Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Morning Quickie: “My Boyfriend Complains About Pitching in With the Bills”

Much money 07

My partner moved in with me and my three children (we rent) a year ago and rented out his own property. The agreement was that he would save for a deposit in order for us to buy our own house. Because of a poor credit rating, I was unable to be considered for a mortgage, so we continued with the plan of putting the mortgage in his name. After about six months of his being here, I told him he would need to contribute as I was no longer able to cover my bills due to a cease in original single parent benefits. I had been using my savings to make up the difference, but they had now run out.

He has made payments that I have requested, but I have had to ask for these every month when I reached a stage of going overdrawn. He becomes angry and evasive when confronted, to the point where I don’t want to raise the issue. He has not committed to taking any responsibility for our current cost of living. I currently ask for £750 a month. He takes home over £4000 a month. He has saved up a good deposit and has no other expenses. Alarm bells are ringing with regards to his control. I am now seven months pregnant, and in a few months will see a huge reduction in my income with maternity pay. The buying of the house is going through, but I am worried that, as he will then have to be the main payer, I will have no access to any money whatsoever. — Nearly Overdrawn

If your boyfriend “has not committed to taking any responsibility for your current cost of living,” how can you trust he’ll take any responsibility for any future cost of living? You can’t. You can’t count on him to get the bills paid. You’ve got alarm bells ringing with regards to his controlling manner, you’re seven months pregnant and about to take a cut in pay while on maternity leave, your future living situation is up in the air, and you’re worried you won’t have access to any of the household income. This is not only a terrible recipe for a relationship, but it also spells disaster for a single mother with three (soon to be FOUR) mouths to feed.

You need to quit relying on this non-committal boyfriend and start living within your means. If that means downsizing to a one-bedroom apartment that you can comfortably afford, then that’s what you have to do. Then, go see a lawyer about getting “single parent benefits”/child support for your first three children reinstated and sue your boyfriend for child support for the baby that’s due in a few months. Look into whatever government aid you may qualify for to support you while you get back on your feet.

You need to make caring for your children a top priority. You’ve got a boyfriend on your hands who gets angry and evasive when confronted about contributing to living expenses. He’s not someone you can count on and, frankly, you don’t have time to dick around waiting for him to prove himself as a man, a partner, and a father. He’s had many, many months to step up and he hasn’t. It’s time to take matters into your own hands and do what you need to do to care for your kids.

***************

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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.

51 comments… add one
  • Dear Wendy

    Dear Wendy February 5, 2015, 10:28 am

    Oops, sorry, didn’t mean for comments to be closed on this. They’re open now!

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  • avatar

    SasLinna February 5, 2015, 10:40 am

    You need financial and legal counseling to figure out your situation. Given how things have developed you can’t rely on your boyfriend to contribute to your expenses in a meaningful way. Plus, if he saves for the house, is it going to be in his name only when he buys it? If so, this might actually lead to you having to move out.

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  • othy

    othy February 5, 2015, 10:45 am

    Why do letters like these always end with “And now I’m quite pregnant”? If you’re having financial difficulties (especially expected ones, like the loss of single parent benefits when you move in with someone), why would you choose to have another child? I really think we need to hand out all forms of birth control like candy to help people avoid situations like this.
    .
    The good news is that the house will be in his name, which means he will be legally required to pay for it (leaving you off the hook). It is time for you to reconsider your options. I like Wendy’s idea to live within your own means, move into a place you can afford on your own, even if it’s tiny. My parents lived in a tiny apartment for a few years when I was young, and it really helped me value the larger, nice home we moved into.
    .
    However, if you decide that you *do* want to stay with your cheap, evasive, and angry boyfriend, the two of you need to sit down and work out a financial plan. Hammer out exactly how you’re paying for everything and who is paying for what. Make it a plan that you can realistically afford, rather than something HE can afford. If he wants to live in the more expensive home, he should help pay for the difference, rather than expecting to split it 50/50. Even though you’ll be making less money with your maternity pay, that money should still be in your name, so you won’t be 100% reliant on him.

