Challenges of merging established lives and households....? - Talk About Marriage
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.

User Tag List

 10Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-26-2016, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 3
Challenges of merging established lives and households....?

Please bare with me as I try to explain this..... My wife and I have been married a year, overall things have gone well but we still have this challenge we are dealing with. She has a very good 100k a year job and a part time business that nets 70k per year ( that I help with but was established before I came along). And I in the last 6 months went to work for myself, with her blessings ahead of time. I left a 70k a year stressful 1.5 hour commute 20 year career, albeit successful.... it was time we both agreed. Now I make approx 50-60k a year as a self employed 1 person show of a business. I own my home and large parcel of property outright-free and clear. She has a home and has a pretty substantial mortgage ($2000) per month. Don't get me wrong it's nice.... Before we got married I offered to build any and all accommodations she would need to operate her part time business at my place (no debt). In turn she could rent her place etc. And what she does is not location specific and both are 15 min apart. She said no. So I pulled up stakes and moved to her house to reside. My business related things are still at my place and will continue to be. Doing so was a downer I admit.... She had not lived in her location that long and was purchased with her X husband. A year has passed..... and we have had minor challenges to say the least. I pay for the health insurance for everyone, half the electric, half the incidentals/groceries, trash service, and any eating out. We each pay our own cell phone bills, separate car insurance. Bare in mind we don't have car payments.... For the better part of a year I left my house open, and recently rented it out to a family member that fell on hard times whom I trust explicitly. We agreed on a price that is fair and covers approx 75% of the annual expenses for the property consisting of property taxes and insurance ($12,000). Now the challenge..... she says recently "you" need to pay half of "my" mortgage. I asked a few questions.... (She feels slighted because I'm collecting rent now). So I asked how she wanted it to work and received limited feedback at best. In turn I asked her if she was going to pay half the property taxes and insurance on my place? She gave me a very quick NO..... I have no stake in her property, my name isn't on it and I have no ties at all. So in turn if we are married 5 years and we get divorced.... Im out 60k with nothing to show for it. Other than a legal battle for 1/2 the equity in that time frame. One major detail I left out is that I devote 20-30 hours a week to her part time business and recieve no compensation amongst several other contributions to her business. I've never asked and it has never been offered any kind of compensation. I chalk it up to "its all for the greater good of us" and living costs in general, shame on me maybe..... I can fill in additional details as responses come in but am looking for some feedback.... good... bad.... etc. Thank you!

Bobwire is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-26-2016, 10:24 PM
Member
 
BioFury's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Stars & Stripes
Posts: 299
Re: Challenges of merging established lives and households....?

You're financially preparing for your divorce before it even happens? Not a good sign.

You're married, combine your finances, sell or rent one house, and live in the other one. You aren't boyfriend and girlfriend any more. Your wife needs to grow up and stop being so petty, everything belongs to both of you. You're man and wife, keeping everything separate is only driving a wedge between you, and demonstrating that neither of you are fully committed to this marriage.

As a mother, I eat stress for breakfast. - Megan Conley

I don't trust words. I even question actions. But I hardly ever doubt patterns.
BioFury is offline  
post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-26-2016, 10:33 PM
Moderator
 
EleGirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 31,695
Re: Challenges of merging established lives and households....?

If your are married for 5 years, in most states, you will have the right to 50% of the equity accrued on her house in those 5 years. So if you did not make any payments towards her place you would be getting 50% of the equity (over the 5 years) for nothing.

Since you already owned your own home and you are generating sole income from sole property and that income covers the cost maintaining that property.. she has no rigths to your property at all.

She has a valid point.

Now on the topic of you helping her in her business. You may or may not have some right to the business just as she might have some rights to your business.

See a lawyer and work this out in a way that the two of you agree, or divorce. This should have all been dealt with and a prenup drawn up if needed before you married.

.
EleGirl is online now  
 
post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-26-2016, 11:41 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 4,301
Re: Challenges of merging established lives and households....?

Do either of you have children? What was discussed prior to marriage re: financial set up?

My situation has some similarities and what you are experiencing now is why my POV has always been that people with reasonable assets MUST sort this out prior to become defacto or married. I would suggest talking this out immediately and then getting what we call in Aussie a Binding Financial Agreement.

OK our situation in brief: I own my home and car outright, the only debt I have is minimal investment property debt that I hold with my ex husband.
I have a low weekly income bc I have chosen to work part time as I enjoy it and also earn money from investing.
My Partner has a very high income and his own investment property. He lives in my home but we treat it as a family home. He pays half the costs of living, 90% of our entertainment costs (which are quite high) and all of our minor travel. We each pay the costs for our own kids, education, clothes etc. We have 5 teenagers between us who at various times are with us or their other parent.

Both on the same page that anything we owned previously is in our own names and for our own children to inherit.

Even if I had a mortgage on my home I would not expect him to contribute as it will always remain my asset.

