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Old 14.02.2020, 18:45
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How do I protect myself from my wifes excessive spending?

Hello Forum,

I need to understand what recourse I have to protect against my wifes spending.

My wife and I are in the process of separation. I have moved out the house. We have a mediator to manage the separation to avoid high legal costs buts its taking a long time ( 2 months already and we dont have an agreement).

I am the sole breadwinner. She can not work (chronic disease), but receives no AI yet.
We have a joined account and we have equal access to the money.

In the meantime my wife is cranking up expenses that are way beyond our means.
eg. 175 chf a week on femme de menage
She is engaging a lawyer behind my back. (no idea how she is paying for it)
Going out for lunch & dinner
Expensive HairDresser

I asked her today to agree to reduce costs & painted clearly my salary situation (which is decreasing by the way) .

She refuses to do that without lawyers.
She has since blocked me on phone & email. Net there is no discussion, and is acting completely irrationally.

How do I protect myself from being liable for her expenses ? eg : Her Lawyer bills. (remembering we do not yet have the separation agreement in place).
If she incurs credit card debt, am I liable ?
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Old 14.02.2020, 18:59
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Re: How do I protect myself from my wifes excessive spending?

Close the joint account.

Tom
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Old 14.02.2020, 19:02
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Re: How do I protect myself from my wifes excessive spending?

There's official separation recognised by the court (both registered at different addresses, both sharing any income both considered single by the tax man etc.) and then there's divorce.

While neither of those states apply you (and she) can do what you want with your money.. including opening your own account for your salary and not letting her withdraw from it.

But at the point of separation and/or divorce you'll have to split any assets, including any cash in any bank.. and share any debts regardless of who incurred them.
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Old 14.02.2020, 19:06
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Re: How do I protect myself from my wifes excessive spending?

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But at the point of separation and/or divorce you'll have to split any assets, including cash in the bank.. and share any debts regardless of who incurred them.
Unless you have a separation of assets in place, or any assets or debts are inherited or existed prior to the marriage.

Tom
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Old 14.02.2020, 19:07
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Re: How do I protect myself from my wifes excessive spending?

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Hello Forum,

I need to understand what recourse I have to protect against my wifes spending.

My wife and I are in the process of separation. I have moved out the house. We have a mediator to manage the separation to avoid high legal costs buts its taking a long time ( 2 months already and we dont have an agreement).

I am the sole breadwinner. She can not work (chronic disease), but receives no AI yet.
We have a joined account and we have equal access to the money.

In the meantime my wife is cranking up expenses that are way beyond our means.
eg. 175 chf a week on femme de menage
She is engaging a lawyer behind my back. (no idea how she is paying for it)
Going out for lunch & dinner
Expensive HairDresser

I asked her today to agree to reduce costs & painted clearly my salary situation (which is decreasing by the way) .

She refuses to do that without lawyers.
She has since blocked me on phone & email. Net there is no discussion, and is acting completely irrationally.

How do I protect myself from being liable for her expenses ? eg : Her Lawyer bills. (remembering we do not yet have the separation agreement in place).
If she incurs credit card debt, am I liable ?
Oh man, without knowing her side of the story and thus assuming that you are of course both equally to blame for this breakdown in marriage situation, this sounds like hell and is why I will ever have a joint account that has all of my assets in it, no matter how loved up I think I am. Psychologically, if she cannot work due to a chronic disease then she is going to try and secure her future as much as she can by getting as much money from you as she is able to. Add in some bitterness and resentment from both sides, and it's likely a recipe for a painful divorce.

Can you not as a temporary measure draw out or transfer a large portion of the money to a new account in your name (leave a modest amount in there for you both to live on and then deal with the aftermath) or do you need her permission to perform such a transfer? Basically if she wants to intentionally spend the money in your joint account then then I don't see how you can stop that without moving that money somewhere else.

Last edited by Chuff; 14.02.2020 at 19:30.
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Old 14.02.2020, 19:10
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Re: How do I protect myself from my wifes excessive spending?

Earn more.
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Old 14.02.2020, 19:13
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Re: How do I protect myself from my wifes excessive spending?

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Hello Forum,

I need to understand what recourse I have to protect against my wifes spending.

My wife and I are in the process of separation. I have moved out the house. We have a mediator to manage the separation to avoid high legal costs buts its taking a long time ( 2 months already and we dont have an agreement).

I am the sole breadwinner. She can not work (chronic disease), but receives no AI yet.
We have a joined account and we have equal access to the money.