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  • Guy Friday

    Guy Friday February 5, 2015, 11:03 am

    I don’t know that calling this guy “cheap” or “untrustworthy” is even a little bit fair. Let’s recap this:
    -LW and BF decide they want to get a house.
    -LW has a “poor credit rating”, so they agree to move in together and have him focus on saving up for the deposit (the implication, of course, being that the agreement is he takes care of the future and she takes care of the present.).
    -6 months in, LW tells BF that he must not only save up for the new house but also contribute to her bills. BF does this, but reluctantly, and only when called out for it.
    -The buying of the house “is going through” (which sure sounds to me like contracts have been signed and payments arranged).
    .
    I’m not someone who thinks everything has to be 50/50 in a relationship, but what exactly are you contributing here, LW? Because it sure sounds like you’re demanding he pay for almost everything, or at the very least that he happily change course on a dime when he’s apparently already started making major financial commitments (the house) based on the agreement you reached with him. I might be grumpy too if I was in that boat, especially when you claim he has “no expenses” when, you know, HE HAS PROPERTY HE’S RENTING OUT TO SAVE UP THIS MONEY FOR YOU. I mean, I don’t know the law in whatever country you’re in, but I know where I am you’d have to overcharge for your place if you wanted to even break even when you factor in landlord responsibility for repairs, upkeep, property taxes, etc.

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    • othy

      othy February 5, 2015, 11:15 am

      I took i the other way – that she’s paying for everything with the household now, including rent and utilities and food, and dipping into her emergency fund while he’s potentially saving some token amount for a home. We really don’t know how much he’s saving or what else he’s spending his money on. She says she’s asking for him to contribute 750 pounds for all of their expenses out of the 4000 pound take home pay he makes, which still gives him plenty of room to save for a housing down payment. We don’t know how much her take home pay is, but I’d be annoyed if I was paying for everything for my boyfriend while he saved for a home that would be his asset, in his name only, especially if it was costing more than I was making to support both of us (and 3.5 kids). The two of them really need to sit down, go over their financial plan and get on the same page with their situation and their future goals. But they need to do it calmly without getting angry and without confrontation (it sounds like these are arguments rather than discussions). Especially with a kid on the way.

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    • Addie Pray

      Addie Pray February 5, 2015, 11:50 am

      I’m not so sure the agreement was “you save for a house indefinitely and I will pay rent, all bills, etc. now” – was it? Even if it were, that’s a really crappy arrangement because she’s not saving anything and she’s supporting everyone now, and if the relationship doesn’t work out, she’s screwed. So, maybe she made a bad deal upfront. And she’s now realizing that she can’t afford that deal. Yet, when she tries to talk to her boyfriend, he becomes angry…. Wtf, that’s shitty! So, yeah, I feel for her, not the boyfriend who is taking advantage of her. She’s put herself in a bad situation and she’s not looking out for herself or her kids. Wendy’s advice was great for how LW can start protecting herself now. Better late than never.

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    • FireStar

      FireStar February 5, 2015, 11:56 am

      The paying for now vs. paying for future thing is tricky when couples aren’t married. You don’t know what the future holds – if they will even be together so she can reap the benefit of her end of the bargain. We do know that he was living rent free allowing him to save up a bunch of money so he can buy an asset in his name only. And we know a mother of three (almost four) deleted her savings and took an income cut in order for him to do that. If they were married and this was all family property – then cool – I pay now, you pay then – it all comes out in the (legal) wash. But just boyfriend and girlfriend with kids in the mix? It’s dangerous for her to trust her (and her kids’) financial future to someone who can just walk away after she has done the bulk of supporting. Both of them neglected to sit down before moving in and do the numbers properly…he might be grumpy about chipping in more than he thought he would but she should be beside herself all of her savings are gone on the basis of a promise.

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      • avatar

        SasLinna February 5, 2015, 2:05 pm

        Basically he’s investing his money while she’s just spending hers without any guarantees that she’ll be able to save later.

