Personal Finance

How to deal with your deadbeat family member?

  • Last Updated:
  • Sep 26th, 2016 11:54 am
[OP]
Member
Jul 26, 2016
209 posts
76 upvotes

How to deal with your deadbeat family member?

Would like some advice. It's a bit long story. Thanks for your patience to read it through.

My father-in-law (live in another country) is a deadbeat who lived on his family inheritance for a long time, until in 2008 he re-mortgaged the only house he has (inherited from his parents, prime location) and invested a bit below 1 million in USD in the stock and FX market, and he lost 80% due to the most shares he bought went bankrupt and he played FX on margin. He has been in debt since then. And worst of all he's been paying off his debt through credit card loans with ~30% interest rate and he's paying off the minimum payment (increases hugely every month) so he won't be called loan or forced to get into bankrupt.

I don't know where he got the luck but he also gets inheritance in stages (his very rich parents split their huge inheritance into chunks and drew up a will that he would be able to get portions of money in different age points. He got his last shares 5 years ago and able to pay off a bit debt and still paying off min. pay from credit card debt. Everyone in the family is concerned (esp. mother-in-law, she got eviction letter from the bank to take the house but then father-in-law managed to pay off a bit through his last batch of inheritance). But father-in-law refused to talk about it and pretended life was as usual.

My wife has been giving them a bit money as soon as she works just to "support" them, she gave around 1/5 of her salary. But after we immigrated to Canada my wife has been earning a lot less take-home pay and she's currently pregnant (will not work after she delivers, as we don't have any family here to take care of our baby), she only occasionally sends some money home and has recently stopped sending after she knew she's pregnant.

Now here is the problem. In our country there's a law that requires children to take care of their parents (Yes I know!!). It is deemed as illegal if children don't provide to cover their parents basic needs - kinda like an alimony sort of arrangement, the court will judge based on circumstance and set a required amount and children cannot avoid the responsibility.

As a deadbeat, my father-in-law is calling my wife and "begging" for money on a constant basis, loads of lecturing and sobbing talk and self-victimization. My wife knows his game but at the same time he is family and she is afraid she may get sued. At this stage we don't think she will get sued as there's been no threat. But you never know what a desperate person will do to a family.

This post is mainly for my complaint but would like to hear any constructive advice. I am in a difficult situation as I don't want to get into my wife's family affair but sad to see she's stressed out on her pregnancy, her current employment, her family issue etc.
36 replies
Deal Addict
Jul 28, 2012
1041 posts
475 upvotes
Trois-Rivières, QC
Eric1010 wrote: In our country there's a law that requires children to take care of their parents (Yes I know!!). It is deemed as illegal if children don't provide to cover their parents basic needs - kinda like an alimony sort of arrangement, the court will judge based on circumstance and set a required amount and children cannot avoid the responsibility.
I'm no law expert, but which country? (That would help determine if there are any exceptions to the law you are referring to.)
[OP]
Member
Jul 26, 2016
209 posts
76 upvotes
airodyssey wrote:
Eric1010 wrote: In our country there's a law that requires children to take care of their parents (Yes I know!!). It is deemed as illegal if children don't provide to cover their parents basic needs - kinda like an alimony sort of arrangement, the court will judge based on circumstance and set a required amount and children cannot avoid the responsibility.
I'm no law expert, but which country? (That would help determine if there are any exceptions to the law you are referring to.)
I don't want to be too specify but it's Asian. The law just took effective a couple years ago due to the fact that too many parents transferred all their assets to their kids and claimed government support / welfare for their retirement. Our government really couldn't afford an aging population and they know it's gonna exploded soon at the expense of the younger generation. So they announced a new law that if an elderly claims s/he is broke and apply for old age welfare, the government would track down their kids first before approving their social security payments.

