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Advice for Living Together

Posted by Amber3902 (My Page) on
Fri, Nov 2, 12 at 11:03

I've been dating someone for six months now and we're talking about moving in together approx. six months from now.

Some background. I make $43K a year, he makes $150K. I have two daughters (age 14 and & 7) from a previous marriage. BF has said that he will pay all the bills related to the household, including the mortgage, utilities, etc. I will be responsible for me and my daughter's needs, clothes, after school care, etc. Even though my BF has said he doesn't want me to, I plan on paying the grocery bill for the household.

My BF is looking to buy a house in the $300 price range for us to live in together. The house will be in his name only. This is because 1. He was planning on buying a house long before we met. 2. My credit is horrible right now due to the divorce I went through a while back. I'm not concerned about him kicking me out on the street, while we live together I plan on saving my money so if the unthinkable happens I will have a nice cushion to land on.

But there are a few things I've been thinking about. I'm 35 and my BF is 43 years old. If something were to happen to my BF I would not be able to afford the mortgage and utilities on my salary alone. But what could I do with the house if something were to happen to him?

Even though he has said he'll pay for all household related expenses, I was thinking we should set up a joint bank account with both of our names on it. We can still keep our personal checking accounts separate, but I'm thinking a joint bank account would be good for an emergency savings account. I mentioned this to him and he said he doesn't want to get too entangled with someone else's finances. After having someone else ruin my credit I can kind of understand where he's coming from.

So I'm looking for financial advice for two adults living together. Is there anything I'm not thinking about?

Also, how do I discuss these issues with my BF in a tactful manner without coming across as a insensitive gold digger waiting for him to kick the bucket? Because that's not the case at all. I just like to be prepared for all outcomes. I'd rather talk about these things before they happen instead of waiting until it happens and then try to scramble and figure things out.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Advice for Living Together

"But what could I do with the house if something were to happen to him? "

Nothing.
It is not your house. It will go to his estate and you will have to move out, unless you buy it out.


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RE: Advice for Living Together

Ditto to the response above. It is not your house, and you have no legal claim to it if you're not married to him, and your name isn't on the deed.

Definitely DO NOT open a joint checking account with someone you are not married to. Don't you ever watch the afternoon court shows--LOL! Judges HATE to be called in to sort out the 'his and hers' of the finances of unmarried couples who split up. I know you're not planning on that at this point, but the reality is it's a possibility and people who live together have NO legal protection at all.

Even married, I believe in individuals keeping their finances separate. I've been married almost 40 years. DH and I have always managed our own resources. He has his ways of saving and investing, I have mine. Now that we're in our 60's and looking at the inevitabilities ahead, we have finally combined a few things, and put POD's on the others. I see it this way--in a marriage or relationship, there are still things that are separate--you don't wear each others' underwear, you may each have your own bottle of favorite shampoo--why on earth would something so important than money be any different. EVERY woman should have her own resources, her own money, her own savings--enough to get by for at least a couple of years if some sort of tragedy struck. Please, keep your money in your pocket, let him keep his. You have children depending upon you, it's triply important that you NOT give this man you really don't know all that well (6 months is NOT long enough to thoroughly know someone) access to money you need for your children.


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Thanks for the advice.

Regarding the joint checking account, I was thinking both of us keeping our own separate bank accounts, and open up a new joint account that we'd each put a little bit of money in. He would not have access to my personal checking account and neither would I have access to his account. The joint account would be savings for emergency situations, like unexpected house and car repairs.


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There are some serious legal issues regarding not only finances but health emergencies that neither of you seem to be facing.

If he buys the house and you have no legal claim, then you are merely a tenant. If he dies you're a squatter - yes, this is an actual legal change. If this is fine with you, then not a problem. Make sure you have a 5-figure cushion to protect yourself as a backup should something happen.

Why? Because you have no legal protection. I lived for seven years with DH before we got married, so I made it a point to learn about these issues.

Do you plan on doing wills? Are you going to execute healthcare durable power of attorney forms? What about your daughters? Who takes care of them if something happens to you? If something happens to both you and your SO?

This is an excellent opportunity for you to work on repairing your credit record. There is no telling when you might need to rely on it. My DH and I mingle finances, but I've kept my name and credit record separate for 38 yrs.


