One of the recent movements, after years of seeing an increase of two-income families, is a return to the single-income family where one person (usually the mother in a traditional family) stays home. With more women wishing to become SAHMs (stay at home moms) and an increase in the number of dads that want to stay home, it is important for the partner staying at home to be protected against financial problems.
When one partner stays at home, and the other acts as the primary breadwinner, the stay at home partner is at a financial disadvantage if he or she does not actively participate in the finances. Your home as a whole is a combined effort, and your contributions at home entitle you an interest in marital financial concerns — even if you aren’t the primary breadwinner.
Putting both names on the assets
One of the most important things you can do is to put both names on all of your assets. MomGrind, in an excellent post aimed at financial protection for SAHMs, points out that you should have your name on everything that you share:
Never let your husband be in charge of your accounts, only giving you limited access in the form of a credit card (that can be canceled) or a weekly “allowance.”
Make sure that cars, bank accounts, the title to the home and any other item of value that you buy lists both of you as property owners. Otherwise, your partner can take everything upon the dissolution of a marriage (with the exception of Community Property states), or things might be questioned if your partner dies. If you aren’t in a marriage situation, it is especially important that you are both listed as owners on any assets.
Insist that your name be added to assets as you begin your partnership. You want to be sure that you are protected in case of a change in status, including the death of your partner. Additionally, keep track of what is going on with the finances. You should never let someone else handle it all for you. You need to know what’s going on in order to protect yourself.