Sneaky lying husband and money

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Hi, I don't even know where to start.  I'm sorry but this could be a long post.  I would like to know you guys views on my pridiciment.  I have been married 16 years and we have 2 kids.  He has suffered from anxiety and depression for the last 10 years (probably longer) .  His mental health took a nosedive this past 3 weeks and he had a mental breakdown at work and nearly lost his job.  He was meant to go back last Monday but ended up having a panic attack when he got there and they sent him home.  He has been off this week on the sick and is hoping to go back Monday.  Amongst all this he changed his depression medication which has made his moods very erratic.  Anyway this time of year is tax credits renewal and I phoned them to go through it as I hadn't received my letter and they informed me that we won't be getting any this year as we have earnt too much.. I was v confused at this point as we wouldn't have earned any more than last year.  She explained there was a extra payment for £18000 received.  I just laughed as this was obviously incorrect.  Apparently from a pension fund.  I checked with the husband who knew 'nothing' about this.  I even asked him to contact the pension company to ask them to confirm it was a 'mistake'. Husband said they would send a letter to confirm.  Yesterday husband confessed he has over the last 3 years drawn down £6000 per year from his pension and he has none left.  Not only that he is in the process of drawing down another £10000!! I'm absolutely devestated.  We have 2 children and a mortgage.  He has only confessed as he has got caught.  He has said he will pay off the mortgage with the £10000 but only cos he has got caught.  He has nothing to show for the money he has received and will now not have a pension later in life.  I feel so lied and cheated on.  All I want to do is kick him out but cos of his mental state I'm scared of pushing him over the edge.  He is currently acting like nothing is the matter and I just want to kill him. I don't know what to do.  Also as he is now drawing that extra money out it will probably affect tax credits for next year as well so we will have basically nothing extra coming in for 2 years. He hasn't even apologised. 
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Comments

  • RAS
    RAS Posts: 32,796 Forumite
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    edited 26 May 2022 at 11:21PM
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    Hi, I'm really sorry you find yourself in this situation and understand why you want to kick him out.

    Do you currently work?

    I'd suggest you start by getting the statements for all your shared accounts (if necessary send a Subject Access Request), so you have some idea where you stand, including a mortgage statement. And check your credit records with all three agencies.

    Then register with the Land Registry's alert system. So you can see if hubbie tries to set up any secured loans.

    And if you don't have a separate individual account, I'd suggest that you arrange one ASAP, either a conventional basic account  which doesn't require a credit check or on-line like monzo. 

    Then consider contacting a debt management advice provider like stepchange or national debtline. Avoid fee-charging companies with similar names. Is hubbie's action a result of reckless spending, or a result of failing to share the need to adjust your family budget. And thinking he had to provide so not being honest about the real situation?

    On a very practical note, if you are over forty, read the recent advice on MSE about buying extra years on your state pension, as there may be an opportunity to boost that whilst the current rules apply.
    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
  • nomoredebt
    nomoredebt Posts: 91 Forumite
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    Thank you for your advice.  I am currently working 22 hours per week/40 weeks per year.  It works great with the kids as I can be there for them before/after and in (nearly all) the school hdays holidays.  10 years ago my husband had a stroke which resulted in him loosing his job.  He had debts and we had the mortgage so we went into an iva for 6 years which was really hard.  He gave me his bank card (I never asked for it or even thought about having it) as he was spending money in his account he didn't have.  Since that day money wise we have been spot on.  I even managed to save a small amount for a just in case fund (only just over £1000).  We arranged it that he had money for spends every week and fuel.  I said if he ever wants/needs anything just to say and I can see what we have.  If the cars ever needed repairs that was always sorted.  It was a case of if we need it and we have it then you can get it.  But he went behind my back loads and just orderd stuff online anyway.  We don't have any joint accounts he has never wanted one. This money he has spent from his pension was never used to provide anything for us, no food, no bills, no clothing for the kids or even a holiday which he could have easily treated us with.  He probably gambled it in the slots (he said he didn't but can't believe a word he says).

    Yes I am over 40 so will have a look into that.

    He is acting like everything is OK.  I feel sick with worry. 

    I'm guessing we won't be eligible for the £650 cost of living payment either now we are getting zero tax credits this year. 
  • Keep_pedalling
    Keep_pedalling Posts: 16,790 Forumite
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    Is your husband over 55? If not how, has he been able to access his pension?
  • nomoredebt
    nomoredebt Posts: 91 Forumite
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    He was 59 this year... He told me he was in the process of putting his pension pots together.. Another lie
  • JJC1956
    JJC1956 Posts: 328 Forumite
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    I doubt he will receive the whole £10,000 as it will be taxable, as long as he hands over to you the whole sum he receives, at least you will know he’s not gambling it away or spending it on an online scam.

    As for his work, is it possible for him to ‘Work From Home’?

    Hopefully some of the professional MSE advisers will read this thread and advise you accordingly.
  • nomoredebt
    nomoredebt Posts: 91 Forumite
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    It's actually £13000 apparently so I'm hoping he will get £10000 left after tax.  Unfortunately he can't work from home as he works in a factory. 
  • RAS
    RAS Posts: 32,796 Forumite
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    Hi, I'd not necessarily be inclined to use the money to pay off the mortgage. 

    Do you really think that your husband is going to suddenly learn how to manage money when he's a long history of running up debts? He must have had a fair lot 10 years ago to justify an IVA? And as soon as possible after that "cleared", he started stripping his pension fund. There's no way you can keep any joint assets safe from his actions.

    I'd suggest getting his credit records to find out what other debts he might already have lurking.

    What age are your children?

    If you divorce now, there's a decent chance you'll get a fair bit of the equity, might be able to increase your income and re-mortgage (preferably) or downgrade to another house although the moving costs are high. Although the courts may take into account your pension as well.

