How Much Help Should We Give?

by | May 10, 2010


Dear Dave,

Our son is 27, has two children, and now he's getting divorced from the woman he's been married to for seven years. Her parents gave them lots of money throughout their marriage, and now he's coming to us for money. If we ask what the money is for, he tells us it's none of our business. We know he's going through a rough time right now, but we don't have a lot of money. We're not sure what to do.


Dear Dee,

How about just saying no? Then, if he asks why tell him it's none of his business.

Seriously, this is grown man we're talking about. If he's going to take on the lifestyle and actions of a grown-up he needs to act like one. I understand he's hurting right now, but he's acting pretty arrogant for someone who's running back to mommy and daddy for money!

I think you need to cut off the cash supply before this gets any worse. Instead, you could offer to help with the kids, or let them all stay at your home for a few weeks while he works through this thing and gets his head and his life together. If he's willing to get into some serious financial counseling, and start becoming accountable for his money, then you might look into helping him money-wise from time to time in the future. But at this point it's like giving a drunk a drink.

Anyone can make a mistake, Dee. But it's not your job to fund his arrogance or his irresponsibility!

- Dave

* For more financial help, please visit

Comments and feedback can be sent to