The breakdown of a marriage, and the subsequent financial dispute, can bring out the worst in people. Such is the case for a Mumsnet user, whose brother is going through a divorce with his soon-to-be ex-wife.
The author begins starts off by explaining that her brother and sister-in-law are going through the process of getting divorced, after her sister-in-law was caught having an affair. She explains in more detail:
“[The marriage ended after my sister-in-law] had an affair and left for another man. The other man has since ended things as the reality of living with 3 children (all SIL’s from a previous relationship) was too much for him apparently. While this has been going on, I sold my business and planned to give my siblings a monetary gift, however, I have been advised to wait until after my brother’s divorce otherwise it could possibly be classed as a marital asset.”
Marital assets are typically split between both parties in a divorce and relate to anything the couple shared in during their marriage, from finances to property, according to the American Bar Association. The exact division of assets is determined by the laws of the state in which the divorce takes place, but generally, assets are split by what is called ‘equitable distribution’, as stated by Women’s Divorce and Family Group Law.
The author continues that her sister-in-law has somehow learned about the planned gift, and is standing firm in that she should receive half of the intended gift. The author clarifies:
“Sister-in-law has since got wind of this and has been sending demanding solicitor letters wanting to know exact amounts, payment dates etc. The latest letter contains bank details so I can pay SIL “her 50% directly to expedite the process”. I have obviously ignored all letters. Yesterday, she posted a long rant on FB claiming that I am being financial abusive to her - a single mother with 3 kids to support - and that I am trying to swindle her out of what is rightly hers!”
When asked for advice from online users, the author wrote:
“I absolutely don't think I'm being unreasonable by ensuring she doesn't get a single penny of my money, however, I'd really like some reassurance as the comments on FB were unanimous that I was wrong!”
The situation is a complicated one, but it's important to consider the financial implications of her sister-in-law's potential gain.
As one user wrote:
“I think the bottom line here is that it is a marital asset and legally, she is entitled to half of it.”
However, another user stated:
“She’s living in dreamland! You can do whatever you want to with your own money and owe her nothing. What a lovely thing to do for your siblings :-).”
What do you think?
Is the author justified in holding onto her money until after the divorce is finalized so that her sister-in-law can’t have access to it, even though she’s going to be co-raising 3 kids as a single woman after her divorce?
Or is the sister-in-law entitled and greedy, especially expecting the author to financially support her brother’s ex, as well as 3 children she isn’t even related to?
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