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    • avatar

      RedroverRedrover February 5, 2015, 12:11 pm

      At the end of this, he will walk away with two properties in his name, while she will have nothing (including no savings, since she’s using them for living expenses). He will be financially better off, and she will be financially worse off. I don’t see how renting out the other property is an issue, since he isn’t paying rent where he is. His expenses are the same whether he lives there or not, except the way it is now he has additional rental income to offset those expenses. So he’s coming out ahead on the rental compared to if he was living there himself. Plus it sounds like she’s paying ALL the expenses at her place, including, I assume, food, communications, utilities, etc. He’s living way the hell cheaper than if he just moved back into his place.
      .
      And why is he doing this? To save up a downpayment. For his house. In his name. She has no right to it at all. Basically he’s getting a free ride to save up to buy himself a sizeable asset. This is totally one-sided. I hope that part of the agreement is that when they move into the house, *she* gets a chance to live rent-free for awhile to catch up. If she’s expected to split 50/50 once they move, then that is completely unfair.

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    • Fabelle

      Fabelle February 5, 2015, 12:54 pm

      I agree with you….she sounds like the financially irresponsible one, not him. She has poor credit, is overdrawn every month, and incurring more expenses (another child, a house) while expecting him to help her stay afloat.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle February 5, 2015, 1:10 pm

        Of course, the bulk of advice is still true…she needs to change course and start relying on herself by living within her (her own, not his potential) means.

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray February 5, 2015, 1:28 pm

        Right. I agree, I don’t think she has been very financially responsible. Her poor credit, and this current arrangement, speak to that. But it’s good that she’s realizing she can’t carry on like this, and, if she can start protecting herself now, then good for her.

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    • bittergaymark

      bittergaymark February 5, 2015, 6:50 pm

      Eh, I agree with Guy Friday. Sorry — this LW sounds like a FUCKING mess. And if saving for the house is considered a SHARED expense, then he is more than pulling his weight.
      .
      PS — Yay! How great that this clueless LW has spawned a fucking litter. No wonder everybody in America is so fucking dumb lately. It’s only people as dumb a rats that breed like rats… Discuss.

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      • avatar

        Muffy February 5, 2015, 9:48 pm

        She is in Great Britain lol

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  • FireStar

    FireStar February 5, 2015, 11:46 am

    Why is everything so up in the air? When he moved in – didn’t you look at numbers to figure out how much money you would need a month to meet your joint expenses? Didn’t you know that single parents benefits would cease? Why would it be a good idea for him to live rent free in order for him to save money for a future when, at this point, all he is is a boyfriend? Why put all your financial eggs in a basket that can get up and walk away at any time? You have (soon to be) four kids to think about. You really need to speak with a financial adviser to get your ducks in a row going forward. You need to be far more responsible that you are being. If it was just you – meh – roll the dice…but you have children.
    Sit down with your boyfriend and do a budget… what your expenses are and how much income is coming in every month (from both of you). Determine if you still just want him to be the only person saving (because really you should not have depleted your own savings so build in some room for you to build back your savings). For the new house is he going to be carrying it solely or will you be contributing? If you are, then have a cohabitation agreement setting forth any interest you will have in the property should the two of you break up since you won’t be on title. Speak with an adviser if you don’t know where to start. Again – you aren’t anything to him – he can walk away no strings attached right now. If you are married you have certain rights but there are no girlfriend rights. You need to protect your future and your children’s future now.

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  • findingtheearth

    findingtheearth February 5, 2015, 11:47 am

    As a single mom, I don’t know how much room I have to talk, but seriously….do not enter into a physical relationship with someone unless you know they can provide for you. I have been single since I was pregnant because of this. Especially since you have other children to consider first.

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    • Addie Pray

      Addie Pray February 5, 2015, 11:56 am

      Do you really mean that, “unless you know they can provide for you”? I’m not sure that all single moms are looking for a partner to provide for them financially. But I do agree that a single parent shouldn’t take on a partner if it means she can no longer afford to provide for herself and her child.

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      • FireStar

        FireStar February 5, 2015, 12:05 pm

        Agreed – No one has an obligation to provide for anyone else unless it is a parent providing for a child. To rely on someone supporting you and your children (outside of any legal arrangement) is just Russian Roulette – and you can’t afford that game with you have kids.

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      • avatar

        simonthegrey February 5, 2015, 1:02 pm

        Maybe a better comment would be “unless they can and will provide for themselves?

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  • avatar

    SasLinna February 5, 2015, 12:04 pm

    I’m wondering how much of the conflict comes from the boyfriend feelings like he would provide for LW’s children. It might not be true – sounds like he would just be contributing for his own living expenses but maybe he has this idea that part of the money will go towards LW’s kids? I feel like that’s something they really need to discuss, what his responsibilities to the existing children are going to be in the future.

