I offered my son $ 30,000 for a down payment on a house. His fiancee wants a written agreement for my donation to be shared 50/50


My 29 year old son is engaged in June 2021. He lives with his fiancée in a small one bedroom rental. About a month ago I told them that I would like to help them buy a house by giving them money to pay their down payment. Maybe $ 30,000 or more.

Their lease ends in January 2021, and winter is usually a good time to buy a home. I encouraged them to start researching neighborhoods, different towns in the region, etc.However, since they are not married, I said that the money would go to my son first. This caused a firestorm with his fiancee, who through my son said she wanted a written agreement that if they were to break up and divorce in the future, she wanted 50% of the gift. .

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She said her parents agreed with her that she “should protect herself”. Her parents divorced and, it seems, the down payment for their main residence was partly financed by her mother’s father. When they divorced, her mother kept that portion.

My son had previously agreed that any house they bought would be split 50/50 in case they got divorced, even though he basically provided the rest of the down payment as she still pays off her student debt and has little savings. .

I have no problem with what my son wants to do, but I find it hard to believe that she wants a written agreement that she is entitled to 50% of the gift in the event of a divorce.

Not only that, but apparently because of it, they have completely stopped even looking at the houses because they are so put off by this situation. They have enough to buy a house, but maybe not as expensive as the one they could buy with our help, and they don’t have enough to put in 20%. My future daughter-in-law also said that because of this, she would feel like she was just a ‘tenant’.

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In addition, she is adamant about never having children. As a professional woman who will have no children to support or raise, she should be able to provide for herself in the event of a divorce.

Not wanting to lose my son, I told them I would give them $ 30,000 to do whatever they want, but I wouldn’t sign any agreement.

It seems so odd that a woman who is considering getting married would be so concerned about her finances in case their marriage ends, even though she is perfectly capable of supporting herself.

What are your thoughts?

Completely flabbergasted

Dear dumbfounded,

Your son marries this woman. You are not.

For this reason, I agree with most of your letter and I disagree with a relatively minor part.

It is certainly an unorthodox request. Let’s put it that way, okay? (If this was a text message, I’d put a puzzled emoji here.) You just need to be comfortable that this $ 30,000 will allow your son to buy a house that he wants.

What happens to that house and that money once it lands in his bank account is his business. He can do whatever he wants.

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But being asked to sign a document to share that $ 30,000 50/50 when it is used for their home is surprising. (Insert another emoji here.)

I don’t agree that whether or not your future daughter-in-law decides to have a baby should determine her income or profession. If they divorce, it will once again be her business to live her life the way she sees fit with half the house they buy together.

Your daughter-in-law should be asking your son to sign a document, not you, and your son will be signing a document very soon.

The document he will sign? Her marriage certificate.

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You can email The Moneyist for any financial and ethical questions related to the coronavirus at [email protected]. Want to know more?Follow Quentin Fottrell on Twitterand read more of his columns here.

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