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Question
Posted by: Maria | 2010/02/03

marriage and finances

Hi Doc,

My Fiancé  and i have been together for four years now, our wedding is this year October. He is a very private person and does not disclose his financial situation.

I have brought this to his attention twice this year but not in the past, however i still do not know how much he earns how much debt he has or what he owes. Please bear in mind that he keeps stressing the fact that he has a bit of financial issues, which his been saying for the past couple of months. He would always be vague but never elaborates.

He also goes through all his documents and financial statements on the days we don' t see each other. Take into account that we will be marrying in community of property.

My question to you Dr:

Is this normal in a relationship? Will this be a problem later on in our marriage? Or am i making a big thing out of nothing?

I love your website and value your opinion!!

Kind Regards
Maria

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Normal is a word I hestitate to use easily, except in a strictly statisical sense, when we have exact fudures. What you describe is not uncommon. And especially in some cultures, and the more traditional adherents to them, men consider money matters to be their responsibility, even if they're messing up in them, and feel queasuy about telling their wife or fiancee about them. Maybe you need to gently say that your advisors recommend strongly that you shouldn't marry anyone, especially not in community of property, without a full advance disclosure of the situation including the numbers. Maybe he'd feel more comfortable disclosing in the first place to a male relative of yours ( who would of course keep you fully informed ) ?
Your instnacts deserve attention and respect. There may be something wrong, and you shouldn't commit yourself to the financial aspects of the marriage without knowing exactly what this will mean for you now and in the future.
Like qwerty I believe that marriage in community of properrty should legally require a total disclosure between the pair of the exact financial situation of each. It wshould NEVER be acepted with financial unknowns.
And why does he not trust you with this information which could be vital to your life and happiness ?

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: qwerty | 2010/02/03

OH, sweety - DO NOT get married in community of property! This means you will be jointly responsible for any debt that either of you brings to the table, and it sounds like your fiance has some! If you come into the marriage with some money and some assets, and he comes into it with debt, and for some reason the marriage dissolves - he' ll get half your money and you' ll get half of his debt. Not a very fair deal!!
I would personally be very worried that he wants to get married in community of property, but refuses to disclose his finances to you. Because in a few months time, his finances will be yours!

You are not making a big deal out of nothing. This is pretty serious, and will definitely cause issues for you if not resolved before you get married.

In my opinion, the safest option would be to get an antinuptial contract drawn up and to get married out of community of property. It' s pretty unpleasant, because it feels like you are PLANNING for divorce, but really you are just being smart. If either of you ever get into financial trouble, at least if you' re married out of community of property, by law no one can come after your spouse for the money, as you are both separate legal entities.

But more importantly, you need to address the apparent mistrust there is in that he doesn' t want to share this information with you - as his wife, surely you should be privy to every detail of his life? And vice versa!

Reply to qwerty
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/02/03

Normal is a word I hestitate to use easily, except in a strictly statisical sense, when we have exact fudures. What you describe is not uncommon. And especially in some cultures, and the more traditional adherents to them, men consider money matters to be their responsibility, even if they're messing up in them, and feel queasuy about telling their wife or fiancee about them. Maybe you need to gently say that your advisors recommend strongly that you shouldn't marry anyone, especially not in community of property, without a full advance disclosure of the situation including the numbers. Maybe he'd feel more comfortable disclosing in the first place to a male relative of yours ( who would of course keep you fully informed ) ?
Your instnacts deserve attention and respect. There may be something wrong, and you shouldn't commit yourself to the financial aspects of the marriage without knowing exactly what this will mean for you now and in the future.
Like qwerty I believe that marriage in community of properrty should legally require a total disclosure between the pair of the exact financial situation of each. It wshould NEVER be acepted with financial unknowns.
And why does he not trust you with this information which could be vital to your life and happiness ?

Reply to cybershrink

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