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  • Kate B.

    Kate B. February 5, 2015, 12:28 pm

    OK, so I’m with everyone else that you need to sit down and have a serious money talk. What concerns me, though, is that you say you were dipping into your savings to make up the shortfall on your monthly bills. This is not a sound financial strategy because, as you’ve learned, savings run out. This, coupled with a poor credit rating, tells me that you need some financial counseling for YOURSELF so you won’t be so dependent on others to make ends meet. This would put you in a much better bargaining position when it comes to money matters. You would never have to worry about having no access to money. I am also concerned that you are going into a house in which you will have no stake. It’s his, he will have all the power and control when it comes to the house. Normally, if a person can’t afford to go in on the mortgage, they contribute to the household in other ways, like paying utilities, buying all the groceries, things like that. It sounds like you won’t even be able to do that. So, you are making yourself completely dependent on a man you are not married to. (I bring this up because others have raised the point that, as a girlfriend, you have no legal rights. He could kick you to the curb at any time.) I am curious why you thought it was a good time to have a fourth child when you were already struggling with three, but I’m not going to harp on that. So: get financial counseling, learn some life skills so that you are better able to make your own way without depending on others, and if you decide to go forward with this cohabitation, draw up an agreement that plainly spells out your rights and the obligations of each party. I’m not sure that it would hold up legally if anything happened, but it’s better than nothing. I see a lot of irresponsibility here and not enough sitting down and talking.

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  • avatar

    tbrucemom February 5, 2015, 1:18 pm

    They’re not married and he’s helping to support her and THREE children when he’s not even the stepparent. He’s agreed to buy a home for all of them to live in since she can’t get one on her own because of her credit and insufficient income. He is fulfilling his end of the bargain by purchasing the home AND gives her money toward their current bills, even if she has to ask him for it. Maybe he becomes angry because he feels there is not an equal share of responsibility. Her and her 3 children would consume more food, energy, etc. than just him so maybe he feels she should contribute more and gets angry that he has to not only save for their future home but has to give her money because she doesn’t make enough and isn’t concerned enough about losing her “single parent benefits” whatever the hell that is to see if there are any alternative sources to replace them. Why or why is she having a FOURTH child when she obviously can’t support the three she has without his help and then complains about him?

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    • something random

      something random February 5, 2015, 1:49 pm

      To be fair, if you get serious with a woman who comes with three kids and impregnate her with your own child and agree to move in together despite her poor credit history and financial choices, I don’t think you get be shocked when she continues to struggle financially and there are three kids and your impregnated child attached to think about. Just sayin’

      Obviously we don’t live in a fair world, the boyfriend isn’t the one writing to DW, and the consequences of the current set up are disproportionately disadvantageous to the lw. WWS all the way about the lw taking control of her life and this situation.

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      • Kate B.

        Kate B. February 5, 2015, 2:03 pm

        You make it sound like she had nothing to do with getting pregnant. This speaks back to the lack of communication between the two. Neither one of them is being particularly realistic or responsible.

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      • something random

        something random February 5, 2015, 2:30 pm

        @Kate B. making it sound like she had no role was kind of my point. I meant it has a balancing response to tbrucemom’s comment which I felt was a rather unilateral perspective. I completely agree that they are both equally responsible for the baby in utero. I also agree with tbrucemom’s sentiment that the boyfriend is not a stepfather and is not equally responsible for the lw’s children. But dating someone with kids complicates things. The boyfriend is serious enough to live and procreate with the lw so I’m not willing to expunge all responsibility from his shoulders as though he is some poor victim in all of this.

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    • avatar

      SasLinna February 5, 2015, 2:03 pm

      The “single parent benefits” are probably social benefits from the state to support single parents, and she stopped getting them because she now lives with her partner.

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      • avatar

        RedroverRedrover February 5, 2015, 2:31 pm

        So she’s losing income to support him, while he gains income from his rental? Jesus. Plus she’ll be losing income to take care of their child. She needs to have a serious talk with him. She’s taking all the financial hits and he’s getting all the gains.

