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Dad Refuses To Put Stay-At-Home-Mom Wife On Deed To New House Since She Didn’t Help Pay

Man signing a deed to a house
Vithun Khamsong/Getty Images

It’s well-known that money can impact a lot of marriages.

But sometimes having money and assets causes just as much trouble as not having the money in the first place, cringed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor Ready_Professor_9715 was thinking about buying a shared marital home with his wife, but to do so, they’d need to adjust their personal assets.

Because his wife expected him only to adjust his assets because she sacrificed by becoming a stay-at-home mom, the Original Poster (OP) considered not including her in the house-buying decision.

He asked the sub:

“AITA for not wanting to put my wife’s name on the deed to our new house?”

The OP and his wife had both shared and personal assets.

“My wife and I have been married for three years and have generally kept our finances separate.”

“We were both working when we got married, although I make significantly more.”

“She stopped working when we had a kid, at which time I set up a joint account funded entirely by me for her to use for her expenses.”

“We both owned homes prior to marriage and kept both, we’ve been living in my home, and she didn’t want to rent her home out and uses it more or less like a vacation property.”

When it came time to buy a new home, the OP’s wife questioned contributing.

“We recently found a new home to buy together, but it would require at least one of the homes we own to be sold in order to afford it.”

“She does not want to sell her place, nor does she want to contribute any of her very substantial liquid investments to the new house.”

“She claims her contribution is staying at home and taking care of the baby.”

“For what it’s worth, I have never discouraged her to go back to work and told her we could arrange child care.”

The OP looked for a way to meet in the middle.

“I told her that I did not expect her to pay half of the down payment since we have a disparity in income, nor do I expect her to contribute to the monthly payments since she is not working, but that if she wants to be on the deed, she needs to contribute some reasonable amount of her savings.”

“If she wants me to sell my premarital home and pay 100 percent of the down payment and all of the upkeep on the home while she sits on her cash mountain of investments and contributes nothing, then the house needs to be in my name only.”

The OP’s wife was furious.

“She is accusing me of not valuing her work as a mom (incidentally, I work full-time and contribute more than my fair share of child care on evenings and weekends) and said if I wanted things to be fair, I could carry and deliver our next baby (even though, to be clear, I am a man).”

“AITA here?”

Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some were concerned about the OP’s wife’s motivations for doing this.

“NTA, it sounds like she’s trying to set things up so she can claim half the house in a divorce.”

“You should get legal advice from your state on whether the new house would become part of the ‘marital estate’ if you do buy a new one.”

“In some states, your premarital assets such as your existing home would not be part of the marital estate and would not be divided at divorce.” – Empirical-Rutabega

“OP, she is preparing for a future divorce. She wants to be a SAHM so she can ask for alimony because ‘she sacrificed’ her career for you (that’s what she is going to say, no matter if it’s a lie; people are going to believe her).”

“And she is going to take AT LEAST half of your property if she can. Don’t let her… don’t be that doormat. NTA.” – PokeSirena

“STOP! Honestly, it sounds like she’s keeping her house/money as a backup and wants to take you for half of yours.”

“Do not buy the new house. Just don’t. If she wants the new house that bad, then you both sell your properties and put ALL of the money from both sales towards the new one. Hopefully, it will result in a mostly paid-for home.”

“Any other way would be a solid ‘no way’ from me.” – 2DEUCE2

“OP! Tell her she can be in the deed if you are on her deed. Fairs fair. It’s not fair for her to have a private asset and require you to give up yours but she not give up hers. Make them. BOTH communal assets.” – KCarriere

Others weren’t concerned about ulterior motives but encouraged better communication.

“Look, OP, she’s keeping her security in the event of the divorce. I don’t see anything from the OP that she’s scheming and planning to divorce.”

“Most women who stay home for the babies suffer in their career ‘mom tax’ with less opportunity for promotions and pay. She is aware of this, and that’s not a fault. She’s thinking about all the ‘what ifs.'”

“OP, NTA because I think she could help with the down or the big expenditures needed for the new home if you sell yours. I think she would also be able to rent her place and use that money to put in savings for her rental, as well as pay part of the new mortgage.”

“A financial planner meeting might help reassure her she will still retain her personal wealth as well as contribute to the household expenses.” – crackersucker2

“OP’s wife is not necessarily acting unreasonable here, but ideally, they would be able to talk through what their real concerns are and make an arrangement that covers everyone.”

“It’s very legitimate and reasonable for OP’s wife to want to protect her assets because she’s sacrificing future earnings potential right now. It’s more questionable for her to want to claim co-ownership of their new house while she’s not contributing any of her assets to it. In a divorce, she could wind up walking away with everything she brought in and half of what he did.”

“If they both sit down and talk about what their concerns are they can strike a fair bargain and memorialize it in writing. If they divorce after years together in that house, she would have a legitimate claim to the value they built in it together but not the initial investment that he put in it. You can write contracts to make that happen, I would think.” – trashacct8484

“I was just thinking that I don’t understand rich people. In my neck of the woods, it takes two people to have any type of home, if you’re lucky.”

“The question of valuing a woman’s contribution does come up even in our circles, but usually, it’s just a math problem of affording childcare, and helping the father to see the need to step up and do his share of the work at home, too.”

“It wasn’t until I joined Reddit that I heard of bizarre tales of spouses with different houses, different vacations, sending their own kids to expensive private schools, ordering their own takeout and not including their mate, and of course, sitting on large inheritances but expecting their spouse to pay all the bills.”

“I’d think it was all made up, and I’m sure some of it is, but I do know for a fact that the very presence of money is enough to change people into unrecognizable monsters.” – Suzibrooke

“If you sell it and buy a new house intended to be the family home, then it is likely half hers in a community property state anyway.”

“Three years into marriage sucks, by the way.”

“Marriage counselors thrive off of your relationship staying crap. Go find a financial advisor and align your financial goals. If she has another house and a ‘substantial’ nest egg, something doesn’t sit well. One or both of you is hesitant to work as a household and it’s making the other nervous about doing the same.”

“It doesn’t necessarily mean either of you are doing anything wrong, but it would be good to talk to someone to help you guys consolidate what you want, what she wants, and what you both want together. I’m guessing financial disputes don’t stop and end at whose name goes on the house.”

“A couple of follow-up questions:”

“How is the rest of your marriage other than this dispute? Do you want to be married to her? Does she want to be married to you?”

“Is there some intended use for her other house? Is it an inheritance and sentimental? Or is she planning to rent it out for income? Could profits above mortgage and maintenance be applied to new home loans?”

“Be careful, but don’t assume the worst. Going with NTA because it sounds like there are some critical conversations that haven’t been had that need to be had.” – Happiness-Buzzard

After receiving feedback, the OP shared a brief update.

“OP here. I finally realized what was going on. Some portion of her money is gifted from her family and is separate property. She doesn’t want to contribute so it doesn’t become marital property in the house. I finally understand why she is so dead-set against contributing any of her funds. I feel like a fool.”

“I appreciate all the responses and even the perspective of those who feel that I am, in fact, the a**hole. I am arranging a consultation with a family attorney to explore all the implications of the home purchase.”

While the subReddit encouraged the OP to be cautious, some could also fathom how there was more to this situation than simply sharing or selling assets.

Rather, the OP’s wife’s work-life balance might be something he hadn’t put enough thought into, and depending on her relationship with her family, there might be other reasons why she didn’t immediately want to sell or liquidate beyond simply not wanting to “share.”

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.