In the meantime my wife is cranking up expenses that are way beyond our means.
eg. 175 chf a week on femme de menage
She is engaging a lawyer behind my back. (no idea how she is paying for it)
Going out for lunch & dinner
Expensive HairDresser

I asked her today to agree to reduce costs & painted clearly my salary situation (which is decreasing by the way) .

She refuses to do that without lawyers.
She has since blocked me on phone & email. Net there is no discussion, and is acting completely irrationally.

How do I protect myself from being liable for her expenses ? eg : Her Lawyer bills. (remembering we do not yet have the separation agreement in place).
If she incurs credit card debt, am I liable ?
Do you have children?
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Old 14.02.2020, 19:16
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Re: How do I protect myself from my wifes excessive spending?

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Do you have children?
From previous posts yes he has at least one teen/young adult.
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Old 14.02.2020, 19:17
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Re: How do I protect myself from my wifes excessive spending?

Guess you could try asking the bank to block her debit/credit cards. Otherwise as others have said, open a new account for your salary in your name only and then just transfer a set amount to the joint one each month to cover her reasonable expenses.
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Old 14.02.2020, 19:52
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Re: How do I protect myself from my wifes excessive spending?

Reality check:

Your wife's spending is not at all excessive. 175/wk for a house helper is nothing for a person with disabilities. Haircare is a necessity, and they are expensive for all women who do their hair at a salon. If she can't comb her own hair, you can imagine how she'd look and all the problems that would stem from lack of basic care.

To me excessive spending is if she blew her monthly food budget on one or two meals at a restaurant; took luxury trips; bought luxury clothes and jewelry, bought a car, decided on a whim to refurnish her home. It looks to me like she tries to spend the smallest amount she can in order to stay alive. (I don't know her degree of disability but CHF 175 barely pays for 6 hours of work/week, which is again, very little for a disable person.)

It also looks like you are past the point of offering to help with setting her up with the disability department. There's a lot of paperwork involved, running to and from the post office, and these things are very hard for a disabled person to tackle by themselves.

I am sure you already know how hard this is, and this might be why you bail out on her. No judgement there, but don't come making it up that she is a spender. Alternatively, you could whine about how tough it is when life deals you such a bad hand, like a disabled partner.

Cheers!
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Old 14.02.2020, 19:59
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Re: How do I protect myself from my wifes excessive spending?

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Hello Forum,

I need to understand what recourse I have to protect against my wifes spending.

My wife and I are in the process of separation. I have moved out the house. We have a mediator to manage the separation to avoid high legal costs buts its taking a long time ( 2 months already and we dont have an agreement).

I am the sole breadwinner. She can not work (chronic disease), but receives no AI yet.
We have a joined account and we have equal access to the money.

In the meantime my wife is cranking up expenses that are way beyond our means.
eg. 175 chf a week on femme de menage
She is engaging a lawyer behind my back. (no idea how she is paying for it)
Going out for lunch & dinner
Expensive HairDresser

I asked her today to agree to reduce costs & painted clearly my salary situation (which is decreasing by the way) .

She refuses to do that without lawyers.
She has since blocked me on phone & email. Net there is no discussion, and is acting completely irrationally.

How do I protect myself from being liable for her expenses ? eg : Her Lawyer bills. (remembering we do not yet have the separation agreement in place).
If she incurs credit card debt, am I liable ?
What is "AI"
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Old 14.02.2020, 20:08
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Re: How do I protect myself from my wifes excessive spending?

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What is "AI"
IV

4.03 Information sheet "Medical aids - IV/AI"

https://www.ch.ch/en/medical-aids-ahv-iv/
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Old 14.02.2020, 21:04
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Re: How do I protect myself from my wifes excessive spending?

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Close the joint account.

Tom
Actually, leave the joint account as it is, have your salary transferred to a new one of your own, transfer the monthly amount she used to use (and don't be stingy) to the joint account for her to use until you have an agreement.

Have a standing instruction with the bank to pass that amount for her of always the same amount, so nobody can say you're moody or financially reacting to what ever she does during the months you may not like.

PS: Fr. 175/week for a cleaning lady sounds A LOT. Is it more of a domestic/home help and does she need that now because you no longer live there? Then you should think about that amount differently for the moment.
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Last edited by curley; 14.02.2020 at 22:33. Reason: typo
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Old 14.02.2020, 21:34
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Re: How do I protect myself from my wifes excessive spending?

