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Thread: Breaking up when financially dependent???

  1. #1
    Kalika
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    Breaking up when financially dependent???

    I had a conversation with a friend earlier that got me thinking:

    What if you want to break up with someone on whom you're very financially dependent??

    My friend just bought a house recently (in her name only) but with plans to have her long-term bf live with her. Recently my friend confided in me that she does not want to continue in the relationship but she has been financially dependent on him to help take care of the household and their two children. She told me that she could barely pay only half of the bills on her own, let alone save any money.

    I feel really bad for her but I don't know what to tell her, because child support would not realistically cover the other half that she would need to make ends meet, and she doesn't have any family or support here.

    Have any of you been in a similar situation as her, and if so, what did you do??

  2. #2
    avman
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    Well she could get a roommate to help pay some of the bills. Perhaps then between child support and a roommate she'd have enough to get by and provide for the children.

    Otherwise she may have to sell the house and move to something she can afford.

  3. #3
    metrogirl
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    I don't think it's ever a good idea to be completely financially dependant on someone else and not be married.

    To many things can go wrong and then you risk losing everything. I think buying a house when you personally can't afford the bills that go with it is insane.

  4. #4
    unabashed
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    I've considered the possibility that I could end up in this situation. When I bought my house, I could handle all the expenses on my own. Now I live with my partner who contributes to our expenses. If we broke up, I'd have to really scale back, and would possibly have to sell the house. Owning a home has been unexpectedly costly. With increased taxes, higher utility bills, and endless home repairs, the cost of owning a home is not what I thought it would be. I am sorry for your friend. With that said, your friend is lucky because she has the house to sell, and does have the ability to leave a bad relationship.

  5. #5
    itsallgrand
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    So he's been paying a half or more of expenses yet he has no claim to any ownership. Geez, I think he got the worse deal! lol. A tight situation to put oneself in all around.

    Yes, either work more and get roommates and cut expenses and do all she can to keep the house.

    Or, consider selling the house for something she could realistically afford with two kids and to be able to provide the security of knowing the future isn't on pins and needles.

    Does she work? She could be working her butt off to increase what she can bring in as well.

  6. #6
    metrogirl
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    Quote Originally Posted by unabashed [Register to see the link]
    I've considered the possibility that I could end up in this situation. When I bought my house, I could handle all the expenses on my own. Now I live with my partner who contributes to our expenses. If we broke up, I'd have to really scale back, and would possibly have to sell the house. Owning a home has been unexpectedly costly. With increased taxes, higher utility bills, and endless home repairs, the cost of owning a home is not what I thought it would be. I am sorry for your friend. With that said, your friend is lucky because she has the house to sell, and does have the ability to leave a bad relationship.
    ^^ this is exactly why I don't want to buy a home right now. Everyone tells me that I am throwing away money on rent but I don't have to deal with the added costs of repairs and taxes and such. Plus I believe that utilities and water costs are higher when you own, correct?

    Since I am a single mom, I'm leary of taking on that kind of financial commitment. With my luck, all the pipes in the house would burst and I would have 200 dollars in my account.

  7. #7
    unabashed
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    Quote Originally Posted by metrogirl [Register to see the link]
    ^^ this is exactly why I don't want to buy a home right now. Everyone tells me that I am throwing away money on rent but I don't have to deal with the added costs of repairs and taxes and such. Plus I believe that utilities and water costs are higher when you own, correct?

    Since I am a single mom, I'm leary of taking on that kind of financial commitment. With my luck, all the pipes in the house would burst and I would have 200 dollars in my account.
    There are all kinds of expenses that I didn't anticipate. I keep a Sears card open in case an appliance goes. But, if that happens, would I have the montly income to pay the card? Not sure. I needed a new furnace which I had to finance, and then finally transfered it to a credit card. The interest rate on the card went up (not due to any fault of mine), so I had to get a personal loan to try to stabilize the monthly payments. Thankfully, I qualified for the loan. But, the basement needs to be repaired and the kitchen appliances are from the '50's. Something else will come up this year. It's great to own a house, but also really stressful. I would do it again, but maybe I'd have waited until I had more savings in case of problems. I have a decent income and good credit, but it's still difficult. So, yeah. I'd be cautious about home ownership, despite its advantages.

  8. #8
    Sunflour
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    Staying in a relationship because you can't afford to leave is bad news. But if there are children involved, perhaps your friend would be willing to try couples' counseling with him first? If they could work through their relationship problems, that could be the best thing for all concerned.

    I'm surprised that she could get financing for a house that she can't actually afford to pay for alone. Is his name on the loan but not on the house?? If so that's a pretty unfair situation for him.

    If she's determined to end the relationship, then I'd second the suggestion of getting a housemate to share expenses.

  9. #9
    ResonanceTheory
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    Quote Originally Posted by metrogirl [Register to see the link]
    I don't think it's ever a good idea to be completely financially dependant on someone else and not be married.
    The woman that Kalika described is living with this man...they have a house together...children together...and pay the bills together. She calls him her "boyfriend"...but what does that mean? Let's call a spade a spade. I know that some people claim that there is some sacred difference between marriage and long-term romantic partnership where kids are involved, but I don't see it.

    Would a certificate have made it all right for her to depend on him financially? The only valid point is the legal one: being married to him would've entitled her to child support AND alimony. The core issue here is that this woman overextended herself financially. She bought a house "alone", believing she could enjoy the benefits of having this man pay for half of the house while the ownership remained only in her hands.

    I agree with It'sallgrand when she says that this seems highly unfair to the man. People are packages. You don't want them in your life...you have to say goodbye to them AND their money.

    While I understand that it is easy to become financially dependent on your SO--I know that I am, since we live together and each pay half of the rent--you need to keep in mind that, after becoming accustomed to living a certain way, breaking up has more than just emotional repercussions. Even if you call him just your "boyfriend", he's much more. I certainly see my "boyfriend" that way--he is my partner. When I moved in with him, I addressed it almost as seriously as marriage. Living together, mingling our belongings, our bills, our money. Our lives were becoming seriously entwined and that's not something easily undone.

    If I were going to move out, It'd seriously have to be worth it; I'd have to KNOW that I didn't want to be with him, that we'd tried to work everything out before hand. I'd suggest the same for Kalika's friend...especially since they have children together.

  10. #10
    Kalika
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    To address an earlier comment... Obviously, the ideal is to be able to handle your own financially, but the reality is, that the average American household NEEDS two incomes to survive. Especially when there's kids involved. That is, unless one person is making upwards of $60K a year, then MAYBE they would be OK if they only had one or two kids and a not crazy car payment or mortgage.

    I personally know that as much as I'd NOT like to be dependent on my partner, us merging our finances has allowed us to become middle class. If it were just me and my son on our own, I wouldn't be living in a remotely decent area, as I would not be able to afford that and childcare, and utilities, car insurance, etc...

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