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FWSM1964's picture

In early February, my partner's two sons both realized that the guilt they were feeling about their perceived disloyalty to BM was displaced.  In two separate phone calls, they told their father that they happily accept that he has moved on after 15 years of separation. 

Then, in late February, SS33 and his wife invited us for a meal at their home and then, in mid-March, SS30 and his wife invited us out for dinner. Both occasions were pleasant. Both sons were respectful and kind, as were their spouses.

Also, within the last 30 days, SD21 moved out of the matrimonial home into an apartment with her fiance. The following week SD25 and her husband moved out of the matrimonial home into their own apartment, but apparently my partner is not supposed to know. BM stated that the house was just too big for her with everyone gone. This is the moment my partner was waiting for; that his children moved out of the matrimonial home of their own volition.

My partner's daughters still hope that their mother reconciles with their father, but they can't stand to live with her so they moved out. Their brothers and my partner are happy he that they moved out, since they are far away from the family drama pot stirred by BM.

I don't talk about my partner's daughters with him other than to say, "now you can visit them outside of the matrimonial home". In the last couple of weeks, he has tried to set up times to visit them, but they have blown him off. However, the requirement that he visit them at the matrimonial home is eliminated as they now have their own places and he now refuses to go to the matrimonial home.

The roof has just been completed on the matrimonial home, so it is now sale-ready.  An appraiser is being retained to assess the value of the home. I am excited that the divorce is moving ahead and had been hopeful that the house would soon be on the market.

However, BM just recently decided that she doesn't want to move and convinced the two sons who are doing well financially to offer to buy out my partner's interest on behalf of their mother. Ideally, she would like to co-own the house and share the debt with my partner, but he and I want a clean break from my partner's financial and other entanglements with BM.

Your thoughts?

JRI's picture

I'm no lawyer but I'd let the boys buy out your SO.  Sounds like a win/win.  Of course, that assumes your SO would get a fair price, with perhaps a little reduction, ie, the "family price".  

The idea of a clean break from her would be wonderful.  I'd hire a lawyer to oversee things to make positive that all connections (mortgage, credit, etc) are eliminated.

FWSM1964's picture

It's a win-win if the boys really want to take over the house and buy out my partner's interest.  Definitely a lawyer needs to be involved to ensure each tie is severed (mortgage, property, insurance, etc.)

tog redux's picture

Sounds perfect. BM can stay and your partner is off the hook. 

I hope he sees that him disentangling himself from BM allowed all of his kids to move forward. 

FWSM1964's picture

My partner who is patient says that each step will occur at its own right time. His two sons see him disentangling himself and are moving forward too.

futurobrillante99's picture

Involve an attorney!!!

It's possible that she could allow her sons to buy him out but not REFINANCE to remove his name from the mortgage, yet she would have him sign a quit claim deed to remove him from ownership of the house.

DO NOT ACCEPT a buyout unless she is also refinancing.

It happens!!

FWSM1964's picture

We are speaking to a lawyer this evening to discuss next steps.  I am excited about the severing of all financial entanglements!

Survivingstephell's picture

I recommend a clean break , new mortgage with just her and her "investors /enablers on it.  Sever any and all legal entanglements with her.   Life is so much better with no attachments whatsoever.   I'm assuming she wants the boys involved so she can interfere with their relationship with dad.   If he can suggest a clean break for them also, that would be good.  PAS is a beast and I would hate to see you post later how the skids went backwards because if this plan.  First and foremost is your partner has a clean break.  

FWSM1964's picture

BM had previously complained how big the matrimonial home is with no one but her living there; yet now she wants to remain. She cannot afford to buy my partner out so she is using her sons as her proxy, and probably put those ideas into their heads. 

As a survivor of a narcissistic ex-husband, I remember the time right after selling the house. He went to great lengths to use the children as pawns and proxies as he was losing control.

Similarly, BM knows that my partner's imminent disentanglement and their younger children's departure from the matrimonial home will result in BM's loss of control.

notarelative's picture

BM is losing control over the SSs and this is her way of regaining it. The sons having ownership in the home equals regaining control.

