TWO years ago my wife walked out, leaving me with all the outstanding bills, mortgage, credit cards etc .

I am aware that due to me being the main card holder I am liable to pay the cards off, which I am doing.

What about the mortgage, which is in joint names? If I file for divorce can I claim back the mortgage payments I've had to pay on her behalf?

My sister thinks it doesn't matter who pays, and my wife may be entitled to the full settlement. I do not think this would be fair as I have had to pay her half of the mortgage.

l Yes, you are solely liable for the credit cards, but your wife may be due to reimburse you some of the money if the expenditure was for domestic purposes.

Re the mortgage: she is likely due half the net value of the house and obliged to contribute to mortgage payments until an overall deal is done between you.

See a lawyer to work out a separation agreement that takes all expenditure into account since the split.

MY AUNT suffered a stroke, and is n a care home. Her brother has declared he is next of kin since he is the next oldest and has taken control of her financial affairs.

I think this is wrong as my aunt is capable of speaking for herself. I don't know who her lawyer is or if she has appointed a power of attorney. What can be done to protect her?

l It doesn't matter who is oldest or indeed closest in blood ties. Speak to your aunt to see if she wants you to be appointed as attorney if one is not yet in place.

She will presumably know, but if not, you can find out from the Public Guardian's Office.

I would suggest you urgently contact the Office of the Public Guardian (tel 01324 678300) www.public who can advise you of your rights to be appointed and what paperwork is needed.

Or get a solicitor who is familiar with creating powers of attorney.

MY EX-HUSBAND says he can stop paying maintenance for our daughter when she turns 18 this year. She is now at university full time. I was under the impression he would need to continue to contribute while our daughter is in full-time education.

l Yes, you're right, ex is wrong - the obligation remains up to the age of 25 in these circumstances.

I INADVERTENTLY opened a letter from a finance firm demanding payment of a debt. It was addressed to someone I do not know but it was my address on the letter.

I wrote to the company, enclosing the letter, and explained that I had lived at this address for more than 20 years and did not know the person named on the letter.

I have since received two further letters for this person. I have marked them return to sender and put them in a post box. What I should do if I receive another letter?

l Keep doing that. It might also be worth checking with one of the usual credit reference agencies. If they have any inaccurate info on you or your property, you can insist they change it.