This is all very cut and dry, no emotion involved but also means we are not building a financial future together. So we have plans to start investing in property together which will be in both names, we then have a plan for how to distribute that property to each other and our respective children when we die.

We do not argue about any of this as it was all worked out very early on. I am staunch on family inheritance and providing as much as I can for my kids and future grand kids.

So from that POV I don't see it as fair that you should pay part of her mortgage unless she is willing to put the property in both names.
Holland is offline  
post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-26-2016, 11:47 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 3,943
Re: Challenges of merging established lives and households....?

Good evening
I think people should always plan for a marriage to last, and that if you are ready to marry someone, you are ready to equally share all of life with them. Otherwise why marry?, Just live together.

I think all income gets combined and put into a common account.All bills should be paid out of that account. Some amount is allocated for each of you to use as you wish.

pre-marriage assets that do not require maintenance and are not useful (jewelry, money in banks etc) can be set aside, but otherwise make everything joint property.
richardsharpe is offline  
post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-27-2016, 10:48 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 355
Re: Challenges of merging established lives and households....?

It almost falls under the old saying "never mix business with pleasure"....

There can be a graying of lines when looking at marriage (especially the second time around)....one can look at the financial piece as a business transaction and the relationship as an emotional transaction (treating them both differently). However, the gray lines often overlap from the minor decisions on who's paying for groceries, too bigger ones like separate vs joint accounts, or - in blended families- the will and inheritances among offspring.


If you want the money side to be a business transaction then, IMO, the emotional transaction suffers.

I'm all for joining finances. I'm in my second marriage (with minor kids of my own and adult stepchildren). I am the main breadwinner compared to my H. We tried, initially, to keep things separate, but it didn't work fit within the context of how we see our marriage. My mind does not see us or our disparate contributions as anything but equal support to the union.

Even in divorce equitable distribution does not always equal exactly 50:50 split. I believe in giving weight to what is important (the marriage relationship)...money is just a means to add experiences to that relationship.
cons is offline  
post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-27-2016, 03:47 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 948
Re: Challenges of merging established lives and households....?

So she makes 2 to 3 times what you do and wants you to pay half of all expenses. What is she spending all that income on...
anonmd is offline  
post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-27-2016, 04:05 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 803
Re: Challenges of merging established lives and households....?

Did you guys talk about any of this before you got married?

Its strange to see two people with this many assets and income who don't have an agreement before entering into marriage...especially coming out of previous marriages.

Quote:
I have no stake in her property, my name isn't on it and I have no ties at all. So in turn if we are married 5 years and we get divorced.... Im out 60k with nothing to show for it.
This isn't necessarily true since this the marital home. You might want to look up the laws on the state you're in. Possibly its the other way around in that she wouldn't be eligible for a full split on any income property you owed before marriage but you might be eligible for a partial or substantial split of the home you both reside in as spouses.

Regardless, have you both thought about simply getting rid of the previous residences and buying something together that feels like both of yours. I think its always problematic when you move into someone else's previous home....it never really feels like yours as a couple.

Bottom line, you guys need to sit down and really understand each other's financial expectations. Its something you should have done before you got married.
EnigmaGirl is offline  
post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-27-2016, 05:24 PM
Forum Supporter
 
blueinbr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 6,021
Re: Challenges of merging established lives and households....?

This one is easy. You left a $70k job and replaced with $50-60k job. So you "owe" her or the family household $10-20k. You also owe her $1000/month (estimate) for the house (shared expense, just like cable tv). That is another $12k. So you owe her $22-32k annually. Now, calculate the fair market value of your working 20-30 hours per week for her business without compensation. Then subtract that from what you "owe" her and you will find that you not only do not owe her anything but she actually owes you some. Can she hire someone to work 20-30 hours a week for $22K. Doubt it.
blueinbr is offline  
post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-27-2016, 07:15 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 4,301
Re: Challenges of merging established lives and households....?

Quote:
Originally Posted by richardsharpe View Post
Good evening
I think people should always plan for a marriage to last, and that if you are ready to marry someone, you are ready to equally share all of life with them. Otherwise why marry?, Just live together.

I think all income gets combined and put into a common account.All bills should be paid out of that account. Some amount is allocated for each of you to use as you wish.

pre-marriage assets that do not require maintenance and are not useful (jewelry, money in banks etc) can be set aside, but otherwise make everything joint property.
A question for you RS:

you get divorced, have children and high assets. Second and subsequent marriages have an even higher chance of divorce. Yes you plan on the next marriage being for life but are a realist after going through a divorce and having more years on your side (and less years to accumulate should you go through another divorce).

Would you be OK with risking your financial future and your children's inheritance or would you lessen that risk with a legal agreement?

Marriage post divorce is very different to the first time and it is prudent to separate money from emotion.

Here we have managed to do it successfully as well as working towards a shared financial future. No one carries any risk, not me, him or our children.