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" The joint account would be savings for emergency situations, like unexpected house and car repairs."

Excuse me, but WHY would you want to pay for repair on what is HIS house?


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And as far as emergencies go--if one of you is willing to help the other, it makes NO difference if the money is in a joint or separate accunt. But I, too, was wondering why you're planning on contributing to the repair of HIS house, HIS car when--on a whim, if it's in his name, he could give you your 30 day notice any time he wanted to.


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I think you should rethink moving in together. It's way too soon and you have two young children to think about. I'm no prude, I lived with my now husband before I married him but there were no kids involved.

You have only known this man 6 months, wait, continue to date him but don't live together.


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Thanks for all the replies. I want a joint savings account to pay for repairs to the house and BOTH of our cars. He is going to be paying ALL the bills for the house, mortgage, utilities, upkeep. Keep in mind I am going to living with him RENT FREE. I'll be able to keep all the money I make for myself and my girls, which is a far better deal than I currently have. Right now I have to pay for everything myself. He has paid for repairs for my car in the past. So I don't think I'm being taken advantage of if I contribute a small amount to a joint savings account that would be for expenses for the house that we all live in and BOTH of our cars.

And by the time we move in together we will have been together at least a year. People get engaged and married in less time than that. As for the impression I'm making to my daughters, I tell them all the time, do not get married, live together.

I've been married before and I NEVER want to go through another divorce. It costs $30 dollars to get married, it costs $5,000 and several YEARS of stress to get divorced. I don't ever want my daughters to go through that. If things don't work out I want to be able to pick up and leave that same day, not spend tons of money on legal fees and have to wait a entire year of separation before I can date again.

The benefits I get out of living with him is being with someone that I have a lot in common with, we have mutual respect and admiration for each other and physical and emotional attraction. On top of that I will be living with him RENT FREE. My girls and I will get to live in a house that is far bigger than the apartment we live in, in a nicer neighborhood, and my girls will get to go to far better schools. I really don't think putting a couple hundred into a joint savings account each month for emergencies for BOTH of us would be him taking advantage of me. If anything, I feel like I'm getting a good deal for me and my girls. Heck, I'd be able to afford to PAY someone to clean for us.

Jkom - Thanks, you mentioned the things I was wondering about. I will definitely take advantage of this time to save up a nice nest egg and work on repairing my credit. If anything happens to my daughters they would go to their dad or my dad. I will talk to him about healthcare POW and wills. But that was what I wondering, how do I talk to him about wills without making it seem like I'm waiting for him to kick the bucket? Keep in mind he makes three times what I do. I don't want to come across as Anna Nicole Smith.


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Edit- If anything happens to me my daughters would go to either my dad or their dad.


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My (current) husband and I lived together for about 3 years before we got married. We had agreements (not in writing) ahead of time that we would alternate paying rent each month and each buy our own groceries. We had no kids then, but we were embarassed enough to hide our situation from our parents. Both of us had prior marriages that ended in divorce. My first husband just up and left me one weekend.Then he emptied our joint bank account with $13,000 we were saving for a house. He used to come back when I was out of the house at work and take things he thought were his. He took all the wedding gifts from his side of the family (including a junky coffeemaker and half our silver set, including all the tablespoons). So I had no coffeemaker and no tablespoons. My second relationship was completely based on trust and fairness. Like I said, we alternated paying rent. It worked out for us and we did get married. After we got married, we bought a house together and had kids. You obviously love and trust your guy. But I would feel much better if you two were married. And I'd be vary nervous about your children. They need financial stability. I'm with the posters who say you shouldn't move in together.


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What will he be getting, a live in cook, house keeper and sex anytime he wants.

Having both lived with women and been married, I can assure you that I never had sex anytime I wanted it. From a purely economic perspective there are probably cheaper ways to get sex on demand than cohabiting or marriage. ;-)

The biggest drawback to this situation is that the woman and her children are in a precarious situation because she has no right to stay in the home. As she mentioned, if something happens to him, she and her children would likely be looking for a new place to live. A prudent woman would go into this with her eyes wide open and have a plan for sufficient financial resources should something go awry.

The leading cause of discord in any relationship is money and it is very important for everyone to have a clear understanding of each party's obligations.

Equally great may be the challenge of dealing with the children.


