by tiggers_mum  06/03/2009  428 Page Views
3 Comments  Family & de facto law, financial agreements, consent orders

My husband and I separated 5 weeks ago and I am left with all the debts and him refusing to pay a cent to help. I don't know what to do.

We actually started living together when we were going out and he had nowhere else to stay after leaving a job in the country and moving back to the city. That was August 2006. In October that year he sold a unit that he had been renting out and bought a boat. In December that year we moved onto and started living on his boat. In March 2007 I applied for an advance on my pension to buy my own boat, one which would be bigger and better for the both of us to live on and then he could go sailing at any time on his boat. My advance on my pension would reduce my pension income for the rest of my life. May 2007 we got engaged. February 2008 part of my pension advance finally came through. We got married in March 2008. As I had money at the time, I paid for all of the wedding costs - approx $8500. He said that when he got his tax return he would pay me back for half of the wedding costs. He has two porsche 911 (one is on the road, the other hasn't been for 5 years as the engine blew up and the engine was sitting at a friends place with the body at his mothers). He gave me the broken down porsche as a wedding present as I said I would fix it up. He rang the insurance company and told them that he had given me the porsche and that I wanted to insure it. They said it would be cheaper to add me to the insurance policy covering 2 porsches rather than to have 2 individual policys one in each name. So we went that way. But because the car had not been on the road for 5 years, it hadn't been registered for nearly that long and so the registration was never put into my name.

It was also at this time that he stopped working and became my carer.

The week after the wedding the rest of my pension advance came through. We had talked previously of going to Europe for a holiday in the next couple of years. But we talked about it and decided because we were comfortable living on his boat and we both had cars, we really didn't want for anything and decided to use my money to go on a trip to Europe.

Whilst in Europe he told me that he had changed his mind and was not giving me the porsche any more. I was upset and hurt but accepted it. Then a while later while still on holidays he said he had decided it was mine again. When we got back to Australia he said he was not giving it to me again.

He started drinking more and more and all of his carer's payment went on alcohol and cigarettes. All of my DVA pension and disability pension went on paying the bills, buying us food, and buying other essentials we needed as well as paid for maintenance on the boat. There was rarely any money left let alone any just for me to have some spending money. He started getting violent when drunk, and on my bad days when I had been in agony from my injury and not able to move, instead of looking after me he would go out, drink, etc and not even so much as leave water for me to drink within reach.

His tax return of just under $9,000 came and went. We sat down and he had spent over half of it on alcohol and taking his mates out. I didn't see one cent towards any bills let alone the money for the wedding that I was supposed to get back. I was taken out to dinner at a local restaurant once.

Towards the end of January he was drunk and got abusive again. I finally walked out. The next day I went back to get his things. He said that he would go to his mothers for a few days to leave me in peace to pack. He said once again that I could have the broken porsche as that was all he had he could give me for anything. I said I didn't want it. He said I was a fool as once it was done up I could sell it for $35-40,000. I said I didn't have the money to do it up and didn't want it. I didn't even want to talk about assets or money. I wanted some time away from him and for him to straighten himself up and not to quit drinking, but to cut back as he had been on a really bad downward spiral for the last 4 months. I knew he would never totally give up drinking. We agreed on seeing a marriage counselor and he said he was going to go to anger management. He left.

The next day he was drunk and told me on the phone that I wasn't going to get a cent from him and that I was a bitch, etc etc. This upset me so much as I had paid for the wedding ($8500), the trip to Europe ($40,000 minimum) as well as paid all of the bills (his car insurances for 2 porsches and a small 4 cyl, his boat insurance, his health insurance, etc) in the ONLY 10 months that we had been married as well as most of the food, etc. I had also been the one left to do most of the boat maintenance (as he didn't like to work, even though it caused me a lot of pain and suffering to do it by myself). I also had a credit card debt of just over $6000 racked up since we had been married that had mostly gone on bills when I didn't have the cash to pay for them. I sat down and thought long and hard about it and thought that asking him for $25,000 would be a fair thing.

When he returned the next day to he was sober so nice to me again. This time he said that he was going to sell the broken porsche, pay a lawyers bill off that he had (that I had so far been paying for him), and then split the rest of the money from the sale with me. I then told him that from everything that I had paid for in the past, I thought that $25,000 was a fair thing to ask - I did not want any of his assets (he wouldn't want to part with them anyway). He agreed and said that he would look into if he was able to get it from his super.

Since then he has been up and down and all over the place. Then he went as far as drawing up a post nuptial agreement. He acted so sincere about the whole thing - and said that he would do the councelling and the anger management. The post nuptial agreement stated that from the day we signed it in front of a JP, that we were back together, cohabitating, and listed all of our assets as our own. The catch was that it stated that he only owed me for half of my credit card debt. No other money. But he swore that he wanted to just be happy together again as he knew that was what I wanted. I had previously said to him that if we got back together then the money from the wedding, trip, etc wouldn't be an issue as it would become part of our marriage together and gone with time.

So I made up and went with him and signed it in front of a JP. We then went to Centrelink and notified them that we were back together. He then said he had to go to see his mother and was going to stay there the night as he had an early job interview the next morning. I went back to my newly found place of residence. I didn't see him for 2 days after that and he had turned his phone off. I asked him what was happening as I was confused and he replied that nothing was happening, exactly nothing. He wanted a divorce. So it was all a scam to get me to sign that he only owed me a little amount of money. Yet it also stated that we were now also cohabitating again and recommenced our relationship. These things haven't happened.

I don't know where to go to from here.

I have notified Centrelink that it was a scam to get me to sign the post nuptial and that we have not reconciliated, etc. I have a credit card debt that I am stuck with as well as other debts, he owes me money he borrowed from me the week of splitting up. I am struggling to make ends meet for myself and my daughter (from previous marriage). My pension is now just over $100 a fortnight less for the rest of my life for the advance that I took which paid for our wedding and trip overseas. I feel used and like an emotional punching bag. How can I make him take responsibility for at least some of the debt, etc?

We had only been married just over 10 months, but had been living together for 19 months before that.

Sorry for the long winded saga, but I don't know where to turn to. I don't have money for a lawyer either.

Thank you.