Wife or Family?


My name is Chad. I am 23 years old, married and my parents just recently got divorced. I have 2 young siblings who are not even in High School yet. The biggest problem is that there is property involved in the divorce. My dad has a home to live in, and my mom is living in a trailor on this land, where she wants to build a house. My Grandfather(dad's dad) wants to take the property because the two of them owe him money for helping them pay it off. I want to help my mom keep the property, and I can by cosigning on a construction loan that will pay grandpa off and build the house. The loan is considerable and I could not pay for it. My mother has the financial means to pay it, she just doesn't have the credit score to get the loan, my dad had tax problems and it messed her credit up.

My wife does not want me to help my mom, because she is afraid that we may get the short end of the stick. But this land is very important to my mother, and is also my siblings and mine inheritance. My mother has always helped me when I needed her, and I feel it is a moral obligation on my part to help her. But if I do my wife won't be happy, to say the least.

Do I abandon my mother when she needs me, or keep my wife happy. I really don't understand, because if it were her mom, I would still do this for her as well. Thank you for reading my problems.


Can the grandfather just “take” the property? Why is he taking it from your mother rather than his son/the ex-husband? Have lawyers been consulted here?

I don’t know what you should do. Personally I can’t imagine not helping my mother, but then I am not married either.


Is it possible that your parent may reconcile?


first off and foremost this is not a deal where you say for or or ( if you know what I mean) This is not your problem and at this point I think your wife has valid point. If you are for one right now you are for another and vice versa.

I want you to remember you are not responsible for this rift. These are adult as you are yourself and they have made their own mistakes which you should not be resposible fore.

I want you to think about this, Think as a parent… What if your kids ( as unthinkable as it is) be in the same predictament? what advice would you give them? As I can see there is no win situation here and I would advize telling those involved the same thing. "look you have put me in the middle of something I never asked to be in, If I am for you I am against him, I can not do this so fight it out (if that is your choice) but I will not take sides. I love you both and I resent being asked to be in the middle of this! What ever you decide I love you both!

Stay out of it as your wife who seems to me to have a good head on her shoulder says. Your first obligation is to the family you and her have created (whether you have children or not) not to be a referee in this fight. Moms are important to their 'little guys" and if my son would tell me listen mom you are forcing me to make a decision between two of you who I love, My heart would lead me to tell my “little guy” to stay out of it though I may need his help I would rather him be happy and whole, I would rather his marriage stay intact than to make that decision. I would tell my daughters the same. Just let them know how horrible of a place they have put you and I garantee if they love you they will tell you to stay out of it.


quote - My mother has always helped me when I needed her

Then do likewise…


There is an awful lot that we cannot know about this so we really cannot tell you which is the best decsion.

My gut reaction is to sign the loan, get the grandfather off your mom’s (and your siblings backs) and help her get a modest house built.
It beat me that the grandfather wants to take the land and home away from his grandchildren. But weird things happent in a divorce.
On the other hand, my gut also tells me never to co-sign a loan that you cannot pay for yourself. When people ask for a co-signer they seem to “always” be able to pay for it but then later…circumstances change, and you arfe stcuk holding a very bad smelling bag.

All anyone can really advise is to pray hard, talk to your wife and to your mom and make the best dicision you can.

May God be near and help you all.



That's a very hard situation, and difficult to know what to do. I would advise lots of prayer and lots of talking with your wife - after all, no matter what happens you need to keep living with her so you need her on board (even if reluctantly) with whatever decision you make.

I will be praying for you too.


I was a bank officer for many years, and at least once a week I had someone at my desk trying to borrow their way out of the mess that resulted from cosigning a loan for some relative who needed help. (Unfortunately, by the time they landed at my desk, their credit had already been ruined.) In addition, I have three personal friends who were forced into bankruptcy for the same reason - a “desperate” relative talked them into cosigning a loan that they didn’t bother to repay.

Look…you sound like a nice guy, and I can understand why you want to help your mother. But unless you can afford to get stuck with the entire loan, don’t do it. You didn’t cause this train wreck…don’t put yourself in the middle of it.


I am in agreement with your wife. She is your primary responsibility and you need to care for her first and your children.

If your mom does have the money to pay for it, I don’t understand why there needs to be a loan. Can she not just pay it?



