I am trying not to feel bitter or resentful but I have to say, on the day that I have officially sold my house, I am failing miserably.
Why did I sell my house? Simply because I had no choice.
My husband got himself sacked (due to being regularly arrested for drinking) within 3 months of him leaving the family home, putting himself solely on benefits. This resulted in him only having to pay £7 a week child support – in total, not per child – leaving me to pay for our joint mortgage by myself as well as the bills, food etc.
I went back to work within a couple of weeks of him losing his job and even took on some extra jobs. However, by April 2013, it was clear that I would have to sell for three reasons.
Firstly, I was only paying the interest on the mortgage (and only just managing that) and had no means to pay the capital.
Secondly, should my ex-husband go bankrupt, the creditors would take the house from me with 6-12 months and I would lose all equity. With debt letters for my ex turning up regularly, it was a huge risk to stay.
Thirdly, while there was the joint mortgage, we would be financially linked and he would bring me financially down with him.
So, today, I lost my home and 19 years of being a home owner.
While I am continuing to work to pay for the rent, bills, food, clothing etc, my ex-husband is still solely on benefits and now pays me just £5.80 a week (as I have to pay the csa to collect the money from him).
Now, I am not against benefits for those who genuinely need it. I am on benefits myself and would not even be able to pay the bills without tax credits and child benefit. However, I can’t agree with a system that gives more money to those not working compared to those working. And this is the case with my ex and I.
After paying for the rent, childcare and bills (water, council tax, TV licence, broadband, gas, electric, life insurance etc), I have £165 a week to buy food, diesel, clothing, bus fares, school trips etc. I can usually just make it balance. Bear in mind that this is £165 for 6 of us, which is the equivalent of £27.50 each.
On the other hand, my husband receives £102 a week in benefits but has no rent, council tax or bills to pay for out of this. He just pays for his food and clothing. No diesel as he has no car. No school trips, school bus fares or school uniform. That is £102 a week just for himself. Plus he is allowed to work 16 hours a week and earn another £100 a week before it impacts on his benefits.
So, I have been forced to sell my house because my ex-husband won’t work and pay for his half of the mortgage that he is liable for. And, while I am just making ends meet, he has enough money (and free time) to smoke, gamble and drink with on his benefits.
I will ‘Let it Go’ as they say in Frozen but for today, am feeling sad at losing something I worked hard for 19 years to have.
I know there are so many positives in my life so will focus on those rather than what someone has taken away from me.