Not many cases yet as that's the new law. Some parents are suing their kids, but it's long legal procedure and I reckon they would opt for a settlement as lawyer fee is very high back there.
Jr. Member
Dec 15, 2010
126 posts
169 upvotes
Eric1010 wrote: Now here is the problem. In our country there's a law that requires children to take care of their parents (Yes I know!!). It is deemed as illegal if children don't provide to cover their parents basic needs - kinda like an alimony sort of arrangement, the court will judge based on circumstance and set a required amount and children cannot avoid the responsibility.
Your wife doesn't live in that country. Why would the law (if it's even an actual law) apply to her?
Sr. Member
May 22, 2004
666 posts
335 upvotes
Montreal
Filial responsibility is a doozie. Pay to consult with a lawyer here whether a judgement against your wife in that country could be enforced in Canada.

You will have to decide if you ever want to go back there though.
[OP]
Member
Jul 26, 2016
209 posts
76 upvotes
Eric1010 wrote:
airodyssey wrote:
Eric1010 wrote: In our country there's a law that requires children to take care of their parents (Yes I know!!). It is deemed as illegal if children don't provide to cover their parents basic needs - kinda like an alimony sort of arrangement, the court will judge based on circumstance and set a required amount and children cannot avoid the responsibility.
I'm no law expert, but which country? (That would help determine if there are any exceptions to the law you are referring to.)
I don't want to be too specify but it's Asian. The law just took effective a couple years ago due to the fact that too many parents transferred all their assets to their kids and claimed government support / welfare for their retirement. Our government really couldn't afford an aging population and they know it's gonna exploded soon at the expense of the younger generation. So they announced a new law that if an elderly claims s/he is broke and apply for old age welfare, the government would track down their kids first before approving their social security payments.

Not many cases yet as that's the new law. Some parents are suing their kids, but it's long legal procedure and I reckon they would opt for a settlement as lawyer fee is very high back there.
But we haven't cut tie and would like to go back after retire (may be sooner than that), 1 of our reason for immigration is to get away from my father-in-law. He is the black sheep of the family and making everyone suffer. If he's not there anymore one day we may go back!
[OP]
Member
Jul 26, 2016
209 posts
76 upvotes
wwong86 wrote:
Eric1010 wrote: Now here is the problem. In our country there's a law that requires children to take care of their parents (Yes I know!!). It is deemed as illegal if children don't provide to cover their parents basic needs - kinda like an alimony sort of arrangement, the court will judge based on circumstance and set a required amount and children cannot avoid the responsibility.
Your wife doesn't live in that country. Why would the law (if it's even an actual law) apply to her?
The definition of a deadbeat is one who is leeching on everyone around him - that's my father-in-law out there! He doesn't pay for anything but calls his family/relatives when he is in need and feed off on them. We don't want to have our kids being closed to him and that's 1 reason why we immigrated to Canada in the 1st place!
Deal Expert
User avatar
Nov 7, 2003
21612 posts
1624 upvotes
Shanghai, China
airodyssey wrote:
Eric1010 wrote: In our country there's a law that requires children to take care of their parents (Yes I know!!). It is deemed as illegal if children don't provide to cover their parents basic needs - kinda like an alimony sort of arrangement, the court will judge based on circumstance and set a required amount and children cannot avoid the responsibility.
I'm no law expert, but which country? (That would help determine if there are any exceptions to the law you are referring to.)
I think it's China. I read something about this not that long ago.
Deal Fanatic
Mar 24, 2008
6200 posts
2600 upvotes
Toronto
If you moved to Canada to get away from that country's system, why do you still want to have ties there? And if you do, then stop complaining and follow the rules/laws of that country/society.

You can't have it both ways :smh:
TFSA: XAW | RRSP: AOR | Non-reg: XUU + GICs
Sr. Member
User avatar
Feb 13, 2009
553 posts
156 upvotes
Montreal
I also think its China, read something alike in the news too. Just get the canadian citizenship, and then retire in China as Canadians.
Sr. Member
May 5, 2009
617 posts
320 upvotes
Vancouver
Sounds like my dad. Haven't spoken to him in years, he hasn't seen his grandkids ever, couldn't care less if he dies.
Deal Addict
Jan 30, 2012
1579 posts
936 upvotes
TORONTO
Eric1010 wrote: Now here is the problem. In our country there's a law that requires children to take care of their parents (Yes I know!!). It is deemed as illegal if children don't provide to cover their parents basic needs - kinda like an alimony sort of arrangement, the court will judge based on circumstance and set a required amount and children cannot avoid the responsibility.
Interesting. Did you know that most Canadian provinces have similar laws on the books?

