- Posted June 2, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
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When money troubles cause marriage woes
With the recent news breaking about the tragic murder of April Jace, reportedly at the hands of her husband, actor Michael Jace, after an argument over money problems, the focus has once again turned to how financial problems can place undue strain on marriage.
According to court documents garnered by CNN, the former star of “The Shield” had already defaulted on the couple’s 5445 Brynhurst Avenue home in the Hyde Park section of Los Angeles, and still owed $411,000 on the residence. Back in March of 2011, a filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection reflected Jace’s debts at half a million dollars, although his residuals still earned him $80,000 per year.
The New York Post’s Page Six reports that Jace had fallen behind on his $2,000-per-month restructured debt repayments by December 2013, and that he still owed $22,000 in state and federal income taxes, mostly from income gained in 2008.
However, the same publications report that Jace’s problems didn’t begin with his fatal act against April, whom he married in June of 2003. Legal documents stemming from his divorce from Jennifer Bitterman in 2002 reflect a troubled account from a friend of the ex-wife, who claims she witnessed Jace being violent against Jennifer in the presence of their then 6-month-old son.
Therefore, while the extreme extent of evil demonstrated in this case might be pegged as prompted by money problems as a catalyst, it’s apparent that Jace’s anger issues run deep. But what about other cases that aren’t plagued by violence at the core, yet still involve solvable marital money issues?
Grappling with money, loans and credit card debt in a marriage
On the whole, it’s normal to have concerns about finances within a marriage. After all, much of our livelihoods are based on the sustenance we can provide our families. Having the ability to manage our wealth correctly and fairly with our spouses is a good indicator that a union is free from selfish concerns.
For example, if a man makes a six-figure salary in his corporate job while his wife stays home to care for the children, the income should be viewed as household income – not merely money that the man alone makes and distributes as he alone sees fit, simply because he’s working outside the home. On the flip side, if the wife is the majority breadwinner, this fact shouldn’t be lorded over her husband nor used in some sort of power play within the marriage. Both parties should realize the benefits they bring to the table, and – as long as neither person is taking advantage of the other by not pulling their share of the family load – the budget should be equitably agreed upon in terms of how the net income will be spent.
The overall vision of what debts should be tackled first, along with who should pay which bills and whether or not one or both parties should work outside the home should arise as an open discussion that represents a compromise until a valid resolution is reached. While financial stressors are a common equation in marital disagreements, they can be overcome – baring any deep-seated issues of violence that go way beyond money.