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Separating and house buying question

Somber posted 5/30/2020 05:53 AM

Out of habit, I snooped a bit, and found that my spouse is looking at houses. This can be a good thing overall for sure.

It looks like his plan is to take the maximum down payment out of our current home and use that to purchase a new home. Would I be stuck in this house at that point? Is this done by remortgaging? Can this be done without my knowledge or consent? We are both on the mortgage of this current home. He makes much more than I do, especially since I have been working part time since we had children. We also have a shared rental townhouse with friends, this is not in my name though, just his. Do I technically own part of this too?

He is sneaky, I would expect to be taken advantage of financially for sure. Given this is not my area of knowledge, it would be easy to do.

I would prefer to not live in this house and be stuck with a mortgage much higher than I could afford. There are 3 women within a few blocks that have been involved in my marriage in this neighbourhood.
I also want to do what is right by the children...with the change of a separation and all the changes from covid, would it be best to keep them in the same house, school and neighbourhood at least?

[This message edited by Somber at 5:54 AM, May 30th (Saturday)]

cactusflower posted 5/30/2020 06:06 AM

Talk to a lawyer ASAP. Anything he does while you are still married can effect you.

Anna123 posted 5/30/2020 08:56 AM

Technically anything he purchases goes into the marital 'pot' and any debt he takes on is marital debt. Definitely talk to a lawyer. Legally he can't just leave you to pay the mortgage but that doesn't mean he won't. If you can't pay the mortgage on your own, now you also have a foreclosure and it will destroy your credit for 7 years and you will not be able to get the next loan, and other bill amounts may go up as well as you would be seen as a risk. If he is trying to get a home equity loan to buy the new house, he is up to NO GOOD and you can't allow this. You need to let the lawyer know this right off the bat to see how this can be stopped.

Ichthus posted 5/30/2020 08:57 AM

OMG talk to a Lawyer today!!!! If he buys a house it will be considered marital property and you would be responsible for the debt as well.

If you know he is sneaky with financial moves, then you need someone who will know how to combat him through the law.

Anna123 posted 5/30/2020 08:58 AM

By the way, once you file for divorce, that is considered the start date where no major purchases or financial transactions are allowed by either party, at least in my state it was.

Take care, all of this takes a little time so don't panic, but act fast.

Somber posted 5/30/2020 10:12 AM

Yikes okay Iím a bit freaked out now!
Iím going to try not to panic. I have lots to learn. He is sneaky; all the while still playing the card of showing he doesnít want a separation.

Everyone always says go see a lawyer,
like itís the easiest and most affordable thing to do...last time I went I wasted $300 for an hour consult to find out very little in the end, perhaps things I could have learned myself. This may mean I need a new lawyer, but at what cost....itís just so financially depleting!!! Ahhhhh I hate this.

josiep posted 5/30/2020 11:31 AM

Please talk to your friends and relatives who have gotten divorced and get recommendations about their attorneys, which ones were great, which ones weren't great. Call the women's domestic violence or homeless shelters for recommendations. You might get lucky and find an online support group of people who have gotten divorced in your state/county who know who's a pitbull (good) and who's not.

But whatever you do, get an attorney yesterday. No one, but no one, other than you, is going to protect you from financial ruin and mayhem. Do not trust your WH, not for one second. You can be nice to him and so on but do not trust him to protect you financially or any other way. Maybe he will but you can't afford to risk trusting that he will, if that makes sense.

The other bit of "advice" (which you are, of course, free to decide isn't for you) is to look at the divorce as a business transaction, nothing more. And that's why you need an attorney, a person who can view all the details without emotion because emotion and feelings have no place in divorce negotiations.

I would also encourage you not to speak to WH about anything, do it all via text and email so you have a record of what he's said (and keep in mind that he'll have a record of what you say so keep it all matter-of-fact and low key).

But to answer your questions, he's probably assuming that the marital home will be sold in the divorce and the proceeds split 50/50 and is planning to use his share to buy a new place. And that's why you need an attorney because 50/50 isn't necessarily equitable in your situation. If you have children and have been out of the workforce, the court might require him to maintain the family home until the youngest child is 18. Not saying that will happen but saying it's a possibility so that's why you need an attorney - to make sure you get everything you're entitled to and that you need. Find an attorney who will fight tooth and nail to get you as much as possible.

Additionally, some states in the USA allow the betrayed spouse to sue for monetary damages after adultery has occurred. Not sure if it's permitted in CA but it's certainly worth looking into.

Again, do not trust him. We've seen it over and over again, WS pretends he doesn't want a divorce or separation and lulls the betrayed spouse into thinking he's going to be a nice guy and that they can do the divorce on their own without involving lawyers and next thing she knows, he's taken all the money and left her with nothing. You already know he can be sneaky and cheat behind your back so if you believe he isn't above running off with all the money and leaving you with nothing, you're wrong.

Please get an attorney. Take the money out of joint funds. In fact, I took our joint savings and put it all in my name only until the divorce was final. Sent WH a copy of the new account number and told him I had the money and was keeping it safe from the 3rd person he'd introduced into our marriage and that every dime would still be there on the day the divorce was final and the funds dispersed. Not sure if I could've gotten in trouble for that or not but I decided it was easier to ask forgiveness than to ask permission so I just did it.