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/rel ... cle546012/
http://www.duhaime.org/LegalResources/F ... anada.aspx
http://www.bcli.org/sites/default/files ... Report.pdf
http://www.canadianelderlaw.ca/Family%2 ... 20Laws.htm
Deal Addict
Dec 5, 2005
1017 posts
635 upvotes
Cambridge,Ontario
Eric1010 wrote: This post is mainly for my complaint but would like to hear any constructive advice. I am in a difficult situation as I don't want to get into my wife's family affair but sad to see she's stressed out on her pregnancy, her current employment, her family issue etc.
Change your phone number,problem solved
Banned
Mar 11, 2016
2081 posts
887 upvotes
if you are referring to a country where they would charge a non resident child to support a parent then the answer is pretty obvious....screw them...
Jr. Member
Aug 19, 2016
165 posts
78 upvotes
It's not that unusual. 28 US states have laws requiring children to support their parents.

As for dealing with the dead beat... maybe one day she will be required to support him, but it seems he's going to have to go through bankruptcy and lose the house before that. And then, my guess is in an asian country the minimum level of income considered "support" is going to be pretty low.

So I'd tell your wife to stop worrying, send what she can when she can, and otherwise set the phone down and read a book while he yammers away about what a victim he is. When the buzzing sound of him droning on stops, pick up and say, "yeah that's awful dad, hey I have to go, nice talking to you".
Deal Expert
Oct 6, 2005
16730 posts
2408 upvotes
Eric1010 wrote: This post is mainly for my complaint but would like to hear any constructive advice. I am in a difficult situation as I don't want to get into my wife's family affair but sad to see she's stressed out on her pregnancy, her current employment, her family issue etc.
It seems your wife still cares for her father... convincing her to ignore her father's requests is futile.

The only thing you can do is negotiate a fair amount to give you're loser father-in-law. If you don't, she and your MIL will hold a grudge against you for the rest of your life/relationship.

Other than that, perhaps a divorce and find a more suitable family.

Life isn't fair :(
Member
May 5, 2012
361 posts
148 upvotes
CALGARY
Questions:

IF something unfortunate were to happen to him and his wife, would the debt just get passed onto you?

Could you perhaps have a contract (sort of a prenup) so that any income you make is only yours? And the little that she will get from maternity leave can be hers alone so that if they do sue, they can't go after your money?
Sr. Member
Jan 5, 2015
615 posts
165 upvotes
Edmonton, AB
It's China, this law.

Have your wife start begging money from your father-in-law. Play the new baby, new family card.
If you or your wife give, based on your description, he'll never stop asking.
[OP]
Member
Jul 26, 2016
209 posts
76 upvotes
ksgill wrote: If you moved to Canada to get away from that country's system, why do you still want to have ties there? And if you do, then stop complaining and follow the rules/laws of that country/society.

You can't have it both ways :smh:
No we moved to Canada thinking this country is as what the government has promoted - a country that welcomes everyone and everyone can call home. After we came we found out the hard way that nothing is perfect. The job market sucks ass and the take home salary is below world standard for median salary earners (due to high tax!). Having said that there are wonderful things about Canada that we like as well. But no way we will cut tie based on the circumstance.
[OP]
Member
Jul 26, 2016
209 posts
76 upvotes
VancityAcura wrote: Sounds like my dad. Haven't spoken to him in years, he hasn't seen his grandkids ever, couldn't care less if he dies.
LOL! That's how I feel but I told myself I can't judge as it is my wife's family. Who am I to say anything. Good thing is that my wife also wants to stay away from her dad - but in a nice low-key way as she doesn't want to hurt an old person's feeling, let alone it's her dad.

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