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Yes Mike, I am trying to go into this with my eyes wide open, realizing that while I get the benefit of living somewhere rent free, there is also the chance that if something happens to my BF I will be looking for somewhere for me and my girls to live.

I do think the chances of something happening to BF are slim but I will save my money just in case the unthinkable happens.

Azzelea, the fact that you have been in marriage for 30 years is great but tells me that you got married in a time period when the man worked, the wife was a SAHM and divorce rarely happened. In my marriage I made more money than my husband, and he made financial decisions that ruined both of our credit.

I do not get alimony from my daughter's father. I do get child support, which I would continue to get even if I did get married again. I won't get any pension from my ex, and I will get more SS from my income than his. So there's nothing financial that I'm holding onto from my ex.

"All marriages do not end up badly (and if you believed all relationships go so badly--WHY are you putting your daughters though that again, with or without marriage?)"

I don't believe all marriages end up badly, but the financial cost if a marriage goes bad is FAR more worse than if you're just living together. If you're living together and things go bad, you move out and move on with your life. If you're MARRIED and things go bad, you have to pay an attorney THOUSANDS of dollars to pay for a divorce, you have to WAIT A YEAR before you can date again, AND your credit is ruined. The divorce attorney I talked to told me told that financial ruin is par for the course for anyone going through divorce. The cost of a marriage not working is FAR more expensive than a living together relationship that doesn't work out.

And I don't believe ALL relationships end up badly. I will say that over the years I've learned from my bad relationships, learned a lot about myself and the type of person I want to be with. Learning from my mistakes and learning the type of man I want to be with I feel pretty confident that this relationship has a good possiblity of lasting, but no one can see the future. I doubt anyone goes into a marriage or relationship thinking it's not going to last, but at the same time a person shouldn't be naive and not prepare for if things go bad.

I have found someone that has the same goals and values that I do, which is why I am in a relationship with this man, but at the same time I am doing what I need to do to protect myself IF things do go bad.

Thanks again for all the responses, I think I'll just save my money up so I have a good cushion to fall on if anything should happen.


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The folks who comment never live with someone before marriage and you get nothing out of it are living in a cave as divorce rates are high in this country. That moral jack and Jill garbage isn't preventing broken homes, bad credit and an industry called divorce law.

Do whatever improves your situation. If a man is willing to take a divorcee, her two daughters and give her free lodging and offer to pay anything. And you can restore your finances and hopefully give YOUR family a structured home, companionship and safe roof. I might offer to cook, clean and maybe some sexual favors. Many married people have much less opportunity besides a ring.

No joint accounts but please buy food for household explaining to him it is a responsibility you have to your daughters to show them they should always stand on their own two feet?


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"The folks who comment never live with someone before marriage and you get nothing out of it are living in a cave as divorce rates are high in this country."

Thanks Roosevelt! I'm glad someone sees that I'm getting a pretty good deal. Not only have I found someone who has the same values and common interests as me, but he's willing to take me and my two daughters in. Heck, I'd be GLAD to cook, clean and have sex with him. It's a FAR better deal than I had in the marriage to my girls' father, where not only did I have to work full time, cook, clean, and do ALL of the parenting, but when my exH wasted his money on stupid things and couldn't pay his share of the bills expected me to pay them.

I like your idea of offering to pay for the groceries to show my daughters how to stand on their own two feet. I was planning on doing that anyway, since we're three and he's only one person, and I don't think it's right for him to pay the grocery bill for someone else's kids.

thanks for the tip!


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It is never a good idea to model playing house without any legal commitments. You should NEVER tell your girls to move in with a boy without legal protections--be it marriage or other contracts.

And, you should not do the same, yourself. Finances separate. You buy groceries; show responsibility. You take your written contract, with your girls, for notarization (if not legal counsel). They need to see some modeled responsibility in this playing house thing, or you will be a young, broke grandma raising your girls and their children as well.


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As long as you address the legal and healthcare issues, it should be fine. I lived with my boyfriend for seven years before we got married. My mother had five marriages so I wasn't eager to EVER be married!

We've been together 38 yrs total and are happier than ever. Communication and a insistence on always "playing fair" is what we base our relationship on...not a piece of paper.

Remember that if your situation changes substantially, whether financially or legally, to keep your documents updated! Always so easy to procrastinate and put those kinds of things off, but when you're not married it's very critical to stay on top of things.

