Newly separated & husband hidden debt

2

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  • Jude57
    Jude57 Posts: 543 Forumite
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    EmiAda34 said:
    Please can anyone advise?  I am newly separated from my husband of over 30 years and I have found he has accrued over £33K of debt without my knowledge. I have been told that the debt is in his name only.  My husband controlled all the finances, all my wages went into a joint account which he controlled and is in £500+ in overdraft.  I have spoken with the bank and they cannot remove my name until the overdraft is paid which I cannot do as my salary isn't enough.

    He has moved in with a new partner and is asking me to contribute towards the debt as I 'benefitted' from it (holidays, jewelry and various repairs to the home we were sharing (paying rent) with my mother).  He wants £100 per month to be put into his account to pay the debts but I cannot afford to give him any money at all.  I am on minimum wage and after regaining control and having my salary put into my own new private account I will just about be able to cover my essentials (rent, fuel, car insurance, moil phone tariff and food).  I am looking for extra work to fit around my current job  to give myself a little extra to save for yearly expenses such as MOT and any other unexpected bills that I might find.

    My question is, as the debt was accrued without my knowledge, but I did unknowingly benefit, do I legally have to help pay for the debts?  I cannot ask my family to help financially as they have young families and are struggling themselves. 

    Any help in clarifying where I stand in regards to the debt would be really helpful.
    Remember that, after a 30 year marriage, your husband's occupational pension is also an asset of the marriage, which must be considered when coming to a financial settlement. I'm presuming that you don't have much, if any, pension savings of your own?
  • HillStreetBlues
    HillStreetBlues Posts: 3,196 Forumite
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    edited 13 February at 7:45PM
    As debts are in his name. He has no legal right to request you to pay towards them. That is HIS problem. Hope his new partner is aware of these..
    Thankfully the law doesn't work like this @born_again otherwise many wives would be left destitute, particularly historically, when all the assets were in the name of the husband

    DE_612183 said:
    As debts are in his name. He has no legal right to request you to pay towards them. That is HIS problem. Hope his new partner is aware of these..
    You have been lucky here, as many find that loans have been taken in their name or further advances on mortgage etc in joint names.

    I would open a new sole acc & ask bank (joint acc) that this acc is now in dispute to stop any further use of it. It will then be a case of working between you to pay off the O/D.
    That's just plain wrong - what if it were the other way around and all the savings and investments were in his name - would you expect the wife to get nothing?
    Why are you  both looking at assets and then reverse thinking.

    born_again is correct, debts only in his name are his debts, and his alone. Only joint debts can be claimed from either party.
    Let's Be Careful Out There
  • born_again
    born_again Posts: 14,361 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    edited 13 February at 7:46PM
    As debts are in his name. He has no legal right to request you to pay towards them. That is HIS problem. Hope his new partner is aware of these..
    Thankfully the law doesn't work like this @born_again otherwise many wives would be left destitute, particularly historically, when all the assets were in the name of the husband
    Many wife's were left in that situation historically. But that has no bearing on this case.

    So not sure why you seem to be saying that OP should be paying to their ex's debt, when it is all in their EX's name?
    Life in the slow lane
  • Gavin83
    Gavin83 Posts: 8,746 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    EmiAda34 said:
    Please can anyone advise?  I am newly separated from my husband of over 30 years and I have found he has accrued over £33K of debt without my knowledge. I have been told that the debt is in his name only.  My husband controlled all the finances, all my wages went into a joint account which he controlled and is in £500+ in overdraft.  I have spoken with the bank and they cannot remove my name until the overdraft is paid which I cannot do as my salary isn't enough.

    He has moved in with a new partner and is asking me to contribute towards the debt as I 'benefitted' from it (holidays, jewelry and various repairs to the home we were sharing (paying rent) with my mother).  He wants £100 per month to be put into his account to pay the debts but I cannot afford to give him any money at all.  I am on minimum wage and after regaining control and having my salary put into my own new private account I will just about be able to cover my essentials (rent, fuel, car insurance, moil phone tariff and food).  I am looking for extra work to fit around my current job  to give myself a little extra to save for yearly expenses such as MOT and any other unexpected bills that I might find.

    My question is, as the debt was accrued without my knowledge, but I did unknowingly benefit, do I legally have to help pay for the debts?  I cannot ask my family to help financially as they have young families and are struggling themselves. 

    Any help in clarifying where I stand in regards to the debt would be really helpful.
    Much like assets it really makes no difference whose name the debt is in if you’re married. What is key is why the debts were run up. If they were run up for individual reasons (such as for an expensive hobby or gambling) then there’s an argument they shouldn’t be included as part of the matrimonial pot. If it was for shared reasons then they’ll almost certainly be considered.

