This is a “hot topic” that I continue to see needs answering. Should parents give married “GROWN” children money. Let me say upfront there are a lot of different factors and I am going to discuss them right here. Because LIFE happens and the answer can vary. Take the time to read this and decide what applies to you or what will you do when your children are grown and married.
First situation: I think it is acceptable for parents to give grown married children money if they are in an emergent situation. It was unexpected, they are not bad money managers but an unexpected sitation has happened. Also as long as the husband and wife, both know the parents gave the money. This does happen and can happen.
Second situation: Parents are loaning their adult child money without the spouse knowing it. This is primarily when the spouse is complaining to parents about their spouse. So the parents are almost taking sides and encouraging separation in money and marriage by their actions. Do not even pretend it does not happen because it does. Parents do not insert yourself in the middle of a husband and wife financial issues. They have to learn how to talk with each other (not argue) and work out their differences. You are not in their home 24/7 and are getting one side of the story.
Third situation: Grown married children are taking advantage of their parents because they know they can. There are probably a husband and wife that are bad money managers based on their own background, then they run to mom and dad to bail them out of their financial troubles because they know they can without any remorse. This in itself makes for debt situations that can tear the marriage apart. What can also end up happening in this situation is that one set of parents become a bank and the other set of parents are almost ignored because they do not open up their wallets. Either way, all of this scenario is bad.
Caution for parents: When brides and grooms get married initially, they need to learn how to rely on each other. Not run to you to bail them out at the first sign of financial stress.
Brides and grooms: Do not go to your parents and speak negatively about yout spouse and money. Once you paint a picture of negative and uncooperation, it is hard to change it back.