Is there a way of protect myself from wife spending behind my back , creditcards apply ,accidents created by her

Asked about 2 years ago - Auburn, WA

i am in wa state , i want a way to protect or to make aware the wife how serious this can became , if we dont care for money, we marry to soon so no time for prenuptial so i guess post cant be a bad idea she speak spanish mostly

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Matthew Erik Johnson

    Contributor Level 17


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    Answered . I respectfully disagree with some of the things my colleagues said. Estate planning can be used to "help" with the problem in tandem with a finance plan but it won't solve overspending by itself.

    First, dealing with finance - one trick you may be able to use is to have her either balance the checkbook or do the bill paying. That way she is constantly aware of what is coming in, and what is going out. If you can calmly teach her how, this may help

    Second, speaking with a financial planner who can teach your wife about finances, and create a plan so you can actually save into the future can be VERY beneficial. I work with a very talented CFP (Certified Financial Planner) named Brian, you can contact him through, 206-455-2765 . He is a fantastic communicator and really knows his stuff at every level of finance. Cannot push him enough.

    Lastly, you can also set up a trust, if both of you agree to it, into which money will be placed - and then create conditions and controls to dictate how much money can be pulled out, when the money can be pulled out, who makes the determination as to when the money is pulled out, and when the trust can be liquidated. Trusts are an amazing tool for situations like this where control of the finances are the paramount concern.

    Other mechanisms, like annuities, can also be used for this purpose. Though trusts provide far greater flexibility and precision in controlling assets.

    Matthew Johnson (Johnson Legal Group, PLLC 206.747.0313) is licensed in the State of Washington and performs... more
  2. Steven J. Fromm

    Contributor Level 20


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    Answered . This is really not a legal problem. Documents can only do so much; this is a behavorial problem.
    She needs professional counseling and marriage therapy would be helpful here.

    Hope this helps.

    Please remember to designate a best answer to your question.

    Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336 or his email address is , his website for more tax, estate and business articles is and his blog is

    LEGAL DISCLAIMER Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia... more
  3. Mark L. Alexander

    Contributor Level 14


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    Answered . Marriage counseling, or possibly even seeing a financial counselor, is a good idea.

    In Washington, a prenuptial agreement that is signed shortly before the wedding is unlikely to be enforced by the court later (if it becomes necessary.) So I agree with your feeling about it being too late for a prenup.

    If her bad spending habits continue after the marriage, the reason she may be willing to sign a postnuptial agreement is to stay married. As with a prenup, be sure that each of you has your own attorney before signing, and that each other's assets and debts are disclosed (and preferably listed.) Be sure that her attorney is fluent in Spanish; it may even be advisable to create a Spanish version of the postnuptial agreement, to ensure that she understands it.

    Have a good wedding, and work together afterwards to address these concerns. The postnuptial agreement may be needed only if her spending habits do not change.

    If this answer is helpful or the best answer, please say so. Legal disclaimer: In accordance with the Avvo... more
  4. James P. Frederick

    Contributor Level 20


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    Answered . I agree with Attorney Fromm that this is a relationship problem. It is also a potential legal mess for you. How can there be no time for a pre-nup? That can be set up in a day or two. I suppose if you have nothing, then there is nothing anyone can take away from you. But if you have more than nothing, I do not see why you would not protect it.

    What incentive is there for the wife to sign a post-nup?

    I would get the pre-nup signed or postpone the wedding for a couple days.
    I am sure that you are aware that most divorces are the result of financial problems within the marriage. Given where you are starting, you need to be doubly careful and protect yourself and your heirs. I would get this done today.

    James Frederick

    P.S. This should go without saying, but that sometimes creates an illusion; this needs to be handled by an attorney, and your prospective wife ideally would have Spanish speaking legal counsel, as well. If your future wife does not have legal counsel and YOUR attorney does not speak Spanish, then you run the risk of the whole thing being undone.

    *** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and... more

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