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'AITA for forcing a sale of my late husband and his girlfriend's home?' UPDATED

'AITA for forcing a sale of my late husband and his girlfriend's home?' UPDATED

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"AITA for forcing a sale of my late husband and his girlfriend's home?"

This has caused a lot of mixed reactions and I want unbiased opinion. Neither me nor my late husband and his girlfriend have any children. I (35F) got separated from my husband (37M) over 10 years ago, unfortunately, he has left me with a lot of debt to pay and in a position where I was nearly homeless. I have only stopped paying the debt off two years ago but there is still a lot of work to improve my credit history.

Because of all the stress he caused me, we never got divorced or formally separated. We never spoke after I was kicked out from the flat so his girlfriend "Anna" can move in. I was planning to file for divorce once I have enough spare income, but some events took place before I was able to do so. Now to where I can be an AH: two months ago my husband passed away in a freak accident.

He left no will behind and has a house which is paid off with his girlfriend (he ended up having a big promotion at work). I have spoken to the lawyer and because we never divorced or filed for separation I am entitled to half of the house as his next to kin. Last week I have informed Anna through a letter that I want the house to be sold. She can either buy my half or I will have to force a sale, it is up to her.

I do not want to live in the house, but the money from the sale could really help out to sort out the damage done by the loans I had to pay for the ex as well as a deposit for my own place so I don't have to live in absolute s#$tholes due to poor credit/not a very high paying job. It will also help me to work on my qualifications so I can get a better job and retirement.

However, Anna and my ex's family have called me a massive AHe, saying I have no right to the house (legally I do) and that I am being cruel and vindictive. I have reminded them that it is not my fault their son hasn't divorced me or had a will and said I don't see how it is unfair as I had to pay for his debts while he lived a comfy life. So Reddit am I the AH?

People had a lot to say about the scenario.

Discount_Mithral wrote:

NTA. You owe nothing to her. Sell the house and be done with it. Also - stop paying his debts if they are not also your debts. By paying them, some companies can assume you are admitting to the debts as your own. They will try to get you to pay, but you should fight it if you can. And why only half? If you have no children, shouldn't you be getting the whole house as next of kin?

OP responded:

Him and Anna had joint mortgage so she is also entitled to half.

jenniw3g wrote:

NTA If you’re good enough for the debt, you’re good enough for the equity. So many people don’t understand that marriage is a contract and the state sets the terms. Force the sale, enjoy the money.

Bonnm42 wrote:

NTA It sounds like Anna didn’t mind being a home wrecker and didn’t care when you were kicked out and almost homeless. You have no reason to care about her. If anything, this is Karma at its finest. I would tell her and your ex’s family they should remember how you were treated before they try and open their mouths again.

ZealousidealGene7775 wrote:

I am definitely not a lawyer but are you entitled to his half of the house? If they are both on the deed then I would assume it would be a joint tenancy and his share would automatically pass to Anna and not to you. I would check into his retirement funds also. You might be entitled to those.

OP responded:

My lawyer had a look and confirmed I am entitled to half of the house. I am not sure about in depth specifics, but according to him it will be hard for Anna to claim my ex half due to him not filing for divorce or separating legally and for him not drafting anything to protect himself.

After receiving a lot of questions and comments, OP jumped on with a clarification/update:

Edit: I have seen this coming up as a question a few times and don't want to keep responding with the same comment. My ex has maxed out my credit cards and took loans in my name as well as cleared our savings account to fund his relationship with Anna and some of his gambling habits at the time.

Due to being busy with work, I haven't discovered the loans and cards being maxed out until it was too late and I had a few notices of nonpayment and him kicking me out and basically making it seem to everyone that I had the problem and he loaned me money which "I" paid him back by taking loans and cards as well as if "I" wanted him back so mad him "gifts."

The total amount of debt is a bit over 50k which also resulted in me losing my job while he got to keep his well-paid job. Regarding the house - both Anna and my ex are on the deeds and had joint mortgage from what I was told, so legally she is entitled to the other half of the house.

Sources: Reddit
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