If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on for help. Thanks :)
Hello all! Please ensure that you are posting a new thread or question in the appropriate forum. The Feedback forum is overwhelmed with questions that are having to be moved elsewhere. If you need help to verify your account contact

Divorce settlement - an agonising dilemma

  • 30-06-2022 6:13pm
    Registered Users Posts: 3

    I just need a soundboard as I agonise over the right thing to do.

    Married in 1990, separated from my wife since Jan 2016. Divorce proceedings delayed because of COVID. We have two amazing grown-up children who no longer live in the family home located in Raheny (Dublin 5), but live in West Dublin. My estranged wife lives in the 3 bedroom family home, I live in the UK.

    I was unemployed from March 2020 till the start of December 2021; a gruelling time during which my savings evaporated. I secured a job just in the nick of time, but aged 58 I don't have that much time to rebuild much of retirement pot.

    At the start of May, my wife was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in the form of incurable secondary bone cancer in the very early stages ... 13 years after her double mastectomy followed by chemo- and radiotherapy. I have no right to complain about a spell of unemployment.

    My gut feeling tells me that I should spare her the anguish of taking the divorce to court and give her the comfort of a house for how ever much longer she has to live. In doing so, I would be sacrificing my only asset, possibly jeopardising my own future. I can't tell my children that I am prepared to see their mother forced out of her home of the last 20 years.

    Am I losing my senses?


  • Registered Users Posts: 22 babliss2009

    I’m very sorry for you and your (ex) wife.

    I’ve no idea how you must feel but reading as a non involved party, I wouldn’t feel you’re wrong for thinking of your own future too. You don’t know what’s down the line.

    No idea if this has any merit or legal standing but maybe there’s an arrangement that you get the house but she gets a life time interest so she can stay in the house for the time she has and you’re also protected?

    hope it works out as best it can

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,860 ✭✭✭Pissy Missy

    You're not losing your senses, you're obviously a decent caring person. Sorry to hear that both of you have been going through a horrid time. You do have a right to complain because unfortunately we need money in this world. I personally think you should talk to your solicitor or get some legal advice on the potential consequences of your actions if you decide to go down this route just so you can make an informed decision.

  • Registered Users Posts: 22 andy6

    Trust your gut feeling. You're doing the right thing. The house will be there after..

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,346 ✭✭✭✭Calahonda52

    Sorry to read about this.

    You need legal advice.

    “I can’t pay my staff or mortgage with instagram likes”.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,604 ✭✭✭✭Jim_Hodge

    Not being cold about it but whose name is the house in. If in joint names then the asset will still be there afterwards. Talk to tour solicitor rather than asking unqualified strangers on a discuss8in board.

    Post edited by Jim_Hodge on

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 3 Cheadle2012

    Thank you all for your time and thoughts. It really helps to hear different personal perspectives.

    Unfortunately, I have had to harass my solicitor to arrange a consultation to discuss the new, awful situation. It should happen next week.

    The mortgage is in both our names.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,860 ✭✭✭Pissy Missy

    Hope they can be more helpful, I think most of us can't give sound advice on this unfortunately due to lack of education/inexperience. Wish you all the best with this.

  • Registered Users Posts: 224 ✭✭SunnySundays

    At the risk of being clinical about this, is there a way that you could work out something together that would work for you both.

    Can you talk amicably? Has she been given a timeline re her diagnosis? Could you agree she lives in the house until she passed and that it becomes yours to sell thereafter.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,443 ✭✭✭XsApollo

    edit: retracting my previous post.

    but yea there was a post a few posts up, trust your gut the house will be there after.

    talk to your children also.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Be careful that your solicitor may encourage you to push forward, regardless - call me cyncial, but they want to earn their fees.

    Without knowing more of your legal situation - if you feel you want to proceed to finalising your divorce in court, I am sure there must be a legal way you can agree that your wife remain in the family home until the inevitable happens, that at the same time also protects your interests.

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 621 ✭✭✭Sonic the Shaghog

    If it's in both names will it not be a case of it will be yours once she passes anyways? Especially if you don't divorce in mean time

  • Registered Users Posts: 3 Cheadle2012

    Thank you Pissy Missy

    No, she hasn't been given a timeline. Indeed, the doctors are confident that they detected the tumour early, but it will kill her in the end. My heart is breaking for my children.

    We haven't talked in years. I have only seen her at my children's graduations. At my son's on November (my birthday as it happens), she just looked straight through me.

    Once again, thank you all for your time. I don't expect specific advice, more just an answer to the question 'what would you do?' But I have to decide for myself what sort of man and father I want to be.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,211 ✭✭✭Packrat

    58 is young if you're healthy and fit.

    Don't know what area you work in but if you're planning to work past 65 (even in a different role or industry, I can't imagine not) you've plenty of time to make arrangements for your retirement.

    This is Europe not America,- you won't be on the street if you're smart and organized.

    Go with your gut in my opinion.

    I know it will rankle, especially given her attitude to you, but you'll lose your relationship with your children if you proceed.

    Give her a bit of dignity in her final illness, and be thankful its not you.

    You may even end up with it all anyway.

    “The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command”

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Personally, given what you've added to thread, and if you intend to remain living in the UK, I would be leaning towards finalising the divorce, but requesting a property adjustment order that allows your former wife remain in the family home until she passes, and then possession will go to you.

    Of course you should seek legal and probably medical and financial advice about this before deciding.

    (Edit) Is there still a mortgage outstanding? If so, is there a policy which may pay it off as your wife has been diagnosed with a terminal illness?

    I am sorry for your troubles.

    Post edited by [Deleted User] on

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,379 ✭✭✭peckerhead

    +1 to all the above.

    OP, make sure you get good legal advice, and don't be rushed into anything. Lawyers, at the end of the day, will defend nothing with greater zeal than they do their own best interest (disclosure: I'm also 58 and trying to finalise a messy and protracted divorce since 2015).

    Sorry for your troubles, and good luck with the path ahead.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,985 ✭✭✭spaceHopper

    You don't have all the information, well meaning dr's say what they believe is true but the reality could be different or she could be putting on a brave face for the kids. She could be gone in a few months to a few years.

    You need to break this down into smaller bites.

    What has she told the kids about her illness and what has she said to them about inheriting the house. What is in her will. You need to set realistic expectations of your portion of the house, you don't want this to poison your relationship with the kids.

    Has she a new partner that is expecting to stay in the house after she dies?

    If she has terminal diagnosis, will the mortgage protection pay out now so that you are both relieved of the mortgage burdin.

    I'd act on this now as you don't know the timeline, if you wait events could take over on you.

    She must know the divorce is coming, what if you talk to one of your kids and suggest she talks to you or even do a mediation session.

  • Registered Users Posts: 995 ✭✭✭iColdFusion

    Is there still a mortgage on the house OP?

    Its a different conversation depending on whether there is or isn't, if ye have both been paying 50/50 and she is unable to work due to illness that additional payment liability goes straight to you but also if the mortgage protection policy deems her condition terminal it may payout early.

    If there's no mortgage she will likely have no real income and some decent medical bills coming her way plus home care, palliative care etc when things get bad. It might actually be in her interest to sell the house, pay you your share and move in with one of the kids or to a care home.

    This also assumes she doesn't have a new partner in the mix.

    I should also add it would make sense for your solicitor to request some legal proof of her illness and how terminal it is, sounds cold but ye need to all know where ye stand, it sounds like all you have been getting is hearsay, she could be exaggerating the situation to make sure she keeps the house and to potentially get one over on you because she knows you have fallen on tough times, she's not your loving wife anymore!