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Actually, leave the joint account as it is, have your salary transferred to a new one of your own, transfer the monthly amount she used to use (and don't be stingy) to the joint account for her to use until you have an agreement.

Have a standing instruction with the bank to pass that amount for her of always the same amount, so nobody can say you're moody or financially reacting to what ever she does during the months you may not like.

PS: Fr. 175/week for a cleaning lady sounds A LOT. Is it more of a domestic/home help and does she need that now because you no longer live there? Than you should think about that amount differently for the moment.
We don't know what health issues the wife has. Good look to all involved.
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Old 15.02.2020, 02:48
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Re: How do I protect myself from my wifes excessive spending?

it's all shooting in the dark here, she can't work but gets no AI could mean anything from being unable to handle the daily stuff to being perfectly able to do without a cleaning lady.

>She is engaging a lawyer
>She refuses to do that without lawyers.
>She has since blocked me on phone & email. Net there is no discussion

that just means you need a lawyer too regardless to go forward, and they will provide a course of action to minimize your financial damage, if it's possible.
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Old 15.02.2020, 09:15
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Re: How do I protect myself from my wifes excessive spending?

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Oh man, without knowing her side of the story and thus assuming that you are of course both equally to blame for this breakdown in marriage situation, this sounds like hell and is why I will ever have a joint account that has all of my assets in it, no matter how loved up I think I am. Psychologically, if she cannot work due to a chronic disease then she is going to try and secure her future as much as she can by getting as much money from you as she is able to. Add in some bitterness and resentment from both sides, and it's likely a recipe for a painful divorce.

Can you not as a temporary measure draw out or transfer a large portion of the money to a new account in your name (leave a modest amount in there for you both to live on and then deal with the aftermath) or do you need her permission to perform such a transfer? Basically if she wants to intentionally spend the money in your joint account then then I don't see how you can stop that without moving that money somewhere else.
How can you jump to these conclusions? To be honest, I think you are so opinionated you would never get the chance to be in his situation in the first place. If you read his posts properly, he never mentioned that she is cleaning out the bank account...
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Old 15.02.2020, 10:32
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Re: How do I protect myself from my wifes excessive spending?

You need to take advice from a proper source on what proportion of your income is needed to cover you wife's living costs. This can be done neutrally or subjectively. But are you using a Swiss mediation specialist ? There are mediation services available that are tied to the Swiss legal system and they can lay out for you what to expect and what is considered reasonable.



Certainly you also need to be looking and downsizing all your costs as this is going to be quite a bumpy ride for the whole family financially.


it is totally her right to take a lawyer if she wants one.



However, it is definitely reasonable to shut down credit cards etc if you can't afford them, but you *must* provide to her a living amount. If you have savings etc then you need to be aware (lawyer!) about what you are entitled to - you are going to also split your pension etc.


As for having a reduced income, I hope that's not reactive to the separation... my god I have seen so many men do this to cut off finances to their ex partner and children... including quitting their job completely to try to cut off their ex's income... right now you need to be looking at how you can increase all available funds to cover both your partner's and children's situation as well as your own...



Yes, your wife may choose to spend some money, and once you give it to her, it's her choice...she will learn... or not...


Do you have an actual functioning budget, income, expenses, child-related costs, laid out as part of the separation agreement ? Savings to fall back on ? What does the mediator say ?
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Old 15.02.2020, 10:34
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Re: How do I protect myself from my wifes excessive spending?

Above all, don't be an a***ole. You went into this with our eyes open knowing full well all the problems and when it doesn't work you are still responsible for doing your part. So far there has been no 'excessive' spending or irrational.
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Old 15.02.2020, 10:36
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Re: How do I protect myself from my wifes excessive spending?

Should add, yes, I would cancel all joint accounts all credit cards, and I hope she actually has her own bank account that you can transfer into for the living costs for her...



And are you both on the lease/loan for the house ? If loan, make sure you cancel the redraw, and notify them that you are separated. This will lock access to further credit. And if you are leasing, you should inform the landlord that you have moved out...
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Old 15.02.2020, 14:31
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Re: How do I protect myself from my wifes excessive spending?

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Should add, yes, I would cancel all joint accounts all credit cards, and I hope she actually has her own bank account that you can transfer into for the living costs for her...



And are you both on the lease/loan for the house ? If loan, make sure you cancel the redraw, and notify them that you are separated. This will lock access to further credit. And if you are leasing, you should inform the landlord that you have moved out...
That assumes one person can cancel such agreements, seems unlikely to me
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