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Joint Accounts?

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Valued Member

Joint Accounts?

So I recently got married and during a mini budget meeting, we decided I would be the one to take over the bill paying. The plan is to put the monthly amount for our bills in a checking account and disperse that way. Here’s my concern, my husband was previously married and is on child support and although I know he wouldn’t get behind intentionally, if life happens and he’s out of a job or something else, he would. Would it be better to have the account under my name only and he be a signer on it or what other options are there? I’m concerned about merging things with the “what if” scenario happening one day.
Message 1 of 13
12 REPLIES 12
Valued Contributor

Re: Joint Accounts?

not sure the question...

you can have your own accounts and a joint.

move money from individual to joint as needed to pay bills.

or have individuals and pay bills out of each.

or have an account only for child support.

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Message 2 of 13
Frequent Contributor

Re: Joint Accounts?

If I understand the question correctly, it’s more concerning “hiding” (for lack of a better term) their money should her husband get behind on child support payments and the courts come after him.

I’d think the kids are probably more important than the light bill though....
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Message 3 of 13
Valued Contributor

Re: Joint Accounts?

While every couple has to work out finances for themselves, I like having a joint account that each contribute towards (for joint expenses and bills and stuff).  
For your case, it won't necessarily prevent joint assets from being used for child support, but it might keep things a little less tangled as you guys try to figure out 'who owes what.'

FYI: if it's about keeping assets separate so they don't get used for the child support - I promise you that the lawyers and judges have seen it all.  If your husband has rights to access marital property, he'll owe, regardless of whose name is on the account - but keeping his earnings separate might prevent strife in the future as far as your personal relationship goes. 




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Message 4 of 13
Regular Contributor

Re: Joint Accounts?

Would an account in your name only with hubs as POD work in your case? 

 

States sometimes have authority to consider all household income in determining child support. How old are the children? Will you be at risk for several years?

Message 5 of 13
Frequent Contributor

Re: Joint Accounts?


@calyx wrote:

FYI: if it's about keeping assets separate so they don't get used for the child support - I promise you that the lawyers and judges have seen it all. 


 

This is pretty much spot on.

 

I would talk to an attorney in your state and get their legal opinion.

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Message 6 of 13
Valued Member

Re: Joint Accounts?

An account with him as POD may work. We’re in Texas (community property, I know). The kids are 15, 14 and 12.
Message 7 of 13
Member

Re: Joint Accounts?

This is a great question. So I actually had this happen to me. Wife and I had a joint checking account. Our company decided to switch payroll companies mid-year 2015. At that time I had a wage garnishment through the county courts. It was easier that way. It was taken pre-tax and no need to worry. 

Yet since my company switched payroll systems there was a hiccup. They took the funds out of my paycheck yet for some reason did not disperse it to the state. Since I saw the funds taken out of 2 pay stubs I didn't think much of it. 40 days later I get a letter stating my Joint account was going to have a lien placed on it. Of course, I drove that day to the CS office that day and made a payment. Afterward, I called human resources and was very upset. Needless to say, they contacted the payroll company and fixed the issues asap!

Lo and behold they lifted the lien within the next few days and all was ok. 

So to answer your question yes I would recommend you have a separate account just in case. Mistakes happen all the time, not of our doing. We had 1 joint account. Then had our deposits placed into our individual accounts we just transferred our portions into the joint checking to coincide with our budget. That way if it would have occurred again my wife's income would have not been affected.

The daughter not living with me is now over 18 so my CS case is closed and we don't have to worry about that scenario. It was a practical way to protect our income. 

We learned our lesson my wife has a few separate accounts and it's worked out great.  P.S. I love my children and all is fantastic!! 

Side note if your husband ever loses his job please be sure he pays at least a minimum amount that month you don't want a late payment reported on his credit for non-payment. Back child support or late child support IMO has a very very negative effect on credit. 

disclaimer: I am not a family attorney this is just my personal experience I'm sharing with you results may vary

Cheers hope this helps!!!  Smiley Wink

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Message 8 of 13
Valued Contributor

Re: Joint Accounts?


@k_dub01 wrote:
So I recently got married and during a mini budget meeting, we decided I would be the one to take over the bill paying. The plan is to put the monthly amount for our bills in a checking account and disperse that way. Here’s my concern, my husband was previously married and is on child support and although I know he wouldn’t get behind intentionally, if life happens and he’s out of a job or something else, he would. Would it be better to have the account under my name only and he be a signer on it or what other options are there? I’m concerned about merging things with the “what if” scenario happening one day.

Different strokes for different folks; find what works for you. Some people let one person manage, some go joint everything, and others go split everything.

 

My last marriage had a model where all money poured into a central account and I let my spouse manage it with me as an AU. It was a disaster - I'd have to ask permission to pull money out and she'd tell me we were broke and I'd have no way of knowing where all the money went. It built resentment and undermined trust. That said, this approach does seem to work for some couples, but these are things to think about when doing a one-person-controls-the-pursestring approach.

 

My current wife and I have no joint checking accounts or credit cards and never will. We now have one joint savings account that we park some emergency funds into and use as a private pseudo-Venmo to move money between our accounts, but nothing is ever paid out of it directly - we still pay things out of individual accounts and take turns when doing things like dining out. As for the "what if" scenario, this means that we have a grand total of one savings account to deal with. Everything else is individual, though we'd have to go back and clean up beneficieraries and the like from our accounts should something happen.

Message 9 of 13
Regular Contributor

Re: Joint Accounts?


@k_dub01 wrote:
An account with him as POD may work. We’re in Texas (community property, I know). The kids are 15, 14 and 12.

 

I think community property states put everything in one big pot. You probably need legal advice on this. 

 

Good luck!


 

Message 10 of 13
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