should spouse with kids pay more of mortgage?

lara1103July 7, 2014

My husband and I want to buy a house together, but there's a debate about how much of the mortgage each of us should pay. I have 2 kids from a previous marriage. He has none. While we've been renting I've been paying two-thirds of the rent (since I have 2 kids who are with us half the time we figured they counted as 1 whole person). I also pay a larger percentage of the utilities.

When we buy a house, though, I think we should split the morgage payments equally if we want to have equal interest in the house. But he thinks I should pay more since my kids will be living there "for free" if not. I say if I pay more of the morgage, then I should have a larger interest in the house when we eventually sell it. I agree that the kids will cause some wear and tear--I'm willing to pay more of any repair bills or repainting, etc. that would be due to their presence. And I will still pay a larger percent of the utilities. If I pay more of the mortgage, then I'm essentially paying him "rent" for the kids.

He argues that we could buy a smaller house if we didn't have the kids. I agree that this is true, but when we sell a larger house, we will get more money out of it. It's just a larger investment.

What do you think? Should I pay rent for my kids? If so, how much would be fair?

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I'll go on record that I've been in this boat before and I feel the amount of money you each earns (does one of you make more than the other?) should determine what percentage of the mortgage/utilities you each pay without taking the kids into consideration

Life has lots of ebbs and flows. You have kids now and agreed that's some additional expense to the household. What's to say at some time your husband might not lose his job or face some other hardship? At that point, I'd envision you'd be picking up more of the slack financially. Would you then keep a ledger of what he needs to repay the household when he gets back on his feet?

I suspect you are already using your own money for extras like school clothes, camp, and other activities without your husbands assistance. Even paying extra on the groceries when they stay with you. That seems very fair....especially if you are also receiving child support.

For me, charging the equivalent of rent for the times my children were in my own home would eventually cause me to be very resentful. But that's just me. AND this is assuming we are not talking about adult children.

And I would for sure expect equal ownership in any home I owned with my spouse. It's good you guys are hashing this out now. Any agreement is fine if you both embrace it and it's not just one giving in to end the conversation.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 4:37PM
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I thought in a marriage, couple share marital income, assets and liabilities.

If really want to divide payments, I think it should be based on ratio of income and assets you each have. Only based on income is not fair, for example, if one person has no income but has two million dollars worth of asset, the other one makes $100K/yr but has no asset. Is it fair for the person who makes $100K to pay the entire living expense?

I thought getting married is forming a family, and children are part of the family. The thought could be "we could buy a smaller house if we didn't have the kids", or "I am so glad that we can afford a large house that allow kids to live with us comfortably".

I am wondering what are the answers if you ask him -

if you need readjust payment once the kids leave home?

if you need to get prorate if kids spend some months/days at places other than your house?

if you should measure how much food, or water, or electricity, or wear and tear each one of you uses and track with a spreadsheet to determine the payments of bills - it is possible that a grown man could consume more than a woman and two young kids combined.

If one of you gets sick or loses job or gets injured, how will you handle the bills?

if you have kid together and you have to stay at home, how will you handle the payments....

You could ask and ask...slice and dice... where do you stop?

This post was edited by azmom on Thu, Jul 10, 14 at 2:30

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 10:22PM
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This makes me very sad. I agree with Azmom. Are you spouses or roommates?

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 12:00AM
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I can't believe you married someone with such a resentful attitude towards your children.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 7:12AM
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Lara, I would be interested to know how he treats your kids when they are with you...Is this just financial, or does he resent their presence ?

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 10:59AM
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Boy, am I ever old fashioned. A marriage is where you pool your resources and enjoy the benefits together. Living together you separate money and pay your share.

If you rent an apartment do you pay more for 2 kids or the same.

This post was edited by EmmaR on Thu, Jul 10, 14 at 0:08

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 2:42PM
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so, if you pay a greater percentage of the payments, & a like pro-rata share of taxes, insurance, repairs, & maintenance, do you have the same percentage of ownership in the house?

IOW, if you & your partner or roommate have a $100,000 house (using that figure because it's easy to see percentages), & you pay 65% of everything, do you own 65% of the house?

If/when you sell it, do you get 65% of the proceeds?

If you make the same amount of money as partner, would you pay the same, or would your part be adjusted according to the proportion of income you have compared to his?

If you make less, would your part of the payments be less?

Would your ownership percentage be less?

Does this sound ridiculous?

Well, there ya go.

Not only does it not sound workable, but, as others have said, it doesn't even sound like a relationship or marriage.

Smack him upside the head & tell him to grow up & be a man or move out so you can get a new roommate who'll pay whatever the market will bear.

I'm sorry you're wrestling with this kind of nonsense, & I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 5:23PM
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I would strongly reconsider making such a huge purchase with someone who wanted to nickel and dime me this way.

Buying a house with someone is even more of a commitment than marriage. It's easier to get out of a marriage than it is to get out of a mortgage.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 2:35PM
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Lara, it won't hurt to have a seamless plan to protect yourself and your kids, just in case.....

This post was edited by azmom on Thu, Jul 10, 14 at 3:46

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 2:57AM
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You do not have a marriage. You two need to sit down and talk about your relationship. What kind of future do you have if you are always proportionally dividing things? If one of you becomes incapacitated what do you do? You are not giving yourself much future.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 8:13PM
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When my husband and I married, I brought one young child into the marriage and he brought 3 older ones, although one left after eight months to go to university. We bought a 5 bedroom home together, 50/50. During the years that we were together, his two kids lived with us about 80% of the time, and my daughter was with us about 60% of the time. We split all the household costs, vacations etc. For several years, I made more money, so I bought most of the groceries and all the clothes for the entire family. I also paid for some of his kids' activities. When my income dropped below his, I asked him to contribute to the groceries, and take over the costs of his kids' clothes (although I still bought some).

In retrospect, I am glad that we shared the house price 50/50 because a house is an investment that can be recovered. However, I do have some resentment over having paid a greater amount of the other costs. I could use that money now that I am separated to build a better life for myself and my daughter, and his kids aren't the least bit grateful for the wonderful life that they had when we were together. Of course, I'd probably feel differently if my husband had gotten his kids under control, and the marriage had survived.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 9:50PM
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Sorry, StepMomOfThree. They should be down on their knees kissing your feet. It's interesting how often steps purposely put pressure on the marriage, when they probably stand to lose the most when their standard of living falls.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 12:40AM
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