Best of luck to you going forward.


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Do you have college savings for your daughters?

Have you started saving for your retirement? Are you where you 'should' be, given your age?

Do you have 6 months of emergency living income, if something were to happen to your BF and you were forced to go it alone on your income and support money?

Have you been living from paycheck to paycheck, with your income and the child support?

I would not suggest any 'joint' savings accounts at this time.

I mentioned this to him and he said he doesn't want to get too entangled with someone else's finances.
I agree.

I want a joint savings account to pay for repairs to the house and BOTH of our cars.
Again, that is just entangling money and responsibilities. Why not each of you be responsible for paying for your own vehicle(s) and keeping it/them on the road? If he is buying a house, then he 'should' be prepared to handle the expenses that go along with it. If/when there are upkeep expenses, you can always 'offer' to help with or pay taxes, insurance, whatever. I'd suggest just talking things out about money and financial responsibilities, and go from there. It need not be an ongoing 'issue'.


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I believe the OP indicates she is trying to recover/repair from her marriage so doubtful savings and emergency funds are available yet.

Regarding legal stuff, just draft simple agreement - if things don't work out while living together & unmarried - we both walk away with our independent items and no financial responsibility to each other or legal fees. This agreement supersedes any obligations. Indicate you are both signing this without pressure of sound mind and conscious. It is simple and keeps away lawyers, etc.

If at a point later - one or the other wants a family health plan or add benefactors to insurance, 401k, etc. It is a later on discussion.


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RE: Advice for Living Together

Thanks jkom for the advice.

Roosevelt, you are right. I'm still recovering from the financial damage of my marriage and divorce. I will say I don't have six months of emergency, but do have two months of savings and every month I have a certain amount automatically sent to my savings account. So I wouldn't say I'm living paycheck to paycheck right now. And thanks to my job, I also have a 401K set up. Of course, my credit is not where I would like it to be, but it takes time to build that back up.

Thanks for the advice on the agreement, sounds like a good idea.


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If you did not have kids, moving in after 6 months doesnt seem like a horrible idea but with kids its a very bad idea. You just dont know him well enough or how you will progress as a couple to start living together with your children.

Honestly my Creep-O-Meter is set off. What is his dating history? Does he always date women with young girls? Why does a single man in his 40s who "doesn't want to get too entangled with someone else's finances" want to rush to living with a woman with 2 children ? How did you meet him? Were your girls with you? Was it in a place you would expect to find families?
Maybe you did find prince charming but if you did he will still be, dating you a year from now.

(why can I not get my account set so the "'" stay and not turn into fractions?)


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If you didn't have children, my answer would be totally different......then I'd be more accepting of letting you exert your independence and freedom and suffer the consequences yourself. But since you're asking for advice on moving your young girls into another older man's home, and the girls will also be affected, my advice is DON't do it.....be a parent and teach them to develop good relationships.

If you do move in together, I'm wondering what precautions you're taking to protect your girls?
What will be your reaction if he starts to date after a period of time - he's not legally bound by marriage so there's no obligation for him to remain faithful.
What's the plan if you become pregnant?
What does your children's father think of you living with someone?

A few more questions: how are your children doing in school? Do they have problems relating to your shacking up that are evident in other ways (attention or relationship problems)?
Does your boyfriend have any children? If so, how are his parenting skills? How can you protect your children from them? Does he pay child support? How do you get along with his X?

I know these weren't part of your question; however they're all relevant topics. And from a societal viewpoint, your situation affects all of us.
Children need structure and organization. Your example and encouragement to never marry teaches your children that there's no such thing as a fully committed relationship. That's not true. Please tell me how our society would benefit if everyone avoided marriage and chose to cohabit and move around willy-nilly at their whim?

According to an article in the Washington Post by Brad Wilcox from the Univ. of Virginia "cohabiting relationships tend to be characterized by less commitment, less sexual fidelity, more domestic violence, more instability, and more insecurity, compared to married relationships. Needless to say, these kinds of relationship factors don't foster an ideal home environment for children. And it's also very clear from the research that kids living in a stable, single-parent home are less likely to be abused than kids living in a cohabiting household with an unrelated adult male."

