First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes… setting up a joint checking account? A recent study found that talking about money can be one of the biggest areas of conflict for couples. Our experts take your questions on how couples should deal with finances, like combining money, taking on a partner’s school loan debt, or determining who pays for child care or vacations.

I Love You… But Who’s Paying This Bill? 11 March,2016forum

Bob Goldman, financial planner at Bob Goldman Financial Planning
Kristin Pace, tax attorney & partner at Donahue Fitzgerald Attorneys
Deborah Price, CEO and founder of The Money Coaching Institute


    The biggest mistake couples do is to have a joint bank account ,the fact is sooner or later after marriage love and romance runs out of the door ,and the relationship becomes me ,me ,me,and you ,you ,you ,so in my case while I was grad students at Cal quite a while ago ,when my ex and I had a serious disagreement about an issue ,she went and cleaned our joint bank account which amounted to just few thousands of dollars…..Later on in my second marriage many years later ,it was much worse again after few years of love and romance ,my bank account was cleaned out of millions…….If I would relive my life all over again I WOULD NOT EVER GET MARRIED OR HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH WOMEN ALTOGETHER….I would just add both women were highly educated with advance collage degrees….I also must add that many women had similar experience with their men…..Love and marriage is for the birds….

    • Reverend Lurlean Tucker

      My experience has been that men and women are equally irresponsible. Age and life experience matter more than sex or gender.

  • Reverend Lurlean Tucker

    Joint checking accounts are so 1950s. Didn’t Desi and Lucy fight over one decades ago? We all have separate credit histories and should keep them as clean as possible without dragging anyone else down in any debt problems that might befall us. Divorce is only one possible factor in the equation. People argue about money when there’s less of it than expected to go around. We encourage people to spell out the financial terms of any relationship involving money in advance. It doesn’t mean people don’t trust each other — only that they’re preparing for unforeseen circumstances.

  • John

    I provide a generous allowance on the first of every month that usually provides for all of her needs for shoes, make-up, etc.

  • Robert Thomas

    This discussion will have been worth a listen if only for Mr Goldman’s evocative image of the “mean streets of Orinda”. I was immediately transported to my youth – spent stalking the seedy pavement of darkest Los Gatos.

  • Jonathan Bernard

    I have A LOT of student loans and my girlfriend (with hopes to be married) have none. Although I earn more now, I’m worried about how to move forward because I don’t think it’s fair for her to have to take on my debts. She’s also much better with finances than I am.

  • L.D.

    The thing about marriage, love and money:
    Joy is always more than doubled and grief halved.
    Don’t mistake money as grief, or a way to account for joy.

  • Bob

    I’m quite surprised that couples keep finances separate. I’ve always made the bulk of our income and came to my marriage with much higher assets, but I never considered keeping them away from my wife. Sharing was the point of getting married. My wife stopped working when we had kids, was she supposed to stop using money? What is the point of keeping money separate, how does it help anyone?

  • L.D.

    If an unmarried couple own a home as joint tenants, then marry, should they re-title the home as “community property with right of survivorship,” or just leave it “joint tenants”?

    • L.D.

      Thanks for the on air answer: re-tile as “community property with right of survivorship” to retain the stepped-up basis (home’s market price) if and when a spouse dies.

      • De Blo

        You should also consider putting your home into a trust (in order to avoid probate).

  • De Blo

    My husband and I still have separate (but linked) checking accounts and 401(K)’s, but a joint savings account, multiple joint investment accounts, and jointly owned houses. The college accounts for our sons (age 3 years and 11 months) are joint as well. This system seems to work quite well for us. Our incomes are pretty similar, neither of us has any debt other than mortgages, we have never carried any kind of balance on a credit card, and we both have credit scores over 800. It may be a little bit easier since we are gay men; there is not the issue of inequality that some heterosexual couples seem to face. At any rate, the separate checking accounts but single savings account is a system that seems to work quite well for us.

  • EricaG

    What’s the best way to find an hourly financial planner?

  • maria

    My husband has refused to to joint returns now that he has an inheritance. Does this truly mean that his money would become joint property?


    So many creatures suffer because of sex ,from the males of black widows to others including humans ,men and women ,if not death it is the fall of many famous people in history because of sex….In my case I met a human black widow …..

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