If you so choose, you can use the internet to avoid virtually all person-to-person contact; sign contracts electronically, transfer funds from account to account, transact business, order dinner and a movie, but can you use Facebook to sidestep the awkward — and sometimes difficult — process of serving divorce papers on your estranged spouse? Not always, says one judge. [More]
Next month, the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments with regard to the legality of state laws that prohibit same-sex marriages. And while the issue has been politically divisive, many of the nation’s most powerful corporations — from airlines to insurance to beer to baseball teams — agree that banning gay marriage is not good for business. [More]
Falling into love and get married can be so much fun, but often, the reverse isn’t quite a blast. That is, unless you and your formerly beloved decide to untie the knot with a nice, relaxing weekend getaway, so you can celebrate permanently getting away from each other.
Compared to a lifetime (or at least a few years) spent with your spouse, the one day you spend actually getting married is but a blip on a very long timeline. But the results of a new study seems to indicate that there is some sort of link between the size of your wedding’s guest list and the quality of the marriage that ensues. Of course, that data also appears to show that most marriages are not truly happy. [More]
Are you thinking of getting married? We hope you’ve been attentive to your piggy bank if you’re considering a celebration anything like the average wedding last year — one wedding website says brides and grooms (and their generous families, perhaps) shelled out an average of $28,427 on the big shebang in 2012. [More]
Drawing conclusions from our mailbox here at Consumerist’s virtual HQ, no one in the United States ever changes their last name when they get married. Or dies. Both events result in such confusion at some companies that it’s clear they have never encountered them before. That’s clear from Claire’s experience booking a flight after her name change. She was already a Delta customer, so they used the name that was in their system and said they could change it later. This was not, strictly speaking, possible.
Tom and his wife got married last year (congratulations!) but still have separate checking accounts. Tom never had a problem depositing checks also made out to his wife in his Chase checking account, so he didn’t foresee any problems with depositing their joint $2,000 tax refund check in that same account. But this is The Consumerist, not Satisfied Chase Customers Weekly, so you can guess how that turned out. Now Tom and Mrs. Tom get to wait patiently and hope that the check doesn’t get lost in the mail on its way back to them.
When you live with someone and share financial obligations, the end of the relationship hits your wallet as much as it does your heart. Splitting up forces you to take an inventory of false assumptions and trust issues you and your ex had with money as well as everything else.
Unless you and your live-in lovah are perfectly compatible, you will fight about money at some point. Some couples find the common practice of sharing the same accounts to be suffocating and appreciate the relative freedom of maintaining discrete funds.
If your household is wallowing in a sea of debt and looking to paddle your way out, you’ll need to get your live-in better/worse half on board with your plans, otherwise you’ll just be rowing in circles. Since you can’t berate loved ones into changing their ways, you’ll have to find a method to convince them that change is necessary, and that rewards will come from taking the right course.
Christmas is a popular time to pop the question, and many of those who go through with it will have to suffer agonizing trips to the jewelry store to pick out a rock that will cost so much it could make them rethink the entire endeavor. One way to save time is to buy it online, but there’s still a stigma about buying jewelry that way.
Every day, people in America get married. Some of them change their last names. Evidently, though, no one in the history of Chase Bank has ever done this while they were in the middle of paying off their car loan. See, until the loan is paid, the bank has a lien on your car’s title. If you want to change the name on your car title and the loan hasn’t been paid off yet, Chase won’t let that happen. This isn’t a problem unless you have to move and register your car in a different state after your name change but before the car is paid off. That’s what happened to Michael’s wife, and how she ended up in a loop of bureaucracy sending them back and forth from Chase to the Maryland Vehicle Administration.
If you have to go through the misery of a divorce, now is as good a time as any to proceed. Plunging home prices and the struggling economy have a way of making financial separations less painful, with some caveats.
The IRS has a way of punishing people for getting married, but the marriage penalty hits gay public employees harder than straight couples. Unlike their straight counterparts, gay workers who place their spouses on employer-provided health insurance have to pay taxes on the benefits that can add up to $3,000 a year. Cambridge, Mass. will use a stipend to refund the “gay marriage penalty” to city workers affected.
People in serious relationships tend to spend so much time together that it seems silly to pay two rents, so it feels natural to move in together. But the move may not always end up saving money.
Reader Douglas’s wife left him, which we’re very sad to hear. He wrote to Consumerist about it because he’s still paying for her ring, which they purchased at Jared when they got married two years ago. He’s struggling financially, and made arrangements with the company to make payments of $50 per month at a lower interest rate. A few months later, they suddenly raised the payments back up to $100, claiming that there is nothing they can do to change the situation. Douglas is stuck.