So tell me ...... why should we give you advice to assist in cohabitation while raising your children? Doesn't sound like it's a wise thing to do. And I never even got to the financial side of it!


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I agree with the recent posts above. It might seem like a good deal financially but if this guy ends up molesting or abusing your daughters it will be the worst thing you ever did.

" Children who live with a single parent that has a live-in partner are at the highest risk: they are 20 times more likely to be victims of child sexual abuse than children living with both biological parents (Sedlack, et. al., 2010). "

quoted from factors affecting risk for child abuse

You will be putting your daughters into the high risk category, and this guy might have alterior motives, maybe he doesn't, but abusers can be very good at putting on a nice guy act and telling people what they want to hear to get close to young girls. I suspect you will go ahead with this no matter what people say, but please keep your eyes and ears wide open and pay close attention to everything, and don't leave this guy alone with your daughters, just be aware of the statistics and do everything you can to make sure your daughters are safe, even if you think you can trust this guy.


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Quote:According to an article in the Washington Post by Brad Wilcox from the Univ. of Virginia "cohabiting relationships tend to be characterized by less commitment, less sexual fidelity, more domestic violence, more instability, and more insecurity, compared to married relationships. Needless to say, these kinds of relationship factors don't foster an ideal home environment for children. And it's also very clear from the research that kids living in a stable, single-parent home are less likely to be abused than kids living in a cohabiting household with an unrelated adult male." "

This statement is concerning -
the abuse of a child can happen in or out of the home, by family, trusted acquaintances, etc. Most adults who abuse take advantage of a child insecurity and/or the fact they are trusted by the parent. E.g. Priest/Rabbis, teacher/coach, parent's partner or relative (Uncle/etc.).
My point here is whether married or just living together a creep is a creep and can guilt a child with "You don't want to break up your mum's situation/living arrangement huh?" but, there is NO time when that guarantee exist whether 6 months or 2 yrs or married or just recently dating. You have more time to screen a person the longer it goes out but there is no assurance. Your gut and willingness to move in with someone after a harsh divorce indicates you have some level of judgement and faith in this person.

I think your question was financial and this has morph into relationship judgement. With divorce rates and folks like Dr. Phil or Steve Harvey divorced but giving advice - no one is an expert with the opposite sex.

Domestic violence has nothing to do with cohabiting vs. marriage as it does with the individuals in the relationship and their actions in distress. Chris Brown & Rihanna whether married or not have explosive tempers.

The end goal is to prioritize to protect your children and not sacrifice their well-being or trust and make sure they know that (If they feel uncomfortable vs. just shy/scared understand why).

As this individual is willing to buy a home (that is not simple cohabiting as that is a significant investment/commitment). No single guy wants xx bedrooms if they live alone.


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Dr Phil is divorced???


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I believe Dr Phil is currently married, but he was previously married and divorced, his current wife is his second wife.


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Does this person ever plan to get married to you or ??? If not why? Who does he plan to sleep with and what kind of future/retirment will you have. Or when you get older, will he look for someone younger--just a thought.


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Phil & Robin have been married for, what?, 35 years. His divorce was a lifetime ago and really not worth mentioning....


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Yes, my question was financial but has morphed into a judgment on me "shacking up." I wonder if I had left out the part about me being a mother how the discussion would have gone?

Even though I don't have to I'll try to answer some of the questions asked.

mgmsrk- My BF has never dated someone with kids before and does not have any himself. We met at a party, my kids were not with me at the time.

Hilltop -
"What will be your reaction if he starts to date after a period of time - he's not legally bound by marriage so there's no obligation for him to remain faithful."
Right- like married people always stay faithful and never cheat. *sarcasm*

"What's the plan if you become pregnant?" I'm on birth control.
"What does your children's father think of you living with someone?" I doubt he has a problem with it since he's planning on living with someone himself.

"Please tell me how our society would benefit if everyone avoided marriage and chose to cohabit and move around willy-nilly at their whim?"
I don't know how to answer this. You assume that if everyone was married the world would be a perfect place. Being married is not a guarantee that someone will not cheat on you or abuse you. It just makes it harder to get out of when things go bad.
I will say that both of my girls are A-B students, and often get perfect attendance and citizenship awards. My 7 year old just got an award for Terrific Student of the month. My 14 year old spends her days doing homework, riding her bike, reading the Hunger Games books, and does not have a boyfriend. I don't let them watch pg-13 movies, the 7 year old is in bed at 8:30, the 14 year old 9pm. I like to think I'm a pretty good mother, I attend every parent teacher conference, every school function, email the teachers on a regular basis and take my girls to the library and museums.

