The Moneyist: I bought a house for my son, but now his wife is divorcing him and wants half of it

Dear Moneyist,

About two years ago, I received inheritance from my father. He had not spoken to me in 40 years and I had no idea I would be included. I had a house with a small mortgage left to pay off and had been saving as best I could for retirement in California with a less-than-stellar job. The inheritance changed everything.

My parents were Lutherans and had gone through the Great Depression. We had raised all our own food — my father was the son of a farmer, not a farmer himself — and we made our own clothes. This upbringing served me well and I was able to survive and be a single mother to my two sons.

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