Hang in there and know that the things everyone here says is based on their experiences. Things happened differently for many of us but the bottom line is, you don't know which direction your WH is going to go with all this so take it all in so you can be prepared. You know we're all vested in having your back and making sure you don't get taken.

Ichthus posted 5/30/2020 11:49 AM

I tried to play nice through the divorce separation with my WW. I was the sneaky one by the way. I still ended up losing thousands of dollars because i was trying to play fair with her.

Some attorneys will have a flat fee, talk to friends, family. There are things that you can do to protect yourself. That is why talking to a lawyer is so important.

Ichthus posted 5/30/2020 11:55 AM

In my situation, we were legally separated and I couldnt buy a house without her signing off on it first. I couldnt trust her so i waited til i was divorced

The1stWife posted 5/30/2020 14:28 PM

You certainly wonít sign anything that gives him the ability to take equity out of your current home to buy another one.

That is financial suicide.

Call your mortgage company. Put a freeze on any home equity transactions. Freeze your credit score. Without your permission no lender will provide any money if you need to sign for the loan Or line of credit.

Protect yourself. You need an attorney.

He can buy anything he wants after the D is final. But do iot allow it now.

[This message edited by The1stWife at 2:29 PM, May 30th (Saturday)]

Muggle posted 5/30/2020 19:01 PM

No idea what the community property laws are for where you live but you need to do some pre-preemptive damage control.

Get several consultations with an attorney to find out where you stand legally. Typically whatever is accumulated during a marriage is an asset for both of you. This may not be the case if a prenup was used or in the case of an inheritance. Equitable distribution of assets doesn't have to be 50/50, it can be any percentage that is agreed upon. In the end it will come down to a balance sheet for each of you. If you have less income you may be awarded a larger percentage of the marital assets.

He can't obtain a loan legally against the house if both your names are on the deed. Any credit he takes out while still married will be a joint debt, even if you don't sign for it.

I say several consultations because the first attorney I saw told me I would get nothing, to take what he offered and walk. We weren't married but were together 23 years, 3 kids, house, business while together. That attorney was WRONG.

I hired the second one I talked to. I ended up with the house (paid off), and a significant 6 figure settlement of money from the business. He pays our medical, kids car insurance, has a life insurance policy until I'm paid in full with me as beneficiary. I get child support for one, college support for another. He pays me a nominal salary. He was ordered to pay off all debts. He received the business, and two empty lots we owned. I have a lien on them until paid in full.

The devil is in the details. Gather documents in a SAFE location away from home. Google divorce documents and start gathering them in case you need them later.

Good luck, and protect yourself.

Somber posted 5/30/2020 20:28 PM

Thank you all for your advice and support. I appreciate it.

I will reread it all over and over again. I have been talking to 2 girlfriends who recently separated/divorced 1-2 years ago. I have advice and lawyer contacts from them as well.

My previous lawyer did mention that everything is split 50/50, that is how it starts. There is a chart she gave me to indicate what spousal and child support I would be entitled to.

Our home is in both of our names. I will be looking into more details ASAP and tucking away documents. I have documents from the house, taxes, pension, etc in which I gathered a year ago. These are kept at my Momís. I will review them now too.

he's probably assuming that the marital home will be sold in the divorce and the proceeds split 50/50 and is planning to use his share to buy a new place

Oh I never thought of this, this could also be true.

I wish we had joint savings but we donít. We live pay check to pay check,. We have saved for the odd thing and trip over the years but thatís about it. ...no big savings to control here.

I donít know a thing about community property laws, dividing assets, etc. I have a lot to learn and do to protect myself and do pre damage control

josiep posted 5/31/2020 10:57 AM

I donít know a thing about community property laws, dividing assets, etc. I have a lot to learn and do to protect myself and do pre damage control

Most of us didn't know anything about it all until we needed to. :(

But it's obvious from your writing that you're a smart woman who will figure this out. In fact, he might be in for the biggest surprise of his life when you regain your footing and are no longer afraid of upsetting the apple cart (as old people say) and get way ahead of him in all of this. I love it when that happens! :)

HalfTime2017 posted 6/1/2020 16:06 PM

Somber, you have to talk to an attorney. especially if you feel that he's going to try and take advantage of you.

You better get on it now. Get ahead of him doing something that might harm you and your children financially. I don't know the laws in Canada, but you should have counsel at your side.

You do not want him to purchase a new home right now, while liquidating the equity in your current house. I would not sign a damn thing and talk to an attorney right now.

Planetx posted 6/1/2020 17:13 PM

Everything varies so much by state. As soon as I filed for divorce, neither of us are allowed to make any large purchases and any debt we incurred after that point is our own. Definitely get a lawyer and file right away if he is sneaky! I would just call and ask if they do free consultations. If you have a referral from a friend that had a good experience with one of the lawyers, it might be worth it to pay them. A good thing about going to the free consultations- your STBX won't be able to use them after you meet with them because it would be a conflict of interest!

If you don't like the house and don't think you can afford it, your lawyer may advise to sell but that should happen AFTER the agreement is written. Don't let him talk you into selling before you file or speak to a lawyer. When you do go to make the agreement, they put all of your assets into one pot so the equity may not be an even 50/50 split. For example, you may get more house in lieu of cashing out his 401K or he keeps a paid off car. Good luck! The first step of deciding to file is the hardest, but it helps to get things set in motion.

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