    If you wait until he's retired, he'll have no assets apart from the house, no income and you'll get an awful lot less.   And you'll be that bit older so have a bigger pension he can aim for, and more equity in the house, and it's harder to re-build before you retire.

    I'd start by seeing a good solicitor to work out your situation and look at wikidivorce as well. 
    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
  • TBagpuss
    TBagpuss Posts: 11,205 Forumite
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    Hi, I don't even know where to start.  I'm sorry but this could be a long post.  I would like to know you guys views on my pridiciment.  I have been married 16 years and we have 2 kids. 

    He has suffered from anxiety and depression for the last 10 years (probably longer) .  His mental health took a nosedive this past 3 weeks and he had a mental breakdown at work and nearly lost his job.  He was meant to go back last Monday but ended up having a panic attack when he got there and they sent him home.  He has been off this week on the sick and is hoping to go back Monday.  Amongst all this he changed his depression medication which has made his moods very erratic. 

    Anyway this time of year is tax credits renewal and I phoned them to go through it as I hadn't received my letter and they informed me that we won't be getting any this year as we have earnt too much.. I was v confused at this point as we wouldn't have earned any more than last year. 

    She explained there was a extra payment for £18,000 received.  I just laughed as this was obviously incorrect.  Apparently from a pension fund.  I checked with the husband who knew 'nothing' about this.  I even asked him to contact the pension company to ask them to confirm it was a 'mistake'. Husband said they would send a letter to confirm. 

    Yesterday husband confessed he has over the last 3 years drawn down £6,000 per year from his pension and he has none left.  Not only that he is in the process of drawing down another £10,000!! I'm absolutely devestated.  We have 2 children and a mortgage.  He has only confessed as he has got caught. 

    He has said he will pay off the mortgage with the £10,000 but only cos he has got caught.  He has nothing to show for the money he has received and will now not have a pension later in life. 

    I feel so lied and cheated on.  All I want to do is kick him out but cos of his mental state I'm scared of pushing him over the edge.  He is currently acting like nothing is the matter and I just want to kill him. I don't know what to do. 

    Also as he is now drawing that extra money out it will probably affect tax credits for next year as well so we will have basically nothing extra coming in for 2 years. He hasn't even apologised. 
    I'm sorry that you are dealing with this, it must have been a huge shock.

    On a practical level, if you haven't already, open an accpunt in your sole name and make surethat your own income, including any benefits, is paid to that account, and if you are able to start to build up any separate savings, do that.

    Check statements for joint accounts and any mortgage, utilities etc so you have a clear idea if what your household outgoings are and can cehc kthat they are being paid, and ask him to let you see copies of his bank statementbs - presumably he has a separate account that he got the pension money paid into that you were not aware of or didn't see. 

    It may be that this is the trigger for you to end the marriage - only you can decide that, but it may be sensible for you to see how he reacts to you requesting the documenbt and information, and whether he is willing to go to RELATE with you to try to discuss the issues, to enable you to then decide whether this is salvagable.  IT sounds from what you say that the underlying issue may well be a gambling problem , so if you were prepared to consider continuing in the relationship then yoi might want thatto be on the basis that he sought progfessional help for that. 

    Has he expressed any suicidal feelings, or tried to self harm in the past? Does he have other family? If you do ask him to leave then if you have concernsfor his wellbeing you can raise thise with his famiy and his GP or any other medical professionals he deals with. Medical professionals can't discuss his health with you (unless he gives consent) but that doesn't prevent you from giving them relvant information.  If he has family othe than youyou can let them know the bare bones (that you need a period of separation, as you have learned tht he has been decieiving you sytematically for 3 years and has created huge finacial probelms as a result, and also that he has been having much more erecnet problems with his mental health and may need support that you can't currently provide. If you feel there is a risk he might self harm, tell them)

    That way, you are doing what you can to ensure that he has support and access to help for any mentla jhealth difficulties but you are not being forced to remain in a relationship or charing a house with him.

    If you decided to end the marriage, then a court looking at the finaces would have to decide waht was a fair way to splt the assets, looking at all the circumstnaces. They can include looking at behviour where it would unfair to ignore it - something such as a gambling adition resulting in his having spent significant proportion of the joint assets, or building up debts, are both things that a court could see as relvant (i.e. they might well see it as fair for you to have a bigger sahre of the remaining assets as he has already spent his share!) 

    Unfortuantly sa the tax credtis overpayment was made it will be clawed back, although of course if you do separate then you can make a fresh application in your sole name, which may change what you are entitled to. Simialrly, if he is currently unableto work and on SSP that will presumably also affect your entitlement. 

    IF he hasn't yet drawn the £10,000 it may be possible to leave that in his pension, but if it is too late, then it may be worth looking at the options if you use it to reducethe mortgage (sometimes tthere is a hoice between using it to shorten the term of the mortge or to reduce the monthly payments) 

    Could you afford the mortgage and outgoings if he moved out? He would in that situationhave to pay child support but of course if he is signed offand only receiving SSP the amounts will be minimal. 
    All posts are my personal opinion, not formal advice Always get proper, professional advice (particularly about anything legal!)
  • Brie
    Brie Posts: 10,443 Forumite
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    I don't have anything constructive to add but want to wish you well in getting your lives sorted out.
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”
  • tboo
    tboo Posts: 1,379 Forumite
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    edited 27 May 2022 at 2:08PM
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    TBagpuss said:
    although of course if you do separate then you can make a fresh application in your sole name, which may change what you are entitled to.

    New Tax credit applications are now paid through Universal Credit, so as soon as the joint claim is closed down the OP will have to apply there.
    “You’re only here for a short visit.
    Don’t hurry, don't worry and be sure to smell the flowers along the way.”
    Walter Hagen


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