I realize you don't know my whole story, but hopefully this gives you an idea the type of person I am. I've worked at the same place for six years now, have a good job with good benefits and just recently got a promotion. I work full time, go to school part time and take care of my girls. I don't go clubbing or bar hopping, or sleep with every guy I meet.

I don't feel that I'm some morally corrupt person just because don't see the benefit of getting married. If you don't want to give me advice that's your choice. Thanks to those of you who did.


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One last point I wanted to respond to: "A marriage is a legal contract that says you are require to take care of each other."

That is bullsh$t. When my mother died my exH (married at the time) didn't even support me and go to the funeral. When I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia he refused to help out around the house or with the kids. So you'll forgive me but I have a hard time believing that marriage means you are "required" to take care of each other. The only person my exH took care of was himself.

Really I wonder what la la land some of ya'll live in, where you think just because a man is single he's a child molester and cohabitation is wrong. Probably the 1950s. *end rant*

By the way, there are ways of checking into a person's background, facebook, linkedin, google to name a few. The first thing I did when I first met my BF was to check him out online. I've met a lot of his friends, and me and my girls are going to meet his parents this Christmas. So I feel fairly confident he's not a child molester. He won't even take a key to my apartment because he doesn't want to be accused if something were to happen to one of my girls.

And he hasn't even bought a house yet, he's not even going to start looking until after x-mas, and I don't have to move in right away. I'll take as much time as I need to make sure the relationship is going right before I move myself and my girls in.


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amber I am sorry if you think I judged you living with the man, I did not. I see nothing wrong with it, but the woman usually ends up the loser. My lawyer told me that marriage is a legal contract, but it does not mean either of you have to help the other with work or go places with each other. Here is an example: If I marry a man who has filed bankruptcy I have to pay off his remaining debt or it ruins my credit. I know someone this happened to, it took all of her savings. It means that all money and property and bills belongs to both. That legal contract is why you have to get a divorce and why you can only be married to one person at a time.


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Amber,
I would focus on how this will impact the children before anything else. Most kids develop strong attachment to adults that are constant in their lives. Whether you marry or not, living with a man means that you will accept this man as a father figure for your kids. If this man can fulfill that role well, then go for it. If you have doubts about that, then money could not induce me to subject my children to such uncertainty. But I can afford to make those choices because I have plenty of income to do whatever I want for my kids. So I don't know what I would do in your financial situation... I may be contemplating the same things are you.

All reasonable marriages discuss possibilities of death and plan for it. This would not be tactless. Just be honest and spell out the situation for him. He may be able to buy a life insurance with you as a beneficiary and somewhat guarantee that you live in the house if he dies, for example.

I do see that you feel that you are making a good decision for your kids. You have said that your girls will have better economic advantages: better school, larger house etc. Will this man be a good father substitute? This is what you are doing to your family.

I have not read anything that says that this man is offering to be a father figure to your girls. Offering a place residence is not the same.

If you think this man can be good for you and your girls for reasons other than economics, this can be a win-win situation for both of you if both of you get what you want out of it. If you are comfortable with living with someone that may not end up in a marriage or permanent situation and you are okay with how this will impact your children, then you will have a nice economic advantage of having your living expenses reduced.

During this time, you need to have enough money saved aside so that you can get a rental place quickly if something happens to the living situation. It seems you are aware of that.

I would not pay for anything in the house because it is not my house. Even though you don't think it will, that type of thing will create 'resentment' over time and you can easily talk yourself into a false sense of ownership of the house. You will have to create a strong boundary so that you will not create the feeling of ownership. You are essentially living rent free in an open ended non committed offer of goodwill. No matter how long you have lived with him, this house will never be your house unless you legally make it so.

More than a joint checking account, relationships require shared goals. I suggest that you find some thing that you can share: how about groceries. You both have to eat and this is something you can share equally or you pay for completely. Until you come to a decision that you will have shared financial goals for your futures, I don't see the point of shared checking account. What emergencies will the checking account pay for? It's either your emergency or his emergency when you don't have shared goals.

