(Closed) MIL threatening to sue DH and myself

posted 4 years ago in Relationships
Post # 46
Member
1135 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

let her try to sue you. The money isn’t legally hers. I wouldn’t give her the time of day!! I’m sorry you’re having to deal with this 🙁

Post # 47
Member
1320 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

lilsistam:  Good luck to her trying to get anything out a lawsuit!! Seriously, she will get laughed at.

Post # 48
Member
361 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

MeiFrancis:  I understand that.  His mother is in her predicament bc she didn’t want to get her own insurance.  But the OP said that he bought the car several years before they married and she has a 2013 wedding date on her profile.  The parents took over the car a year later.  Its a 2008 model.  I’m guessing her Darling Husband made the arrangement with his parents in 2009/2010.  I think he hasn’t had anything to do with this car other than have it listed on his insurance in at least a year or two and it’s disingenuous to pretend like he had any kinds of future plans for the vehicle other than to keep trying to get his mother to take the title and put it on her own insurance.

I also think if his mom had gotten her own insurance it would just be liability only since she’s bad with money and then she’d be in the same car-less boat anyway.

Post # 49
Member
1257 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

lilsistam:  Lordy!! So sorry to hear about this Bee. Sounds like you absolutely have tried your best, given her the benfit of the doubt and tons of leeway. I think there is nothing else to do but what some of the other Bees suggested: document everything (make sure you have finicial records since she’s involving the law) and keep her at a safe distance. I do not envy you this. Thanks for being open to my suggestions;) Hugs!!

Post # 50
Member
8815 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

BrynneF:  Did you miss the part where he’s also been paying for it since the dad died? So here’s the timeline:

  • Yr1: Darling Husband pays for the car and insurance because he’s driving it
  • Yr2: Dad pays for the car because he’s driving it. Not sure who pays insurance.
  • Yrs3-6: Darling Husband pays for car and insurance while MOM drives the car.
  • Yr7-present: Car paid off, Darling Husband tries to sign over to mom, she refuses because she doesn’t want to pay for insurance, so Darling Husband continues to pay for insurance while mom drives the car.

So mom never paid a dime. You could argue that half of the dad’s payments were her money, but then again, she was presumably getting some benefit from her husband having use of the car. OP’s husband paid 5/6 of the payments and at least 7/8 of the insurance, possibly all of the insurance. You pay insurance so that if something happens to the property, you get paid back for the property. HE paid the insurance, the property is now toast (mom’s fault btw), so HE should be paid back for the property. That’s how it works.

  • This reply was modified 3 years, 10 months ago by  Daisy_Mae.
Post # 51
Member
2936 posts
Sugar bee

You are right to take her off the insurance.  She has had three recent accidents where she is at fault.  You are protecting other road users.  This also means that you should not in future help her buy or lease another car.  (I’m sure that you are not even thinking of doing so.) 

Should you give her any money?  Well legally and morally you don’t have to.  You can use the money to replace the car she totalled and any expenses that you have incurred due to not having a car.

By her awful behaviour your Mother-In-Law has, of course, freed you both from feeling responsible for her.  She has shown you just how selfish and unloving she can be and how she can turn on you in an instant.  

 As a couple you just have to stick to your guns and be firm at all times.  You don’t have to put up with bad behaviour.  I suspect that she is mentally ill but this does not mean you have to give in to her demands or put up with insults.

I don’t see how she could possibly have a case against you but check with a lawyer.  

Post # 52
Member
271 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

There is a small possibility a lawyer could make out a claim for a small portion of the car given the father used to pay / reimburse for some of the vehicle. You got that benefit for a period of time. The whole car therefore, was contributed to by her household ‘effectively’.

However, you two definately paid for more and paid for the insurance. So I would try to account for how much money you received from him versus how much money you paid out and then compare those percentages to what you actually received back (which, due to depreciation is likely less than the car is worth). If you still come out on top, you likely won’t have to account to her.

The lawyer was being honest in the sense that he was trying to prevent a family rift by pleading to your softer side. Family disputes over money are the worst. Not only is one party successful and the other a failure, but they often (no matter the outcome) end up harming relationships permanently.

At present, I would not pay her any money and would assist her in life if she needed it as she is your husband’s mother. But I would very much limit my involvement if this is the ‘thanks’ that she gives you both.

I’m truly sorry that you guys are in this situation. It sounds like a sad situation .

Post # 53
Member
271 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

And…when you are comparing money paid out, include your insurance payments on behalf of your mother.

I would anyways.

Post # 54
Member
1176 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

I would put the money into a separate savings account  for the inevitable future money requests that you just know she’ll be asking for. 

By the way, is she elderly?  Or just doesn’t want to work?  You said government assistance so I assume she’s under 65.

Post # 55
Member
3226 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

BrynneF:  it kind of reminds me of the Little Red Hen who found a grain of wheat. She asked for help planting it, helping it grow, watering it, harvesting it and grinding it into flour. She asked for help baking it into bread. She was refused help every step of the way until it came time to eat it, then she had plenty of people offering to help. She said “nope” and ate it with her chicks.

The mother refused anything to do with the responsibility of the car since her husband died. She even refused the very generous offer of a gift of the car. Instead, she is demanding something else (money). It is just so wrong.

Post # 58
Member
1653 posts
Bumble bee

Im not a lawyer but can tell you from the get go.. SHE WILL LOSE THIS BATTLE.  

Post # 59
Member
2395 posts
Buzzing bee

AstonMartin:  This: “I would try to account for how much money you received from him versus how much money you paid out and then compare those percentages to what you actually received back (which, due to depreciation is likely less than the car is worth). If you still come out on top, you likely won’t have to account to her.” <– And if your F/MIL come out on top, you would owe her the difference (though this doesn’t seem likely, unless your Father-In-Law was paying more than the monthly minimum each month).

While it doesn’t sound like she has a legal leg to stand on with the exception of the above (unlikely) situation, if I were in your shoes I would probably still give her the money. I know I’ll get flack for this, but she’s still your husband’s mother, she has been in the posession of the car for years, she now has no private transportation, and she can’t afford a new car on her own. 

*I used to live in LA. While there was “public transportation” available, I can tell you that it’s extremely difficult to survive in LA without a car. Depending on where you live, this may or may not be the case.

I say this with no snark – it’s probably because I have a truly wonderful loving relationship with my mother, but at some point I expect to be paying my mother’s bills (granted, more like 81 rather than 51). If I were in this situation I would want to take care of my mother by buying a replacement car for her, before I would want to put the insurance money towards a downpayment. Then again… my mother doesn’t sound this toxic. 

 

Post # 60
Member
2395 posts
Buzzing bee

P.S. In the interest of compromise – I might honestly just tally up however much your Father-In-Law paid towards the car, and give your Mother-In-Law that amount. I know you have no legal obligation to do so, but it may placate her, and be a show of “good faith” if she DOES actually try to sue you. 

I’m also no lawyer though, so maybe doing this would be accepting some of her claim to the car as true, and backfire? I dunno… 

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