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      • avatar

        SasLinna February 5, 2015, 2:39 pm

        It seems like this LW is from the UK, and I don’t know exactly how things work there. But where I live couples who live together are supposed to support each other financially, so there are certain social benefits you can’t claim anymore when you live with a partner. This is what I suspect happened to her, and it can be a real problem. And I agree, if he’s not actually supporting her but rather she’s the one supporting him, then that’s bad.

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      • Nookie

        Nookie February 6, 2015, 12:05 pm

        It looks like you get a higher rate for child care if coupled https://www.gov.uk/income-support/what-youll-get
        .
        Buuuuuuuuuuuut if he’s making as much as she says, she might have her benefits cut off due to his higher income potential. So I guess it would be fair for him to make up some of the difference? We can’t presume to know his outgoings but if he’s on £4k a month take home, he’s in a top percentile of earners.

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        SasLinna February 6, 2015, 4:28 pm

        Thanks for the link! Yeah, it says on the website that “your partner’s income will be taken into account” to determine eligibility.

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    • avatar

      girodet February 5, 2015, 2:36 pm

      He is NOT supporting her. He is living off of her. The promise of a house in the future is not support. A promise that is not at all guaranteed even. He is living totally free and mooching off of a poor single mother. He is only contributing after she asks and then he gets hostile about it. Ick! He CHOSE to be in a relationship with a poor woman with three kids and he CHOSE to have a kid with her. You seem to have contempt for this woman and feel that she can’t expect to be treated better than this.

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      • avatar

        tbrucemom February 5, 2015, 4:15 pm

        Give me a break – a poor single mother. She chose to have THREE kids on her own (four if you include her pregnancy and hopefully the BF will be around to help at least with that one), so she needs to be responsible for them, not her BF, not the government. He’s not living totally free, he’s saving money for a house, that they agreed he would and is now paying toward their current bills, including those for 3 children that aren’t his or even his stepchildren. She’s just upset because she has to ask him and he supposedly gets “angry”. Maybe he’s just frustrated that the arrangement has changed because she is now getting less money and that she SHOULD be paying more since she brought four months into the equation compared to his one (at this point the baby isn’t born). Women want equality only when it benefits them. Yes he chose to be with her and he can choose to not be with her, that’s my point! She needs to start making plans for her and her children and not rely on promises. Still don’t know why there is no talk of child support from any of the other children’s father(s).

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        RedroverRedrover February 5, 2015, 4:34 pm

        Ummm, except for the times where she’s needed help for bills, yes, he has been living totally free. It sounds like she covers everything for living expenses. I guess he probably pays his cell, but it doesn’t sound like he pays for food, cable, internet, etc. Yes, that is free. I don’t know how you can say it isn’t.
        .
        As to saving up for the house, that is not an expense. That is saving. And it’s saving that is only going to benefit him financially, unless the plan is to put her name on the house as well. I doubt if that’s the plan, since she hasn’t mentioned it. So he’s living for free, while getting the chance to save up for an asset that only he will own. How exactly is that “supporting her”? If they broke up next week, she’d have nothing and he’d have two houses.

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      • avatar

        ktfran February 5, 2015, 5:00 pm

        RIGHT!?!. If I could tell some dude “Hey, I’ll live with you while saving for our future hypothetical house, but I won’t contribute to any rent or utilities in the mean time”, I mean, hello, that’s a pretty fucking good set up.
        .
        I’m fairly certain most would call me a gold digger. Or free loader. Or something.

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      • avatar

        RedroverRedrover February 5, 2015, 5:15 pm

        Also I think you misunderstood what girodet meant by “poor mother”. She didn’t mean “oh poor thing, let’s all feel sorry for her”. She meant financially poor. If you couple up with someone who’s financially poor, you can’t be all shocked if they can’t handle paying 100% of the bills.

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        girodet February 6, 2015, 3:46 pm

        I really don’t understand why you think it is ONLY her fault that she has all these kids. You don’t even want to blame her current boyfriend for the new child to come. And we don’t know what happened to the father of the 3 children. From reading the rest of the comments she is getting less money BECAUSE he is living with her, which has her losing a benefit she had previously. Not to mention the fact that him impregnating her is causing her to have less money. Bottom line for me is that the boyfriend is solely benefiting monetarily and she is paying all and even lost her savings. As I said before it is obvious that you have contempt for this woman. I am baffled at your refusal to make the men in this women’s life just as culpable as you feel the LW is.