You can help your mom by calling around to some financial folks who might be able to help her get the loan on her own, then giving her their names/numbers and offering to go with her to her appointments to be a second set of ears.
I agree with the posters who said you shouldn’t be put in the middle of it, nor biting off more than you can chew financially, especially when you’re young and your wife has serious, grounded reservations.


I am not really torn between who to help, I know I want to help my mom. My dad is actually my step-dad, and he never really fulfilled the role of parent and husband at all. Plus in helping my mom, I am also helping my siblings. See, my mom has also invested almost everything she has in this property trying to build a house, and if she loses it she has to start all over. Even with the housing crises, homes in CA are still very expensive, and she is afraid she may have to move out of state.

I know my wife wants me to focus on my family, but in helping my mom, I also help secure our inheritance of a considerable amount(at least to us). Plus I know my mom would do this for us if we needed it, I was just always taught that you help your family however you can.


Listen to your wife.

It sounds like you're in the verge of getting sucked into a mess that you won't be able to escape from...


Chadless, it is very honorable of you to want to help your mother, but as a mother going through a divorce, I could not and would not accept any financial assistance from my children - especially if they already had responsibilities of their own family. Even if you did co-sign a loan, its hard to predict what your grandfather might do. I understand its your paternal grandfather’s land? My initial reaction to that is he would want to keep that property for his own children – as you and your sibs are grandchildren, you might end up as benefactors if there is a good relationship between you, but that’s all dependent on your grandfather’s good will. If your parents owe him money, they need to work that out. I don’t understand what you mean about this property being important to your mother.

Please do not try to take on extra responsibility. Please focus on your marriage and family. This is not really a “choice” between wife or family… if you are married, you and your wife would both become financially liable for any loan… if something happened to you, your wife would then be responsible, so this is absolutely an issue you two need to discuss, pray about and agree on. This is a precedent setting event in your marriage – if you take on an attitude that you are going to go co-sign a loan and encumber your future, what would stop your wife from doing the same? Money matters and child-rearing issues are MAJOR topics of discussion.

I still advise against taking on any financial responsibility.

Terrible, ugly things happen to families in divorce. Money issues do not need to be exacerbated between children and their parents. I am very sorry for your family. Pray to St. Joseph for guidance and wisdom for your mother. God bless.


You you still haven’t answered the question: CAN he take her home away? Just because he helped pay for it, if his name isn’t on the deed, there’s nothing he can do about it. He can try to take her to court, but if there wasn’t an agreement in writting, it will most likely be considered a gift. Is his name on the deed? was there an agreement in writing? I’d start from there…


This really is an odd situation.

As others have said, what legal right, if any, does your grandfather have? He may have none.

While you want to help your mom, which is understandable, the fact of the matter is that you are not a single man, free to do what you want. When you married, your wife became your first priority. I am also most uncomfortable with parents relying on their children for financial help, particularly one your age, just starting out.

As you also mentioned that you couldn’t pay the loan, this may all be a moot point anyway; you need more than a good credit score to help secure a loan - you need to be able to show you have the wherewithal to pay it back, which you apparently do not.

God bless.



Christ spoke harshly to those who neglected to care for their parents. God rewards those who are loving and charitable.


True; however, it is extremely unwise to co-sign a loan for which you do not have the funds to repay (though it may well be a moot point, once the bank sees he doesn’t have the $$$.) That is a recipe for disaster.

As a married man, his wife and their security must be his priority.


Is Grandpa’s name on the deed to the property or is he a lien holder? If so then he probably does have rights to the property. If not then it is questionable if he could take your mother’s home. Does your father still have a legal interest in the property? Grandpa does have a right to what he is owed but he ought to be looking to his son first and his ex-daughter-in-law second. (Of course what he should do is insignificant compared to what he chooses to do.)

I presume this is your step-grandfather? Does he not like your mother? Is he unhappy with both of your parents? How much land is this? Can it be sub-divided and a portion of it sold off?

If you had the means to pay off a construction loan I’d say go for it. But since your wife is not happy with the idea I’d say loaning the money is out. But perhaps there are other options?


"For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one."


Proverbs says “Only a fool signs surety for another.” Perhaps helping your mother to clear her debts so that her credit can be restored and she can gain her own financing would be a better idea.

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