Holland is offline  
post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-27-2016, 07:34 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 948
Re: Challenges of merging established lives and households....?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Holland View Post
A question for you RS:

you get divorced, have children and high assets. Second and subsequent marriages have an even higher chance of divorce. Yes you plan on the next marriage being for life but are a realist after going through a divorce and having more years on your side (and less years to accumulate should you go through another divorce).

Would you be OK with risking your financial future and your children's inheritance or would you lessen that risk with a legal agreement?

Marriage post divorce is very different to the first time and it is prudent to separate money from emotion.

Here we have managed to do it successfully as well as working towards a shared financial future. No one carries any risk, not me, him or our children.
That is reasonable for a second time around. Applied here he is already paying what he should plus or minus, no need to pay on the mortgage.
anonmd is offline  
post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-27-2016, 07:44 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 4,301
Re: Challenges of merging established lives and households....?

Quote:
Originally Posted by anonmd View Post
That is reasonable for a second time around. Applied here he is already paying what he should plus or minus, no need to pay on the mortgage.
I agree and in the OPs case don't think he should contribute to the mortgage.
Holland is offline  
post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-27-2016, 11:58 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 3,943
Re: Challenges of merging established lives and households....?

Good evening
you have a point when there are long term accumulated assets. OTOH, is marriage really the right answer if you are not comfortable sharing everything? Personally I would find it difficult to be married to someone who I didn't absolutely trust.

At the moment, the substantial majority of my wife's and my assets are only in her name - due to an inheritance. We kept them that way in case I go into a nursing home before I can kill myself, to protect her. Yes, she could run off and leave me with very little. I just trust her not to do so.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Holland View Post
A question for you RS:

you get divorced, have children and high assets. Second and subsequent marriages have an even higher chance of divorce. Yes you plan on the next marriage being for life but are a realist after going through a divorce and having more years on your side (and less years to accumulate should you go through another divorce).

Would you be OK with risking your financial future and your children's inheritance or would you lessen that risk with a legal agreement?

Marriage post divorce is very different to the first time and it is prudent to separate money from emotion.

Here we have managed to do it successfully as well as working towards a shared financial future. No one carries any risk, not me, him or our children.
richardsharpe is offline  
post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-28-2016, 12:53 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 4,301
Re: Challenges of merging established lives and households....?

Quote:
Originally Posted by richardsharpe View Post
Good evening
you have a point when there are long term accumulated assets. OTOH, is marriage really the right answer if you are not comfortable sharing everything? Personally I would find it difficult to be married to someone who I didn't absolutely trust.

At the moment, the substantial majority of my wife's and my assets are only in her name - due to an inheritance. We kept them that way in case I go into a nursing home before I can kill myself, to protect her. Yes, she could run off and leave me with very little. I just trust her not to do so.
OK from my POV the keeping pre marriage assets separate is not to do with trust. No I could not marry someone I don't trust.

It is about protecting myself and my children. It is different in a first marriage with shared children because both parents will hopefully have the kids best interests at heart in the event of a death.

It may be odd to some but my ex and I still own property together and have not changed the titles to Tenants in Common which would be the logical post divorce thing to do. This is because I trust that if I died first any money from the properties would help to fund my kids futures.
Now if he were to remarry and we still held property it would very quickly be changed to Tenants in Common.

I trust my partner implicitly but it sits well with both of us that our assets are separate. It just makes life easier, there is no argument pre or post death and no emotion attached to it.
But like I said earlier there is also something missing which is the feeling of building a financial future together, this we will achieve in a complete 50/50 contribution way and keep it separate from our pre marriage assets.

Life is too short and people work too hard to risk it all later in life. As most divorced people know, there is no guarantee of what the future holds. We once loved and trusted our partners but for whatever reason it went wrong and in divorce there are few people (sadly) that can do it amicably.
Holland is offline  
post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-28-2016, 03:48 AM
Moderator
 
EleGirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 31,695
Re: Challenges of merging established lives and households....?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Holland View Post
I agree and in the OPs case don't think he should contribute to the mortgage.
Whether or not he contributes to the mortgage of the house she owned before they married, she is paying for the mortgage with marital income.

In some states, he is entitled to 50% of the equity in the house to include any that accrued before the marriage because she has mixed marital income with a sole asset. That converts it to a martial asset.

In other states, he would only be entitled to the equity that accrued from the time of the marriage forward... again because she is using marital income to pay for the house.

So in come states, he could divorce her to and get half the assets of her house. And since he's not using marital assets to pay for his home, he gets to keep his.

She is not in a good position here.
EleGirl is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on Talk About Marriage, you must first register. Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

Important! Your username will be visible to the public next to anything you post and could show up in search engines like Google. If you are concerned about anonymity, PLEASE choose a username that will not be recognizable to anyone you know.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools Search this Thread
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome