Sharing the joint expenses
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Navigation »Talk About Marriage »Focused Topics »Financial Problems in Marriage » Sharing the joint expenses

Financial Problems in Marriage When financial times are tough, it adds to the stress we deal with on a daily basis. This section is for talking about how financial problems affect our relationships and ways to cope.

View Poll Results: Which arrangement is the proper one in this scenario?
The husband is right. They should be sharing the joint expenses 7 100.00%
The wife is right. The husband should pay the joint bills 0 0%
Could go either way. 0 0%
Voters: 7. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-05-2010, 08:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Sharing the joint expenses

Hello all. This is my first post.

Looking to get some feedback on the below whacky situation.

Here are the specs:

Newlyweds.

Husband 46 divorced no kids. Professional

Wife 38 first marriage Professional

Neither has major debts and no car loans to pay off.

Both are making similar, decent but not great salaries. They marry, agreeing ahead of time to live in an apartment initially (one of the NYC outerboroughs), have joint bank accounts... paying the bills from the joint checking, and plan to buy a house in 6 months.

Shortly after marrying, the husband closes his bank accounts to open the new joint accounts with his wife and start paying the bills. But the wife then informs her husband that she is NOT opening joint accounts with the husband, and more importantly, will not be sharing the joint expenses with him.

She will pay her bills. He will pay his bills AND their joint bills. Joint bills meaning apartment rent, apartment and auto insurance, when they go food shopping together, go out in general, honeymoon, wedding, etc etc

Forget the issue of the bank accounts. I know many couples do keep their funds separate at least initially.

But regarding the bill paying, who is following normal convention? Should they be sharing the joint expenses or not? Is this arrangement fair to the husband? Is it fair for the wife to have promised one thing and then impose a different thing after the marriage?

Thanks

Last edited by BigMacAttack; 05-05-2010 at 08:09 PM. Reason: Change title
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Old 05-05-2010, 08:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sharing the joint expenses

You imply that this was discussed prior to the marriage and she went back on her word.
How much were the specifics discussed about who would pay for joint expenses, and how accounts were to be set up? If it wasn't really discussed that much, then both of you have a problem.
If it's more that she has done a 180, then you have a problem with her.

If it was me, I would pull out of the joint account and go back to my own separate account. And of course, NOT buy a house with this person until you have this straightened out.
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Old 05-05-2010, 09:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sharing the joint expenses

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chelhxi View Post
You imply that this was discussed prior to the marriage and she went back on her word.
How much were the specifics discussed about who would pay for joint expenses, and how accounts were to be set up? If it wasn't really discussed that much, then both of you have a problem.
If it's more that she has done a 180, then you have a problem with her.

If it was me, I would pull out of the joint account and go back to my own separate account. And of course, NOT buy a house with this person until you have this straightened out.
Before the marriage it was agreed that there would be only the JOINT account. All bills would be paid from this. Hence it didnt matter who paid what.

But beyond that, forget what was or wasn't agreed to. Let's address the general principle of how expenses are paid when a couple keeps separate accounts. Is it really fair for the wife to be making the same salary as the man and not contribute to the joint expenses?
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Old 05-06-2010, 06:11 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sharing the joint expenses

Of course not. Which I'm sure you know. I don't think you'll find many people disagreeing with you.

But the actual issue seems to be what are you going to do about it?
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Old 05-06-2010, 10:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sharing the joint expenses

This is a wife who fully intends to build up her net worth and in the event she tires of the marriage she will part ways and be WAY better off since he has paid all the joint expenses.

A man with balls would calmly walk away from this deal and not look back.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMacAttack View Post
Before the marriage it was agreed that there would be only the JOINT account. All bills would be paid from this. Hence it didnt matter who paid what.

But beyond that, forget what was or wasn't agreed to. Let's address the general principle of how expenses are paid when a couple keeps separate accounts. Is it really fair for the wife to be making the same salary as the man and not contribute to the joint expenses?
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Old 05-07-2010, 08:20 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sharing the joint expenses

The lack in her willingness to share in joint bills is a flag that she is not fully committed to the marriage. This situation is wrong, plain and simple. A marriage is a partnership where assets are shared between he participants no matter who brings home what. Her position is wrong but I doubt your opinion poll will convince her of that.

OBTW we are one of the couples that keep our checking & savings accounts separate but each has signature rights on the others. Because we have a fluctuating monthly income who pay what can change from month to month also but all assets and debts are jointly managed. In the 25+ years we've been together we have only had one argument about money.
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Old 05-15-2010, 07:59 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sharing the joint expenses

Honestly, she isn't practicing marriage. She is continuing practices from being single, and still has it in her mindset.
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