I have been in a similar situation very recently. My husband maxed out our joint account and left me with 5 children to care for on £266 family allowance as my child tax credit had to be cancelled to make a new single claim. I was forced to go to the bank and put a freeze on the account.
You don't say whether you are working or not - if not then you need to go to your jobcentre plus or phone them & explain your situation and they will give you a phone number to call to see if you are entitled to any benefits eg Income Support. You need to make sure your Child Tax Credit is up to date as the children's income support is now paid through this and is not effected by child maintenance payments.
I know it is time consuming but get onto all the companies that you have direct debits with and transfer them to your sole account. Make sure all your benefits, child tax credit & child benefit are being paid into your sole account aswell. (Luckily I have always had a separate account for this money to be paid into).
You also need to check whether you are entitled to Council Tax Benefit!
If you really are strapped for cash you can approach Jobcentre Plus for a crisis loan I think it's called which you have to pay back but does not have interest added on & I think anyone whether on benefits or not can have one.
Hopefully your solicitor will be able to advise you where you stand legally, but I believe you are jointly liable for the overdraft on the joint account - he took the money but I am jointly liable and like you say the account can't be closed until the overdraft is paid off - this will be looked at in the financial settlement with the solicitor.
Make sure you contact your mortgage company to put them in the picture- you could also look at making it an inteerest only mortgage for a while to make the payments less ( I think).
Have your bank statements for as far back as possible to take to your solicitor so they can see what has happened.
As suggested write everything down; from phone calls transferring direct debits, conversations with benefit offices, your ex etc. Do it as it happens otherwise things can get distorted.
From now on in you have to have no trust with regards finance unless it is written down and agreed through solicitors as talking money brings out the worst in people.
I have been married nearly 11 years and money is one of the things that has brought my marriage to an end.
Another thing that might be worthwhile is to get a credit rating on you & your husband if possible, through experian or equifax for example to see whether he has got any loans etc that you are not aware of (this may not be the case, but I have been there!)
I hope I have helped and I am quite happy for you to send me a private message to discuss this further if wanted.
I'm sure you passed a message to me not long ago wishing me luck, ditto.
I am SO sorry to hear about your plight.... I can sympathise, as my x2b did something very similar about six weeks ago....
Similar, in the fact that he 'wiped' out our joint account the day before he did a 'disappearing act'.....
I have heard from him once since then... to say that he wanted a divorce...
Since then....nothing (about five weeks now)....
I am very new to all of this, but if it helps any, my solicitor has done something...i don't know the legal term for it... but, basically, she has applied to the court for him to 'explain why he took the funds, and if necessary take steps to 'freeze' his new (sole) account or part of it' until 'things are sorted out'..
What a crappy time we're all having at the hands of dishonourable ex's. Divorce is miserable enough without having to deal with disgusting behaviour too. I can't possibly believe such behaviour makes someone feel good about themselves & I hope they carry their weight in shame, and that Karma catches up with them eventually.
I heard a quote once, no idea who said it - some famous dead bloke I s'pose! "Aristotle was a man famous for knowing everything. He taught that the brain exists merely to cool the blood and is not involved at all in the process of thinking. This is clearly true of certain individuals!" Maybe the famous dead bloke was going through a divorce!!
The bank were brilliant, opening me a new account for my bills, cancelling the charges I had to pay on my personal account for this month, and making a note about everything. I changed all my direct debits yesterday, and the Gas, Elec, BT & Water all agreed that I could skip this months payment. I was so grateful. I've been able to spread this months council tax payment onto the remaining months left to pay. Again very grateful. I called my mortg co (already on interest only) explained the situation and told them I may experience problems next month if he doesnt pay me my maintenance (which he is threatening to do). Again - they were brilliant and made notes on my account. To my immense relief - I feel I've had nothing but positive help to a very negative situation.
I am working, and spoke to the Tax Credit Office yesterday about an emergency payment - their advice was to call my local tax office. I didnt actually do that because my sister has offered to give me some money (not loan, but actually give - she puts him to shame) & with the money I wont have to pay on my bills now this month, my children and I will be ok. They can have new school shoes! Yay!
Scottish lady - I had no idea that a sol could potentially freeze his sole account. Thats really interesting and useful to know. Thank you. I hope you get your money back & find out where he is and what he's up to soon.
IfIknewthen - Very interested in checking his credit rating - but wouldnt I need his permission? I'm not sure how to send you a personal message - I'll try and work it out!
OneLife. Thats great news. It all came right in the end. I think you are right about the karma or what ever. My old ma used to say that bad people always get there come up ance in the end. He will get his in the end. Chris.
Hi One Life
I have remembered what the legal term is for what I was talking about in my above post - it's called a 'freezing order'.....
If you think that your spouse is going to attempt to hide/get rid of/give someone else any assets/property/money etc you can ask your solicitor about applying to the court for one of those 'freezing orders' where a court has the power to freeze the spouses assets or part of them if the court thinks it justified.
i had this done to me 6weeks ago and im sorry to say to you but there is not a thing you can do about it,,,,well thats what the bank told me.i know it is hirrible and he took everything that i had saved for mas and was left with absolurely nothing and the bank could do absolutely nothing as what is mines is his when it is a joint bank account nomatter who had been paying into it...me onlt