Post # 1
My husband and I got married in November 2013 so this tax season is our first time filing jointly. Since I had to work Friday, DH made an appointment with attorney who does his taxes, DH ended up calling me saying that according to attorney we needed to have a joint account with both our names on it in order to get tax return. We have just had our separate accounts that we had before marriage. He makes a a bit more than I and pays for most of our bills including mortage, which is only in his name anyway. I pay for all groceries, cable, Internet and my personal bills like car etc. We alternate who pays when we go out. It has bothered me to some degree that he has never mentioned joint accounts before, not bc I need the money, but it makes me feel like he doesn’t trust me to have access to his finances.
I was glad when we were going to the bank to open joint accounts. Well when we got to the bank he told them he only wanted to put each others names on our existing accounts. The teller explained that that gives us no access to each other’s accounts and no debit card for them. The teller made us both laminated cards with banks routing number and each other’s checking and savings account numbers. The teller handed me his info card and him my info card. He took the card out of my hand and put it in an envelope. When we got home he put the envelope in his safe that I don’t even know the code to. It makes me angry that he has access to my bank info and I don’t have access to his. I don’t much care that we have joint accounts until we have children then it would be a problem if he didn’t want to. I really wish we would have talked about this before we got married. I still haven’t mentioned that this upsets me and I don’t know how to go about doing it.
Post # 3
I think the two of you need to have a serious conversation about money. You just need to sit him down and tell him that you aren’t happy with the secrecy in your relationship about money.
You are going to need to know how to access each other’s accounts if something happens to one of you and you aren’t able to do it yourself. Plus, even with seperate accounts, you still should both be aware of the amount of money in each account. The fact that he took the card out of your hand and locked it in a safe that you don’t have access to is a bad sign to me, honestly.
Post # 4
@MissBlessedOne: You need to sit down and have a talk with him about this. Admittedly, this is a talk that definitely should have happened before the wedding instead of after. But late is better than never. This would bother me, too. The safe that you don’t even have access to, the squirreling his banking info away…it’s very secretive and I would find the behaviour insulting as a wife.
Post # 5
Why don’t you have the code for the safe? Obviously your personal property is in that safe – the laminated card the teller gave you, for one.
I’ve never heard of having to have a joint account to be able to deposit your return. I’m in Canada so surely it’s different, but I’ve heard of a lot of US couples who don’t have a joint account?
Honestly, your husband seems like he’s being a little sneaky and I would have already hashed this out with him. Since you haven’t discussed these things before you got married, you have no choice but to have the discussion now or bury your head in the sand.
Post # 6
We’ve been married since October 2013 and haven’t gotten a joint account yet (just haven’t gotten around to it) and I don’t care. I think having separate accounts is fine, BUT your DH taking the card out of your hand and putting it away in a safe that you don’t have access to? I don’t like that. I would be really offended if my DH did that – I’d feel like he didn’t trust me. Have you told your DH how you feel about this? The moment my DH did that I would have addressed it.
Post # 7
Maybe he does not realize it upsets you and just thinks he is “taking care of it” I find that I do that sometimes with money and bills. I am a financial advisor so it is my passion and my DH couldnt care less. So I find that I do everything with the bank accounts and bills and all and dont ever think to mention it or involve him. Weve had conversations about when he would want to be included and when he doesnt care. It really helped me. Just have a conversation with him – i bet he isnt trying to be secretive on purpose.
Post # 8
I’m in Canada so I’m not sure if things are different but we have filed returns as a couple – but not a joint return – for 4 or 5 years now and our returns come separately and go into our individual accounts.
I’ve also never heard of a joint account where you don’t have access – if your name is on the account, you should have access.
The fact that your husband has access to your financial info but you don’t have access to his would be a big problem for me.
Post # 9
@MrsSaltWaterTaffy: I think about if something happened to us a lot. I love him with all my heart, but if something happened to him I wouldn’t even have a home…is that correct? Bc the house and property he had before me and is only in his name. I’m a nurse and I certainly couldn’t afford these things by myself.
Post # 10
This is not ok. You need to bring it up directly. I think it’s fine for couples to keep their money separate if that’s what works for them. However, this isn’t working and it’s in on way balanced.
Not to mention, god forbid something happen to your husband, you wouldn’t have access to the money in his account. It would get turned over to the state.
Also, not having the code to the safe would never fly with me.
Post # 11
I understand your feelings and I agree with PPs about the need to have a discussion on finances. Unfortunately it should have happened before the wedding, as I now suspect that you guys are not on the same page, at least regarding trust in one another in this area.
My suggestion is to start talking about your feelings and explaining that this incident makes you realize the need to talk. Ask him curiosity-based questions about how he sees money, what he thinks of your way of handling money, his goals, etc. Feeling heard will make him more open, so be gentle despite your hurt feelings. However you need to feel heard to. Let me know if you want more suggestions on HOW to communicate, as it’s really critical for the best outcome possible. Good ways of talking and listening makes everything easier for me and my husband!
Regardless of your matrimonal regime (community property or separation), having a joint account is really handy and can be as inclusive or as limited as you both decide. You could both transfer a certain amount of your income every month, it could be 50/50 or according to how much you make, and use the account strictly for joint expenses such as bills and groceries. You could keep personal expenses separate (even his mortgage) and pay them from your personal accounts. You could also become much more inclusive and have all your income arrive on the joint account, but I guess it won’t be in the cards for you guys given his current attitude, but who knows.
Anyway, you guys need to talk (and listen to one another) and find out how much you trust each other, and if not, what could help develop that trust. You guys do not need to have full access to each other’s accounts (my husband and I do not), but it’s important to have some common ground such as a joint account (with both names on it and two debit cards), or at least mutual trust.
Post # 12
I’ve never heard of needing a joint account for filing taxes. That seems a bit odd to me.
The whole thing seems a little fishy to me to be honest. No access to his account at all? A safe you don’t know the code to? Your name isn’t on anything? I hate to say it but I think you’d be in a tough spot if you ever got divorced.
Post # 13
@adoc86: I think him taking the card from me while in the bank is what made this a problem for me. He has always been very respectful of me, but in that moment I felt like a child. It makes me sad just thinking about it and how we looked to the teller like I couldn’t be trusted with money. I really need to talk with him about this.
Thank you to everyone for the help. It’s truly appreciated.
Post # 14
@PeachRooibos: The communication points you made will be very helpful for me to talk to him about this. I don’t understand why he doesn’t trust me with his money if that’s even the issue. I came from a single parent family and have never had much and he knows I’m a saver and very frugal with money.
Post # 15
@Westwood: I know it seems fishy to me too, not so much from him, but maybe the attorney trying to advise him with his finances in a very dirty way. This might not be true, but after we left the bank I was thinking the same thing. I’m very frustrated at this point. He said he’s splitting the return with me and I was even thinking about just letting him have it all since he pays more to bills than I, at this point I think I’ll take my share cause heck I may not make as much as he does, but I work just as hard.
Post # 16
@MissBlessedOne: Although he seems like a bit of a selfish control freak on first glance, I don’t really know him.
You can’t expect him to read your mind though. Tell him how you feel!
And soon, make an appointment with a lawyer to educate yourself about your position re any assets of the marriage. Most jurisdictions have laws that apply when couples divorce or when one of them dies. A certain amount of money automatically goes to the surviving spouse in case of death.
I’m not saying this to be a negative Nancy. I just believe in being educated and prepared.