.
  • TheBearNecessities
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    Thanks, with all due respect i am well aware that the custody of my children is more important that the custody of the sofas but thanks for that gem none-the-less. :D. Child custody is sorted as are the other assets.

    Back to the subject -

    So maybe we just have to sell them and split the debt between the two of us.

    What about the fact she bought them against my wishes in the first place, got them on credit in her name. Seems as though i am still liable for half the debt even though i never wanted them and still don't.
    Smile and be happy, things can usually get worse!
  • Lunar_Eclipse
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    So maybe we just have to sell them and split the debt between the two of us.

    What about the fact she bought them against my wishes in the first place, got them on credit in her name. Seems as though i am still liable for half the debt even though i never wanted them and still don't.

    If you are married, you are liable for half the debt. Although your solicitor is better placed to advise whether this could be a negotiating point.

    You can ask if your wife is happy to repay more of it given she went against your wishes which she presumably knows, but unless you both have high incomes and are thrilled at separating, I doubt this is something you want to dig your heels in about (which is all the previous poster was saying really.) All I hear is divorce gets increasingly stressful and less friendly the further down the process you go.

    Good luck.

    Resale prices on EBay for new sofas are very good.
  • neneromanova
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    Anything in her name, sofas, beds, cards etc are her responsibility. Anything in your name, are your responsibility. As they're in her name, they're her responsibility and should things go to court, they look at it the same way too.
    What's yours is mine and what's mine is mine..
  • TheBearNecessities
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    Anything in her name, sofas, beds, cards etc are her responsibility. Anything in your name, are your responsibility. As they're in her name, they're her responsibility and should things go to court, they look at it the same way too.

    Thanks for your input. This advice contradicts the usual 'you both have shared responsibility for everything from the marriage'.

    Who's right?

    Appreciate all who have taken a few moments to share their thoughts,genuinely.
    Smile and be happy, things can usually get worse!
  • Tigsteroonie
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    My understanding is that you have shared responsibility for any debts taken out until the time of separation. Just because they were taken out in one or t'other's name for convenience, doesn't matter. And saying now that you didn't want them at the time, that's probably pretty irrelevant too - you were a married unit. Huge gambling debts incurred by one person could be considered to be a 'personal' debt when working out the finances, but a sofa that you didn't think you needed? Small fry, I'm afraid.

    On the plus side, the debt is in her name so if she doesn't pay, your credit record isn't compromised.
    :heartpuls Mrs Marleyboy :heartpuls

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  • Person_one
    Person_one Posts: 28,884 Forumite
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    Anything in her name, sofas, beds, cards etc are her responsibility. Anything in your name, are your responsibility. As they're in her name, they're her responsibility and should things go to court, they look at it the same way too.

    That's complicated by the fact that he's kept the items and is using them though. Really, your wife should have taken them with her but too late for that now I suppose.

    I would just pay 50/50 and not let it become a huge source of conflict.
  • Annisele
    Annisele Posts: 4,828 Forumite
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    Thanks for your input. This advice contradicts the usual 'you both have shared responsibility for everything from the marriage'.

    Who's right?

    Both are right.

    So far as your creditors are concerned, they can only go after the person named on the credit agreement. So, from their perspective, it really matters whose name stuff is in.

    From the perspective of you and your wife, all assets and debts are generally assets/debts of the marriage. (As another poster has said, there are exceptions - gambling debts are one example, but there are others).

    So, assuming for a moment there were no other assets, a £2k credit card debt in her name, no other debts, and no children. In that case, a 50/50 split would still mean that the credit card company could come after her for the whole £2k, and they couldn't pursue you at all. But she could come after you for £1k - and if you didn't pay, ultimately she could sue you.
  • Savvy_Sue
    Savvy_Sue Posts: 46,110 Forumite
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    Just a thought, but what sort of credit?

    I think 'the rules' are different if they are on Hire Purchase, and you might be able to return them ...

    But if it's a normal loan which you could have used for anything, or credit card, then that wouldn't apply.
    Signature removed for peace of mind
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