College Money Settled, Still Separating Finances
Update to my last post about paying for the skids college tuition.
I went and saw a lawyer about the decree by myself because DH dragged his feet. I did not have much hope but you never know. Turns out it is enforecable so BM would have to voluntarily agree to amend the decree. Great. That was all I needed to initiate separating finances. DH said to give him time to figure it out but I said no.
He did email BM last week. He was too deferential to her in my opinion but asked if she would be open to modifying the tuition agreement and accept whatever amount he had saved up by the time SD graduated HS. He put me on cc so I would know he did it. BM was a dead end as I expected. Wrote back of course she was going to hold him to the terms of decree, but she would agree to add whatever amount DH needed to her half of college expenses as long as DH agreed to put that same amount plus interest in SD's wedding fund. He did not reply to that.
BM forwarded DH's email over to MIL. I don't know the details of what went on but MIL and FIL were mad with DH. Very very mad. They are going to pay whatever amount DH can't, if needed. A small part of me did not want them involved, even though what they offered will lift a huge burden from DH. They already think that DH's life has gone downhill since he met me. They think I am responsible for his career change, they think I tricked him into having DS1, and I'm sure they saw me CC'ed and now think I'm the bad guy for wanting all of DH's money for my greedy self (when I make a little more than he does) and convincing him to attempt to renegotiate college expenses for the skids.
I'm trying to look on the bright side. With them paying the remainder, now we can have separate finances but still stay married. I made it clear to DH that separate finances or not, I will divorce him if he wants to take out loans for the skids for any reason.
The skids are clearly entitled to a standard of living that is far better than anything my children, even my DS1 with DH, can expect. College, weddings, grad school, a house, who knows? I get it now. Separating finances with all of these expenses in the future is a necessity. Last weekend we separated our finances and I opened new accounts. Happy Valentine's Day to us! We hammered out most of the big stuff. We are splitting household expenses and DS1's expenses equally, and will contribute a set dollar amount to savings and a vacation fund that is just for us every month. Any joint purchase over $100 has to be cleared with the other person. All joint expenses will be logged on a spreadsheet and zeroed out quarterly. Family vacations will be split based on how many of our kids come. Both of us will put a set percentage of our pay in our 401k's. His percentage is more than mine because he is older. I think that covers everything. We are probably forgetting some things but nothing else comes to mind.
Even though I know that this is the right thing to do, I am sad about separate finances. It feels unnatural and definitely not how I was raised to believe marriage worked. This is also so not romantic. I half expected DH to log Valentine's day dinner on the spreadsheet as a joke. Lucky for him he did not.