Your partner should not sign anything without a lawyer to ensure that his financial obligations to the house are completely severed. No joint lawyer to oversee everything. BM and sons can utilize one lawyer, but your partner needs his own lawyer to look out for his interests.
Partner needs to be prepared for his children to be angry about this. One meal does not easily erase years of loyalty to their mom.

FWSM1964's picture

Definitely a control thing. BM needs to be a busy body and strikes me as somewhat narcissistic.

My partner has his own lawyer already on retainer to handle this issue. Definitely, he doesn't want a joint lawyer with BM. He wants his interests preserved.

His sons have been thinking about this for over a year and did not want to socialize with me prior to just recently. This is because they felt disloyal to their mother by so doing. (See my forum entries from last year). But you're right; BM could complain and garner their pity.

During their teens, my sons also were very uncomfortable with my partners whom I dated since my separation because they felt that they were being disloyal to their father if they liked my partner. My NEX was also excellent at garnering my children's pity.

FWSM1964's picture

I think the catch is that BM will try to give the illusion of relinquishing control in one visible area, while secretly gaining it in a more hidden area. 

The nice thing is that my partner has a very good relationship with his sons which can mitigate it; with his daughters, not so much. They were tied to BM's apron strings for the longest time; perhaps they are still.

Rags's picture

The problem with her keeping the home is that his kids, even when they are truly launched, will always gravitate to the family home and it will remain a draw for them and a point of contention in his relationship with his kids.

As their dad.... refusing the offer for them to buy him out on behalf of their mom is what is best for him and for them. BM is using the house to manipulate your BF and his kids. If I were  him, I would force the sale, end the myth of the family home, and put BM on her own path where she has less draw than she would have if she remains in the mythical family home.

For damned sure... she has to refinance.  I was awarded the marital home in the divorce from my XW.  The Judge ruled "all property as possessed" and she had moved out.  When she figured that out she lost her shit. But it took three years for her to come to that realization.  I leased the home to a single mom on a lease purchase.  She backed out and my XW decided she wasnted to move in.  I told her that I owned the home per the divorce decree and that I would give it to her if she refinanced the home. I had moved out of state to finish engineering school and just wanted to be done with her and the house.  nearly 4 years later I received a $10 cashiers check and a quit claim deed in the mail to sign.  I refused it and had the FedEx guy take it back.  She started blowing up my phone a few days later claiming I agreed to give her the home free and clear. I told her that she had failed to refinance so ... it was still my house.  She and her Geriatric Fortune 500 executive sugar/baby daddy had moved in with their two out of wedlock spawn after the lease/purchase Tennant left.  As it turned out they had built a new home and wanted to sell my house.   Her lawyer was of the mind that it was not my house, my lawyer highlighted the "property divided as possessed" and my address (the house) and her address at the time which was GrandPa Baby/Sugar daddy's house.  After several weeks of shrieking banshee freak out calls from her..... GrandPa Sugar/Baby daddy send me a check for 3/4 of the profits from the sale of the house and I signed the quit claim deed. 

To re-view... it is time for the house to go and to never be a unicorn for your BF's kids or a torture device for BM to use against your BF ever again.

I would plant my flag on this hill and I would die on it if I were your BF.  I would not pay another penny for the home in any form, not for a repair, not to salvage the mortgage, etc.... I would inform BM that she had to step up and support the home entirely on her own until it was sold at which time I would get half.  I would be fully prepared to take the hit on a foreclosure just to end the house as a torture device and control point for BM over my kids and myself.

Good luck to you and your BF on ending this nightmare.


FWSM1964's picture

My feeling is that the matrimonial home will be a thorn in our side until BM passes away. My partner doesn't get this.

Apparently, it was the sons' idea (and not BM's) to keep the house and mortgage (refinanced, of course) in the family as a gathering place. They are worried that BM will move back to her parents' home thousands of miles away and they will rarely see her.

I think that these children are somewhat selfish as their mother cannot afford the upkeep of this house.  It is too large for her living there alone; just keeping the house available for quarterly gatherings doesn't make sense to me. The sons couldn't wait to move out of this exact house, yet they want their mother to stay there.

