I've tried to reason with my husband, point out the reasons 'why', he needs to pay attention to what he's spending. I've cried, screamed, yelled, but he absolutely refuses to change his terrible ways with money. I've been putting up with it since 1993. Married in 1995 and I have lost everything. I had 9+ horses and other livestock, seven acres and even savings. He quit his job of 19 years, to become a truck driver soon after we were married and 6 months before he could have retired from there and got a pension. Now, we have no retirement, no savings, no house and I can't always pay the rent on my brother's house. If not for my brother, we'd, mostly me, since he's on the truck, would be homeless. My husband spends $1200 a month on 'nothing' by taking advances on his pay through the system on his truck. If I leave anything in his checking account, he spends that too. he didn't used to have access to it, but the last time he promised he'd change .... well it didn't work either. He has nothing to show for how hard he's worked. I've worked to for most of our marriage. When we discuss finances and come up with a plan, he agrees to whatever I say, since he doesn't want to argue, but consistently does what he wants to do anyway. When I do save a penny, something happens that I have to bale him out of a speeding ticket or something, or I just run out of money because he sends me 200.00. Sometimes its all he has to show for two weeks work, left over from what he takes in advances. We have already filed Bankruptcy, in 2008 . I love him and care what happens to him, but I don't want to be responsible for his financial problems anymore. I accept that I will be taking care of him, at least financially when he retires. He has told me, 1, "don't try to tell me anything, I learn by watching." [he hasn't learned by watching] 2, "I make the money, I should get to spend what I want of it." He has no concept of planning or sticking to a budget and I'm finished, after 16 years of trying to teach him. The warning signs were there, but I was in 'love' and thought I could teach him. Just this last month, his checking account closed since it had zero money in it because he refuses to pay attention. We talked about it, and on this payday, he had 84 cents left in his account. and took another 550 out of this check in advances. He gets paid every two weeks. How can I assure that I can keep a roof over my head? I read about Post nups, but we have nothing to 'nupt'. No kids either, thank god. I'da had to kill him years ago if there were kids involved. We have no bills either, except a cell phone bill, since our bankruptcy, and still cannot save even for a rainy day, let alone retirement. I will be 50 in April, and he is 54. When he gets himself in deep trouble again, I don't want to be responsible for digging him out. We can't file bankruptcy, and I can't even pay a 900 medical bill that's been outstanding for a while. I don't want my wages attached, because he's spent all of his before he even gets paid. There have been times where on payday, he owes the company money- instead of getting a paycheck. We've tried getting him a pre paid card to help him stick to a budget or 150 per week.we tried his own checking, he over draws it, weve paid as much as 400 a month in overdraft chargeswe tried cash, he spends it and takes out more. I ask him how much he's spent , he said 100its actually 500and he still lies every time, knowing i have access to bank records and pay stubs. Is there something I can do with him to legally protect my finances without actual divorce? I do love him, and don't want to divorce him. I did take vows, and don't want to break 'em. His behavior with money, tells me over and over, that he just doesn’t care what happens to me, or even himself and I have to do something so I can sleep.
State/Country relating to question: United States
Talking, teaching, I even told his mommy and daddy on him. Really, years ago, we invited his parents out for lunch for their help in explaining the importance of budgeting.
We filed bankruptcy in 2008 and even our lawyer threatened to 'fire' us because my husband wouldn't do even what the lawyer said. I give up.
Hello, and thanks for your question.
It sounds like you have a very difficult situation on your hands. I'm sorry to hear it.
As long as you are going to stay married to him, your options are pretty much limited to what you can do to curb your husband's spending habits voluntarily or by agreement.
One option that you should look into would be to set up a trust. You would be the trustee and would be in charge of distributing money out of the trust to pay bills, expenses, etc. All of his income would go straight into the trust so he would not have direct access to it. You would need to try to get his employer to agree to send his paychecks directly to the trust and to stop giving him salary advances. You would also need your husband's consent to this plan.
It's not really all that different from some of the strategies that you have tried to employ. However, one major difference is that he might be more willing to stick to it as it has the air of more of a "legal" construct that has some binding force.
Instead of getting him to agree to terms you set for him in words at the kitchen table, you could have him sign the trust agreement at a lawyer's office. These are just small psychological edges that might help him feel bound to the agreement and like he can't or shouldn't just change the arrangements so that his paychecks come straight into his own bank account again.
This is called a spendthrift trust. There would be no problem setting it up, and any funds in the trust would not be available to his creditors for satisfaction of debts. The only tricky part is getting him to send his paychecks to the trust, and I am not aware of any way of forcing him to do that.
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He wouldn't consent. No matter what he ses and what we agree to when we discuss it, it has been the pattern that he won't do it afterwards. His employer also won't do it, according to him, and he is right in that the management where he works, like in payroll, will not discuss anything with me. I expect to avoid an argument, he would tell me that he can't take advances anymore to shut me up for a while, but then he'd go right on doing it. I'd find out a week or two later. And we've never fought. He agrees and promises every time. He wouldn't even do what out bankruptcy lawyer said to do, short term. Is there someplace that I can put my wages, and what I am able to save in a trust? Is a trust like a savings account? If he is fined thousands of dollars for some trucker violation, or if its millions because he ran over someone or something, can 'they' come after a trust? I would just hide what i can in a mattress. But I'm all grown up [at 50yrs old] and would like bank accounts and even investing and retirement accounts, even if it is a little too late.
Thanks for your follow-up.
You could set up a trust with yourself as the beneficiary to protect your own earnings and assets from your husband's creditors. However, strictly speaking, that shouldn't be necessary. As long as you keep your bank accounts separate and don't put his name on them, any separate debts he incurs will be his own, and his creditors will not be entitled to payment out of your separate assets. That's not to say they won't try, or that they won't call and harass you to try to get you to pay the money. But you are not liable for his debts if you did not incur them jointly.
Because matters like this are very sensitive to the particularities of the individual case, I would recommend that you try to find a local Estate Planning attorney who offers free or low-cost consultations and schedule a meeting with them. They will be well equipped to advise you about any and all options that might be available to you, including whether you would benefit from establishing a trust with yourself as the beneficiary to protect your assets. If you look around, you should be able to find a law office with a consultation fee of $100, or even free.
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Licensed Attorney in North Carolina.
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