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Ask Dave

Putting His Name On Her Stuff

Kay is wary about combining her money and checking account with her new husband's because of his credit history.

QUESTION: Kay has been married for a few months. She and her husband are in their 60s and live off Social Security while they look for part-time jobs. His poor credit history concerns her as far as having their names put on stuff. Should they merge checking accounts? Dave thinks her concern is reasonable, but tells her what they can accomplish together.

ANSWER: It’s not dangerous to have your names together as long as everyone does what they are supposed to do. You are only hesitating because you are unsure of his behavior patterns. I think your goal should be to completely combine your lives and finances within a couple of years.

That goal can be achieved at a pace that doesn’t make you uncomfortable with his behavior. It can’t happen in just a couple of days. It is reasonable for you to be hesitant now, but if you never intend to combine your lives then you should never have gotten married.

If he gets sued, there is the chance that they could come after your house because, after you combine your lives, it’s his house as well. He needs to show a track record for cleaning up and his mess needs to be legitimately cleaned up.