BM can find a nice affordable house in a nearby neighbourhood at half the value of the matrimonial home which would be less financially stressful for her. When I separated from my NEX, I purchased my current house for around 50% of the selling price of the matrimonial home, and I'm still here eight years later.

Of course, my partner will not attend the matrimonial home with the current animosity of BM against me, so these gatherings will occur with only BM and the children and their spouses.  My partner would only attend if BM accepted my place in my partner's life.  

Luckily, this isn't happening as I would refuse to attend as BM, SD25, and SD21 are bit**es. My partner hopes that they will change their tune; but it is highly doubtful.  Since they trash talk the spouses of SS33 and SS30 behind their backs, imagine what they would say about me!

Winterglow's picture

I'd be interested in hearing what the ss's spouses think about their husbands throwing part of the family resources into keeping their mother in the comfort to which she has become accustomed. 

FWSM1964's picture

I'm not sure what my partner's sons' spouses would think. 

I think both sons believe that the matrimonial home is an investment which will appreciate in value by the time they would want to liquidate it and that their spouses would share in the proceeds.

In the short term view, both wives come from well-off families who could afford to fund them in the event that some of their husbands' equity is tied up in the family home. 


Tried out's picture

they realize they are tying themselves to the upkeep and repair of the house? Do they have enough expendable cash they can't recoup for many long years? 

Winterglow's picture

The fact that their families could fund them doesn't mean that they should. Nor does it mean that the spouses will be happy that the family money (including their own hard-earned cash) would be going to keep their MIL nearby and make her happy when their husbands should be thinking of their families. Also, they are going to be even more unhappy about this when they realize (as pointed out by another poster) that the old dear could easily and comfortably downsize without needing a penny from their funds.

I say, watch the spouses reaction. That's where the fun's going to come from. 



FWSM1964's picture

I have met both sons' spouses.  I feel a kinship to them (outsiders in the family looking in).

It is interesting that BM accepts her daughters' spouses, but doesn't accept her sons' spouses.

She even moans to SS33 and SS30 that she liked their previous girlfriends better and that they should go back to them.

As for SD25 and SD21, they stand huddled in the kitchen with their mother trash talking either or both of the sons' spouses.

Yes, I pointed out that BM could have easily downsized just like I did, once the matrimonial home was sold. 

We shall see how this plays out.  SS33's wife likes living in luxury and may not like to scrimp if funds are diverted to BM.

FWSM1964's picture

BM earns way more than my partner does and can be counted on to pay for the upkeep of the house as she has previously been doing. However, she is a spendthrift and cannot save her money for the household repairs.

I believe that her sons think that they are making an investment (like an RRSP), and that the cost of the household repairs would be well worth it due to the long-term increase in value of the asset.

Also, they would keep their mother around and not 3,000 km away with her parents where she originally wanted to move once she sold the house.

She would provide convenient child care once the SK's have children, as SS33, SD25, and SD21 live relatively close and SS30 is thinking of moving back to the area once he and his spouse start having children.

Currently, SD25 and SD21 drop off their dogs with BM when they go to work. BM is happy as she doesn't like living alone, and the dogs are her daily companions.

My partner felt badly that his equity was tied up for the past 15 years of separation, but he wanted his children to leave "the nest" of their own volition which has just happened last month. So now, he's ready to sell or accept a cash buy out.

The only thing I don't understand is that BM could agree to sell and move to a nice smaller home in the same neighbourhood where her children could drop off their dogs, children, and what have you. Less maintenance; less upkeep. My partner doesn't get this.



Hesitant to try's picture

I suspect that at least part of why BM wants to stay in the matrimonial home is so she can drag her heels a bit longer, as she has done for many, many years. Even though your partner may be getting away from the home legally, I suspect she'll find a way to "need" him in some ongoing fashion. Being in the matrimonial home can only help her think of some way to keep things as entangled as possible.  I'll be interested to hear if that divorce is ever final. 


FWSM1964's picture

The house has been made sale-ready and BM is looking forward to living in a smaller house which she can afford by herself. 

Divorce papers have been drawn up. Hopefully, things are now on track!