    Given you’ve stated that the debt was accrued for joint benefit I expect a judge would rule that it should be shared. Of course no one here can tell you how it’ll go on the day.
  • DullGreyGuy
    DullGreyGuy Posts: 10,311 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited 13 February at 11:06PM
    As debts are in his name. He has no legal right to request you to pay towards them. That is HIS problem. Hope his new partner is aware of these..
    Thankfully the law doesn't work like this @born_again otherwise many wives would be left destitute, particularly historically, when all the assets were in the name of the husband

    DE_612183 said:
    As debts are in his name. He has no legal right to request you to pay towards them. That is HIS problem. Hope his new partner is aware of these..
    You have been lucky here, as many find that loans have been taken in their name or further advances on mortgage etc in joint names.

    I would open a new sole acc & ask bank (joint acc) that this acc is now in dispute to stop any further use of it. It will then be a case of working between you to pay off the O/D.
    That's just plain wrong - what if it were the other way around and all the savings and investments were in his name - would you expect the wife to get nothing?
    Why are you  both looking at assets and then reverse thinking.

    born_again is correct, debts only in his name are his debts, and his alone. Only joint debts can be claimed from either party.
    Not what our court order said... you can try to argue a sole debt wasn't marital but if they were to pay for joint holidays etc then they are marital debts even if only in one name. The OP can't claim that they didnt know how the holiday was funded to avoid having to contribute. 

    https://www.stephens-scown.co.uk/family/divorce-and-separation/debt-and-divorce/

    So not sure why you seem to be saying that OP should be paying to their ex's debt, when it is all in their EX's name?
    Not saying they have to pay for it but its considered when everything is divided... clearly if there are more debts than assets and the party cannot afford to pay their share to balance the books then it wouldn't be unreasonable for it to be paid in instalments. 
  • HillStreetBlues
    HillStreetBlues Posts: 3,196 Forumite
    First Anniversary Photogenic First Post Name Dropper
    As debts are in his name. He has no legal right to request you to pay towards them. That is HIS problem. Hope his new partner is aware of these..
    Thankfully the law doesn't work like this @born_again otherwise many wives would be left destitute, particularly historically, when all the assets were in the name of the husband

    DE_612183 said:
    As debts are in his name. He has no legal right to request you to pay towards them. That is HIS problem. Hope his new partner is aware of these..
    You have been lucky here, as many find that loans have been taken in their name or further advances on mortgage etc in joint names.

    I would open a new sole acc & ask bank (joint acc) that this acc is now in dispute to stop any further use of it. It will then be a case of working between you to pay off the O/D.
    That's just plain wrong - what if it were the other way around and all the savings and investments were in his name - would you expect the wife to get nothing?
    Why are you  both looking at assets and then reverse thinking.

    born_again is correct, debts only in his name are his debts, and his alone. Only joint debts can be claimed from either party.
    Not what our court order said... you can try to argue a sole debt wasn't marital but if they were to pay for joint holidays etc then they are marital debts even if only in one name. The OP can't claim that they didnt know how the holiday was funded to avoid having to contribute. 

    https://www.stephens-scown.co.uk/family/divorce-and-separation/debt-and-divorce/

    But that still doesn't change who owes the debt, the debt is still in the OPs case is the ex, it even states that in the link you provided
    The Court has no power to order anyone to pay a debt or to transfer a debt from one spouse to another.
    Any creditors can only chase the ex for non payment, even if a Court orders the OP to make payments to their ex that remains the same.
    Let's Be Careful Out There
  • kaMelo
    kaMelo Posts: 2,366 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    As debts are in his name. He has no legal right to request you to pay towards them. That is HIS problem. Hope his new partner is aware of these..
    Thankfully the law doesn't work like this @born_again otherwise many wives would be left destitute, particularly historically, when all the assets were in the name of the husband

    DE_612183 said:
    As debts are in his name. He has no legal right to request you to pay towards them. That is HIS problem. Hope his new partner is aware of these..
    You have been lucky here, as many find that loans have been taken in their name or further advances on mortgage etc in joint names.

    I would open a new sole acc & ask bank (joint acc) that this acc is now in dispute to stop any further use of it. It will then be a case of working between you to pay off the O/D.
    That's just plain wrong - what if it were the other way around and all the savings and investments were in his name - would you expect the wife to get nothing?
    Why are you  both looking at assets and then reverse thinking.

    born_again is correct, debts only in his name are his debts, and his alone. Only joint debts can be claimed from either party.
    As debts are in his name. He has no legal right to request you to pay towards them. That is HIS problem. Hope his new partner is aware of these..
    Thankfully the law doesn't work like this @born_again otherwise many wives would be left destitute, particularly historically, when all the assets were in the name of the husband

    DE_612183 said:
    As debts are in his name. He has no legal right to request you to pay towards them. That is HIS problem. Hope his new partner is aware of these..
    You have been lucky here, as many find that loans have been taken in their name or further advances on mortgage etc in joint names.

