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How do I make this work?

Frequent Contributor

Re: How do I make this work?

You need definite goals before you can choose the path that takes you there. Simply saying, "I'm tired and want to make it better" doesn't result in a plan. What do you want? The only way you can legally seperate your finances from his is divorce, depending on what state you are in. Here in Indiana, my ex was able to sign my name to anything, and vice versa. If you want to make a real go of it you either need a partner that is working toward the same goal, or no partner to stop you from getting there.

Message 11 of 16
Frequent Contributor

Re: How do I make this work?


wrote:

You need definite goals before you can choose the path that takes you there. Simply saying, "I'm tired and want to make it better" doesn't result in a plan. What do you want? The only way you can legally seperate your finances from his is divorce, depending on what state you are in. Here in Indiana, my ex was able to sign my name to anything, and vice versa. If you want to make a real go of it you either need a partner that is working toward the same goal, or no partner to stop you from getting there.


This sounds incorrect.  Finances can legally be seperated regardless of marital status, and I'm pretty sure that federally it is illegal to sign someone's name regardless of marital status. (excepting where explicit power of attorney is concerned.)

 

Edit:  Forgot there are some states that require both partners names on a mortgage for a primary residence.  I forget the specific reasonings.

Message 12 of 16
New Member

Re: How do I make this work?

I went through the same exact situation in a domestic partnership ( not married ) for 13 years before I wised up and moved on.  Our entire relationship I made atleast double what my partner did and he had no problem spending on frivoulous things such as online games and purchases for things in the games along with a very expesnive pot habbit or the Dj lighting he just had to have more than once to start his dreams.  I dealt with the fear of not knowing what was going to happen with his job from one day to the next knowing any day he could up and quit like he had so many times before or come home and tell me he had been laid off which I would find out was a lie when he had to explain more than once why he couldn't apply for unemployment.   Seriousliy he had atleast 10 jobs if not more in our 13 years together and it was always someone else's fault he quit or got fired. Anytime I would bring up the fact he always only had minimum wage jobs it was thrown in my face that atleast he had a job.

 

I can't tell you how many thousands of dollars I borrowed from my parents over the last 5 to 7 years of our relationship because I couldn't pay the bills on my own or to keep the lights on or keep my house from getting forclosed on yet he always had money to support his habbit be it drinking or smoking pot and heaven forbid you try to tell him he has to stop buying it until the bills can be paid on time.  

 

I finally wised up and moved on 4 and a half years ago and turned my life around and repaired all the financial damage done to my life over those 13 years.  For the first few years I heard all the stories from our mutual friends of how I left him with nothing and I was the devil for leaving him and putting him in the situation he was in.  I still hear about him and from him occasionally mostly when he wants to whine and cry about not having money or is stupid enough to think I would loan him money. 

 

It's alot easier said than done especially when you are married and when you have kids involved but your husband doesn't respect you or your wishes and nothing is ever going to change until you make a drastic decision.    

Message 13 of 16
Frequent Contributor

Re: How do I make this work?


@wrote:

wrote:

You need definite goals before you can choose the path that takes you there. Simply saying, "I'm tired and want to make it better" doesn't result in a plan. What do you want? The only way you can legally seperate your finances from his is divorce, depending on what state you are in. Here in Indiana, my ex was able to sign my name to anything, and vice versa. If you want to make a real go of it you either need a partner that is working toward the same goal, or no partner to stop you from getting there.


This sounds incorrect.  Finances can legally be seperated regardless of marital status, and I'm pretty sure that federally it is illegal to sign someone's name regardless of marital status. (excepting where explicit power of attorney is concerned.)

 

Edit:  Forgot there are some states that require both partners names on a mortgage for a primary residence.  I forget the specific reasonings.


Well, I'm not a lawyer, but that is what my lawyer told me. In Indiana, once you get married, you are financially one person.

Message 14 of 16
Highlighted
Valued Member

Re: How do I make this work?

 

You are definitely not alone, I sympathize with you. I hesitate to advise because these situations are so personal and vary depending on the couple but I'll humbly share my thoughts.

 

It seems to me there is a checklist of things you might want to do to start rectifying the situation. The biggest word that comes to mind is boundries. They are so very important in all aspects of relationships and finance is no exception.

 

1 - Legal - I would call a free family law hotline or state service and ask about the legalities first of splitting the finances. Find out with certainty what you can and can't do. If you find that it's worth the price, pay for a lawyer but there should be plenty of free services that can advise adequately, free of charge.

 

2 - Perhaps you could follow that up by meeting a financial advisor at your bank. If discretion is an insue (husband knows all bank employees or small town etc), perhaps look for free services elsewhere or worse case save up some cash and pay for an out of bank financial advisor in cash for privacy. I know some may react to doing this alone but I don't consider this to be unethical or dishonorable, your financial future is at risk it's your right/resposibility to protect it. However if you feel it's something you can work on with your husband and he can learn from these meetings and step up, perhaps bring him in.

 

3 - I would open a new individual account and have your checks deposited in that account. It's a direct route and definitely makes a statement regarding your intentions and what you're willing to put up with. This way you have total control of expenses. You can pay all house bills and give your husband a stipend if you chose to but you get to control it totally.

 

4 - And I would do this first honestly...remove him as an auth user. I put it last because if there is hope and you really believe in his ability to come out of the nose dive then maybe other steps can come first. But I admit that I am a skeptic and feel it would be up to the partner to prove they can earn that card back. I would remove him/her imediately. It also sends a message and sets boundries.

There are many good books about financial boundries and, as others have said, marriage and financial counseling are in order but perhaps these few thoughts can help aleviate some of the burden for the time being. Please take these with a grain of salt as I am not a professional but just sharing ideas.

 

Best of luck,

 

 



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Message 15 of 16
Established Member

Re: How do I make this work?

Oh I feel for you in this situation.  I've been with my fiance for 20 years (and yes, we are still not married... ha) and during that time we've experienced similar issues (though he was always the more responsible one/made more money).  Money troubles can be devastating to even the best of relationships.  First, I second the recommendation to see a counselor because no matter what you end up doing, it's going to cause resentment and strife.  I just don't see any way around that - you're talking about completely changing habitual behavior which is NOT an easy thing to do.  So.  That said, this is what we do and we don't plan to change things once we get married:

 

A) Each of us has our own individual accounts, individual credit cards, and NO authorized user status

B) I have a second checking account that we call the "house" account.  It is only in my name.  Every month, he gives me a check to deposit into our house account.  I deposit an equal amount but split into two, one for each paycheck.  All of our bills are set up on auto-pay out of this account.

C) Whoever does the grocery shopping pays out of personal money (this is largely me)

D) When we eat out, he primarily pays

E) When we need things for the house and there isn't enough in the house account to cover it for whatever reason, we split it between us.

F) Any money left over in our individual accounts is ours to spend however we wish.  We don't ask questions or judge each others' purchases (even though sometimes we may really want to, or secretly feel certain things were unnecessary...lol).

G) We agree to actively work toward building emergency savings and cutting corners where we can.  This might be the hardest part of it all because it requires sacrifice and an understanding of "want" vs. "need".

 

As in all things, communication is key.  The two of you need to get on the same page - acknowledge that this is going to be a very difficult road ahead and will take both of you working together to make any progress.  Your futures, and the futures of your children, depend on solidarity in this.  How can you teach your kids fiscal responsibility without demonstrating it?  I think about this ALL the time though I don't have any children, simply because I was NOT taught at a young age to respect money and handle it appropriately. 

 

I really wish you luck in this and hope to hear how this goes for you.

Message 16 of 16