I wish you the best.


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RE: Advice for Living Together

Both my husband and I had a first marriage that ended badly in divorce. So we lived together warily. We alternated paying rent and shared household expenses, grocery bills,household chores, etc. We were both working and kept our bank accounts completely separate. After several years together, we decided we didn't want children yet, but we wanted some sort of contract to make sure neither of us would be financially hurt if we split up. We considered writing a contract, but finally decided there's nothing like marriage to make "shacking up" fair to both parties. So we got married. We later bought a house and had 2 kids. So I recommend Amber should bring up the subject of marriage. If it's too early, keep dating but don't move in together. I'd worry tremendously about the children.


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RE: Advice for Living Together

As long as you have children living with you, I do not think it is a wise idea to move into a house with this man. You are not setting a very good example by living this way. If children were not involved, I would feel differently...because the only person you would hurt is yourself....but you hardly know this man! Right now, your main concern is the caring and safety of those children! They did not ask to be in this world...it is up to YOU...and not a stranger. Someone needs to be a voice for them...and from what I am reading in your posts, your main concern is MONEY....your priorities need a major adjusting.....in my opinion.


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RE: Advice for Living Together

As long as you have children living with you, I do not think it is a wise idea to move into a house with this man. You are not setting a very good example by living this way. If children were not involved, I would feel differently...because the only person you would hurt is yourself....but you hardly know this man! Right now, your main concern is the caring and safety of those children! They did not ask to be in this world...it is up to YOU...and not a stranger. Someone needs to be a voice for them...and from what I am reading in your posts, your main concern is MONEY....your priorities need a major adjusting.....in my opinion.


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RE: Advice for Living Together

I SMELL A RAT.....


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RE: Advice for Living Together

There is a reason why some of the people have $100,000 kitchens on gw forum. They are smart and can afford to pay for them. Listen to some of the responses. Some of the responses are antiquated. ..It's your life not theirs..


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RE: Advice for Living Together

I know you posted a financial question--and perhaps you were trying to stick to the point. But NOTHING in your posts really sounds as if you have the kind of relationship with this man that would lead to a real family feeling. You seem to be in it for the free housing, and the 'free' money (since you'd then be free to keep 'your' money for other things. Look--our opinions are largely unimportant in the grand scheme of things--whether or not we think this makes you look a bit 'gold diggerish' shouldn't bother you. BUT--how will you feel if your real friends and acquaintances see this in the same light? Something to think about.

I'm glad to hear he hasn't yet purchased this house. Hopefully, the months it will take for that to happen, will give you time to really think this all through. No matter how well you check someone out--6 months isn't long enough to know them. He's probably not a predator--but if he is? They're very adept at hiding things for long periods of time. Just look at BTK--he was killing people for DECADES and everyone thought he was a pillar of the community. On paper he was, you'd never have suspected that the public servant, the church leader, good father, good husband was committing some of the worst atrocities. You have every right to follow your own happiness. You don't, however, have the right to put your children in potential danger. AND if they are victimized by this man, it's quite clear from your posts, YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE THEM when they tell you that! I feel so sorry for them, fear greatly for them, and frankly--hope this relationship of yours runs its course long before you combine households.

Sorry--know that's not the kind of advice you were seaking--but I can assure you, I'd say the exact same thing to my daughter were she in your situation.


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RE: Advice for Living Together

You are right azzalea. BTK came from this city and everyone was shocked to find he was the killer. He stopped killing for years then decided to taunt the police because they couldn't catch him. I would have suspected him of something if he were my husband though. He had a lock on a storage shed in the back yard where his souvenirs were kept I guess his wife loved and trusted him. I am afraid I wouldn't trust a husband who had to lock something away from the family. I would have learned to pick the lock. LOL


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RE: Advice for Living Together

Just to preface--I never married my longtime partner, we bought a house together and had a child,,,so "judging you" is not involved here!

I have to support what Kaismom said very well. You haven't known this gentleman long enough; maybe in another 6 months you will, but...

