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Extra-marital Finance 101

(Article published in the Aug 26, 2009 issue of Manila Standard Today) 

My boss, Atty. Jose F. Buenaventura many years ago gave me an excellent book to read, the only one of its kind, if I am not mistaken.  It is “Jacksons Matrimonial Finance and Taxation,” published by Butterworths of London.

 Although it primarily deals with English law, reading it is most helpful even for Filipino lawyers, particularly those specializing in Family law and even estate planning, because it touches on just about every aspect of matrimonial finance. Except one.  Because its starting point is a marriage that is irretrievably broken, it does not discuss the economics of extra-marital affairs where, by definition, the parties remain married to others but notwithstanding consort with each other. Considered taboo by serious authors of law and jurisprudence, the financial implications of an extra-marital affair, particularly the impact of infidelity on the finances of a family, deserve at this time, when incidence of extra-marital affairs in the Philippines is said to be rising, at least some objective analysis and initial recommendations.

 As soon as the marital infidels graduate from the stolen week-ends or afternoon trysts into a more stable commitment, the permanent venue of the love nest is probably the most significant initial outlay.  Thus, from every now and then booking at an hotel in a busy area, say Pasay Road, where the commercial establishments near-by provide ready excuse for being sighted often together, the marital infidels would have to set up house in an area less public but nevertheless business-justifiable.  A serviced apartment in the periphery of business district, such as Salcedo Village in Makati, if their office is in, say Ayala Avenue, is a viable choice.  At Somerset, for instance, long stay rates, cheaper in the long run than even corporate hotel rates, are available.  Paying a reasonable down payment, about Php 190k, would pave the way for the signing of the contract over a reasonable unit.
 










     

The task of checking which furnishings are provided by the establishment and which need to be brought in are “wifely” duties and is thus left to the female infidel to perform.  That might be socially correct; but not always advantageous.  Many women are not used to checking if the appliances are working, their legal husbands checks all those things, and they would have to ask the maintenance man of the building to do that. 

 Determining where the heater is, if there is one, is essential.  Usually, there is one installed in the shower inside the bedroom but not in the kitchen and the bathroom outside. But is not a problem, even if another one in the kitchen is preferable to make it easier to wash the dishes, the marital infidels can get it later on.

 There is as expected usually a refrigerator, but it can be old and stained.  And the stove has to be examined. A 4-burner, with three working on gas and one on electric, is passed off as an electric stove.  Of course, the apartment does not have a cooking set; the female infidel will need to get one.  A phone line with internet must be set up and cable TV need to be installed by, say, Destiny.  The marital infidels are not in the unit to spend their time cleaning; so a cleaning lady must be hired on a weekly basis, at the rate of about P500.00 per visit.

 The arena of operations must be made comfortable and clean.  Hence, the marital infidels need to buy, as part of the initial set up, bed sheets and comforter (at least 2 sets), pillows (4), bathroom rugs (at least 2), big towels (2 or 4), small towels for bathroom (4), towels for kitchen (6), set of plates and utensils (at least 4), initial grocery-dishwashing soap, drinking water, etc.  For a one-year tenure, about Php 600,000 would be easily spent setting up the nest where the marital infidels could live as a couple. 

 An item in the infidel’s budget must be for gifts not for each other, but to their respective spouses.  To maximize the impact of the giving, the gifts must have subliminal meaning.  For example, the husband of the female infidel could be bought a model aircraft.  It can then be given to the cuckold who is thereby told to fly away!  The wife of the cheater must, of course, be treated with respect, meaning given a card on her birthday with a cheque.  She then banks it and buys things at her leisure.

 Financing all these expenses, outside of what may be called the respective gross domestic products of the marital infidels, could be a challenge.  Selling at this time the house that used to be occupied by the male infidel with this legal wife, to raise funding, might be complicated. The market is down and is only just recovering.  A child who might be using it cannot be kicked out just because the male infidel is saying good bye to his wife.  Moreover, the house is likely used as security for a line of credit that is used for the male infidel’s various investments and thus cannot be sold until he liquidates those investments.  The ideal is, of course, matching the extra-marital expenses with extra-marital income, whether from sources not in one’s employment, or, from discretionary funds that can be taken out, ever so gradually and surreptitiously, from the employer’s coffers.

 Since the marital infidels would still have to go to office, or to the bank, it is important for them to budget also for their own personal effects.  It is worthwhile to buy originals and expensive things as they look better and last longer.  They say you can’t tell a fake from the original but you know what you are wearing! Look good, feel good.

 Extra-marital finance in many instances is very much like legitimate marital finance.  The defining characteristic of the former, though, is the concourse of urgency and secrecy.  It is the task of the ultimate marital infidels to maintain the delicate balance. Like all good things (or, more accurately, what to them for the moment feels good), that balance, ever so delicate, is bound to end. With a whimper, not a bang.

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