New Hubby Wants Child Support?

Dear Relationshipper,

I have been married for about 18 months and am finding that money issues really can be big headaches.  I was previously married, worked and had 2 kids.  My ex pays child support regularly.  My present husband and I talked about money before we got married and agreed on a scenario of having one joint checking account where all incoming money was deposited except for the child support.  I have a separate checking account for that to make sure I have a clear record that what comes in for them is spent on them.

My husband now wants me to close that account and just maintain the one joint checking account.  I see absolutely no advantage or logic to that and he doesn't seem to have any real reason for it other than it's what he wants.  He just can't or won't give me any reason for his change of heart.  I'm totally baffled by it and am not willing to change something that has worked well in the past without a logical reason.

Am I missing something here that is obvious to you?

Casey, Glens Falls NY

Dear Casey,

I agree, this does seem a bit odd.  There are most likely one of three scenarios happening here. 1) Your husband doesn’t trust you with the child support money, 2) Your husband is being a little stingy, and wants you to contribute more money, or 3) He feels as though you are keeping the child support as a “safety net” in case your relationship doesn’t work out.

While it’s true that it’s not really necessary that you keep the child support cash out of your joint account, it’s also not really any of his business.  That money is specifically dedicated for the benefit of your two children, and has nothing to do with him.  He had already previously agreed to keep that money separate, so you have done nothing wrong.

You are under no obligation to change the way you handle this money.  However, if you don’t, there will be an underlying resentment between you and your husband if you don’t figure out the root of his issue.  There must be something going on – and whatever you do with your finances will not resolve the real problem that is at hand here.

Remind your husband that you had an agreement, and at this point you see no cause to change that agreement.  However, he needs to discuss with you the issue that is really going on.  Maybe he has a reason that you will agree with!  Encourage him to tell you what is on his mind, so you can resolve this instead of letting it fester.

Let him know that you are open-minded and want to relieve him of this tension, but making him feel better will depend on his ability to communicate his feelings.  If he doesn’t, the money stays put!

Good luck,

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