Post # 1
A couple we know surprised us last night, they bicker often in front of us about finances but from last nights argument (it was really awkward to watch) it appears that the wife refuses to combine finances because she doesn’t want to contribute to any of her husbands obligations regarding his kids from his last marriage, the alimony and car payments etc. he must make to his ex. and won’t add herself to the mortgage in order to refinance to lessen the payments on the house they share.
I know everyone handles their finances differently, but has anyone experienced something like this before? It appears that her husband used to be ok with it when they were dating but now that they are married he isn’t. I guess I see both sides, but assumed that if you were going to marry someone with kids you accepted that as a financial impact. I feel like this would drive a wedge between DH and I if it were us, fighting daily over what precentage of the groceries his kids were eating.
What do you think?
Post # 3
I can’t really fit into you poll. I’m always surprised when people don’t have… hm… and understanding on finances and how their money is going to work before they get married. This isn’t something that he can make go away, he has resposiblities that were there before he met her. That is how life works. I don’t look at my FI’s school debt and think, “well, I don’t have to help with that, I didn’t decide to get that degree.” I look at it and think,”gee, we want a house, how do we streamline all of this and get it paid of more quickly. What makes our money go further.”
Post # 4
In some jurisdictions the income of a new spouse is added in when calculating spousal or child support. In others, it is not. There may be a very valid reason that she prefers to keep her finances separate.
Post # 5
@julies1949: Their state does not calculate support that way, so it would have no impact. It is also a community property state so I don’t see the accounting benefit to this arrangement either.
It feels like shes punishing him almost. I wouldn’t want to pay for my DH’s ex either but, thats why I didn’t marry a divorced man.
Post # 6
Just saw Op’s response.
I wouldn’t want to contribute to the spousal support…wouldn’t expect him to ask or assume that of me. But it definitely would have been a conversation beforehand…some couples don’t combine finances. It’s not unusual, just individual. Sounds like they aren’t on the same page…how awkward for you!
Post # 7
Growing up one of my mom’s friends had completely separate finances from her husband. The problem was that she made way more money than he did. So she would want to go on vacation and he wouldn’t be able to afford it. So she went with friends and family. I have no problem vacationing with people other than my husband, if the situation arose, but I can’t fathom him not coming because he “couldn’t afford” it while I could.
They divorced – not saying it was all the finances, but I don’t think it helped.
Post # 8
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@edgebee: I wouldn’t get involved in it but if asked I would recommend they speak to a family attorney to find out what the wife’s liabilities might be should they combine finances. It varies from state to state but she could be liable for child support and alimony if they combine finances in any way so I can understand her hesitation.
What may not count today might change should he lose his job and be unable to pay child support and alimony with his own income. So she may thinking of the long term issues with combining finances.
I agree with PP that I probably wouldn’t date or marry someone who was paying alimony because it’s so unfair and I would get frustrated with it possibily affecting my way of life since it would impact my joint household income with my spouse.
Post # 9
@JenGirl: that vacation example seems mean! This totally explains some of their behavior though, saying they can’t afford to have a birthday party for the daughter but she buys something extravagant.
Post # 10
Personally it’s my belief that when you get married, you are joining together, and everything else joins right along with you!
Therefore I think it’s sad that she wouldn’t want to be a part of that. That is her husbands life, but now her life too. They’re supposed to be partners and help each other in all areas!
thats just my thought. seems they should have worked all this out before the wedding.
Post # 11
@edgebee: does she treat his kids as her own, or have any sort of meaningful relationship with them?
Post # 12
I agree with others who say this should have been handled beforehand.
My FI was never married to the mother of his kids, but the same basic logic still applies.
I’ll be honest and say that we absolutely talked with an attorney before combining finances or putting eachothers names on cars, etc…because we dont want his ex-gf to be able to come after my money.
Thankfully, in TX, my income cannot be considered in determining their child support. I completely and fully understand and support women who choose to remain seperate in states where their income can be factored in.
Post # 13
I think whether finances are separate or together, both parties need to be on board. To be honest, I’m not sure if there is a simple solution to this because things get complicated when there are children and an ex involved. However, it seems like the arrangment they had worked while they were dating.
Post # 14
@julies1949: There is not one jurisdiction in the United States that allows for the counting of the spouses income UNLESS the obligor is hiding assets or refusing to pay support. Not one.
Post # 15
@letigre: based on what we see / hear, no, they are still ‘his kids’. she just got pregnant, so it will be interesting to see how things play out.
Post # 16
I think the man and the kids (along with all the financial responsibilities) are a package deal, and if she doesn’t like she shouldn’t have married him. I don’t like paying for DH’s student loans either, but I certainly knew he had them going in.