This man doesn't want to get "financially entangled" with you. He doesn't want to you to have any claim on him, or on his belongings (including house). YOUR children..seems he will still think of them as YOUR children, for which you and only you are responsible. And perhaps you feel the same way. However, just his being part of the household will impact those kids in ways you might not be thinking of.
It doesn't seem that he sees your future together as much of a partnership, and I really wonder about how the children will feel, because they FEEL things emotionally that they could never put into words.... Not about what example will be set in terms of marriage/not marriage, but about degree of committment to their well being they will experience, emotional distance on his part they will experience. This living situation might be nice materially speaking, but lacking in material things will not hurt them in the long run--but living with an adult that keeps them at arm's length, (and financial separation is a way of doing that) who is not 100% committed to them, WILL.

I struggle to put into words clearly all that worries me about this. I totally respect the desire to protect yourself financially, too ... I know of partners who bailed after YEARS and tried to stick the other with the unpaid bills etc, and wives who were left with nothing .. all a sad part of our modern society I guess. I alway kept my retirement, savings, etc separate too and strongly advise that for any woman with her own resources. Men can be golddiggers too!

All that said, no joint checking account. If you need to talk him into it, with what he has already told you, it is a bad idea.
Discuss,with him, not just the financial relationship (or lack of one) but what will your emotional "partnership" be about, in 2 years, 5 years, 20 years? I hate the term "baggage" but perhaps relationship counseling would be good for this before you make the decision to move in.

Best wishes to you,Raee


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RE: Advice for Living Together

I am thinking a lot of women are responding.

As a male without kids it is difficult dating a woman with kids. All of this feedback is slightly insane as it would indicate no woman with kids should consider a single unmarried male for fear of all types of crazy unless he plans to marry her.

I repeat if you trust him (after your harsh marriage) and don't consider it a rebound relationship. I think your judgement and knowledge is all that counts. You have enough knowledge experience of a loser and know the signals. Keep in communications with your daughters privately to understand their comfort and let them know their comfort and happiness is first thing/priority. Trust yourself. Not every person is a serial killer, sex offender or other.
I think one can find more sexual abusers in religion (priest and rabbi) which goes unreported or swept under the rug as a bigger problem vs. the OP which is thinking and evaluating this situation intensely.

Write up a top 10 concerns list with your BF and after six months see if those items still exist. If your can indicates at least 2-3 items have evaporated that is progress as most couples don't improve. If no mprovement call it quits before getting too deep.

It sounds like ou have some months before moving in so take time to learn each other and interactions all together,


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RE: Advice for Living Together

I don't see a problem with this situation. Amber3902 daughter's are old enough to be able to tell mom if he acts 'unusual'.

Amber mentioned that she has poor credit so her boyfriend probably doesn't want his credit rating affected if they merge finances. Smart. Also, if Amber is getting child support, then marrying would also affect this.

Just so Amber (and her kids) aren't out in the cold in case of an 'unfortunate event', I would ask the boyfriend to set up a trust that leaves the house to Amber if they are still together in a year or so.

LGBT people have similar issues and manage to work with them so the families of each partner don't come stomping in to take shared assets. I would look further into how co-habitating adults (without marriage privileges) do this.

In the meantime, enjoy each other and keep putting money away in your own bank account.

Best of luck to you!


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RE: Advice for Living Together

I'm pretty sure we scared Amber off a while back...

I'm not sure how "merging" finances, other than being on a loan together, would impact either party's credit. Assuming one doesn't go bouncing checks all over town, having, say, a joint checking account, is going to have any impact on credit. Or, for example, the water bill was in her name, and she stopped paying it, that would have no impact on his credit. Just having joint credit agreement, even with her poor credit, would have no impact on his credit. His credit would only be impacted if the bill wasn't paid.

As for child support, that very much depends on state law. Around here child support is a flat percentage of the non-custodial parent's net income. The custodial parent's living arrangements or marital status has no effect on what the non-custodial parent pays.


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RE: Advice for Living Together

In some jurisdictions, when you've lived together for a year, or sometimes more, or even 6 months in some cases, very similar claims can be made in case of breakup as are available to spouses.

While I can agree that you've had experience with a rotter, I rather favour the idea of getting to know this person much better before moving in together ... rather, moving into his house.

That said ... one of my single parishioners married a widow who had three or four children, over 40 years ago, and it worked well. He'd made a commitment from the start to be a replacement father. In fact, she died a few years ago.

ole joyful


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