Joint bank accounts & trust issues - 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.

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post #1 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-28-2016, 10:03 AM Thread Starter
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Joint bank accounts & trust issues

When we got married, my wife and I set up a single, joint bank account into which all our money goes. There are no individual accounts. Years later, I’ve discovered she has withdrawn thousands of dollars from this joint bank account, and deposited it into an interest bearing deposit in her own name only. She didn’t tell me about this. When I asked her for an explanation, she told me she did it to earn higher interest, and that she put it solely in her name so she wouldn’t have to go to the trouble of getting my signature. We’ve taken out a number of such investments before, always in joint names. On no previous occasion have we done so without consulting.

Additionally, we had a simple arrangement for many years, ever since we were first married. Whomever gets home first collects the mail and opens it, no matter to whom it is addressed – my wife, myself, or both. This is not a formal arrangement, it is just the way it has been done. Again, after many years, my wife one day announced that she doesn’t want me to open her mail any more – and of course, she won’t open mine. Privacy, she says. I thought this odd, but didn’t make a fuss, and dutifully obeyed. My wife, however, on a number of occasions since has “accidentally” opened my mail.

I’m thinking that there is something going on here that I need to me concerned about. Do you agree, or am I being needlessly suspicious?

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post #2 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-28-2016, 10:11 AM
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Re: Joint bank accounts & trust issues

I think you have a right to be concerned. You don't monitor your bank account at all that you didn't notice thousands of dollars being withdrawn?

How is everything else in your marriage, any other possible red flags?

Also, tell your wife she needs to add you to that investment account where the money was deposited. See what her reaction is to that.
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post #3 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-28-2016, 10:14 AM
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Re: Joint bank accounts & trust issues

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Originally Posted by Skeptical1 View Post
When we got married, my wife and I set up a single, joint bank account into which all our money goes. There are no individual accounts. Years later, I’ve discovered she has withdrawn thousands of dollars from this joint bank account, and deposited it into an interest bearing deposit in her own name only. She didn’t tell me about this. When I asked her for an explanation, she told me she did it to earn higher interest, and that she put it solely in her name so she wouldn’t have to go to the trouble of getting my signature. We’ve taken out a number of such investments before, always in joint names. On no previous occasion have we done so without consulting.

Additionally, we had a simple arrangement for many years, ever since we were first married. Whomever gets home first collects the mail and opens it, no matter to whom it is addressed – my wife, myself, or both. This is not a formal arrangement, it is just the way it has been done. Again, after many years, my wife one day announced that she doesn’t want me to open her mail any more – and of course, she won’t open mine. Privacy, she says. I thought this odd, but didn’t make a fuss, and dutifully obeyed. My wife, however, on a number of occasions since has “accidentally” opened my mail.

I’m thinking that there is something going on here that I need to me concerned about. Do you agree, or am I being needlessly suspicious?



I think it is time for you to go into spy mode, friend. Mouth shut, eyes open.
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post #4 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-28-2016, 10:15 AM
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Re: Joint bank accounts & trust issues

No, her behavior is odd and in your shoes I would investigate. She broke an agreement about your money and pilfered your joint account. If it was merely to earn a better interest rate she could have easily put your name on the account and brought a signature card home and mailed it back. I have done that countless times in the past. She also could have given you a heads up that she had withdrawn the money and opened a personal account with joint funds...But she didn't, so here you are. The mail thing is another GIANT red flag.

Run a credit report for both of you and place a "fraud alert" on your account with all three agencies so no new credit can be opened without your approval. In your shoes I would make darn sure you get the mail before her, consider having the post office hold it for a bit.
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post #5 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-28-2016, 10:18 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Joint bank accounts & trust issues

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Originally Posted by EllisRedding View Post
I think you have a right to be concerned. You don't monitor your bank account at all that you didn't notice thousands of dollars being withdrawn?

How is everything else in your marriage, any other possible red flags?

Also, tell your wife she needs to add you to that investment account where the money was deposited. See what her reaction is to that.
She does the banking and bill paying, so no, I seldom check. I guess a brief answer to how things are otherwise would be "strained" - no particular problems that I can identify, but we seem to bicker a lot.
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post #6 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-28-2016, 10:23 AM
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Re: Joint bank accounts & trust issues

is she going to add you to that account now?
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post #7 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-28-2016, 10:24 AM
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Re: Joint bank accounts & trust issues

See if she is happy to go to the bank and add your name to the account.
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post #8 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-28-2016, 10:25 AM
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Re: Joint bank accounts & trust issues

How did you do your taxes without knowing of the interest income on this account?
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post #9 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-28-2016, 10:27 AM
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Re: Joint bank accounts & trust issues

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Originally Posted by Skeptical1 View Post
She does the banking and bill paying, so no, I seldom check. I guess a brief answer to how things are otherwise would be "strained" - no particular problems that I can identify, but we seem to bicker a lot.


Keep your eyes open. The part I put in bold above is worrisome.

Quote:
Run a credit report for both of you and place a "fraud alert" on your account with all three agencies so no new credit can be opened without your approval. In your shoes I would make darn sure you get the mail before her, consider having the post office hold it for a bit.
Do this.
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post #10 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-28-2016, 10:32 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Joint bank accounts & trust issues

I didn't know of the account, so I didn't know about the interest. Besides which, she handles all the financial stuff, including tax. Maybe not any more!

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post #11 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-28-2016, 10:35 AM
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Re: Joint bank accounts & trust issues

Time to get involved in your finances. Offer to give her a couple years off...

Ciao,

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post #12 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-28-2016, 10:40 AM
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Re: Joint bank accounts & trust issues

It's definitely time to investigate and take an active role in your finances - and check other things to be sure she isn't keeping other things from you. The key question is, what happened to the money in her separate account? Can you find out if she used it for anything? And if so, for what? I'd suggest setting up your own separate account, and moving an equal amount into it. Have your pay direct deposited to that account. If necessary, transfer an appropriate amount to the joint account to cover your half (or share) of the bills. Say nothing about this, and let her come to you, because she WILL notice and WILL ask. You then will have the leverage to get a full accounting of her account, and if there actually is nothing "else" going on, agree to a new set of rules.

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post #13 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-28-2016, 11:02 AM
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Re: Joint bank accounts & trust issues

Hiding money, hiding accounts, bickering, strained relationship...

All sorts of red flags.

Get your signature on that account and quietly start digging.
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post #14 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-28-2016, 11:02 AM
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Re: Joint bank accounts & trust issues

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See if she is happy to go to the bank and add your name to the account.
This is a great first step. If she fights you, you've not only caught her in a deception but you'll know you've got much bigger problems.

If she is trying to build a nest egg of her own, it could be to finance a divorce, affair, whatever. If she refuses to add your name to the account and continues to profess that she now needs financial privacy from you, it would be the time to separate finances entirely. Set up your own accounts at a bank she doesn't use. Tell her you will tranfsfer X dollars into her account per month to cover joint expenses like housing, utilities, kids , etc.

Don't blow this off. It's not uncommon for men in troubled marriages to greatly underestimate their wife's unhappiness. Most likely, this problem is not really about money at all.
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post #15 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-28-2016, 11:06 AM
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Re: Joint bank accounts & trust issues

Also, in terms of the whole "not wanting to inconvenience you by getting your signature" BS, do you two not see each other every single day? Would it really have been an inconvenience to get your signature when you were both home

Also, once the account is opened your signature shouldn't be needed since it is pretty standard to be able to transfer funds between accounts electronically.

Sorry bud, the line she fed you was a load of BS.
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