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    tbrucemom February 5, 2015, 4:19 pm

    It’s also funny how everyone keeps commenting on how he chose to have a baby with her so because of that he’s got all these obligations, but if she had chosen to get an abortion he wouldn’t have had a choice in that. Again, you can’t have it both ways.

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    • avatar

      RedroverRedrover February 5, 2015, 5:12 pm

      He has one obligation, the same one all parents have – to support your child. What kinds of birth control were used before the child was born doesn’t affect that.

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      • avatar

        ktfran February 5, 2015, 5:26 pm

        Hahahaha Red Rover you’re so silly. Don’t you know it’s always the woman’s responsibility? ALWAYS. No questions asked.

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        RedroverRedrover February 5, 2015, 6:21 pm

        Sorry, forgot. 🙂

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      girodet February 6, 2015, 5:00 pm

      It is obvious your politics are preventing you from caring about this LW.

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  • avatar

    stickelet February 5, 2015, 5:27 pm

    I haven’t read the comments yet and I’m not sure anyone has ever mentioned this when we get letters where the LW has a big family, but federal housing laws state that only a certain number of people can live in an apartment/house per number of bedrooms and it’s two people per bedroom. So this LW would need a three bedroom home to comply. Of course, there are landlords who don’t follow this or look the other way, but just FYI.

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  • Pamplemousse Rose

    Pamplemousse Rose February 5, 2015, 6:21 pm

    I think there have been a lot of bad decisions made by the LW and her boyfriend. I’m not sure her boyfriend is necessarily the deadbeat people are assuming. To me the it sounds like she proposed the “I cover everything now; you save up to buy us a house later” scenario. If their current costs are £750 over the LW’s income she really didn’t think through what she could realistically afford – that is a huge deficit. And to think it will be okay to deplete savings because he’s buying us a house!?! I can’t even…
    *
    Maybe I’m reading it wrong, but I don’t see that a discussion as partners happened between them. I read it that the LW just started telling him that he now needs to chip in the extra £750/month on top of saving for a downpayment. What if £750/month is how much he could put into savings when other expenses he has (debts? other obligations? we don’t know) are taken into account. I’d be pissed too if all of a sudden I was told I needed to throw in that much extra each month. Did the boyfriend know she was using her savings to make ends meet? Really they need to have a conversation regarding income, expenses and cost of living, and stop living above their means, especially when she is on maternity leave.
    *
    Hopefully someone with knowlege of UK dower rights could chime in, but if they work the same way as they do where I live, once the LW and her boyfriend live together as a couple, even if it is in his name only, she does have a claim on it. He can’t sell it later without her permission. For example, both my husband and I have properties we owned before meeting – he has a house in another city and I have a condo where we live. Since we lived in my condo together I can’t sell it without his permission even though it is solely in my name, but since I never lived in his house, so he can sell it without my permission. Also not sure if it’s the same in the UK but in Canada, living together/having a child together makes you common-law spouses in the eyes of the government.

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    • avatar

      RedroverRedrover February 5, 2015, 6:24 pm

      That’s not totally true about common-law in Canada. Depends on the province.

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      • Pamplemousse Rose

        Pamplemousse Rose February 5, 2015, 7:14 pm

        It is how the federal government determines common-law in Canada and for property, that’s how it works where I live (like I said, I’m not sure about the UK). Really the biggest problems here are that they clearly did not discuss a budget within their means and now she doesn’t trust him. Regardless of anything else, the lack of trust is going to kill their relationship. I’m sure you were the same, but I trusted that my husband would not cut me off from funds when my salary took a huge dive on maternity leave.

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        RedroverRedrover February 5, 2015, 9:43 pm

        I’m thinking about that case in Quebec where the couple had three children, they separated, she sued him for alimony and she lost. I suppose maybe they were considered common-law in name, but in Quebec that doesn’t give you any right to your partner’s assets. So it wouldn’t do much good in a case like the LW’s anyway.
        .
        I’ve never been common-law married, so my husband was stuck with me through maternity leave. 🙂 But yes, it wouldn’t have mattered, I would have had trust anyway because of our relationship. I think the main thing that’s happened here, is that they didn’t properly discuss it, and they clearly didn’t work out the numbers. Frankly, if half of a couple is going broke, then it doesn’t matter how much the other half dislikes paying extra, they have to work it out. The two of them have to put together a budget that works and stick to it. If it means waiting longer for the house, then they do that. For him to stick to the plan, regardless of changes in her circumstances, is crazy. They’re both upset because they’re not communicating. And even if they had trust before, this is causing both of them to lose it now.

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      Muffy February 5, 2015, 10:04 pm

      FYI regarding Canada family law: Common law requires a certain amount of time together – 3 years or else a child + relationship as a couple. Also property doesn’t get equalized (except for in a couple of provinces – BC/Sask) if you are common law – so that means no property division – there is spousal support (alimony) but not in Quebec (which decided that it didn’t want it). With regards to the house, if she is not married and not on title she gets nothing. He can sell it, rent it, kick her out – whatever. There is something called a constructive trust where you essentially argue that you own a portion of the house because of your work you put into the family etc. that allowed your spouse to actually have the ability to own the house – but those are of course messy and expensive and considering that she doesn’t even have the ability to apply for a mortgage or pay for her children without a government subsidy I doubt she has the money for a legal battle.

      So basically LW you are screwed and if you move in with this guy you should draw up some sort of cohabitation agreement with the help of a lawyer. You need to stop depending on others – you basically just allowed someone to move in to your house, live rent free, which caused you to stop getting payments that you needed and you squandered your entire savings. Why couldn’t he have just stayed in his own home and the two of you save up for a house that you would be on title.

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    HmC February 6, 2015, 4:17 pm

    LW you need to address your financial issues STAT. You let your boyfriend move in with the understanding that he’d help you financially, and he is not. You have three kids. You have to support them. And your credit sucks. So… start to turn that around. Kick this guy out if he’s not helping, move to a cheaper place and downsize your spending. Save money. Pay bills on time to improve your credit. Depending on an unmarried partner who vaguely promises he will buy a house (and your name won’t even be on it?!) is no way to go through life. You are to putting all of your eggs into a very frail basket. You should live with someone because you want to share your life with them, not to save them money (when you are broke) so they can make a huge purchase later on that may or may not involve you.

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    wobster109 February 6, 2015, 4:26 pm

    Please break up and get yourself and your kids out of there. Your letter reminded me of Kate Ranta’s story (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/12/why-didnt-you-just-leave-money_n_5804624.html).

    “I was shouldering all the debts, while he was keeping the assets. He was hoarding his money and forcing me to spend all of mine. . . He dangled finances like a carrot in front of me. . . The house went into foreclosure. I had to declare bankruptcy. My credit was in the toilet.”

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      RedroverRedrover February 6, 2015, 4:44 pm

      It’s so important for women to get financially educated. I think too many are still of the mind that they’ll meet a man and he’ll take care of all that stuff. Even if he does, and even if he means well, you can still get screwed. Not to mention that some people just aren’t good at finances, and if you marry someone like that, you damn well better know what you’re doing so that at least one of you can take care of the money properly.
      .
      It’s a huge problem that women are more likely to be low-income, are more likely to have the responsibility for the kids, and are more likely to not be educated about finances. It allows men like the one in the article to take advantage. And it allows men like the LW’s boyfriend to take no risk while the woman takes it all. I’m not saying LW’s boyfriend is doing it on purpose; maybe he is, maybe he isn’t, we don’t know. But he’s certainly ensuring that he’s ok financially. Women need to do the same thing.

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        SasLinna February 6, 2015, 4:53 pm

        Absolutely. I also think it’s important to take into account that LW was already struggling financially and with being responsible for three kids when she met this guy. That makes it more understandable to me that she was hoping for some help from him. I’m guessing that she’s paying a lot of rent and that she was hoping to save a significant amount of money by living in the house he would buy. He probably seemed like he was the solution to a lot of her problems and may have reinforced that picture. With the house purchase getting closer it may have seemed like it was only a short phase of having higher expenses. But yeah, it still really isn’t smart.

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