    I would open a new sole acc & ask bank (joint acc) that this acc is now in dispute to stop any further use of it. It will then be a case of working between you to pay off the O/D.
    That's just plain wrong - what if it were the other way around and all the savings and investments were in his name - would you expect the wife to get nothing?
    Why are you  both looking at assets and then reverse thinking.

    born_again is correct, debts only in his name are his debts, and his alone. Only joint debts can be claimed from either party.
    As debts are in his name. He has no legal right to request you to pay towards them. That is HIS problem. Hope his new partner is aware of these..
    Thankfully the law doesn't work like this @born_again otherwise many wives would be left destitute, particularly historically, when all the assets were in the name of the husband

    DE_612183 said:
    As debts are in his name. He has no legal right to request you to pay towards them. That is HIS problem. Hope his new partner is aware of these..
    You have been lucky here, as many find that loans have been taken in their name or further advances on mortgage etc in joint names.

    I would open a new sole acc & ask bank (joint acc) that this acc is now in dispute to stop any further use of it. It will then be a case of working between you to pay off the O/D.
    That's just plain wrong - what if it were the other way around and all the savings and investments were in his name - would you expect the wife to get nothing?
    Why are you  both looking at assets and then reverse thinking.

    born_again is correct, debts only in his name are his debts, and his alone. Only joint debts can be claimed from either party.
    What you and @born_again have said is correct but I think it needs clarifying that that only remains the case as long as the OP stays married, if they were to divorce then it's a whole different ball game.
  • DullGreyGuy
    DullGreyGuy Posts: 10,311 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Name Dropper
    As debts are in his name. He has no legal right to request you to pay towards them. That is HIS problem. Hope his new partner is aware of these..
    Thankfully the law doesn't work like this @born_again otherwise many wives would be left destitute, particularly historically, when all the assets were in the name of the husband

    DE_612183 said:
    As debts are in his name. He has no legal right to request you to pay towards them. That is HIS problem. Hope his new partner is aware of these..
    You have been lucky here, as many find that loans have been taken in their name or further advances on mortgage etc in joint names.

    I would open a new sole acc & ask bank (joint acc) that this acc is now in dispute to stop any further use of it. It will then be a case of working between you to pay off the O/D.
    That's just plain wrong - what if it were the other way around and all the savings and investments were in his name - would you expect the wife to get nothing?
    Why are you  both looking at assets and then reverse thinking.

    born_again is correct, debts only in his name are his debts, and his alone. Only joint debts can be claimed from either party.
    Not what our court order said... you can try to argue a sole debt wasn't marital but if they were to pay for joint holidays etc then they are marital debts even if only in one name. The OP can't claim that they didnt know how the holiday was funded to avoid having to contribute. 

    https://www.stephens-scown.co.uk/family/divorce-and-separation/debt-and-divorce/

    But that still doesn't change who owes the debt, the debt is still in the OPs case is the ex, it even states that in the link you provided
    The Court has no power to order anyone to pay a debt or to transfer a debt from one spouse to another.
    Any creditors can only chase the ex for non payment, even if a Court orders the OP to make payments to their ex that remains the same.
    Yes, not saying they have to pay it directly but it is considered when dividing the marital assets and debts... so lets say there were no net marital assets (eg house value = current mortgage etc) so effectively the couple are £33k in the red and so the OP would owe their partner £16.5k. 

    Ordinarily this would be paid in a lump sum to get a clean break order but if the OP cannot afford this then an instalment plan can be agreed. 
  • HillStreetBlues
    HillStreetBlues Posts: 3,196 Forumite
    First Anniversary Photogenic First Post Name Dropper
    kaMelo said:
    What you and @born_again have said is correct but I think it needs clarifying that that only remains the case as long as the OP stays married, if they were to divorce then it's a whole different ball game.
    The debt will always be his, married or divorced it makes no difference.
    If all the debt he has are unsecured in the form of loans if he goes bankrupt all those debts would be written off.
    If those debts were in joint names  then both would have to go bankrupt for that to happen.
    Let's Be Careful Out There
  • kaMelo
    kaMelo Posts: 2,366 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    edited 14 February at 11:35AM
    kaMelo said:
    What you and @born_again have said is correct but I think it needs clarifying that that only remains the case as long as the OP stays married, if they were to divorce then it's a whole different ball game.
    The debt will always be his, married or divorced it makes no difference.
    If all the debt he has are unsecured in the form of loans if he goes bankrupt all those debts would be written off.
    If those debts were in joint names  then both would have to go bankrupt for that to happen.

    The point being that in a divorce all assets and debts are marital irrespective of whose name is on them. No one is saying a sole debt would become a joint debt to a creditor, just that all debts would be taken into account when splitting any remaining assets.

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